Entertainment

Halyna Hutchins remembered as ‘brilliant talent’ after tragic prop gun death

Hutchins died on Thursday aged 42 (Picture: Instagram)

Halyna Hutchins, who had died aged 42 after a prop gun incident on the set of the Alec Baldwin movie Rust, has been remembered as a ‘brilliant talent’ and a rising star in the world of cinematography.

The cinematographer was injured when a prop gun was discharged by Baldwin, 63, on the set of the Western movie on Thursday, October 21.

The mother-of-one was taken to the University of New Mexico Hospital by helicopter, and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Hutchins was born in the Ukraine and grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle before attending Kyiv National University.

After graduating with a degree in international journalism, she worked as an investigative journalist for British documentaries in Eastern Europe.

However, Hutchins’ true passion lay in filmmaking, and she moved to Los Angeles, where she got work as a production assistant and a grip electric.

She also shot her own short films, inspired by cinematographers including Christopher Doyle and Sergey Urusevskiy.

Hutchins was chosen as a rising star of cinematography (Picture: Instagram)

On the advice of cinematographer Robert Primes, Hutchins enrolled the filmmaking MFA programme at the American Film Institute Conservatory in 2013 and graduated two years later.

In 2018, Hutchins was one of eight female cinematographers selected for the inaugural 21st Century Fox DP Lab, and in 2019, she was chosen as a Rising Star by American Cinematographer magazine.

Hutchins went on to work on films including horrors The Mad Hatter and Darlin’ and police drama Blindfire, and the BET+ series A Luv Tale: The Series.

She also worked on the Joe Mangianello mystery thriller Archenemy, which premiered at Beyond Fest 2020 and received a nomination at the Sitges International Film Festival.

Manganiello wrote on Instagram: ‘I woke up to the messages and read the news and I am in shock. I was so lucky to have had @halynahutchins as my DP on Archenemy. She was an absolutely incredible talent and a great person. She had such an eye and a visual style, she was the kind of cinematographer that you wanted to see succeed because you wanted to see what she could pull off next. She was a fantastic person. There was no amount of pressure she couldn’t handle. She was a great collaborator and an ally to anyone in front of her camera. Everyone who knew her was rooting for her.

‘I can’t believe that this could happen in this day and age… gunfire from a prop gun could kill a crew member? This is a horrible tragedy. My heart goes out to her family and especially to her son. I am so sad today for everyone who knew her and worked with her…’

Archenemy director Adam Egypt Mortimer also tweeted: ‘I’m so sad about losing Halyna. And so infuriated that this could happen on a set. She was a brilliant talent who was absolutely committed to art and to film.’

In November, Mortimer had paid tribute to Hutchins’ talents, writing in a Twitter thread: ‘Halyna Hutchins, ARCHENEMY’s DP, has a brilliant mind for light and texture. Her tastes and sensibility of what is cinematic were a huge asset for executing our style — the grimy but beautiful feeling I referred to as ROMANTIC BRUTALISM.’

Two days before her death, Hutchins had reposted a cast and crew picture from Santa Fe, New Mexico, as they supported the IATSE trade union action.

Alec Baldwin discharged the gun (Picture: Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for National Geographic)

In the photo, she could be seen standing next to Baldwin.

She also shared a video of herself horse-riding, and wrote: ‘One of the perks of shooting a western is you get to ride horses on your day off:).’

A spokesperson for Rust said: ‘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. 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 counselling services to everyone connected to the film as we work to process this awful event.’

The Santa Fe Police Department is investigating the incident, and a statement said no charges had been filed.


MORE : Brandon Lee’s sister speaks out after cinematographer killed on Rust set by prop gun discharged by Alec Baldwin


MORE : Dwayne Johnson and James Gunn lead tributes for Halyna Hutchins after Alec Baldwin fatal shooting



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