Halyna Hutchins remembered as gifted cinematographer

NEW YORK, Halyna HUTCHINS, the cinematographer who was fatally wounded by Alec Baldwin, traveled a lot over her 42-year career. She was raised on a Soviet military base in Eastern Europe and began her filmmaking career in Los Angeles.

Halyna Hutchins remembered as gifted cinematographer

NEW YORK, Halyna HUTCHINS, the cinematographer who was fatally wounded by Alec Baldwin, traveled a lot over her 42-year career. She was raised on a Soviet military base in Eastern Europe and began her filmmaking career in Los Angeles.

Hutchins was shot on Thursday with a prop gun while filming the Western "Rust", near Santa Fe, New Mexico. Friday's court records show that Baldwin was handed a loaded gun by an assistant director who told him it was safe to use. Detectives were conducting an investigation.

Hutchins posted several photos to her Instagram account, including a sunrise shot of the desert, a video of Hutchins riding a horseback on a day off, and a photo showing the crew who gathered to show solidarity with the union members. The IATSE union members were seeking a new contract. They threatened to strike before an agreement was reached.

According to her website she was raised on a Soviet base in the Arctic Circle, and was "surrounded" by nuclear submarines and reindeer. She also received a graduate diploma in international journalism from Kyiv National University, Ukraine. She worked in documentary productions in Eastern Europe for British Documentary Productions, and graduated from American Film Institute Conservatory in 2015. Matthew Hutchins, her husband, is her survivor.

Bill Dill, one of her AFI teachers said that "She had an interesting past, and I believe that made for a unique view on the world." "She brought a wealth experience to the movie-making processes."

American Cinematographer named her one of 2019's rising stars in a 2019 interview. She described herself as an "army brat" who was drawn to movies because there wasn't much outside. Through her work with British filmmakers she became "fascinated by storytelling that is based on real people."

She moved to the U.S. to work as a production assistant. She also explored fashion photography to get a better understanding of the "aesthetics and lighting -- how you create the mood, feel." In 2013, she was admitted to a two-year program at AFI Conservatory. Her dedication to cinematography was remembered by the school's chair.

"She was thoughtful about the decision and it wasn't an easy one. He said that all film schools are costly and that this was no exception. We were impressed by her. She understood that, I told her. She worked hard.

Stephen Pizzello was the editor-in-chief of American Cinematographer. He is also a friend of Hutchins. Pizzello said that she has a "joyful spirit" and a strong sense for how to network in movie business. She was "tireless in terms improving her skills and being at the right places", and was a frequent attendee of "industry events" and parties.

He said, "Everybody loved her."

Her credits before "Rust" included "Blindfire," a crime drama, and "Darlin," where her director, Pollyanna MacIntosh, said that she was "the best, in the trenches committed wonderful artist and teammate." Adam Egypt Mortimer, her director on 2020's "Archenemy," described her as having a strong sense of confidence and an inspiring willingness to take on new challenges. He recalled a time when an actor was forced to leave, and the rest had to work around him.

Mortimer said that Halyna was excited and asked if they would shoot scenes in "European style", meaning they would improvise.

Andriy Semenyuk is a cinematographer from Ukraine who met Hutchins through friends. He remembered how she received him and invited him to participate in some of her assignments. He described her as a mentor with "magnetizing personality" who was known for her willingness and ability to help others.

He said that besides her talent, which is obvious, the most important thing about her is her generosity and openness. It's not enough for talent to be in the film industry which is highly competitive. It is important to have a human, attractive personality.

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