"Jones was gifted with optimism, a knack for following instructions and a can-do attitude that endeared her to nearly everyone she encountered."
The Hollywood Reporter has published the fullest account yet of the recent disaster at the bridge over the Altamaha River in Georgia where a passing train wreaked carnage on a movie crew filming on the tracks without permission to be there. Seven people were injured, hairstylist Joyce Gilliard severely, and 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Elizabeth Jones lost her life.
The article reports multiple safety and common sense violations on the part of producers and director. Production of the movie, a biopic of Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band, has been suspended, and the Georgia police are investigating the accident as a negligent homicide.
The article was written by Scott Johnson, and it's excellent. Recommended reading, although it's certainly not an easy subject.
(Thanks to Jeffrey Goggin)
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Featured Comments from:
David: "Thank you for the post; it is an excellent article. Absolutely no pun intended, but as the father of a 20+-year-old daughter, I lost it with the last two word of the article. It was just so senseless and avoidable."
George Feucht: "As a crew member on film shoots, I can tell you there are two forces at work which would put us in harm's way:
"First, we have to trust the producers that all the safety details have been worked out. How often does an office employee question the structural integrity of their office building or the air being clear of asbestos? Do you insist on the testing and documents before you start your work day? Of course not. You trust that these things are all taken care of by the powers that be. We film in strange locations all the time and need to have that same trust with each location. I was just filming in a car tunnel. I was told that the street was shut down for us. It was not realistic to go to the city permit office to confirm this. There are so many things that need to be managed by the large team of producers that the crew can't go and double check that everything that was told to them is true.
"Which leads to the second factor: We are hired (or rehired) constantly. We are all freelance and lobbying for our next job one month down the road. You need to have a reputation of being low-maintenance and easy to work with. If you are the annoying squeaky wheel on every show you are on, you won't be hired by those producers any more. They hate it when work is slowed by an individual constantly crying wolf. The tragedy is that sometimes the wolf is real."