Local retired filmmaker provides perspective on ‘Rust’ fatal shooting

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – There are new developments in the deadly shooting on a movie set in New Mexico.

ABC News reports ‘live’ ammunition was found on the set of the movie ‘Rust.’

A former first assistant director in the film industry and gun expert who makes his home in Mason County has reacted to the shooting that left a cinematographer dead and the director wounded when a prop gun went off.

Joel Segal and his wife Peggy Parker live on a farm in Mays Lick. Before that, they each worked on numerous Hollywood productions.

Between ‘Terms of Endearment,’ ‘Empire Records’ and Michael Jackson’s music video for ‘Bad,’ Segal worked his way up to first assistant director on a variety of projects. Combine that with his experience as a gun shop owner, the news of what happened on the production of ‘Rust’ hit him hard.

“I’m really angered by it, because it was so easy to prevent and it’s easy to say that after the fact,” said Segal.

Investigations are ongoing in the shooting death of Halyna Hutchins, the director of photography on the film.

Actor Alec Baldwin was practicing drawing his prop gun when it went off, killing Hutchens and wounding the director.

Segal and his wife, who’s a prop master, worked with Baldwin on 1994’s remake of ‘The Getaway.’ They believe the incident will have a major impact on the actor who they described as “very caring” and “very good at what he does.”

“Christ, he might need therapy,” Segal stated. “I mean, who wouldn’t after shooting someone that dies, even if it’s an accident. It’s tragic and he will never be the same, I guarantee you.”

Segal did not place blame on anyone involved in the production, but did offer his thoughts on what could have gone wrong between how the firearm was given to Baldwin and how a live round should not have been on set at all.

“The bottom line is it should not have happened,” said Segal. “It was an enormous departure from accepted protocols.”

Beyond that, this latest example of a movie set death could impact how the film industry handles using firearms, especially with today’s special effects technology.

“This incident – they may change some of the rules,” Segal shared. “And why not? Why not do it in post production. It may cost a little bit more, but nobody dies.”

A California state lawmaker is introducing legislation that would ban live ammunition and firearms from all movie sets and theatrical productions in that state – all in the name of safety.

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