On October 21st, 2021 we lost an unbelievably talented cinematographer on the film set of RUST, due to a real gun being discharged with live ammunition in it. I am in shock and numb to my core. The bullet also wounded Director Joel Souza.
Halyna graduated from the AFI Conservatory in 2015 with a MFA in Cinematography. I graduated in 2010 with a MFA in Directing. Like everyone in the “AFI Family”, we all knew one another. AFI is a very small community of filmmakers, trying their hardest to get their “big break” in the film industry after graduating from the program.
This up and coming Cinematographer was named as an ASC “Rising Star Cinematographer” in 2019, and was finally breaking into the Hollywood film industry after hustling and shooting amazing content for half a decade. She shot three feature films prior to Rust, but this would have been the movie that would have put her on the Hollywood map as a talented, female cinematographer working with an A-list celebrity.
We need to make sure that this avoidable tragedy never happens again. There is no excuse for something like this to happen in the 21st century. Real guns are no longer needed on film production sets. This isn’t the early 90’s, when Brandon Lee was killed in the same manner. Change needs to happen before additional talented lives are lost.