11:36am PT by Carolyn Giardina
Memorial Campaign Launched on Anniversary of Sarah Jones' Death
The International Cinematographers Guild (Local 600) and Local 479 (Studio Mechanics) are kicking off a memorial campaign to honor Sarah Jones, the camera assistant who was killed one year ago on Feb. 20 when she was struck by a train in Georgia while filming Midnight Rider.
“Spirit of Sarah” calls for production crews worldwide to take a moment of silence for Jones on Friday before making the first production shot of the day, now known as “the Jonesy.”
They are also asked to incorporate the “Spirit of Sarah” message on their slates for the day, and post their photos as well as videos and remembrances on social media sites dedicated to promoting safety. In addition to the Facebook pages run by Local 600 and Local 479, the effort includes We Are Sarah Jones, Pledge to Sarah, and PSA: Production Safety Awareness websites.
Sarah’s parents, Richard and Elizabeth Jones, said in a statement: “This Friday, Feb. 20th, marks the one year anniversary of our daughter’s death. ... No shot, no scene, no movie or television show is more important than someone's life. Please do not let this happen to another father, sister, brother, friend or co-worker. Our loss is still great, but knowing that we have come together as one, helps us day by day to remember Sarah and the positive outlook she had on life, her dedication to her work and her love for those around her."
The complete video statement is on YouTube.
Spokespersons from Local 600 and Local 479 issued a joint statement that reads: “We are very pleased to support the outpouring of concern over safety, regardless of where it originates, as crews must feel safe on the set. These grassroots groups started in the region where Sarah Jones was working and are dedicated to the vision of Safety on Set that we, as a union, promote 24/7.”
ICG has also launched SOS: Safety on Set, an initiative to communicate established safety practices and training programs through member communications including its website, internal publications and an ICG Safety app.
Midnight Rider's director Randall Miller, producer Jody Savin, executive producer Jay Sedrish and first assistant director Hillary Schwartz are set to face involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass charges related to the accident at a trial that is scheduled to begin on March 9.