Savannah film learns from Sarah Jones death - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Set to hold seminar for crew and production staff safety

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The Savannah film community is still mourning the loss of Sarah Jones, a camera operator for the movie "Midnight Rider" who was killed during filming on a Wayne County train track.

Now, Savannah filmmakers are coming out to make sure that this tragic event does not repeat itself by holding a seminar and discussion panel. The event will be done in conjunction with the Savannah Filmmakers Organization and Savannah Women in Film (SWIFT).

The seminar is appropriately being called SAFE-T with the hope that talk will inspire action in the industry. The ultimate goal is to share ways to help protect film crews and production staff.

Phillip Aultman of Savannah Filmmakers said, "What we're trying to do is bring the film community together to come up with some new ways of placing safety on the set. To the newest production assistant all the way up to the most experienced director. We are having people from OSHA and the unions come together for some really nice panels."

This dicussion may have come too late for Jones, but it is the Savannah film industry's hope that taking the safety and security far more seriously will prevent this from ever happening again. In the mean time, Jones' death has triggered more national attention, this time from Rolling Stone.

The iconic pop culture magazine published an article about the fatal train incident which included a text from William Hurt, one of the film's actors.

Hurt recalled being worried about the filming location but was assured the crew would have 60 seconds to clear the tracks. The actor later said, "We didn't have 60 seconds. We had less than 30." Savannah Filmmakers said the national recognition is helpful.

"In our opinion, what it does is push the industry to address this finally, in terms of safety for everyone on set" said Alutman.

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