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S Harber

A very bad day in GA

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MF: " clearly there was no permission granted to be on these railroad tracks, and it appears that the locations department, in emails, informed and advised production management properly to that effect "

The reporting seems to be leaning that way, but I'd still allow that it is not clearly, specifically confirmed...

as for the internal communication of the production, that is, IMO less clear, though Itend to believe there is a chance that somewhere along the line someone considered the specifics of the shoot too trivial for further, er,  formalities..

 

and of course this is not a Georgia problem, it is a set safety issue.

We all can, and should learn from this tragedy

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  • Cover Up (1985). While waiting for an episode filming to resume, actor Jon-Erik Hexum played Russian roulette with a .44 Magnum loaded with a blank. The gunshot fractured his skull and caused massive cerebral hemorrhaging when bone fragments were forced through his brain. He was rushed to Beverly Hills Medical Center, where he was pronounced brain dead.[31]

There's strong evidence that he was brain dead at the point when he decided it would be a fun thing to fire a blank into his skull.

 

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Here's a fascinating list of film accidents/deaths from the 1920's thru present day:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_film_accidents

 

very nice. but what's the point? 

 

btw, some really ugly accidents that happened in India are not covered - just because the India-centric stuff seems to have been picked up from some gossip channel/strip/whatever. 

 

-vin

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vin doesn't see a point.

 

The production business has historically taken lots of risks, resulting in accidents or death. Crewpeople, especially young ones,  often take risks because they don't want to fail at their task, or be perceived as dispassionate in their craft. 

 

In any industry, people sometimes cut corners, and make stupid decisions that cause accidents and loss of life. 

 

Maybe you could draw the conclusion that some industries are inherently dangerous, and have many rigorous standards in place to prevent accidents, and some industries have little accountability, or are just beginning to notice there's a problem.  

 

Generally, Is India a safer place to work than the U.S, or is it the other way around? Maybe that's beside the point.

 

Maybe you could wonder why this most recent tragedy seems to have drawn more outrage than prior film tragedies.  Had the victim been lower on the food chain (than the holy camera dept,) or a maybe a homeless guy sleeping under the trestle, would there have been any less outrage than we've seen here?

 

If this accident had happened in any other industry, would people be signing petitions and starting facebook pages? If this accident had happened in India, would they be signing petitions?  Would any of us in the West have noticed or cared?

 

Maybe you could draw the conclusion that some parts of the world have different workplace safety standards than others (...you almost made that point yourself, vin...)

 

 

As long as I can remember, "Cinematic Immunity" has been an industry catchphrase. From illegal parking, to filming on active train tracks.   It is part of the arrogance this industry holds because it thinks everybody's impressed with our important work. Any industry, the stakes are high, hasty decisions are made, sometimes with tragic results. It seems to me the "fascinating" entertainment industry, that has everyone's attention, acts with a great deal of impunity. When an injustice occurs, this same industry also tends to display the most outrage.

 

Except maybe for politicians. Politicians act with impunity and are easily outraged, too.  At least politicians don't give themselves so many awards. 

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As long as I can remember, "Cinematic Immunity" has been an industry catchphrase. From illegal parking, to filming on active train tracks.   It is part of the arrogance this industry holds because it thinks everybody's impressed with our important work. Any industry, the stakes are high, hasty decisions are made, sometimes with tragic results. It seems to me the "fascinating" entertainment industry, that has everyone's attention, acts with a great deal of impunity. The same industry also tends to display the most outrage when injustice has occured. Except maybe for politicians, those guys act with impunity and like to be outraged, too.  At least politicians don't give themselves so many awards. 

 

Same goes for the TV business! Hasty and stupid decisions are made by stressed out and sometimes inexperienced crew members.

 

I'm not in the film making business so I can't imagine all the people involved onset, but I'm well acquainted with time-pressed schedules filming documentaries and TV-shows.

 

I've stopped people from climbing onto roofs and camera men from backing into busy traffic and I've been lucky myself on some occasions when safety has been neglected on my behalf.

 

And it's still important (and mandatory) to use seat belts, even if you're working with film or TV.

 

Mental note to self - Keep watching each others back and always take precautions when filming in potentially dangerous situations.

 

No picture is worth the safety of human lives or animals!

 

 

Stay safe

Fred

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Hey, at least Ms. Jones' friends and co-workers can take a little solace in this during the Oscars last night...

 

sarah-jones.jpg

 

I'm hoping her death will make a difference, and maybe help some producers and directors stop for a moment, think, and then say, "wait a minute -- this might not be safe. Let's go over this one more time." Sometimes, 1 extra minute of prep can make all the difference in the world.

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Marc: "Hey, at least Ms. Jones' friends and co-workers can take a little solace in this during the Oscars last night... "

of course, quite meaningful for friends, family, and folks in the biz; but barely a passing name on the way to a commercial (aka snack) break, as the millions  of "civilians" watching have absolutely no idea...

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Very sad, very thorough story in today's Hollywood Reporter:

 

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/midnight-rider-accident-sarah-jones-death-gregg-allman-685976

 

sarah_jones_train_tracks_inset.jpg

 

train_embed.jpeg

 

Many, many fingers pointing on this one. Some of the most alarming facts in the story:

 

CSX, the Florida-based railway company that owns the tracks, easement and trestle where Jones died, told the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office in the early hours of the investigation that it never granted Midnight Rider’s producers permission to film on the tracks in the first place.
 
“According to the CSX employee,” Sgt. Ben Robertson wrote in a report obtained by the media, “the production company had previously been denied permission to film on the trestle, and there was electronic correspondence to verify that fact.” Robertson’s report noted that a member of Miller’s crew, when asked whether permission was granted, replied, “It’s complicated.”
 
Miller, who has engaged noted Savannah defense attorney Donnie Dixon, declined through a New York public relations firm to provide specifics about what safety precautions were taken. Other senior managers on the film, including the line producer, first assistant director and location manager, did not respond to requests for comment. Lee Donaldson, a friend of Jones and a local Georgia union official, put it bluntly. “It’s not complicated; you either have permission or you don’t.”
 
Several Hollywood producers question whether there were shortcuts or oversights in the production. “Every train, every airplane, every airport, every shoot I’ve ever done, there’s always been a coordinator that you hire on your staff to coordinate it all, to communicate to crew, to any train operators, linemen, whatever,” says Harry Bring, a producer of one of the first television shows Jones worked on, Lifetime’s Army Wives. Gilliard says she saw no such officials. “It doesn’t seem like precautions and procedures, both legal and common sense, were taken,” adds Bring. “If they didn’t have permission to be on the tracks, why in the hell were they there?”

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That list of accidents is just the reported ones and would grow exponentially if all were reported. Especially stunts around crew. It also does not show the tv accidents like the insert car that flipped over on Dukes of Hazzard's TV filming where crew were killed.

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In hopes of making something good come from this tragedy, and to honor her memory, there is some conversation in this market to a constructive memorial act.

 

We are proposing to name the first shot of the day "the Jonesy," and to make a point of it following a start of day meeting on the set, where prior to rehersal, we discuss the day's plan, all safety concerns, and all safety protocols.

 

This would involve having a safety meeting at the head of every day, not just stunt/effect days

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In hopes of making something good come from this tragedy, and to honor her memory, there is some conversation in this market to a constructive memorial act.

 

We are proposing to name the first shot of the day "the Jonesy," and to make a point of it following a start of day meeting on the set, where prior to rehersal, we discuss the day's plan, all safety concerns, and all safety protocols.

 

This would involve having a safety meeting at the head of every day, not just stunt/effect days

And not having people sign a sheet saying they attended a safety meeting when none took place....

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I did some work on a high speed rail line years ago and we were told if you hear the train its to late, you won't be injured you'll be ended. We had to pay attention to specific railroad provided workers who were on the track with their only job being to keep us safe.

I think they had whistles and maybe airhorns to warn us if I remember correctly. That safety meeting always stuck with me.

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Not likely to garner much attention/sympathy is the engineer of that train. If not informed of a potential presence there..what an awful vision to watch unfold...helplessly.

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Rich,

You are right on there... definitely a victim as well.... and what about Gregg Allman himself? 

Certainly there is unfortunate association, for him, to this tragic event.

MF

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Mirror   

Rich,

You are right on there... definitely a victim as well.... and what about Gregg Allman himself? 

Certainly there is unfortunate association, for him, to this tragic event.

MF

 

Not to mention Duane Allman... he has to live with it too...

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Daily Variety article on Sarah Jones: " As the train that would kill her bore down on Sarah Jones, she did what a well-trained camera tech is supposed to do: protect the camera gear. That’s the kind of dedication friends and co-workers had come to expect from Jones. The South Carolina native was an intern on “Army Wives” after college, and quickly became the most popular member of the show’s crew. "

http://variety.com/2014/biz/news/sarah-jones-epitaph-dedication-on-the-job-and-a-joy-for-life-1201129628/

 

and this article, also new:

discusses safety on set, and industry response to the tragedy, and the growing "We are ALL Sarah Jones" set safety movement...and " calling the first shot of the day “the Jonesy, "

Producers, constantly wanting more for le$$ frequently cut corners while they  talk the "safety" talk, but... do they really walk the "safety" walk ??

the DGA says: "... those ultimately responsible for ensuring a safe set are the employers. "

one experienced observer: " “ there is an inherent problem when it comes to the multiple duties assigned to assistant directors....It’s a conflict of interest to have an a.d., who is in charge of scheduling and shooting (and) looking out for the director’s best interest” to be responsible for crew safety, "

" OSHA, which tracks accidents on sets within the U.S., reveals that there have been 73 “catastrophic accidents” — i.e., incidents that have resulted in serious injuries — from 2003 to 2012. "

" The crew was told it would have 60 seconds to get off the track once it heard a train whistle, but ended up having only around 30 seconds, not enough time to clear themselves from the bridge — or the bed from the tracks. "

http://variety.com/2014/biz/news/midnight-rider-accident-leaves-the-industry-pondering-the-fatal-flaws-in-on-set-safety-1201129615/

Edited by studiomprd

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