Last Thursday, February 20, near Jesup, Georgia, a young cinematographer, Sarah Elizabeth Jones, 27, was killed during the filming of the Greg Allman biopic, “Midnight Rider”. Filming was being done without permission on the tracks of a train trestle. A freight train came unexpectedly. Seven film crew members were injured and Jones was killed.
According to WTOC, “We have also learned there wasn’t a full tech scout, which is when production goes to the location to discuss the shoot before the day they actually plan to shoot. Union reps say it wasn’t a scheduled shooting day and no set medic or railroad safety officer was on set when 7 people were seriously hurt and Jones was killed”. http://ow.ly/u9V2A
In the week since the accident, the film industry has been in an uproar. But they’ve also come together as a family to mourn and show their respect and love for Jones, including a petition to have The Academy acknowledge this tragedy during The Academy Awards this evening. The petition has over 61,000 signatures. The ceremonies are about to begin. Let’s hope they were paying attention.
Jones was working as a second camera assistant. Part of her duties included presenting the “slate” with the time, scene number and other information, at the beginning of filming of a scene. Friends and family have set up a Facebook page, Slates for Sarah, where hundreds of photos of slates remembering Jones have been posted. This page already has more than 62,000 likes and grows by the minute.
There is also a Twitter account, @SlatesForSarah, where 1550 others are tweeting remembrances.
This incredible outpouring of love and support, from an industry that those of us on the outside might think of as cold and aloof, has really touched my heart. Making a movie should never be the reason a person to lose her life. Hopefully, the death of Jones will help improve safety while filming. My thought are with her family and friends.
Donations in Jones’ honor can be made to BC Education Foundation, Sarah Jones Scholarship Fund c/o Brookland-Cayce High School 1300 State Street, Cayce, SC 29033.
Everyone be careful and look out for each other.