The Academy Award-nominated actor and three-time Golden Globe winner Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on the set of his independent film ‘Rust’ and accidentally killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. The director Joel Souza was injured in the same incident.
The ‘Rust’ was being filmed on the set in New Mexico when this tragic incident occurred. Soon after the accident, cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, but unfortunately, she did not make it through due to her fatal injuries. Director Joel Souza, 48, was taken from the scene at Bonanza Creek Ranch by ambulance.
The police are still investigating, but no charges have been filed yet.
A spokesperson representing Mr Baldwin said that the incident involved misfiring a prop gun with blanks. “He came involuntarily, and he left the building after he finished his interviews,” the spokesperson said.
Halyna Hutchins was a Los Angeles Based cinematographer who enjoyed experimenting with lighting and impressionistic storytelling. She grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle and previously worked as a journalist with British documentary productions in Europe.
Born in Ukraine, Ms Hutchins grew up in a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle. She completed journalism studies in Kyiv and then film in Los Angeles. She was named a “rising star” by the American Cinematographer magazine in 2019.
She was the director of photography for the 2020 action film Archenemy, directed by Adam Egypt Mortimer. On Twitter, the filmmaker said: “I’m so sad about losing Halyna and so infuriated that this could happen on a set. She was a brilliant talent who was absolutely committed to art and to film.”
“The details are unclear at this moment, but we are working to learn more, and we support a full investigation into this tragic event,” said guild president John Lindley and executive director Rebecca Rhine.
Police said sheriff’s deputies were sent to Bonanza Creek Ranch, a popular filming location, at about 13:50 local time (19:50 GMT) upon receiving an emergency call from the sets of Rust.
Fatal shooting incidents such as Thursday’s on the Rust film set are extremely rare, but not unheard of. Firearms are often used in filming and are loaded with blanks – cartridges that create a flash and a bang without discharging a projectile.
Similar Instances have taken place in the past, such as in 1993, Brandon Lee – the son of the late martial-arts star Bruce Lee – died on set after being accidentally shot with a prop gun while filming a death scene for the film The Crow. It was later determined that the gun used had earlier fired a round that caused a cartridge to become lodged in the barrel. When blank rounds were later fired, the cartridge was dislodged and released.
After this incident, Brandon Lee’s sister Shannon Lee tweeted her support towards the deceased family and the people injured on set. “Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on ‘Rust’. No-one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period.”