Colleagues remember ‘Rust’ cinematographer Halyna Hutchins


A musician plays a violin behind a photograph of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during a vigil in her honor in Albuquerque, N.M., Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. Hutchins was fatally shot on Thursday, Oct. 21, after an assistant director unwittingly handed actor Alec Baldwin a loaded weapon and told him it was safe to use on the set of a Western filmed in Santa Fe, N.M. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Halyna Hutchins, an acclaimed cinematographer, was known to many as a woman with an eye for art and a presence larger than life.

Hutchins was raised on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle surrounded by reindeer and nuclear submarines, but her career took her far beyond Ukraine. She worked on documentaries in Eastern Europe then came to Los Angeles for filmmaking.

“She would show up on set, this petite Ukrainian chick, and she had such a soft-spoken voice and calm demeanor. I just admired her so much. She could lead a crew of mostly burly dudes and never raise her voice,” said Lauren Ciarravalli, screenwriter and director.

Halyna was a self-proclaimed “restless dreamer and adrenaline junkie” with a passion for film.

“She would pour her entire soul into just every single detail and every puzzle piece that it requires to create something beautiful on-screen,” said colleague and director Rachel Mason.

She is most known for her work on films “Archenemy,” “Darlin'” and most recently, “Rust.”

On Oct. 21, Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on the set that killed Hutchins and injured the movie’s director, Joel Souza.

Colleagues and friends say her talent and work ethic set her apart from others.

“She just lit up a room with her smile, her radiance, and her charm. We’re all going to miss her so much,” said director Cate Devaney.

Halyna was selected as one of American Cinematographer’s Rising Stars of 2019 as well as a cinematographer for the 21st Century Fox DP Lab in 2018.

“She had the full package: Artist, technician, leader, wife, and mom,”  Ciarravalli said.

Wife and mother were her most prized titles. Halyna is remembered by her husband Matt and their 9-year-old son Andros.

Colleagues say Hutchins built an inspirational life and legacy that they hope to keep alive by embodying “the respect she had for those around her and the craft and technique for filmmaking.”

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