Director Joel Souza claims he was “gutted for the loss of my friend and colleague” Halyna Hutchins, in his first statement after a gun accident on a New Mexico movie set.
Ms. Hutchins was killed and Mr. Souza injured when a prop gun with a bullet was fired by actor Alec Baldwin.
Mr. Souza thanked the supporters for their “show of affection”.
Court records state that Baldwin was handed the gun by an assistant director who told the actor he was safe.
Ms. Hutchins, a 42-year-old director of photography, was shot dead in the chest in Thursday’s incident on the set of the Rust movie in Santa Fe. Mr. Souza, 48, who stood behind Ms Hutchins, was treated in the hospital for a shoulder injury and later discharged.
Police are still investigating the incident and no charges have been brought.
In his statement, Mr. Souza said, “I am gutted over the loss of my friend and colleague, Halyna. She was kind, vibrant, incredibly talented, fought for every inch and always pushed me to be better.
“My thoughts are with her family at this very difficult time. I am humbled and grateful for the outpouring of love we have received from our community of filmmakers, the people of Santa Fe and the hundreds of strangers they have contacted … It will surely help my recovery ».
Court statements show that assistant director Dave Halls was unaware that the prop contained live ammunition and indicated that it had been discharged by shouting “cold gun!”
On Friday, Mr. Baldwin – who was the film’s star and producer – said he was “fully cooperating” with the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.
“My heart is broken for her husband, their son and everyone who knew and loved Halyna,” she tweeted.
Ms. Hutchins, 42, was Ukrainian and grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle. He studied journalism in Kiev and film in Los Angeles. She was the director of photography for the 2020 action film Archenemy.
She leaves a husband, Matthew, and a nine-year-old son.
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According to the Los Angeles Times, about half a dozen members of Rust’s TV crew had left hours before the tragedy after protesting on-set working conditions at Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe.
There had been at least three previous non-firing of prop weapons on set, sources reported to the Times.
Union members had also complained that they had been promised hotel rooms in Santa Fe, but once filming began on the western, they had to drive 50 miles (80km) from Albuquerque every morning.
The BBC obtained a document showing which crew members were listed as scheduled to be on set that day.
Appoint a chief gunsmith, the crew member responsible for controlling firearms. Hannah Gutierrez Reed is in her twenties and most recently worked in this role for the first time in The Old Way.
In a podcast in September he said he almost turned down that job “because I wasn’t sure I was ready … but doing it, like, it was fine.”
The prop gun that Baldwin fired contained a “live single shot,” according to an email sent by the International Alliance of Theater Employees to its members, Variety reports.
In Rust, Baldwin played an outlaw whose grandson is sentenced to hang for accidental murder.
The actor is best known for his role as Jack Donaghy on the NBC sitcom 30 Rock and his portrayal of Donald Trump on the sketch show Saturday Night Live.
Such incidents on movie sets are extremely rare.
Real firearms are often used in shooting and are loaded with blanks that create a flash and a bang without discharging a bullet.
In 1993, Brandon Lee – the 28-year-old son of late martial arts star Bruce Lee – died on set after being accidentally shot with a prop gun while filming a death scene for the movie The Crow.
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