The Feb. 20 death of ‘Vampire Diaries’ crew member Sarah Jones, who was hit by a train while filming scenes for the film ‘Midnight Rider,’ has affected the industry worldwide, and now the prestigious International Cinematographers Guild is holding a candlelight vigil in her honor.
27-year-old Sarah Jones died tragically and senselessly on the set of the film Midnight Rider, and now that the international campaign to honor her memory and raise awareness of on-set safety has grabbed the nation’s attention, the industry’s best and brightest are holding a candlelight vigil in her honor.
Sarah Jones’ Candlelight Vigil — Industry Gathers To Honor Fallen ‘Vampire Diaries’ Crew Member
Vampire Diaries producer Caroline Dries was right — the Slates For Sarah campaign went above and beyond getting Sarah’s name included in the Oscars “In Memoriam” tribute. (Though it was pretty amazing that that happened.)
HollywoodLife.com‘s sister site Deadline reports that the International Cinematographers Guild will honor Sarah on Friday, March 7, with a candlelight vigil held in Los Angeles. Sarah’s parents, Elizabeth and Richard Jones, will fly from South Carolina to attend the event. The following day, the Society of Camera Operators (SOC) Awards Celebration will also honor Sarah in a yearly event at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.
“I hope that the lesson the industry takes from this awful tragedy is that there can be no short cuts in the workplace. A person’s life is infinitely more important than a production’s schedule or budget,” said ICG president Steven Poster in a statement announcing the vigil. “Safety has to be the number one priority in our industry.”
The candlelight walk will take place on Hollywood’s iconic Sunset Blvd, and many union members are expected to be in attendance to show solidarity. This all comes mere days after the March 2 Oscars, where several black ribbons were worn in Sarah’s honor — one of them by Glenn Freemantle, who won an Academy Award that night for Gravity.
Sarah Jones’ Death Raising Awareness For On-Set Safety
Sarah’s death has struck a cord for a number of reasons — like, for example, because she was ridiculously young and this never should have happened — but TVD producer Dries explains that the fight to honor her memory worldwide is largely about increasing on-set safety.
“Yes, [the cast and crew] would like to have her name at the Oscars’ ‘In Memoriam’ section,” Caroline says. “But more so, [the campaign] is about awareness about Sarah specifically… and also, more awareness about set safety. [It’s about] having the leadership roles on set really step up and say ‘no.’ What we said to the crew the day after we learned [about Sarah’s death] was ‘no shot will ever be as important as you, as your friends, as your family… as you are as people. This is not the end of the world. This job will never be the end of the world. You are always the most important person; the most important thing.’”
HollywoodLife.com sends thoughts and prayers to Sarah’s family and friends as they process her loss. Additionally, we hope that her death will inspire crews to increase their on-set safety practices so that a tragedy like this will never happen again.
— Shaunna Murphy