Film sets foster an immediate sense of family among the cast and crew, but even more so when the production is on location away from the conveniences of Hollywood. Every single person is valued and needed, putting in long and often difficult hours for the greater good of the work.
Another one of those tragic accidents occurred on the New Mexico set of the Western film “Rust” starring Alec Baldwin, Frances Fisher, and Jensen Ackles. A gun Baldwin was holding that was supposed to be filled with blanks was accidentally discharged, fatally injuring cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and severely injuring director Joel Souza. Hutchins, 42, was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead by medical personnel, the sheriff’s department said. Souza, 48, was taken by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, where he is undergoing treatment for his injuries.
Santa Fe County New Mexico Sheriff confirms tonight actor Alec Baldwin shot two people today on a movie set with a prop firearm that would normally be loaded with blanks. A 42 yr old woman, the director of photography – is dead. The film’s director is hospitalized #alecbaldwin pic.twitter.com/JbwNw9nZJP
— Todd McDermott (@wpbf_todd) October 22, 2021
Tributes poured to honor Hutchins, a 2015 graduate of the American Film Institute who had most recently worked as director of photography on the 2020 action film “Archenemy,” starring Joe Manganiello. She was named a “rising star” by American Cinematographer in 2019. Manganiello called her “an incredible talent” and “a great person” on his Instagram account. He said he was lucky to have worked with Hutchins.
Production has been halted on “Rust,” which was meant to continue filming into November, and there has not been an announcement regarding when it may begin again. The movie is about a 13-year-old boy who is left to fend for himself and his younger brother following the death of their parents in 1880s’ Kansas, according to the Internet Movie Database website. The teen goes on the run with his long-estranged grandfather (played by Baldwin) after the boy is sentenced to hang for the accidental killing of a local rancher. That ironic detail may cause the film to be shut down entirely.
The police are still investigating the shooting on the set of the movie "Rust" that killed the film’s cinematographer and wounded the director. Alec Baldwin, one of the starring actors and a producer of the film, fired a weapon used as a prop. https://t.co/1PP8qym48s pic.twitter.com/E7b5u0AlH4
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 22, 2021
Alec Baldwin was fully cooperating with the sheriff’s department and shared two tweets on Friday regarding the tragic accident.
2- I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.
— AlecBaldwin(HABF) (@AlecBaldwin) October 22, 2021
[This is a developing story, please check back for updates]