EXCLUSIVE: Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins would be shocked and "angry" about her death occurring on a movie set of all places, her friend and fellow filmmaker tells Fox News in an interview.
Jupiter Makins, a writer and director of narrative film in Toronto, Canada, met the late cinematographer through a mutual friend in Los Angeles years ago. "She and I became fast friends and we'd go to Sundance [Film Festival] together each year," Makins said.
Hutchins, who was the 42-year-old victim of the Alec Baldwin shooting that took place on the "Rust" movie set in Santa Fe, New Mexico on Oct. 21, will be remembered by her friend as "an easygoing, fun-loving person who laughed easily."
"I think that was part of her charm," Makins shared. "She was very caring and wanted to see everybody's success. She wasn't selfish with it. If she could help you become more successful in any way she could she would try to put you in contact, make it happen, introduce you to whoever she could."
Hutchins' selfless spirit makes her death all the more painful, Makins said. The Toronto director said Hutchins was a consummate professional on set, not just when it came to camera work but when it came to the importance of safety too.
"She would be angry about it, for sure," Makins said of Hutchins had she known her death would be the result of apparent "negligence."
"She would be questioning the protocols. She was not ever afraid of violence on set. She was a trooper. She would go and get things done. But she's also protective of her crew. If she needed to go to bat for her crew she would go to bat for her crew. She was a fair and honorable person and did things diplomatically," Makins said.
Makins and Hutchins worked on a short film titled "Fallen" together. Makins was just waiting on Hutchins to be available to add the finishing touches – color correcting – to it. Makins said the movie they worked on did not involve any guns on set. However, working side-by-side with Hutchins, Makins realized, "Safety 100% mattered to her."
"It would be out of her character to not care about those things," Makins said when analyzing her death. "Her ears would perk up and she'd chime in if something went wrong. It's so surprising to me. She was very in tune to safety, for sure."
And Hutchins' career in film photography was only getting started. The rising cinematographer had multiple projects to choose from when accepted the gig on "Rust," directed by Joel Souza, who was also injured in last Thursday's shooting. He's since been released from the hospital.
Over the summer, Hutchins talked at length with Makins about the opportunities ahead of her.
"It wasn't the only film that came up. It was the one that she selected. I remember there were really good choices. She talked to me about her choices and I believe in people choosing their own directions and asking them questions to help them make that choice so I didn't choose. But when all this happened I'm like, what if I had just picked a different movie and convinced her? She wouldn't have been on that set. Or what if I didn't get her vaccine certificate to her in time? I'm sure they would have waited for her, but it's all the things that play in your head."
Hutchins also had to do some extra leg work to make sure she'd be able to get to the "Rust" set in time for prep, Makins said.
"The last time I spoke to Halyna she had shot a film in Saskatchewan, [Canada] and she had her second vaccine there and they wouldn't send her vaccine certificate to a U.S. address so she had it mailed to my address. I had to get it to her. I think it was September 7 so she could get on this film," Makins said.
A press conference about the investigation into the on-set shooting is being held by authorities on Wednesday. Like many, Makins believes the tragedy should have never happened and could have been prevented.
"Bare minimum it's negligence. I don't believe it to be an accident. There's just too many things to me that should not have happened," Hutchins' friend said.
Prior to her death, Hutchins and Makins had great plans to create a film set during Burning Man.
"I was going to write the film and direct it and she was going to be the cinematographer and help get funding," Makins said. "Obviously that's not happening right now, which is sad. I'm still going to write it and dedicate it to her."