Steven Poster, International Cinematographers Guild, who helped organize the vigil shortly after Sarah Jones death last year and whose members launched a safety app to report on-set safety violations, just released a statement on the Midnight Rider case. The film’s director Randall Miller pled guilty to criminal trespassing and involuntary manslaughter and is tonight starting the first night of two years in the Wayne County Jail. He will serve another 8 years on probation. The 27 year-old camera assistant was an ICG member at the time of her death on the Doctortown train trestle outside of Jesup, GA. Several other crew members were also injured that day.
“There were no winners today,” said in his statement. “Randall Millers sentencing in the case involving the tragic death of IATSE Local 600 camera assistant Sarah Jones is nothing to be happy about. But the quick conclusion to the case does provide some small sense of closure following last years tragedy, and helps continue the healing process for Jones family, friends, and fellow crew members.
We cannot comment on the specifics of the legal proceedings, but we hope this sentencing sends a message to everyone in the industry that the safety measures already in place must be followed at all times. No movie or TV show is worth a life, which is why Safety on Set is our highest priority as a union.
“We hope this message gets out to everybody in production — from student or low-budget films to major productions — and that workers recognize their rights to a safe set and safe working conditions at all times. We also hope all crew members will now feel empowered to speak out against unsafe working conditions. Thats why we developed our new safety app that includes the industry-wide safety bulletins and safety hotline numbers. We encourage workers to remember the spirit of Sarah and exercise those rights.”