Halyna Hutchins, who was fatally shot by a prop gun on the set of the Alec Baldwin film “Rust,” was an award-winning cinematographer who worked on several independent projects.
Hutchins, 42, the director of photography for the movie, died Thursday after a prop gun was discharged by Baldwin, 63, during the filming of the independent western feature film at the Bonanza Creek Ranch south of Santa Fe, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
Hutchins was transported by helicopter to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she died, according to Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Juan Rios.
The film’s director, Joel Souza, 48, was hospitalized in Santa Fe, Rios said.
Baldwin, 63, is starring in the film, which is set in 1880s Kansas, according to IMDb.com.
Hutchins was director of photography on the 2020 action film “Archenemy,” starring Joe Manganiello, according to The Associated Press. She was a 2015 graduate of the American Film Institute and was named a “rising star” by American Cinematographer in 2019.
“I am in shock,” Manganiello tweeted. “I can’t believe this could happen in this day and age. Gunfire from a prop gun could kill a crew member? What a horrible tragedy.”
“She’s a wonderful, positive, creative person that was so excited to be breaking through and making movies,” Michael Pessah, a cinematographer who was a friend of Hutchins, told Variety. “She was really on the upswing.”
Born in Ukraine in 1979, Hutchins grew up on a Soviet military base on the Arctic Circle, according to The Hollywood Reporter. She attended Kyiv National University and graduated with a degree in international journalism, the website reported.
She worked on British documentary productions as an investigative journalist, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Hutchins later to moved to Los Angeles, and in 2018 she was a cinematographer for the 21st Century Fox DP Lab, the website reported.
Feature films that Hutchins worked on included “Blindfire” and “To the New Girl” in 2020, and “The Mad Hatter” this year, according to IMDb.com. Her film short credits include “I Am Normal” in 2020 and “Sunday’s Child in 2021, according to the website.
On television, Hutchins worked on six episodes of the BET+ original series “A Luv Tale: The Series,” between 2018 and 2021, according to IMDb.com.
Hutchins won an award for best cinematography at the 2019 English Riviera Film Festival for “Treacle,” IMDb.com reported.
“I’m so sad about losing Halyna. And so infuriated that this could happen on a set,” “Archenemy” director Adam Egypt Mortimer tweeted Thursday. “She was a brilliant talent who was absolutely committed to art and to film.”
Rust Movie Productions LLC, the production company behind the film, issued a statement on Thursday night, saying that the cast and crew are “devastated” by Hutchins’ death, Variety reported.
“The entire cast and crew has been absolutely devastated by today’s tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Halyna’s family and loved ones,” the company said. “We have halted production on the film for an undetermined period of time and are fully cooperating with the Santa Fe Police Department’s investigation. We will be providing counseling services to everyone connected to the film as we work to process this awful event.”
No one was arrested and no charges have been filed, the sheriff’s department said. An investigation is ongoing.
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