Halyna Hutchins death – From freezing Soviet base to glitz of Hollywood only to be accidentally killed by Alec Baldwin

HALYNA Hutchins grew up as an “army brat” on a frosty Soviet military base but the big movie fan later became one of the film industry’s rising stars.

The 42-year-old Ukrainian was accidentally shot dead by Alec Baldwin on the set of his movie Rust after a prop gun misfire.


Before reaching the glitz of Hollywood, Halyna often complained "there wasn't much to do" in the Arctic so she turned to movies.

She became inspired by the works of cinematographers Christopher Doyle and Sergey Urusevsky.

Decades later, she produced feature films such as Archenemy, Blindfire, and Mad Hatter, and was part of the cast of Rust before her sudden death.

Halyna had a passion for telling stories and after graduating with a degree in international journalism, she worked as an investigative reporter for a British documentary productions company in Eastern Europe.

Adam Egypt Mortimer, who worked with Halyna on Archenemy, told the Los Angeles Times: “She had this amazing background that you just sort of instantly romanticize.

“She had this whole Ukrainian vibe that made her seem both super cool and serious about truth.”

Halyna moved to Los Angeles where she would later apply to the prestigious American Film Institute.

After graduating in 2016, she was one of eight cinematographers chosen for the inaugural 21st Century Fox DP Lab just two years later – and was named one of American Cinematographers magazine Rising Stars in 2019.

Read our Alec Baldwin shooting live blog for the very latest news and updates…

Halyna tried fashion photography as she was keen on “how to create the mood and feeling” when executing a shoot.

Her love for photography never disappeared as her Instagram channel is packed full of stunning shots, ranging from the icy weather in Grand Haven Michigan to the desert landscapes of California.

One shot captures Halyna filming the last parts of the movie Snowbound – where she received her first full-length film credit as a cinematographer.

She built up an impressive portfolio of feature films so it seems hardly surprising that Alec Baldwin selected her to be part of his western-inspired film Rust.

The horror movie Darlin was shown at the SXSW film festival in 2019, as well as the Edinburgh Film Festival and London Fright Fest, according to Hollywood Life.

Prior to starting work on Rust, she had just finished filming Blindfire – a crime drama featuring Brian Geraghty – best known for his roles in the Boardwalk Empire, Jarhead, and the 2012 movie Flight.

The cinematographer seemed to champion causes close to her heart.

She expressed solidarity on International Women's Day while in one of her final Instagram posts, she said: “Standing in #IAsolidarity with our IATSE crew in New Mexico on RUST.”

IATSE refers to the entertainment union The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.

Alec Baldwin – who accidentally shot Halyna dead – was standing near the cinematographer in the photograph.

'I WILL MISS YOU FRIEND'

In a final Instagram post, 42-year old Haylna shares an image of her riding a horse as she filmed a new Western movie called Rust at the Bonanza Creek Ranch just outside of Sante Fe, New Mexico.

In the selfie video, she smiles while her horse trots down a path behind some fellow riders, with the wind blowing her hair beneath a black cowboy hat.

In her post, Halyna wrote: “One of the perks of shooting a western is you get to ride horses on your day off.”

The 42-year-old was shot and taken to hospital where she later died of her injuries following Thursday’s accident.

Mourners have expressed their condolences and paid glowing tributes to the cinematographer.

Hollywood actor Dwayne Johnson said: "I am so so sorry. Rest easy. My love and strength to your family."

Director and producer James Cullen Bressack also took to the comments section, penning: "I will miss you my friend… This is devastating."

Adam Mortimer told Good Morning Britain: "She was somebody who was absolutely dedicated to art and integrity.

'DEDICATED'

"When I met her, I knew after five minutes of talking to her that she would be an incredible partner to work with.

"She had that rare sensibility when you meet somebody and say, 'I don't even need to see her work, I can tell already you're going to be a genius'."

The AFI Conservatory tweeted: “As is profoundly true in the art of cinematography, words alone cannot capture the loss of one so dear to the AFI community.

“At AFI we pledge to see that Halyna Hutchins will live on in the spirit of all who strive to see their dreams realized in stories well told.

Halyna was shot dead while director Joel Souza was injured and is reportedly fighting for his life in hospital.

No charges have been filed but the investigation remains ongoing as witnesses are being quizzed.

Baldwin is said to be "unaware" about the type of ammunition that was in the gun, according to Deadline. 

He was pictured sobbing outside a police station in Santa Fe, New Mexico as he appeared to crumple at the side of the curb.



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