Hannah Gutierrez, the armourer who oversaw guns and ammunition on the western Rust, was to be paid a total of $7,913 (£5,863) for her work on the film, according to a draft of the production budget obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
Such a sum is not atypical for a new hire on a fairly small-budget feature, but it is likely to come under scrutiny in the wake of the fatal shooting on set of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins by star and producer Alec Baldwin.
Baldwin was to be paid $150,000 for his work as lead actor, and another $100,000 in his capacity as producer. Four of the five other producers were all to be paid $150,00.
The total budget for the film was $7,279,305, with fewer than 100 employees – 75 crew and 22 actors – as well as 230 background extras.
The director, Joel Souza, who was also injured by the gun Baldwin fired, was to earn $221,872, and Hutchins was to have earned $48,945. Dave Halls, the first assistant director who handed the gun to Baldwin, according to sheriff’s affidavits, was to earn $52,830.
As well as Gutierrez’s salary, a further $7,469 had been budgeted for “armorer crew”, as well as $17,500 for the rental of weapons and $5,000 for rounds.
Speaking on Wednesday, a lawyer for Gutierrez suggested that a disgruntled employee on the set had attempted to sabotage production by deliberately placing a live round into the gun used by Baldwin.
Jason Bowles said his client had pulled ammunition from a box that she believed contained only dummy rounds that were incapable of firing. He said he thought it was possible that someone purposely placed real bullets, which look similar to dummies, in the box.
“We’re not saying anybody had any intent there was going to be a tragedy of homicide,” he told ABC’s Good Morning America, “but they wanted to do something to cause a safety incident on set. That’s what we believe happened.”
There are indications of unrest on the set of Rust prior to the incident on 21 October. Before the shooting, camera operators had quit the film to protest against what they said were long hours and other objectionable working conditions, authorities in Santa Fe have said.
Some complained about being put up in hotels some considerable distance from the set, meaning a lengthy commute further extended a long day. Producers for the film, some alleged, were housed much nearer to the set.
The budget released to The Hollywood Reporter does not appear to substantiate this discrepancy. Some $25,000 for hotel rooms for the five producers had been allocated ($5,000 per person), as well as $95,200 for 21 below-the-line crew members ($4,533 per person).