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Halyna Hutchins remembered as ‘incredible artist’ after tragic film shooting

She had previously been named as a "rising star" in the film industry

By Jen Thomas

Halyna working with a camera
Halyna had been working on the set of 'Rust' at the time of the tragedy (Pic: Twitter @Joemanganiello)

Tributes have been paid to cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who has died after being accidentally shot with a prop gun by actor Alec Baldwin on the set of upcoming Western ‘Rust’.

 She was the director of photography for the film, and is now being remembered as “an incredible artist.”

It is thought that Hutchins, 42, died after Baldwin discharged the weapon on set of the movie. Director Joel Souza was taken from the scene by ambulance, after he was reportedly shot in the shoulder, and has since been discharged from hospital.

The 42-year-old was previously named as a rising star in her field, after growing up on an Arctic military base. The talented creator started her career as a journalist but moved into cinematography across Europe.

Hutchins graduated from the American Film Institute, and later won the English Riviera Film Festival Jury prize for best cinematography for the short film, Treacle.

She then worked on 2020 independent superhero film Archenemy, and the director, Adam Egypt Mortimer told BBC News her death on set was”really unbelievable”.

He said: “Halyna was an incredible artist who was just starting a career I think people were really starting to notice. The fact that she would be killed on a set in an accident like this is unfathomable. It just seems inconceivable.”

One of her last social media posts shows her riding horses on set on a day off.

Mortimer said: “The level of protocol and safety that we tend to have on any production of any size, when you get down to handling weapons, guns, it’s so involved that the fact that a gun went off and killed Halyna is both shocking from an industry point of view and just absolutely tragic from the point of view of knowing this amazing artist who suddenly not with us.”

Another cinematographer, Catherine Goldschmidt, paid tribute and described Halyna as “lovely, warm, funny, charming, outgoing”.

“What’s so tragic is she’s made beautiful films already but when you think about what was ahead of her, that is also so sad,” she told BBC News.

She added: “She was also a mum, which I think is very difficult. When I first met her I remember being really impressed, shocked even that this beautiful, creative, outgoing, enthusiastic talented cinematographer also is raising the child.

“I think for women in this industry it is very difficult. So I was very impressed that she was able to do that.”

Alec Baldwin has since spoken out on her death, writing on social media: “Responding on social media, Baldwin write: “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. I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred.

Reports have now emerged that the gun contained a “live single round”. IndieWire has reported that an email has been sent to members of the IATSE Local 44 trade union, which covers prop masters.