“Rust” director Joel Souza, who is recovering from a bullet fired by producer and actor Alec Baldwin on Thursday during filming, said he was “gutted by the loss of my friend and colleague,” the director of the photograph Halyna Hutchins who was killed following the same shooting accident.
“She was kind, dynamic, incredibly talented, fought for every inch and always pushed me to be better,” Souza said in a statement to NBC News.
Hutchins was working as a cinematographer for “Rust” alongside Souza in Santa Fe, New Mexico, when Baldwin unloaded a gun on set. Hutchins was taken by helicopter to the University of New Mexico hospital, where she was pronounced dead, while Souza was taken to hospital by ambulance, officials said.
“My thoughts are with his family at this most difficult time,” said Souza.
Matt Hutchins, Halyna’s husband, opened up about the tragedy on Friday when he was first posted to social media since his wife’s death.
“Halyna inspired us all with her passion and vision, and her legacy is too meaningful to be summed up in words,” he tweeted alongside a photo of his late wife and their son. “Our loss is enormous and we ask the media to respect my family’s privacy as we process our grief. We thank everyone for sharing pictures and stories from their life. “
Family, friends and colleagues in the film industry have also expressed condolences and posted tributes to his work on social media in recent days.
“She decided early on that she would take the cinematography profession by storm and the past two years have proven that she was on the right track. Her talent was immense, only surpassed by the love she had for her family, ”Halyna’s team said in a statement. statement Friday.
“Everyone in its orbit knew what was going to happen; a star cinematographer who would be a force to be reckoned with, ”his team added.
Souza, 48, said he was “humbled and grateful for the outpouring of affection we have received from our film community, the people of Santa Fe and the hundreds of strangers who have contacted us.”
“It will surely help me to recover,” he added.
Halyna, 42, was from Ukraine and grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle. She also worked as an investigative journalist in Europe before moving to Los Angeles to make films, according to her website.
She graduated from the American Film Institute in 2015 and was selected as one of the rising stars of American cinematography in 2019, according to the biography on her website.
Halyna’s friends and mentors at film school helped set up a scholarship fund ” to honor her memory and support budding women filmmakers“, According to her husband Matt.
“Anyone looking to honor his memory, please direct your donations to this fund,” he tweeted.
Matt is a corporate lawyer who joined the Los Angeles office of Latham & Watkins as a partner earlier this year. Prior to that, he was a lawyer in an entertainment company and practiced at Kirkland & Ellis and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, according to his LinkedIn profile.
He said Friday that he spoke to Baldwin, who supported him, following the incident.
In his first pistol shooting comments, Baldwin also confirmed that he was in contact with the Hutchins family.
“There are no words to express my shock and sadness over the tragic accident which claimed the life of Halyna Hutchins, a deeply admired wife, mother and colleague,” Baldwin a tweeté, adding that he has cooperated with the authorities in charge of the ongoing investigation.
So far, no charges have been filed in connection with the incident, the sheriff’s office said.