Helena Hutchins: In her own words

And that love is being returned as coworkers and friends remember the journalist-turned-cinematographer who died after the film’s star and executive producer Alec Baldwin discharged a prop gun on set in New Mexico last week.

Hutchins was 42 years old.

The film’s director Joel Souza, 48, was also injured during the incident.

“I like stories that [are] reality or real characters, but my favorite part is actually creating the world where the story will exist,” she said.

trip to hollywood

A native of Ukraine, Hutchins grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle,
“Surrounded by reindeer and nuclear submarines,” according to his website. He received a bachelor’s degree in International Journalism from Kiev National University.
Helena Hutchins' family mourns slain cinematographer as investigations into 'Rust';  Shooting of film sets continues

He worked as an investigative journalist with British Documentary Productions in Europe, where he screened documentaries for the BBC and Discovery before moving to New York City.

“I actually did photography in New York,” Hutchins said in an interview for “Why Women Are Excellent in Hollywood.” Posted on YouTube in June. “Fashion photography, I did a lot and just wanted to make art films, really. Some really big-scale, beautiful, just art house cinema.”

his ‘calling’

“When I moved to Los Angeles, I tried to figure out what the next step would be,” she said. “Where do you start when you don’t know anyone? Where do you start?”

He was taken to the UCLA extension course for instruction, “just to get my feet wet,” Hutchins recalled. She soon learned that she liked cinematography more than directing.

“I shot like 15 shorts in there,” she said. “So, I kept shooting and I thought maybe that was my calling.”

American Film Institute of Love

Hutchins worked with a lighting company and then attended the “Best Institute for My Profession,” the American Film Institute (AFI) Conservatory, where she graduated in 2015.

After his death, actor Jensen Ackles, who worked with Hutchins on “Rust”, posted on instagram that he had donated in his name to the AFI Scholarship Fund.

He wrote, “Earlier last week I forced Helena to tell me how amazing I thought she was. I told her how incredible I thought her camera shots were and to see her and her team work How exciting it was.” “Really. She laughed and said thanks and hugged me. I’ll always be grateful we had that moment.”

how he chose his projects

During the Blackmagic Collective live stream, Hutchins shared what drew him to various films.

“The premise of the characters is the most exciting part for me,” she said. “If I could go on a journey with the characters. Style doesn’t really matter, it’s just the environment you create to express the character’s journey.”

“If I want to see this film, I want to make it,” she said.

When asked during the “Why Women Are Excelling in Hollywood” interview what it was about the cinematography that attracted her, Hutchins had a heartfelt answer.

“It’s definitely an obsession,” she said. “Once you get a bug, you can’t get out of it.”