Film world mourns cinematographer Halyna Hutchins

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  • Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died after an incident on a film set in which actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun.
  • The 42-year-old was transported by helicopter but died of her wounds.
  • Director James Gunn led tributes on social media, writing, "My heart goes out to all of those affected by the tragedy today on Rust."

Tributes are pouring in on social media for slain cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

The 42-year-old, and director Joel Souza were shot when Alec Baldwin discharged a prop firearm on the set of Rust.

Hutchins was transported to hospital by helicopter but died of her wounds, while Souza, 48, was taken by ambulance and was receiving treatment.

Souza was later released from the hospital, Rust actor Frances Fisher tweeted, citing a text from him.

Shot on set

According to her website, Los Angeles-based Hutchins was selected as one of American Cinematographer's Rising Stars of 2019.

Originally from Ukraine, she grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle, the website said.

The Ukraine foreign ministry said its consulate general in San Francisco was working with US authorities and speaking to Hutchins' relatives "to provide the necessary consular and legal assistance."

"My greatest fear is that someone will be fatally hurt on one of my sets," tweeted Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn.

"My heart goes out to all of those affected by the tragedy today on Rust, especially Halyna Hutchins & her family."

The shooting took place at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, a production location near Santa Fe which is popular with Hollywood filmmakers.

Movie sets usually have stringent rules over the use of prop weapons, but accidents have happened.

Most famously, Brandon Lee, the son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, died during the filming of The Crow after being shot by a gun that was supposed to fire blanks.

Brandon's sister Shannon Lee commented on the shooting on Twitter.

"Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on Rust," she posted.

"No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set."

Baldwin co-produced the film and stars as Harland Rust, an outlaw whose grandson is convicted of murder, and who goes on the run with him.

READ MORE | Alec Baldwin distraught in photo taken after film set accident which killed cinematographer

In a statement to US media, the film's production company said the cast and crew had 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," the statement said.

'Devastating'

A joint statement by John Lindley and Rebecca Rhine of the International Cinematographers Guild said news of Hutchins' death was "devastating."

"The details are unclear at this moment, but we are working to learn more, and we support a full investigation into this tragic event," the statement, reported by Variety, said.

Fran Drescher, president of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and the union's national executive director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, also said they were "devastated" by the news.

The guild would work "to understand how to prevent such a thing from happening again," they said in a statement posted on Twitter.

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