Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Sarah Elizabeth Jones

Really gave up being a tragedy addict.

But this event, hits so close and so hard. I can't shake the shamefulness of it, the tragic nature of it, the culpability we all share for it, and the need for change it arouses.

I did not know Sarah.  But the 2nd AC and I spend A LOT of time together on set, and I can tell from the pictures and posts about her that she would've quickly gone up to the top of my favorites list.  I worked on a movie in North Carolina and know how close the crews are in NC, SC, and GA - they are tight like family; I know people I have worked with are grieving mightily right now.

Most importantly this should never have happened.

More importantly, perhaps, is that as crews, we are constantly compromising our safety during production. It is surprising that these types of events don't happen more often. (It's impossible to call  this an accident.)

Haskell Wexler's documentary Who Needs Sleep begs to be watched or re-watched in this moment.

We all need to get clear about our priorities and stop pretending we are indispensable superheroes.  We are so not. Safety first - not last.


I'm weighing in as a production person here, but I've also weighed in as a poet.


(Pix are from Slates for Sarah on FB. The one just above is a mosaic of all the slates pictures people have posted!)

POST OSCAR UPDATE:  Wow - was amazing to see so many wearing ribbons on the broadcast!  The campaign has now moved over to A Pledge to Sarah - please visit the website or FB page to take the pledge for safety!


Terry McCarty said...

My one degree of separation from Randall Miller was less than a handful of days of PA work ( primarily for the producer) on this AFI second-year project which Miller expanded into a feature years later:

Sad to be reading about Sarah's tragic death and hoping needed safety reforms regarding filming in "right-to-work" states happen as a result.

E. Amato said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Terry.

This does not in any way have only to do with right to work states - this is industry-wide in the US.

As far as I know, this was a union show.