Much of the world was shocked by Halyna Hutchins, the filmmaker and producer of Rust in New Mexico, in October 2021.
However, this was not the only undertaking that the 42-year-old Ukrainian DP had been working on at the time of her death. Hutchins joined director Dennis Hauck in Ireland for the production of a still-untitled 19th century period piece. Now, Hauck is attempting to complete the work they started together.
In a phone conversation with IndieWire, Hauck said she was sure to be one of those people who lived and breathed filmmaking. She had no ego. She just wanted to talk to everybody and learn all she could.
Hauck, who previously directed John Hawkes in the 2015 detective drama Too Late, is as the only producer of his second feature, but described Hutchins as a key collaborator. He is currently seeking financing to film the remaining scenes in the United States, hoping to cast additional supporting roles.
Hauck said he was doing something under the radar. I never expected anyone to be interested until the film was finished. One day were going to finish it, and it''s really great for people to see her work.
According to the director, this rare contemporary film that is 70mm once projected depicts a woman who flees Victorian Ireland and must survive as a bounty hunter along the harsh terrain of the American frontier. Hauck said that while there was a revenge element, I wanted to explore more nuanced notions of the way men treat women, and the way we all treat each other.
Hauck wasn''t sure about a title for the project, but for the time being, he was refering to it as the Untitled 70mm Halyna Hutchins Project.
A nearly 20-minute loop has been made from the initial shoot with Hutchins. In a clip shared with IndieWire, the filmmaker witness a dramatic outdoor duel between two men. The verdant backdrop and period-appropriate attire give a unique touch to a playfully comic sequence with echoes of Barry Lyndon. Hauck was hoping to wreak havoc on the project because we did not have all of the funding, and we still failed. Hauck has now made a donation
Hauck became a DP member in an American cinematographer in 2019 after seeing her on the market for six weeks. They flew into the same house for much of that time and worked with the film in a low-budget context. She even experimented with a homemade rig to hold the heavy camera before deciding to carry it herself for a handheld application.
Desmond Eastwood, one of the two main actors who appeared in the Ireland scenes, said that she really wanted to fulfill her potential. It was really contagious. You could just tell how much she enjoyed it, but it was just rubbed off on you.
Grainne Good, who stars in the film, said that she forged a strong connection with Hutchins over the course of the shoot. It was my first time working with a female DP, and it was unbelievable. When we were done filming, wed have dinner in the evening and shed be chatting with me about her ideas, but we are still having a little moment. She just wanted to capture these little moments.
Hutchins shared her fondness while on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle. She really had that ability of someone you meet once and never forget, Eastwood said. She had a platinum blonde haircut and was really cool. Hauck appeared. She was somewhat rock n roll, according to the cast.
Hauck last heard from Hutchins before she started production on Rust, and said she had planned to use it as a tool to research possible settings for their own project, since some of the script sew on the Western border. She said, "We will be doing a Western here, and that would be beneficial for us."
The hours of footage shot in Ireland are sufficient to complete the second passage of the film, a breakback that takes place five years prior to the rest of the plot. Obviously, we''d have to bring someone else on as a DP to finish the film, but it won''t be one of those cases when you won''t be sure who shot what, according to Hauck. The entire Ireland chapter is a self-contained endeavor, so everyone will know its work.
Hauck was first confused if he could proceed with the project, but didnt share any ideas with Hutchins to discuss the next steps. He said there wasnt a ton of time to get to know each other friend circles. I felt like I had a personal relationship with her, but no one else I knew really knew her.
He kept an eye on Hutchins'' widower Matt Hutchins before seeing him at a memorial service organized by the American Society of Cinematographers. He encouraged Hauck to finish the project, and the filmmaker said he was working to ensure that residuals from the film would support her family.
Matt Hutchins expressed his support for the film in an statement issued to IndieWire. He said Halyna was pleased with her work on it, and she would want to see the project completed.
On the internet, Hauck was defying the coverage of the Rust shooting incident, and becoming increasingly depressed by the sensationality of the coverage. He said, however, you spend all of this time reading about her, regardless of whether or not Alec Baldwin is involved in a lawsuit. You just wish there were more discussions about her as a filmmaker and as a person.
Good, who has since been cast in Anthony and Joe Russos'' upcoming Amazon series Citadel, said she continued to work on this project. Halyna had so many great ideas for this project, so it''s difficult to visualize it without her, but that work should still be shown, according to Good. I believe she truly believed in the project, and I feel it our duty to continue the work for her.
Haucks'' bare-bones approach has limited his ability to seek additional financing, but he said he will attend the Toronto International Film Festival this fall to meet with potential supporters there. Right now, he says, he is committed to working with other people on it. We just wanted to keep things simple.
After Hutchins'' death, she was reintroduced into the American Society of Cinematographers. One day, it will be up on the big screen, Hauck said. I think this is some of her most impressive work, and it will go viral.