A tragic accident on the set of Alec Baldwin’s western movie Rust took the life of a cinematographer. Additionally, it injured the director. But who was Halyna Hutchins? Here’s what to know about the talented director of photography who lost her life on Thursday, October 21, 2021.
Alec Baldwin accidentally discharged a prop gun
The 30 Rock actor accidentally discharged a prop gun on the New Mexico set of his new movie Rust. The accident killed 42-year-old director of photography Halyna Hutchins and injured 48-year-old director Joel Souza.
Baldwin is a producer on the western, which co-stars Frances Fisher. In the aftermath of the accident, producers entirely shut down production on the film. It was scheduled to run through October and November.
Authorities have not filed any charges as of this writing. Moreover, Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Juan Rios told the New York Times that the incident is already under investigation. It wasn’t clear whether they were filming or rehearsing a scene.
Halyna Hutchins was ‘somebody to watch’ in the film community
Journalist and filmmaker Jim Hemphill profiled Halyna Hutchins in a 2019 feature about up-and-coming cinematographers. Per CNN, he said she grew up watching and loving movies and subsequently became a filmmaker.
“She grew up on a Soviet military base where there wasn’t much to do but watch movies,” Hemphill told CNN. “So she fell in love with movies at a young age, came over here, was really making a name for herself as a cinematographer of genre movies. She was known for action films and horror films. It is just a devastating loss, I think, to everybody in the cinematography community.”
Hemphill added that Hutchins studied journalism. Moreover, she worked on documentaries in the UK.
“That led her to come over here to the US to work in a film industry where she kind of brought that eye that she had from documentaries and nonfiction filmmaking to action movies and horror movies,” Hemphill continued. “They had this sort of immediacy and realism as well as this eye for beauty that she had and it was a really unique look. It was really announcing her as somebody to watch.”
Per IMDb, Hutchins’ credits include numerous short films. Additionally, she has a credit for a TV mini-series called A Luv Tale: The Series from 2018-2021.
Hutchins described herself as a Los Angeles-based “Restless Dreamer,” “Adrenaline junkie,” and Cinematographer on her Instagram account.
Alec Baldwin mourned the DP as a ‘deeply admired colleague’
In two consecutive Twitter posts the day after the accident, Alec Baldwin took to Twitter to address the deadly on-set incident. Additionally, he offered condolences to Hutchins’ family.
“There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours,” wrote Baldwin via the social media platform. “I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”
Per CNN, First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies’ office in New Mexico said the investigation is still in the early stages.
“We will look into all facts and evidence of the case with great discretion and have further information at a later time,” read the statement. “Our thoughts are with all affected by this tragedy.”