• The accidental death of Halyna Hutchins became national news when she was killed by a prop gun on the set of Alec Baldwin’s film, Rust.
  • Halyna Hutchins was a young Ukrainian cinematographer who had worked on over 30 feature-length films before the accident.
  • Alec Baldwin was handling the gun but has maintained in interviews that he never pulled the trigger.
  • Following the incident, Halyna Hutchins’ husband, Matt Hutchins, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the production group of Rust, including Alec Baldwin, but later dropped the suit and is now serving as executive producer of the film.
  • Alec Baldwin was charged with involuntary manslaughter by the Santa Fe District Attorney.

On October 21, 2021, a tragic incident occurred on the set of Alec Baldwin’s new film Rust, when the actor “discharged” a prop gun that fatally killed a crew member. Director of Photography Halyna Hutchins lost her life in the incident, while director Joel Souza, 42, was injured. Over a year after the incident, on Thursday, January 19, 2023, both Alec and prop armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter by Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies. Assistant director David Hall took a plea agreement for negligent use of a dangerous weapon.

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Alec has maintained that he is not responsible for Halyna’s tragic death. Two months after the incident, he appeared on ABC News to state that although he had cocked the gun, he never pulled the trigger. Following the charges, Alec’s lawyer, Luke Nikas, issued a statement saying that they would fight the charges. “This indictment unfairly twists Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death and represents a miscarriage of justice. Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe that there was a live round in the gun – or anywhere on the set. He relied on the professionals he worked with, who assured him that the gun did not contain live rounds,” Nikas said.

In February, a wrongful death lawsuit was filed in New Mexico on behalf of Halyna’s husband, Matthew, and their 9-year-old son, Andros. The lawsuit alleged that the production team of Rust had committed “major breaches of industry protocols” that “resulted in the senseless and tragic death” of Halyna. However, on October 5, Matthew announced that he had dropped the lawsuit after reaching a settlement, which included him being named executive producer of the film when it resumed production.

Throughout the interim, listed here are 5 problems regarding the Halyna, the cinematographer who tragically out of place her existence.

  • Halyna Hutchins was a talented cinematographer who had worked on more than 30 feature-length films prior to her death on the set of Rust.
  • She was born in Ukraine and studied journalism and international relations before pursuing a career in film.
  • Halyna was known for her innovative and creative approach to cinematography, and had been recognized for her work with numerous awards and nominations.
  • She was married to Matthew Hutchins and had a 9-year-old son named Andros.
  • Halyna’s death has sparked conversations and debates about safety protocols on film sets and the use of firearms as props.

Halyna Hutchins was a Los Angeles-based cinematographer originally from Ukraine. She had worked on numerous film and television projects throughout her career, and was known for her creativity and innovative approach to cinematography.

Halyna described herself as a “Los Angeles based union cinematographer” on her website, and she did graduate from the AFI conservatory in 2015. She was recognized as one of the “Rising Stars of Cinematography 2019” in American Cinematographer and was one of the eight female cinematographers selected for the 21st Century Fox DP Lab. She had worked on a variety of narrative shorts and feature films throughout her career, showcasing her talent and skill as a cinematographer.

Halyna emphasized the importance of collaboration and communication in cinematography, particularly in the film industry. She acknowledged that while every cinematographer has their own vision, it is crucial to work closely with the director and the rest of the team to achieve a successful film. She credited her time at the AFI conservatory with helping her rethink her approach to her work and emphasizing the importance of teamwork.

Halyna Hutchins was born in Ukraine and was fluent in both Russian and English.

Halyna identifies herself as originally coming from Ukraine and later being stationed at a Soviet military base located within the Arctic Circle, making her location quite unique. The late artist also mentioned that she had obtained a graduate degree in journalism from Kyiv National School in Ukraine, and had previously worked in investigative journalism for British documentary productions in Europe before transitioning to cinematography. In addition, she was proficient in both Russian and English, which set her apart in the field of art within the United States.

Halyna was open to taking any available production assistant jobs in the United States, and also disclosed to American Cinematographer that she worked in still photography to learn about the “aesthetics of lighting – how to create mood and feeling.”

Her husband and son are the surviving members of her family.

As previously stated, Halyna’s husband, Matthew, had filed a lawsuit for wrongful death against Alec and the film’s producers. When Halyna passed away, Matthew shared on Twitter, “Halyna inspired us all with her passion and vision, and her legacy is too important to encapsulate in words. Our loss is immense, and we kindly ask the media to respect our family’s privacy as we grieve. We appreciate everyone who has shared pictures and stories of her life.”

Following his decision to drop the lawsuit, Matt commented, “I am not interested in assigning blame or seeking retribution against the producers or Mr. Baldwin. We all agree that Halyna’s death was a terrible accident. I am grateful that the producers and the film crew have joined together to honor Halyna’s final work.”

Meanwhile, Matt will continue to raise their only child, Andros.

Her career received significant acclaim.

On Instagram and on Halyna’s web page, there are numerous shots and clips from the short and feature films she has worked on, ranging in style and aesthetics. After completing her postgraduate studies at AFI in 2015, she made two films, ‘Snowbound in Colorado’ and ‘Darlin’. “At the moment, I’m busy looking for fruitful collaborations,” she told “American Cinematographer” of her ongoing search for her experiences. “To me, it’s the collaborative effort between creative minds that leads to mutual artistic success.”

She added, “I just hope I find my Wong Kar-wai,” citing the inspiration of the renowned Hong Kong director who specializes in bold, immersive and atmospheric works.

Not surprisingly, Halyna was cast in a major production with an A-list actor like Baldwin of Bewdley, considering the wide range of work she has done over the years. In a post from October 2020, the cinematographer shared a poster of the film she photographed, ‘Sunday’s Child’, which was selected in three film festivals, as the horror film ‘Darlin” made its debut at the SXSW Film Festival in 2019. The film, directed by Pollyanna McIntosh (“The Walking Dead”), also screened at several international festivals, including the Edinburgh Film Festival, Fantasia and London FrightFest.

She sided with the spirit of solidarity of the IATSE union.

In some of her latest Instagram posts, Halyna shared images of the New Mexico desert on the set of ‘Rust.’ One of the images – perhaps one of the most moving – was a large group photo of the film’s cast and staff as Halyna shouted the name of IATSE, or The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.

“I am showing IATSE sympathy with our staff members here in New Mexico for RUST,” Halyna wrote in the caption, reposting from someone else working on production. The historic strike, which honors the demands of hardworking industry workers who often hold behind-the-scenes jobs, continues to challenge Hollywood to negotiate better working conditions and better wages.

While we mourn the tragedy of Halyna’s passing, her final days of following her passion and supporting her fellow artists to pursue their dreams with dignity and determination are something to be said and remembered.

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