Halyna Hutchins

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Halyna Hutchins
Галина Хатчінс
Hutchins in 2020
Halyna Anatoliivna Androsovych

(1979-04-09)April 9, 1979
Died (aged 42)
Cause of deathGunshot wound
Resting placeHollywood Forever Cemetery
  • Cinematographer
  • journalist
Years active2006–2021
Matthew Hutchins
(m. 2005)

Halyna Anatoliivna Hutchins (Ukrainian: Галина Анатоліївна Хатчінс; née Androsovych,[1] Ukrainian: Андросович; April 9, 1979 – October 21, 2021) was a Ukrainian cinematographer. She worked on more than 30 feature-length films, short films, and TV miniseries, including the films Archenemy, Darlin', and Blindfire. On October 21, 2021, during production on the set of the film Rust, she was accidentally shot and killed by a bullet from a prop gun discharged by actor Alec Baldwin that was not properly checked.

Early life[edit]

Hutchins was born on April 9,[2] 1979, in Horodets, Ukrainian SSR.[1][3][4] She grew up in the Russian city of Murmansk, on a Soviet military base in the Arctic.[1][5] There, her father served in the Soviet Navy.[6][7][8] She called herself an "army brat".[5] According to film historian Jim Hemphill, she first became interested in film while living at the military base.[9] She attended National Agricultural University and then Kyiv National University, first studying economics before changing her study to journalism.[1][10] Hutchins graduated with a degree in international journalism and worked on documentary films as an investigative journalist in Eastern Europe.[11][12][13] She met her husband Matthew, who is American, while in the US.[14][15] They had a son, Andros.[8][14] Though living in the US, she maintained her Ukrainian citizenship, remained proud of her heritage and often returned to visit.[16][17]


Hutchins moved to Los Angeles to focus on filmmaking, taking on roles in production and fashion photography.[5][18][19] She was an associate producer for World's Tallest Man, a 2006 film about Leonid Stadnyk by Wild Pictures; the film was premiered on the Discovery Channel.[20][21][22] In 2010, she graduated from UCLA TFT Professional Program in Producing.[3][23] In Los Angeles, she met Bob Primes, a cinematographer. He encouraged Hutchins to apply to the American Film Institute Conservatory, where he was a teacher.[19] She was accepted and began studying there in 2013 for a two-year master's program, which she graduated from in 2015.[18][24] Stephen Lighthill [cs; de] mentored her there.[18] Her thesis project, Hidden, made with director Rayan Farzad, was screened at the LA Shorts Fest, Camerimage International Film Festival, AFI Fest and the Austin Film Festival.[18][25]

In 2018, she was one of the first eight female cinematographers participating in the Fox DP Lab program, which was established to provide greater opportunities for women cinematographers.[25][26][27] In 2019, she was named one of the "10 up-and-coming directors of photography who are making their mark" by American Cinematographer.[18]

She was director of photography on Adam Egypt Mortimer's 2020 film Archenemy.[28][29] Mortimer had said of her, that her "tastes and sensibility of what is cinematic were a huge asset for executing our style"[30] and that "her AFI training and her skill with the math of LUT settings gave us the best texture I've found yet in shooting digital".[31]

She is also credited for work on the films Darlin' (2019),[32] Blindfire (2020) and The Mad Hatter (2021).[33][34][35] She was credited for her cinematographic work on Darlin' by Hollywood.com, where the film was highlighted after its feature at the March 2019 South by Southwest film festival, in the Narrative Feature Competition.[36][37]


Hutchins was a member of the International Cinematographers Guild and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, labor unions that represent entertainment industry's crew and technical workers in the US and Canada.[38][39] She supported the IATSE strike over working conditions days before her death.[40][41]


On October 21, 2021, Hutchins was working as director of photography on the set of the Western film Rust, near La Cienega, New Mexico. While preparing for a scene, actor Alec Baldwin discharged a Pietta .45 Colt revolver[42] used as a prop,[43] fatally wounding her and injuring director Joel Souza. She died later that day at the age of 42 while being transferred to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque.[44][38][45] Baldwin released a statement the next day expressing shock and sadness at the incident. He said he would cooperate with police and offered support to her family.[46]

A candlelight vigil at the Albuquerque Civic Plaza was organized by local IATSE chapters and held on October 23. It drew hundreds of people.[47][48] She is buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California.[49][50]

On February 15, 2022, it was reported that the family of Hutchins had filed a lawsuit against Baldwin and other crew members of the film Rust, alleging that her wrongful death on the set was caused by irresponsible behavior and cost-cutting.[51] The lawsuit was settled for undisclosed sums, on October 5, 2022, with her widower being given a job as executive producer of the film.[52]

On January 19, 2023, Rust first assistant director David Halls pled guilty to negligent use of a deadly weapon, and received a suspended sentence and six months of probation.[53] On March 31, 2023, Halls pleaded no contest to an additional misdemeanor charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon, for which he received a sentence of six months of unsupervised probation, a $500 fine and 24 hours of community service.[54] On April 21, 2023, the special prosecutor's office in New Mexico announced the dismissal of involuntary manslaughter charges against Baldwin.[55] On August 4, 2023, Rust movie armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was then the sole remaining criminal defendant for the shooting that killed Hutchins, waived her right for a preliminary hearing to determine whether or not the criminal charges against her would stand, thus allowing the trial against her to take place.[56][57] On January 19, 2024, a grand jury indicted Baldwin for involuntary manslaughter, and charges against him were refiled.[58]

On March 6, 2024, a jury deliberated for about two hours and found Gutierrez-Reed guilty of involuntary manslaughter but not guilty of the additional charge of tampering with evidence.[59] She was then remanded into custody and on April 15, 2024, she was sentenced to 18 months in prison.[60]


In October 2021, following Hutchins' death, teachers and friends of hers at the American Film Institute established the Halyna Hutchins Memorial Scholarship Fund dedicated to supporting the education of female cinematographers.[23][61] Hutchins's widower Matt Hutchins endorsed the project and asked for anyone wishing to honor her memory to donate to the fund.[62]

Hutchins's death inspired calls for gun safety reform on film sets. Alexi Hawley, a producer of the American police procedural The Rookie, confirmed that, following Hutchins' death, all live guns on the show were to be replaced with Airsoft guns and CG flashes.[63] Eric Kripke, showrunner of the American superhero TV series The Boys, similarly vowed to ban blanks and guns on his show.[64]

Less than two hours after Hutchins' death, filmmaker Bandar Albuliwi, a former AFI Conservatory Directing fellow classmate (class of 2010), proposed a ban on real guns on film and television sets. He created a petition for "Halyna's Law" on Change.org, which was signed by actors Olivia Wilde, Dwayne Johnson, Ariana DeBose, Julianne Moore, Anna Paquin, Elijah Wood, Lena Dunham and Ava DuVernay. Albuliwi has been working with state senators, including California State Senator Dave Cortese, to propose California legislation that would make it a felony to use real ammunition on film and television sets.[65][66][67] Over 200 cinematographers called in an open letter to ban functional firearms on film sets.[68]

In November 2021, the American Society of Cinematographers posthumously honored Hutchins' work as a cinematographer by awarding her honorary membership.[69][70]

In November 2022, an official documentary on Halyna's life, directed by Halyna's close friend and collaborator Rachel Mason, was announced by Story Syndicate.[71]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Свобода, Радіо. ""Три освіти, сила і талант": що відомо про Галину Гатчінс, яку застрелив на зйомках Алек Болдуїн". Радіо Свобода (in Ukrainian). Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  2. ^ "Halyna Hutchins". ICG Magazine. Vol. 92, no. 10. International Cinematographers Guild. November 2, 2021. p. 92. Retrieved January 18, 2024 – via Issuu.
  3. ^ a b c d Rahman, Abid (October 22, 2021). "Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins Dies at 42 After Prop Gun Incident on Alec Baldwin Film". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  4. ^ Harding, Luke (October 22, 2021). "Halyna Hutchins profile: a talented and passionate cinematographer". The Guardian. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c Italie, Hillel (October 22, 2021). "Halyna Hutchins remembered as gifted cinematographer". The Associated Press. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  6. ^ Ільченко, Володимир (October 23, 2021). "Загибель Галини Гатчінс: "Вона була суперкрутою через її український дух"" [The death of Halyna Hutchins: "She was super cool because of her Ukrainian spirit"]. Ukrinform (in Ukrainian). Retrieved June 7, 2022. [According to her relative, Ivan Androsovych, a lecturer at the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine, Halyna was born into the family of a sailor.]
  7. ^ Barco, Mandalit del (March 19, 2022). "Halyna Hutchins' parents are trapped in Ukraine, Matt Hutchins says". NPR. Retrieved June 7, 2022. Halyna Hutchins was born in 1979 in Zhytomyr, Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union. She spent much of her childhood on a Soviet naval base.
  8. ^ a b Шапоренко, Євгенія (October 25, 2021). "Син Галини Гатчинс замовчав, коли дізнався про смерть матері" [Halyna Hutchins' son was silent when he learned of his mother's death]. Факти [uk]. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  9. ^ "Who was Halyna Hutchins?". CNN. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  10. ^ Jacobs, Julia; Varenikova, Maria (October 22, 2021). "A Cinematographer Killed on Set Is Recalled as Talented and Spirited". The New York Times. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  11. ^ Lim, Clarissa-Jan (October 22, 2021). "Friends Remember Halyna Hutchins, The Cinematographer Killed On Set After Alec Baldwin Shot A Prop Gun". Buzzfeed News. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
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  14. ^ a b Musumeci, Natalie (October 22, 2021). "Halyna Hutchins' husband reacts to her death on the set of Alec Baldwin movie: 'I don't think there are words'". Insider. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  15. ^ Watch Hoda's Extended Interview With Husband Of Late 'Rust' Cinematographer, Today, February 27, 2022, retrieved March 13, 2022
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  18. ^ a b c d e ASC Staff (February 27, 2019). "Rising Stars of Cinematography 2019". American Cinematographer. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
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  21. ^ "World's Tallest Man". Wild Pictures. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  22. ^ Richard Denton. "The Tallest Man" — via YouTube. Credits roll at 45:00. Hutchins is credited as an "associate producer", her name is alternately rendered "Galina Hutchins".
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  31. ^ Mortimer, Adam Egypt (November 21, 2020). "We instantly agreed about shooting with vintage anamorphics; her AFI training and her skill with the math of LUT settings gave us the best texture I've found yet in shooting digital". Twitter. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  32. ^ Risker, Paul; McIntosh, Pollyanna; Canny, Lauryn (July 17, 2020). "Mise-en-scene". The Journal of Film & Visual Narration (MSJ). 5 (1). Simon Fraser University; Kwantlen Polytechnic University: 21. ISSN 2369-5056. OCLC 967731559 – via Issuu.
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  69. ^ "Halyna Hutchins Now Honorary ASC Member". American Society of Cinematographers. ASC Staff. November 15, 2021. Retrieved November 16, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  70. ^ Tizard, Will (November 16, 2021). "Cinematographers Pay Tribute to Fallen Colleague Halyna Hutchins at EnergaCamerimage Film Festival". Variety. Retrieved November 16, 2021.
  71. ^ Grobar, Matt (November 16, 2022). "'Rust' Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins Getting Docu Treatment From Story Syndicate, Director Rachel Mason; Project Authorized By DP's Husband Matt Hutchins". Deadline Hollywood.
  72. ^ a b c Breznican, Anthony (October 22, 2021). "Alec Baldwin Discharged Gun That Killed Cinematographer, Sheriff's Department Says". Vanity Fair. Condé Nast. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
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