LOS ANGELES, Oct. 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — This month marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer killed on the set of the Alec Baldwin film Rust. In that time, not enough has been said about the woman herself and the kind of person she was before the tragedy which ended her life. Now writer/director Dennis Hauck, who collaborated with Hutchins on a film before her death, is looking to change that. Today marks the release of Hauck’s debut single “Halyna Hutchins,” a song he wrote and performs in tribute to the late cinematographer. The song serves as both a heartfelt remembrance and a scathing indictment of those responsible for Hutchins’ death.
“There‘s a rich tradition of folk ballads about larger-than-life figures who were cut down in their prime,” said Hauck. “Halyna was larger-than-life, and I thought someone ought to paint her in that light, as a modern-day folk hero. She was a lot more than just a name in headlines and court cases.”
While the media remains focused on Rust, the film which led to her death, little has been known about AL’s BRAND, the other unfinished film which Hutchins left behind — one on which she worked with Hauck in secret for two years, and to which she was passionately devoted.
Hauck and Hutchins met in 2019 and quickly bonded over their shared love of celluloid film and a mutual aversion to digital effects. At the height of the pandemic, the two filmmakers boarded a plane to Ireland to embark on the most ambitious film of their young careers, a Victorian revenge saga titled AL’s BRAND. Armed with leftover film stock from Christopher Nolan’s Tenet (purchased secondhand from Warner Bros. for pennies on the dollar), Hutchins found herself capturing the lush green countryside and historic castles of Ireland on the grand 70mm film format, a luxury typically reserved for classic epics like Lawrence of Arabia and 2001: A Space Odyssey. But Hutchins was doing so with only a small skeleton crew and a fraction of the typical Hollywood budget. The results are some of the most strikingly beautiful images of her career.
Upon their return to Los Angeles, the pair began assembling their footage in order to showcase the project within the industry and raise financing for the remainder of the film’s production in the United States. Hutchins’ last text to Hauck was letting him know she’d taken a gig shooting a Western in New Mexico and would be away for a few months but was excited to get back to work on AL’s BRAND upon her return. Sadly, of course, Hutchins never returned from the gig on Rust.
After news of the tragedy hit, Hauck took time away from the film, writing a novel and several short stories as well as getting back to his roots as a songwriter. Now Hauck is ready to return to AL’s BRAND and finish what he and Hutchins started. Part of that journey is making sure the world knows something more about the woman he considered his closest collaborator.
“I hope the song does her justice,” Hauck added, “and I hope maybe some better singers than me might take it up, make it their own, and help spread the word about the fascinating human being we lost last year.”
“Halyna Hutchins“ is now available for streaming or download on Spotify, Apple Music, and wherever music is streamed or sold. Full lyrics and production credits are available on Bandcamp.
Halyna Hutchins was a Ukrainian filmmaker and journalist who worked on more than 30 films. She graduated from the American Film Institute Conservatory in 2015. In 2018 she was one of the first eight cinematographers chosen to participate in the Fox DP Lab program. In 2019 she was named one of ten “Rising Stars of Cinematography” by American Cinematographer magazine.
Following her death, Hutchins was awarded honorary membership into the prestigious American Society of Cinematographers.
She is survived by her husband Matt and her son Andros.
Dennis Hauck wrote, produced, and directed the film Too Late staring Academy Award nominee John Hawkes. The film was hailed as “a masterwork” by the LA Times, “a dazzling debut” by Village Voice, and was a New York Times Critics’ Pick. He has received the Kodak Auteur Award in recognition of “unparalleled talent as a filmmaker and devotion to motion picture film.”
He is currently in production on the 70mm Victorian revenge saga AL’s BRAND and is represented by attorney Marc Von Arx of Nelson Davis LLP.
Ivette García Dávila
SOURCE Dennis Hauck