EXCLUSIVE: Filmmakers Eric Smith (Boston’s Finest) and Christopher Crescitelli (Experience Montreaux 3D) are putting together a feature-length documentary about Sarah Jones’ life, death and subsequent impact of safety in Hollywood. The 27-year-old camera assistant, died on a train trestle on February 20, 2014 when she was working on the film Midnight Rider. Her death spawned a movement across the country about set safety and launched a criminal investigation which resulted in the involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass guilty pleas from three of the supervising crew members. The documentary, entitled We Are Sarah Jones, has the endorsement of Sarah’s parents Elizabeth and Richard Jones.
“We had several outfits come to us wanting to do a documentary and after talking to various ones, we felt that were some people involved in this one that knew Sarah personally. We felt that their intent and heart were in the right place, so we stand behind this effort,” Richard Jones told Deadline.
“I feel as though there has been a number of safety instances over the years that the industry needs to focus on, and Sarah’s death galvanized the industry in focusing on this issue,” Smith told Deadline. “We want to keep Sarah’s memory alive and show the film industry that her death was not in vain and there are many people focused on keeping the topic of set safety in the forefront.”
They plan to start shooting by the middle of the summer and will first launch a crowdfunding campaign. Both Smith and Crescitelli promise that 100% of any proceeds from the film will go to support the Sarah Jones Film Foundation.
“Eric and I were in a post-production control room when we got the news about Sarah’s death. We were both deeply affected. Having grown up in Georgia and worked in the region, we felt a call to action,” said Crescitelli. “We both felt that we were on the same path that she was on once upon a time. Coming from Georgia and blazing a path to Hollywood, so it was very similar.”
An interesting side note: The Safety For Sarah logo can be seen at the end of the film Furious 7; Jones worked on the film prior to the death of its star Paul Walker.