An accident nearly took the life of a Savannah College of Art and Design student Saturday. Darryl Goins was filming a suicide scene for a class project when he accidentally hanged himself. The freshman student is in serious condition.
While students and staff are saddened by the news, they're also wondering just what went wrong. News of the accident spread quickly around SCAD. Projects are nothing new for film students at Hamilton Hall, but some are wondering how Goins' suicide scene got so out of hand.
"I wonder how many people were there and why was nobody supporting the kid, why was this not scripted?" asked Jaime Wolff, a senior film student.
Goins and three other students were filming the scene on Cromwell Road on Wilmington Island early Saturday morning when they decided to change the way the suicide was depicted, showing Goins hanging himself instead.
Fellow students say the last-minute change was a tragic mistake. "I think they should have figured out a different way to act it out or show it on screen," said freshman film student Patrick Sculley.
"You can't just go out of the blue and do a stunt," said Wolff. "You have to actually practice. There needs to be weeks of practice."
Students are supposed to get their scripts approved before they can begin filming. But the suicide scene was changed without the professor's knowledge. "The college was unaware of this scene, and it wasn't a scene that was approved previous to filming," said dean of students Geoffrey Jowett.
Filming a scene takes time and planning, two things that could have prevented the accident from happening. "Camera tricks are possible," said Wolff. "Anything is possible. There is proper procedure, proper planning, anything last minute in film is not the right way to do it."
"Doing your own stunts without a professional crew or instruction is not usually a good idea," said Sculley.
It's a lesson learned the hard way.
Goins is listed in serious condition at Memorial Health. SCAD officials say they sent out a letter telling people about the accident in hopes of preventing this type thing from happening again.
They do not plan to punish any of the students involved in this film as of right now.