Alec Baldwin has expressed his “shock and sadness” after inadvertently shooting and killing his director of photography on the set of his upcoming film with an apparent real bullet.
When the actor fired what he believed was a pretend weapon, he was playing in or practicing for the western Rust. According to the Santa Fe sheriff’s office, the cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed and the director Joel Souza was injured.
Despite efforts to resuscitate her, Hutchins died after being taken to the University of New Mexico hospital by helicopter. Souza was taken by ambulance to Christus St Vincent regional medical center, where he was being treated.
“There are no words to express my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother, and deeply admired colleague of ours,” Baldwin tweeted on Friday. I’m completely working with the police inquiry into the circumstances surrounding this tragedy.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, a number of camera crew members walked off the set on Friday afternoon in protest of their bad working conditions.
Meanwhile, Hutchins’ husband, Matthew, with whom she had a small boy, stated he was in contact with the Hollywood star. “I’m offering him and his family my support. “My heart breaks for her husband, their son, and everyone who knew and loved Halyna,” Baldwin expressed his condolences.
Following what looked to be a terrible accident, the sheriff’s office announced no charges had been filed. According to spokesman Juan Rios, the 63-year-old actor went to the Santa Fe county office “voluntarily” and met with detectives.
On Thursday around 1.50 p.m. local time, the event occurred. According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, Baldwin was seen in the parking lot outside the sheriff’s station, talking on the phone and apparently distraught.
Baldwin was handed a loaded pistol by an assistant director who said it was safe to use, according to court filings. According to a search warrant, the assistant director had no idea the prop contained live ammunition.
Detectives will most likely look into why the fake pistol went off with such disastrous results. The entertainment union IATSE said in an email to its members on Friday that the pistol had a “single live round” in it. It went on to say that the firearm was “accidentally fired” by the “principal actor.”
A witness told a Hollywood website that a concerned Baldwin had inquired why he had been handed a handgun that seemed to be loaded with actual ammo. According to Showbiz 411, he said, “In all my years, I’ve never been handed a hot gun.”
The western’s production has been delayed indefinitely, according to the film’s producers. The film was filmed in the foothills of northern New Mexico at Bonanza Creek Ranch, a purpose-built set with log homes, an actual wooden church, and an arid brown environment.
The iconic filming site served as the backdrop for Tom Hanks’ 2020 film, News of the World. Rust is a novel set in 1880s Kansas about a 13-year-old boy who is left to fend for himself and his younger brother when their parents die. Baldwin portrays the grandpa of the little kid.
The actor also produced the film, which was directed and written by Souza. Director of photography was Hutchins, who was born in Ukraine. Friends hailed her kindness, vitality, and collegiality on Friday, saying she had risen to the top of a normally male-dominated field.
Hutchins was a “talented, dedicated artist,” according to Elle Schneider, a friend and colleague filmmaker on BBC Radio 4’s World at One.
The LA Times then reported on Friday that the group of roughly six camera crew members — operators and assistants – who had walked off set were upset about working conditions on a low-budget film where “labor trouble had been brewing for days,” according to the publication.
Three sources acquainted with the issue but not permitted to speak out formally informed the magazine that the crew complaints comprised charges of excessively long hours and an unfair pay arrangement.
A crew member informed the LA Times that there was a conflict over hotel rooms and other labor issues, including safety, that Hutchins had tried to lobby for better circumstances for her coworkers. The LA Times said that there were concerns concerning prop gun safety especially.
Those who departed the set are said to be members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), whose members were on the verge of going on strike lately, claiming worsening and insupportable working conditions.
Meanwhile, Hutchins’ friend Schneider paid homage to her by saying, “She was just as invested in her friends’ success as she was in her own.” She was just enthralled by her work, colleagues, friends, and other women who were emerging alongside her. She was entertaining to be around. She had a charismatic and energizing personality.”
“I’m heartbroken at Halyna’s death. And I’m furious that this could happen on set,” said Adam Egypt Mortimer, a filmmaker who collaborated with Hutchins on the film Archenemy last year. “She was a phenomenal artist who was completely dedicated to film and art.”
Hutchins grew born on a Soviet military installation in the Arctic Circle, surrounded by “reindeer and nuclear submarines,” according to her website. She grew interested in movies as a “army brat” since “there wasn’t much else to do,” she said. She acknowledged The Cranes Are Flying, a 1957 Soviet combat film, as an inspiration.
American Cinematographer dubbed her a “rising star” in 2019.
Accidents like the one that occurred to Hutchins have occurred in the past. Brandon Lee, the 28-year-old son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, died in 1993 after being struck by a.44-caliber bullet during shooting a death scene for the film The Crow. An autopsy revealed a bullet lodged near his spine, despite the fact that the pistol was supposed to have shot a blank.
Thanks to Luke Harding at The Guardian whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.