The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees seems to be following the lead of their Local 600 (the International Cinematographers Guild) in attempting to make a change for the better in regards to industry safety. In a letter dated February 19 written by International president Matthew Loeb, he says: “It has come to my attention that there is interest in the creation of an industry-wide safety hotline for IATSE members … it is a worthy idea and we plan to implement a single hotline accessible to all of the industries we represent.” The decision comes a year after the death of 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones a year ago in Georgia on the set of Midnight Rider.
This follows two other attempts to provide an easier means to report safety violations or unsafe working conditions. Local 600 (the ICG) last year launched their own “ICG Safety” app to help members anonymously report unsafe working conditions on film and TV sets. Jones was an ICG member. In addition, a “Set Safety” app was released last year by a group of anonymous industry professionals. Both provide an anonymous way to report concerns.
The details of the IATSE hotline are not known, but many members have told Deadline in the past that reporting really has to be anonymous or people will likely not report out of fear of retaliation and loss of wages. Loeb said in his letter details about the hotline would be forthcoming.
The news comes less than a month before the supervising filmmakers on the ill-fated production of Midnight Rider — director Randall Miller, his wife/producer Jody Savin, exec producer/unit production manager Jay Sedrish and first assistant director Hillary Schwartz — go on trial in Georgia to face criminal trespass and manslaughter charges for the death of Jones.