Curious lists regrets to report on the tragic shooting of Halyna Hutchins. Read further to discover what actually happened on set and who is to blame.
Alec Baldwin Prop Gun – “She Was So Good at Amazement”: Remembering Halyna Hutchins
I met Halyna Hutchins in the south of Spain, at a party for filmmakers at the Sitges Film Festival. The movie she’d D.P.’d, Darlin’, was playing there, as was a film I’d directed. Sitges is the kind of place that makes you feel blessed—drinking wine in the afternoon on the edge of the sea, surrounded by filmmakers whom you’re amazed to be among. I approached her because she looked like she was the coolest person there.
Halyna had this vibe. She was a tiny, ice blonde woman moving through the crowd in a way that reminded me of Bruce Lee. She seemed self-contained and aware that she had everything she needed within herself to be calm, no matter what came at her.
This fierce tranquility came from her total belief in film as art, and the trust she had in her own ability to make beautiful things. But in addition to this forcefield of integrity, what made her so lovely and radiant was her deep vulnerability. Her eyes always shined.
There’s a funny thing that happens sometimes when you’re looking for a collaborator. If you’re lucky, there’s a click. You don’t even have to look at the work. You’re inspired to take a leap. This is how it was with Halyna. I knew within minutes of talking to her that I wanted her to shoot my next movie. Yes, eventually I looked at her reel—mostly so I could present it to the producers—and yes, it was rad. But I knew it would be.
We were making a project called Archenemy, a very low-budget action-science fiction-superhero-psychedelic crime movie. But as soon as we started talking about it, I knew she was seeing it as a chance to explore truth and pain and love and violence and beauty through images. She was dedicated to pursuing art.
I loved so many more things about Halyna once we started working together:
— The amazing Tank Girl costume she wore to my Halloween party, just a few days after we’d hired her, and how everyone wanted to know who the hell was this unbelievably cool person who’d just showed up.
— Watching her stand on the shoulders of a burly camera department man so she could take photos through an eight-foot-high window during a location scout. She was so comfortable up there, as though she could have done the entire shoot like an acrobat.
— Hearing her whisper in Russian in the midst of a scene on the days when she had an old friend gaffing next to her. As they dialed up the neon pink, I felt like we were truly onto some European art vibe. Her Ukrainian roots always felt like a special part of her, an element of intrigue she accessed to bring another bit of depth to the world we were building.
— Seeing her collaborate with Michelle Laine and Ariel Vida, the costume designer and production designer, all three of them creating coven magic together, building and supporting one another’s ideas.
— Showing her things she hadn’t seen before. I brought her a book of Jim Steranko comics, the 1968 Nick Fury stuff, all pop art and experimental page design, and she went totally nuts over the wild panels, imagining how we could create shots like that. It was a thrill to show her something new because she was an inspiration machine—cool references in, effervescent energy out.
— When she would, every so often, tell me she missed her son and her family. She worked so hard, burning brightly for the short duration of our project, and the sweetness of how she talked about her boy was a gentle pull in a different direction than the pure art life. That sweetness defined her, shaped all her stubbornness and technical specificity into a deep soul. Levon could see it. Levon was our producer Kim Sherman’s extremely shy two-year-old, but on the days he came to visit set, he would run to Halyna, talk to her, tug on her pant leg. And he made her smile.
— Tiptoeing past her as she napped in a big armchair by a fireplace at Thanksgiving. Her husband and son went away for the holiday, but she couldn’t travel far because we were in the midst of the movie. So she drove up with me and my girlfriend to Santa Barbara, where my stepmother had rented a house to throw a huge get-together. Once again, Halyna was always so comfortable and confident. She immediately slipped into the world of this loud family, and was so cozy that she could sleep surrounded by everyone doing puzzles or drinking cider. And they all loved her instantly.
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Alec Baldwin Was Told Gun in Deadly Shooting on Set Was Safe, Officials Claim
The star was told a firearm being used as a prop was safe before he fired it on the set of “Rust,” killing the film’s cinematographer and wounding its director, law enforcement officials said.
On a ranch in northern New Mexico, where the cottonwoods and the dust-covered foothills have formed the backdrop of Westerns since the 1950s, Alec Baldwin was shooting a new film on Thursday afternoon when his character, an outlaw, required a gun.
An assistant director picked up one of three prop guns that the film’s armorer had set up outside on a gray cart, handed it to Mr. Baldwin, and, according to an affidavit signed by Detective Joel Cano of the Santa Fe County sheriff’s office, yelled “Cold Gun!”– which was supposed to specify that the gun did not have any live rounds in it.
When Mr. Baldwin discharged the gun, police officials said, it struck and killed the film’s cinematographer and injured its director– and raised new concerns about firearms safety on film sets.
The assistant director “did not know live rounds were in the prop-gun” when he gave it to Mr. Baldwin, according to the affidavit, which was made as part of a search warrant application. The affidavit did not stipulate what type of ammunition the gun had been loaded with.
The assistant director on the set of “Rust” where Alec Baldwin discharged a prop gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins had previously allowed an unsafe working environment on productions, according to a prop maker who worked with him.
Dave Halls “at first he seemed like an older, affable first [assistant director] with the usual run of idiosyncrasies, but that facade soon disappeared,” according to prop maker Maggie Goll, who said she was called to work on Hulu’s “Into the Dark” anthology series in February 2019.
” He did not maintain a safe working environment,” Goll said in a detailed statement to NBC News. “Sets were almost always allowed to become progressively claustrophobic, no well established fire lanes, exits blocked … safety meetings were nonexistent.”
According to court records, Halls handed the prop gun to Baldwin just before the fatal shooting at the Bonanza Ranch in New Mexico, attesting inaccurately that the weapon didn’t have live bullets by calling “cold gun.”
The gun was one of three that the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez, had set on a cart outside the wooden structure where a scene was being acted, according to the records. Assistant director Dave Halls grabbed the gun from the cart and brought it inside to Baldwin, unaware that it was loaded with live rounds, a detective wrote in the search warrant application.
It was unclear how many rounds were discharged. Gutierrez cleared away a shell casing from the gun after the shooting, and she turned the weapon over to police when they showed up, the court records say.
Halls did not instantly return phone and email messages seeking statement. The Associated Press was not able to contact Gutierrez, and several messages delivered to production agencies connected with the film were not instantly returned Friday.
The film’s script supervisor, Mamie Mitchell, said she was standing near Hutchins when she was shot.
” I ran out and called 911 and said ‘Bring everybody, send everybody,'” Mitchell told The Associated Press. “This woman is gone at the beginning of her career. She was an extraordinary, rare, very rare woman.”
Mitchell stated she and some other crew members were showing up at a private commemoration Friday night in Santa Fe.
Baldwin detailed the killing as a “tragic accident.”
A distressed Baldwin was captured on film outside a hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on Saturday embracing and speaking with Matt Hutchins, the husband of Halyna Hutchins, and their nine-year-old boy.
Alec Baldwin has been seen comforting the family of the cinematographer he mistakenly killed on the set of his movie, as further reports came through on Sunday of unpleasant practices during the recording of the Western “Rust”.
Baldwin’s stunt double inadvertently fired two rounds Saturday after being told that the gun was “cold”– terminology for a weapon that doesn’t have any ammo, including blanks– two crew members who witnessed the episode told the Los Angeles Times.
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