Photo: Via Twitter.
Tragedy struck the Savannah set of Midnight Rider last week, when camera assistant Sarah Jones was struck by a train, and succumbed to her injuries. And, with the Academy Awards set to air on Sunday, a petition has been launched to include the late 27-year-old in this year's "In Memoriam" segment.
"Crew members are the unsung heroes of film and television production who work long hours and sometimes very dangerous conditions for the love of filmmaking," the petition reads. "Sarah Elizabeth Jones was one of us.”
To date, the site has more than 17,000 signatures and counting. Jones' tragic death has also spawned a social-media campaign called "Slates for Sarah" in which crew members from around the world have written tribute messages on their film slates, and then posted them to Facebook and Twitter. The campaign also hopes to serve as the impetus for an industry-wide effort to make film sets safer by adding crew members specifically charged with monitoring safety practices.
“We need one person on every set...who knows safety and the rules, does not get a check directly from production, and is not afraid to call anyone out when they are not doing their job," an official statement reads.
Safety on sets has been an ongoing point of contention in the film industry. Despite there often being strict measures in place when dangerous sequences are being shot, on set injuries still occur far too frequently. While movie budgets continue to skyrocket, it's hard to believe that the appropriate funding can't be dedicated towards making film sets as safe as possible. Hopefully this most recent tragedy is a wake up call for the powers that be, and Jones' awful death will result in real and necessary change.
As per the Jones family's request, all donations can be made to the Sarah Jones Scholarship Fund, c/o Brookland-Cayce High School, 1300 State St., Cayce, SC 29033. (Variety)