Halyna Hutchins, 42, lost her life while doing what she loved the most, being behind the lens. The Ukrainian Director of Photography (DOP) who grew up on a Soviet military base, worked on documentary films in Eastern Europe before studying film in Los Angeles and embarking on a promising movie-making career revealed an Associated Press report.
Till Friday evening, Halyna was just the cinematographer who was shot dead by Alec Baldwin with a prop gun as per most media outlets. But as the news spread, friends, co-workers, and her peers took to their social media accounts to remind that the tragic accident wasn't so much about Alec Baldwin, the 'celeb star' but the mother, wife, and gifted cinematographer who lost her precious life.
Dr. Jennifer Cassidy, Co-Founder Ox Digital Diplomacy Group shared on her Twitter:
"Rest in Peace Halyna Hutchins. The cinematographer who died when Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun and wounded the director. Yes, Alec Baldwin is trending. But it's Halyna Hutchins who lost her life."
The incident that occurred on the sets of upcoming Hollywood film Rust starring Alec Baldwin was being shot near Santa Fe, New Mexico. The tragic "discharge" of a prop gun in the 63-year-old celebrity actor's hands, shot dead Hutchins, the woman behind the camera and injured the film director Joel Souza. Court records released Friday indicated that an assistant director handed Baldwin a loaded weapon and told him it was safe to use, further stated the AP report.
Reacting to the death of a gifted film person, late Brandon Bruce Lee's official Twitter page handled by his sister Shannon Lee commented on the tragic incident that was similar to the one in 1993 that took the life of actor Bruce Lee's 28-year-old son Brandon Lee.
"Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on Rust," read the message from the account adding, "No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period."
According to an LATimes report back then, the actor was killed when co-star Michael Massee fired a prop gun in which a fragment of a bullet remained.
Amongst many who came out in support of 'rockstar' Hutchins's tragic death and her family's grave loss was American filmmaker and camera developer Elle Schneider. She wrote on Twitter demanding answers:
"Sick and devastated to hear that my friend and rockstar cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed on set today in New Mexico. I don't have words to describe this tragedy. I want answers. I want her family to somehow find peace among this horrific, horrific loss."
Joining Schneider in the quest for answers and a proper investigation, Nell Scovel added her bit reinstating that this one doesn't deserve a Hollywood cover-up.
Only 5% of film cinematographers are women which tells you how talented and driven Halyna Hutchins had to be to make it in her field.— Nell Scovell (@NellSco) October 22, 2021
We need a full account of what happened on that set. No Hollywood cover up.
According to the media outlet Deadline who published a statement from film director Joel Souza, a search warrant is out from the Santa Fe Sherriff's office as to whether footage of the fatal accident exists.
Production of the film, reportedly co-written by Baldwin, has closed down for an underdetermined amount of time as an internal investigation is being conducted on the grave matter. In addition to the local Sheriff's Department, this incident is also being investigated by the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau, which can impose civil penalties for workplace accidents even if law enforcement determines that no crime occurred, further stated the Deadline report.