3.21.2015

Director of Midnight Rider Issues Statement from Jail - It is Ultimately My Responsibility

Midnight Rider director Randall Miller recently released a statement taking blame for the tragic but avoidable accident that led to a crewmember, Sarah Jones's death.

From Deadline:
Midnight Rider director Randall Miller, who two weeks ago pleaded guilty to criminal trespass and involuntary manslaughter in the on-set death of 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones.
Jones was killed on a Doctortown train trestle on Feb. 20, 2014 when Miller and supervising filmmakers criminally trespassed and brought their crew onto live train tracks and began shooting. The supervising filmmakers did not tell their crew that they had twice been denied permission by CSX to be on the tracks; they also had no safety meeting beforehand and no medic, nor railroad personnel present on set. The statement from Miller came after a damaging report on ABC’s 20/20 Friday night that interviewed police investigator Joe Gardner and prosecutor John Johnson which clearly spelled out that the supervising crew knew they had no permission and shot on the tracks anyway.
Although in his statement Miller says he has been directing for 25 years with never an accident, the things that he failed to do that led to Jones's death speak to a filmmaker who took unnecessary risks.  It's unlikely that this was his first time. Just that he was able to get away with the risk. 

Don't be like Miller and sacrifice the safety of your cast and crew, unnecessarily so. Directors and Producers out there, like Midnight Rider director Randall Miller admitted: It is ultimately YOUR responsibility to ensure the safety of your crew.

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