Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Greg Allman 'Midnight Rider' biopic has been suspended


The Greg Allman biopic that we talked about in early January has been put on hold. The production was suspended after the tragic - and in all likelihood, preventable - death of 27 year old camera assistant Sarah Elizabeth Jones. 

Sarah and a splinter group of cast and crew, including actor William Hurt, were shooting a scene in which a bed straddled the train tracks in Norcross, Georgia. Horrifically a train speeding along those tracks careened through the setup killing Sarah and injuring another dozen and a half cast and crew. 


RIP Sarah Elizabeth Jones 9/22/1986 - 2/20/2014

While Sarah's family, friends and colleagues are grieving - camera crews from film and television productions around the country and the world have been posting Slates for Sarah to honor the young woman on FB and Twitter and there's a movement to include her in this year's Oscar In Memoriam section - the accident raises all kinds of questions about film crews being made to work in dangerous situation without their knowledge. Hopefully the heart-breaking death of Sarah Elizabeth Jones will shine a light on the imperative that safety and welfare be a top priority in film and television production.

Steven Poster, head of the ASC, issued this statement on behalf of the International Cinematographers Guild:
“Local 600’s membership and IATSE members across the country are mourning the loss of Sarah Jones, a 27-year old camera assistant, who died in a tragic accident last Thursday while shooting on the set of “Midnight Rider” in Savannah, Georgia. Sarah was a smart, talented camera assistant with an infectious personality and a promising career ahead of her.”
“When Locals 600 and 491 received the call about the accident on late Thursday afternoon (local time), we immediately sent representatives to the site. We are cooperating with ongoing government investigations including OSHA, and NTSB and the Local Sheriff’s office and we are providing grief counseling for the crew.“
“The safety of our crews is of paramount importance to this union and we will work tirelessly to ensure that a tragedy of this kind never happens again.There is no way we can mitigate the pain and the loss of Sarah. But we hope that something good can come out of this very unfortunate situation. It will surely shape our talks with producers in the future. There will be memorials across the country to honor the memory of beloved member, Sarah Jones.”
An educational foundation is being created in the name of the beautiful young woman. According to Sarah's obituary in the Post and Courier, the family is requesting that donations be made to: BC Education Foundation Sarah Jones Scholarship Fund c/o Brookland-Cayce High School 1300 State Street, Cayce, SC 29033


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