UPDATE, 4:03 PM: Richard Jones, father of Sarah Jones – the 27-year-old camera assistant killed two years ago on the Georgia set of Randall Miller’s Midnight Rider – tells Deadline he would like a face-to-face meeting with German filmmaker Werner Herzog in response to the director’s comments that he teaches students “rogue” filmmaking techniques. Jones will be in Los Angeles next month for a September 25 Safety For Sarah walkathon, kicking off at the Santa Monica Pier, to benefit the Sarah Jones Film Foundation, an organization that fosters on-set safety through awareness and accountability.
“I would like to sit down with him next month and tell him about Sarah’s story,” Jones said, “and maybe he can help me understand as a filmmaker does he have any suggestions on how to film both creatively and safely. These techniques Herzog teaches are exactly what Randall Miller did, which got Sarah killed and others injured. I wonder does he even realize what he’s saying? I’m very easy to get ahold of. I’m in L.A between September 17 and 25.”
PREVIOUS, Sunday AM: The legendary filmmaker/actor Werner Herzog says that traditional film schools are a waste of time and that he has opened his own Rogue Film School that teaches kids how to pick locks and forge documents such as film permits. The German filmmaker was a guest on the Conan O’Brien show Thursday, where he said film school is a waste for those aspiring to a career in film. Herzog said an aspiring filmmaker could learn hands on in a week on a set what would take a student years in school.
“There are too many things that you cannot teach in school and it’s way too long,” said Herzog. “Young people waste two, three years of their lives in the basics of filmmaking you can learn in a week (on set).”
He says he teaches kids how to forge shooting permits and says he teaches “the sacred rite of trespassing. Sometimes you have to take it.”
In light of what occurred on the set of Midnight Rider when Randall Miller and his supervising crew criminally trespassed onto live railroad tracks which resulted in the death of the young camera assistant Sarah Jones and the injury to several others, one cinematographer has decided to speak up against what Herzog is teaching young minds.
“It seems really irresponsible in light of what’s happened with Sarah (Jones) that someone would say this on national television and let them think it’s okay to forge documents and trespass,” said cinematographer James Neihouse. “People get killed doing that.”