MOver 30 years ago, actor Roy Kinnear died after being thrown from a horse during filming The return of the knights In Spain. He dreaded shooting this particular scene because it involved having to “thunder” quickly across a cobblestone bridge, despite the danger and his lack of chivalry.
His tragic death appears to have shocked the industry by realizing the need for health and safety changes, but his son Rory Kinnear, who followed his father into acting, told observer That lives are still at stake, with corners cut due to pressures of time and budgets – ‘all for a thrilling shot’.
He said, “No one has ever seen a bullet and thought, ‘This deserves the death of whoever made it.'”
Rory was only ten years old when he lost his father, one of Britain’s best-loved comedians, who was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and played butler Blanchett in his last film.
Despite being an inexperienced rider, he was not offered a stunt double and his horse slipped after the film company put sand on gravel “in the misconception that it would give it more traction, but actually make it more slippery,” his son said. “He wrote a letter to my mother just before setting off, saying, ‘He was about to do a stunt that even the acrobatic stuntmen said was so dangerous.’ They all knew, and yet the shot was still prioritized over the safety of the actors.”
He was speaking on the fifth anniversary of the tragic death of respected British photographer Mark Melsom, who was killed while filming a car stunt on location in 2017. Rory Kinnear has worked with RSC and the National Theater – and won an Olivier Award in 2014 for his portrayal of Iago in the latter’s production of Othello He played MI6 agent Bill Tanner in the latest four Bond films.
He is a co-sponsor of the Mark Melsom Foundation (MMF), a charity dedicated to supporting young people desiring to enter the industry.
Her health and safety research shows that in the five years since Milsome’s death, “nothing has changed to improve crew safety.”
“For me, it’s 34,” Kinnear said. “Mark left behind a teenage daughter, just as my sister was left without a father.” “I’ve definitely seen huge stars feel like doing something they didn’t want to do,” he added.
MMF chairwoman Samantha Weinstein has reiterated his calls for the long-awaited change. “Mark was unnecessarily killed while filming a car stunt,” she said. “Five years have passed. We celebrate this tragic history by calling for mandatory health and safety education for all crew members working in film and television.”
The foundation’s research found “a stigma surrounding saying ‘no’ to potentially risky/dangerous situations in a group”, with stunts often accelerated due to time and money. Those who work in production “feel pressure to comply, even when they put their lives and the lives of others at risk.”
A crew member mentioned that while filming inside the mortuary, the lighting director insisted that the UV lights be on, even though the mortuary staff said this was only done at night when the room was vacant: “Later that night, I woke up, not Able to see and with very swollen eyes.In total, 16 members of the cast and crew were affected and it turned out that UV rays had burned our retina.The pain and symptoms lasted three days…No one was held accountable…I was advised not to proceed as it might affect on my future work.
MMF has countless examples of tragic accidents other than the recent case in which cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was portrayed in Alec Baldwin’s movie. Rust With a prop pistol loaded with live ammunition.
“One MMF member personally worked on two films in which crew members were killed, and one in which a crew member had a leg amputated as a result of an accident,” Wainstein said.
In addition, the hours were so rough that one of the script moderators fell asleep while driving and almost stopped her car.
Under a Freedom of Information request, the HSE disclosed about 160 non-fatal injuries in the group, including “falling from a height,” in the five years through February 2022.
“The pressure to make cinematic business bigger, better, and more dangerous, leads to more accidents,” said Ben Pepper, senior associate at Bolt Bordon Kemp, a legal firm that specializes in serious injury claims. Because production fails to take reasonable steps to prevent or reduce risks. These accidents occur despite our stringent health and safety laws. Better education on collections and stronger enforcement of regulations are urgently needed.”
MMF has an online course that aims to protect the cast and crew and prevent further tragedies. Kinnear believes it should be mandatory. “Within 18 months of responding to the #metoo movement, there have been intimate coordinators set in pretty much the whole time. Same with Covid protocols.” I don’t understand why this can’t be the same for something that can often prevent serious infection or Death.”
Andra Melsom, Melsom’s widow, said: “No one should have to worry that they won’t be home safely at the end of the day.”
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