Sometimes, safety becomes secondary.
Sometimes, in the name of the shot, in the name of budget, safety isn’t the top concern on a movie set.
But after 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones was hit and killed by a freight train last year on the set of “Midnight Rider” - a biopic on musician Gregg Allman's life – her friends and family have been working to change that.
Richard and Elizabeth Jones introduced a Safety for Sarah PSA during the Sundance Film Festival that urges viewers to make safety more important in the film industry.
“It’s time to take a stand,” director David Lynch said in the PSA. “To make safety our new No. 1 priority,” actor Jack Black followed.
The PSA directed viewers to the PledgetoSarah.org web site where they could download the Set Safety app. The app provides users with safety hotlines and has a function for entering in time card information – to aid in the fight against unsafe and long hours.
“We have to be our own safety net because we are the only ones there in the moment. We need to be willing to speak up, speak loud, and more importantly support others in doing so. Because no one should ever die making a movie,” the site reads.
After the death of Jones, OSHA cited Film Allman LLC of Pasadena, Calif. for one willful and one serious safety violation for exposing employees to struck-by and fall hazards.
"Employers are responsible for taking the necessary precautions to protect workers' health and safety, and the entertainment industry is no exception," Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels said in the citation. "It is unacceptable that Film Allman LLC knowingly exposed their crew to moving trains while filming on a live track and railroad trestle."