EXCLUSIVE: Joyce Gilliard, the hair stylist who was seriously injured in the train accident that killed camera assistant Sarah Jones on the first day of shooting Midnight Rider in 2014, has written and produced a short film about safety on the set. The 40-minute film, Daddy’s Home, will launch on YouTube and other social media platforms on February 20 – the sixth anniversary of the accident.
Watch the trailer above.
“Daddy’s Home follows the life of a film industry crew member who loves his job but tries to juggle working consistently long hours and being home with his family, and the toll it can take if safety precautions are not taken,” Gilliard said. “It allows the viewer to understand the sacrifices many cast and crew members take to bring their favorite movies to the big screen.”
“Daddy’s Home will be the first of several short films I will produce that will bring perspective to the challenges crew member face daily, as well as resolutions so that tragedy never happens again,” Gilliard said. “Everyone deserves the right to work, be safe and go home.”
Gilliard will host a private screening Saturday in Atlanta.
Produced by Crimson Hill Entertainment, the film was directed by Gary Anthony Sturgis and stars Charles Malik Whitfield, Noelle Jackson, sisters Ariana and Eden Rivera.
“I hope when people see the film it will help them keep safety awareness in their thoughts as they go about their daily lives at work,” she told Deadline. “I’m hoping that this film will help crew members look at things differently and make conscious decisions so that everyone can continue to work, be safe and go home.”
Gilliard is an IATSE journeyman hair stylist who founded iSafe! TV & Film after she was nearly killed when a freight train came through the trestle set of Midnight Rider on February 20, 2014, in Jesup, GA. Her co-worker Jones was killed instantly, and several other crew members also were injuried. Midnight Rider never was completed, and its director, Randall Miller, served a year in jail after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass on the railroad trestle where the accident occurred.
Gilliard’s left arm was struck by the train and broken in half. She was airlifted to the nearest trauma hospital and had reconstructive surgery. She still has metal plates and screws in her arm and was told by doctors during recovery that she’d never style hair again. She proved them wrong, however, and has since worked on numerous films and TV shows, including the recently released The Last Full Measure and the upcoming Jungle Cruise.
In 2018, on the fourth anniversary of the accident, she wrote and produced a PSA about the dangers of long workdays and drowsy driving.