“Rust” film director Joel Souza, who is recovering after he and cinematographer Halyna Hutchins were shot with a prop gun fired by producer and actor Alec Baldwin on set Thursday, said he is “gutted by the loss of my friend and colleague” Hutchins, who was killed.
“She is kind, bright, incredibly talented and fought for every inch. She also pushed me to do better,” Souza stated in a statement to NBC News.
Hutchins had been working in Santa Fe, New Mexico as the director for photography for “Rust” when Baldwin discharged his prop firearm .. Officials said that Hutchins was flown via helicopter to the University of New Mexico Hospital where she was declared dead. Souza was transported by an ambulance to the hospital.
“My thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time,” Souza stated.
Matt Hutchins (Halyna Hutchins) opened up about the tragedy on Friday in his first social media posting since her death.
“Halyna was an inspiration to us all. Her passion and vision is too precious to be described in words. he also tweeted a picture of his wife and their son. “Our loss is immense, and we ask the media to respect our family’s privacy while we grieve. We are grateful to everyone who shared images and stories about her life. “
Family, friends and film industry colleagues have been expressing their condolences and posting tributes to her work on social media for the past few days.
“She knew early that she wanted to take cinematography by storm, and the past couple of years have proven her right,” Halyna Hutchins’ team stated in a Friday statement. Her talent was unmatched by her love for her family. “
” All those around her knew what was coming. A star director of photography who would be a force in the field, she said.
Souza, 48, said he is “humbled and grateful by the outpouring of affection we have received from our filmmaking community, the people of Santa Fe, and the hundreds of strangers who have reached out. “It will certainly aid in my recovery,” said he.
Hutchins, 42, was originally from Ukraine and grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle. She worked as an investigative reporter in Europe before moving to Los Angeles to do film, according to her website.
She graduated from the American Film Institute in 2015 and was selected as one of American Cinematographer’s rising stars of 2019, according to the biography on her website.
Hutchins’ friends and mentors at the film school helped establish a scholarship fund “to honor her memory and support aspiring female cinematographers,” according to her husband.
“Anyone wishing to honor her memory should direct their giving to this fund he tweeted .
Matt Hutchins is a corporate lawyer who joined Latham & Watkins’ Los Angeles office as an associate earlier this year. According to his LinkedIn profile, he previously worked as an in-house attorney at an entertainment company and was a lawyer at Kirkland & Ellis and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. He said that he spoke with Baldwin and was supportive.
“There are no words to convey 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, adding that he has been cooperating with authorities in charge of the ongoing investigation.
So far, no charges have been filed, the sheriff’s office said.