ASC President Stephen Lighthill on Halyna Hutchins Tragedy

Intense media interest in this story brings critical production and safety issues to light and depict a talented young artist whose life was cut short.

Numerous media outlets have reached out to Stephen Lighthill, ASC for comment regarding the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, killed on October 21 as she was working on the set of the feature Rust in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  

As both the President of the Society and Dean of Cinematography at the American Film Institute, Lighthill is not only an expert regarding the on-set role of the cinematographer and safety issues, but was Hutchins’ teacher at the AFI and knew her personally.

Hutchens stands next to ASC President and AFI Dean of Cinematography Stephen Lighthill (center) at her 2015 graduation ceremony. (Photo by Matt Hutchins)

“I worked in crime drama for many years as a cinematographer and working with armorers and prop people, we never had any accidents of any kind,” Lighthill told NBC affiliate KGET in Bakersfield. “We all know the protocols that should be followed and if those protocols are followed there are no mishaps.”

Here are several of these media reports, which discuss the situation and shed some light on the complex issues surrounding this terrible situation. Click through for additional discussion:

Woman Killed on Film Set Remembered as Generous and a Gifted Cinematographer (NBC/Los Angeles)

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, Who Was Fatally Shot by a Prop Gun, Was A Rising Star (NPR)

Halyna Hutchins’ Death Could Change the Way Guns Are Used In Hollywood (Time

Halyna Hutchins’ Former Professor Calls Alec Baldwin Shooting “Malfeasance” (NBC/Oklahoma City)

Special Edition: Movie Set Safety w/ Halyna Hutchins’ Teacher (The Newsworthy)


You’ll find the ASC’s initial statement here. And AC’s 2019 Rising Stars of Cinematography report featuring Hutchins here.

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