Who was Halyna Hutchins, killed on set by accidental shooting by Alec Baldwin?


At 42, the Ukrainian-born cinematographer was on the rise. She succumbed to her injuries after an accident on the set of the film Rust.

The tributes are up to the shock. Ukrainian-born cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died on October 21 while filming the film Rust in New Mexico. She was killed by an accidental gunshot fired by actor Alec Baldwin. Director Adam Egypt Mortimer, with whom she had filmed Archenemy, paid tribute to his colleague. “I am so sad that I lost Halyna. And so furious that it could happen on a set. He was a brilliant talent who was absolutely dedicated to art and film. ”

Born in Ukraine in 1979, she spent her childhood on a Soviet military base with her parents, “Surrounded by reindeer and nuclear submarines”, as she tells in her bio on her personal website. His passion for cinema dates back to this time. “There wasn’t much to do outside”, explained the young woman to the American Photographer in 2019.

From journalism to cinema

Passionate about information, she became an investigative journalist, after graduating in international journalism from the University of Kiev. She works in particular on documentary productions in Great Britain.

With this first audiovisual experience, and driven by his passion for the seventh art, Hutchins turned to cinema and moved to Los Angeles. From 2013 to 2015, she trained atAmerican Film Institute Conservatory. Her diploma in hand, she works directly on several Hollywood productions, always as director of photography. After first noticed works on feature films such as Snowbound in 2017, his career accelerated two years ago. First of all Archenemy and Blindfire in 2020, then The Mad Hatter in 2021, the forty-something went on to produce. His work on Rust was one more step towards the heights of American cinema.

On the rise

“I think she was going to become a very famous director of photography, with a lot of success.»Explains to Los Angeles Times director Adam Egypt Mortimer. “After having done Archenemy, people would call me and say, “She did a good job. We are thinking of proposing it for something. ” She was forging a reputation. She was showing people what she could do. ” The filmmaker again praised his colleague’s work last November, highlighting “A brilliant spirit for light and texture. His taste and sensitivity to the cinematic has been a huge asset in the execution of our style. ”

In 2019, Halyna Hutchins was among the eight “Rising stars” from industry selected by the Hollywood Photographer. She explained to the trade magazine her love of teamwork: “For me, it’s the collaborative effort between creative minds that elevates everyone’s work.»Ambitious, she also confided«want to work with Wong Kar-wai.

Rain of tributes

Tributes abound since the terrible news broke. The director Michael Pessah, very moved, recalls the memory of his friend in Variety: “A wonderful, positive and creative person who was thrilled to break into and make films.” Actor Joe Marangiello, who met her on the set of the film Archenemy, he remembers“An incredible talent and a great person. Can’t believe this can happen in our time … shots from an accessory pistol can kill a crew member? What a horrible tragedy. I am wholeheartedly with his family. ”

In a tweet, the filmmaker Elle Schneider also underlined the tragedy of losing such a young talent: “Cinematographers have always been kept away from genre films, and it’s especially cruel that one of the rising stars who made it through has seen her life cut short on the kind of project we got ourselves into. battered.

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