American Society of Cinematographers President Richard Crudo says the death of Sarah Jones is a symptom of an industry that is in trouble “spiritually.”
In a letter published on the organization’s website, Crudo writes that the Feb. 20 death of Jones illustrates a “loss of humanity” in society, adding that on today’s soundstages, it is likely that “notions of warmth and common decency will prevail only as long as they can generate cold, hard cash.”
Jones was killed while working as a second camera assistant on the Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider. Crudo asks if members of the industry will respond to her death by bowing their heads for a moment, or if they will effect a real change in her honor.
“As directors of photography, we have always been responsible for the safety of our crews, and it is incumbent upon us to find ways to be more decent and caring not only to them, but also to everyone we know,” he writes. “It won’t always be easy; at times, it will run counter to initial impulses. But if our example proves worthy, it might make a start toward curing the spiritual sickness I have described. It would also stand as the most profound tribute any of us could offer to the memory of Sarah Jones.”
Read Crudo’s full letter here.