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Friday, December 3, 2021

Alec Baldwin fatally shot the cinematographer on the set. Who was Halyna Hutchins

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Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who died on the set of Rust, was commemorated on Saturday in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The 42-year-old was fatally shot with a prop by actor Alec Baldwin. In 2019, Cinematographer magazine described Hutchins from Ukraine as a “rising star of cinema”. “Incredible talent and a great person,” wrote actor Joe Manganiello, who collaborated with the cinematographer on the set of “Archenemy”, on Twitter.

Halyna Hutchins, 42, was shot by Alec Baldwin with a prop with a gun on the set of “Rust,” filmed at Bonanza Creek Ranch, New Mexico. The director of the film Joel Souza, who required hospitalization, was also injured. According to preliminary police findings, it was an accident. So far, no one has been charged.


On Saturday, a vigil was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, during which hundreds of people, including people associated with the film industry, commemorated the killed cameraman.

Halyna Hutchins – who was she?

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Halyna Hutchins (maiden name Andrusewycz) was born in the small town of Horodoc in the Zhytomyr region of Ukraine. Halyna’s father was a sailor, he served in Murmansk, Russia, on the Barents Sea. So she grew up – as she said herself – on a Soviet military base beyond the Arctic Circle, surrounded by “reindeer and nuclear submarines”.

– I was very proud of her. She always emphasized that she comes from Ukraine, that she is Ukrainian. For us Ukrainian Americans it was of great importance to mark our identity – said the cinematographer Andriy Semeniuk.

Halyna HutchinsReuters / SWEN STUDIOS

After a few years, the family returned from Russia to Ukraine. In 2001, Halyna graduated with honors from the agricultural university, and then studied international journalism at the National University in Kiev. For some time she worked as an investigative reporter. – She was a person with a broad outlook on life, she perceived the world in a special way, she was interested in various fields. She wrote her PhD thesis on the American social media system. She specialized in the United States – said Taras Petriw, a lecturer, quoted by the Ukrainian newspaper “Siegodnia”.

– She was an active student with a clear vision of what to do next. She grew up, worked at the BBC, engaged in investigative journalism, but became more and more interested in cinema, ‘added Petriw.

“Rising movie star”

As Oksana Stefanyszyna, a friend of the cinematographer from studies admitted, Halyna left for the United States out of love. – In Kiev, she met her future husband Matt Hutchins, they fell in love, and after she graduated, he came to get her. Two months later they left for the United States and got married. A few years later their son was born. They had a great family. The husband was a fortress for her, her support. When the baby was nine months old, she was already working – recalled Stefanyszyna.

Halyna HutchinsReuters / SWEN STUDIOS

In 2015, Hutchins graduated from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. In 2019, the American magazine “Cinematographer” called her “a rising star of cinema”. – She shot beautiful photos, she was able to tell stories wonderfully. I think she was a proud wife and mother. I met her family and I saw how much she loves them. Her family and her work meant the most to her, director Cate Devaney told Reuters.

In 2020, the film “Archenemy”, directed by Adam Egypt Mortimer, in which Joe Manganiello played the main role, had its premiere. “I was extremely lucky that Halyna Hutchins was DP [reżyserką zdjęć – red.] in the production of ‘Archenemy’. Incredible talent and a great person. I can’t believe it happened these days … a shot from a prop gun can kill a movie crew member? What a terrible tragedy, “Manganiello tweeted.

Halyna’s cousin, a lecturer at an agricultural university in Kiev, said he was shocked by what happened. – I tried to call Gala’s parents [zdrobnienie od Halyny – red.]. They live separately now, but their phones were busy all the time – he said.

BBC, Reuters, Radio Swoboda, Siegodnia

Main photo source: Reuters / SWEN STUDIOS

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