ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Mourners gathered Saturday evening in New Mexico to remember cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, two days after she was accidentally shot dead by Alec Baldwin with a prop gun on the set of the movie “Rust.”
Hutchins, 42, was memorialized by the Local 600 International Cinematographers Guild at a candlelight ceremony in Albuquerque Civic Plaza.
Violin players performed somber music in the outdoor auditorium before a moment of silence. Union leader Rebecca Rhine talked to those gathered about the tragic loss.
“There will be plenty of time to focus on the who on the what on the why in the future but we have two things to accomplish tonight,” said Rine, the national executive director of the International Cinematographers Guild, Local 600 IATSE.
“The first is to comfort each other and the second is to celebrate a remarkable life of a remarkable woman that was cut short way too soon.”
Lane Luber, a member of Hutchins’ camera operating team on the ill-fated film, delivered emotional remarks as he held back tears.
“I was really lucky to get to work with her because who I met was one of the most talented and kind, collaborative artists who did things that I could never ever think of,” Luber said.
“To work with somebody that’s that collaborative and never, ever thought of herself as better than anyone on that set, I would’ve been lucky to have ever done another movie with another person like that or with her and I don’t get to.”
Luber, who just met Hutchins seven weeks ago when she asked him to join her team, declined to talk to The Post about Thursday’s catastrophe — which also left director Joel Souza, 48, injured.
“She is the most wonderful human being I’ve ever gotten to work with, meet and if that’s what you guys are focusing on then everyone needs to know how wonderful and talented this beautiful female, photographer, cinematographer was and how talented she was and how much of a force she was,” Luber said.
John Lindley, president of IATSE Local 600, read a message to the grieving crowd from husband Matt Hutchins, who was unable to attend.
“The outpouring of sympathy from our many friends has been overwhelming and we thank everyone for their kind and generous sharing of images and stories of her life,” Hutchins wrote.
“Halyna inspired us all with her passion and vision and her legacy is too meaningful to encapsulate in words. Her loss is enormous and we will need time to process our grief.”
Union members and people in the entertainment industry came to the memorial to remember Hutchins and spoke about the need for safer conditions on-set.
“Right now we’re fighting for labor, we’re fighting for safety, we’re fighting for lunch breaks, living wages, we’re fighting for a lot of things, we’re fighting to come home at night sometimes,” Wynema Chavez, a veteran member of IATSE Local 480 union, told The Post.
“I’m really shaken up by this because I have a child at home and I have a son that’s in the industry and it could’ve been anyone. I’ve never been to anything like this,” Chavez continued as she started to cry.
“It’s just tugging at me, I just feel so terrible for her child, and her husband.”
Liz Pecos, president of IATSE Local 480, said that a gun with a live round should have never gotten into Baldwin’s hands.
“Her death shouldn’t have happened, union sets should be safe sets, every person deserves to go to work with complete security knowing they can perform their work and return home safely,” Pecos said.
An IATSE 480 worker, who did not want to be named, told The Post the “hot gun” incident was “completely avoidable.”
“If they’d put more money into not using blanks and just doing everything with visual effects this would’ve never happened, that’s pretty much the basis of it,” he said.
The outrage from organized labor comes after a crew of unionized workers walked off the “Rust” set over poor safety protocols before the deadly shooting, including “poor gun safety,” according to a text message viewed by The Post.
Baldwin, 63, is said to be “devastated” over the fatal mishap.
“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,” the Long Island native tweeted Friday.
“My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”