movie set shooting

California Vigil Planned for Cinematographer Killed on New Mexico Movie Set

The Sunday night candlelight vigil in Burbank follows one held Saturday in New Mexico for Halyna Hutchins, who was killed in a prop gun accident on the set of "Rust."

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A candlelight vigil in Burbank on Sunday honored cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was killed when actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on a New Mexico movie set in a shooting that has sparked renewed calls for stepped-up safety on film sets.

The Local 600 International Cinematographers Guild said the vigil took place on from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the IATSE Local 80 headquarters at 2520 W. Olive Ave.

"Let's all take a moment and gather together to honor Halyna and her accomplishments and grieve together as one. Please bring your own candle, and join together for a candlelight vigil for Halyna," the guild announced on Facebook.

Another vigil was held at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Albuquerque Civic Plaza in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

An accident on a New Mexico movie set is already sparking industry wide changes. Robert Kovacik reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Oct. 22, 2021.

Baldwin has expressed "shock and sadness" over the death. Hutchins, 42, died at University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque following the on-set mishap Thursday. The film's director, Joel Souza, 48, was also injured, but he was treated and released from the hospital.

"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 wrote on his Twitter page Friday morning. "I'm fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and 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 Haylna."

Baldwin, 63, was rehearsing a scene outside a church on the set of the
western "Rust" south of Santa Fe, New Mexico, on Thursday when he discharged the prop weapon. Sheriff's officials were continuing to investigate what happened. Baldwin is a co-producer of the film.

Late Friday, The Associated Press obtained an affidavit in support of a search warrant in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in which investigators stated that an assistant director on the film handed Baldwin the weapon and told the actor it was safe to use — unaware that it was loaded with live rounds.

The shooting occurred moments later, with sources telling Los Angeles Times it occurred when Baldwin was rehearsing a scene outside a church on the set.

Souza released his own statement to NBC News on Saturday, saying he was "gutted by the loss of my friend and colleague" Hutchins.

"She was kind, vibrant, incredibly talented, fought for every inch and always pushed me to be better," he said.

Local 44 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, the union that represents prop masters, sent its members an email — subsequently obtained by The Times and other media outlets — saying "a live single round was accidentally fired on set" by Baldwin.

The tragedy was reminiscent of the 1993 death of actor Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee. Brandon Lee was fatally shot during filming of "The Crow," with what was supposed to be a blank round but turned out to be a deadly bullet.

Lee's sister, Shannon, posted a message on her brother's official Twitter account Thursday saying, "Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on 'Rust.' No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period."

The death of Hutchins has again renewed concerns about on-set safety. The Times reported Friday that a half-dozen camera crew workers had walked off the "Rust" set hours before the fatal shooting, protesting working conditions, including long hours, safety conditions and issues getting their paychecks. The paper reported that Hutchins had been advocating for safer conditions for her team.

One person who was on the set told The Times there had been two misfires involving the prop gun on Saturday, and one the previous week.

The "Rust" production company issued a statement Thursday saying, "The entire cast and crew has been absolutely devastated by today's tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Halyna's family and loved ones. We have halted production on the film for an undetermined period of time and are fully cooperating with the Santa Fe Police Department's investigation. We will be providing counseling services to everyone connected to the film as we work to process this awful event."

John Lindley and Rebecca Rhine, the national president and executive director, respectively, of the International Cinematographers Guild, issued a joint statement saying, "The details are unclear at this moment, but we are working to learn more and we support a full investigation into this tragic event. This is a terrible loss, and we mourn the passing of a member of our guild's family."

Halyna Hutchins was working on Alec Baldwin's western when she was shot and killed in a prop gun incident gone horribly wrong. Ted Chen reports Oct. 22, 2021.

SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher and National Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland issued a statement saying, "This is still an active investigation and we do not yet have all the facts. We will continue to work with production, the other unions and the authorities to investigate this incident and to understand how to prevent such a thing from happening again."

In response to Hutchins' death, the showrunner of the ABC police drama "The Rookie" announced that "live" weapons would no longer be used on the set, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Showrunner Alexi Hawley announced the change in a memo to the show's staff, saying "all gunfire on set will be with Air Soft guns with CG muzzle flashes added in post. There will be no more 'live' weapons on the show. The safety of our cast and crew is too important. Any risk is too much risk."

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