We Are Sarah Jones is a feature documentary film supported by Richard and Elizabeth Jones, whose daughter was tragically killed during the making of Gregg Allman biographical drama Midnight Rider. The documentary aims to raise awareness on the importance of on-set safety.
On 20 February 2014, 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones was horrifically killed by a train while working on the set of Midnight Rider due to criminal negligence by the producers of the film. The movie, starring William Hurt (Into The Wild), was not even in its first official day of production. Seven other crew members were also hurt, one seriously. Production was suspended the following week and multiple investigations into the incident were undertaken with several yet to be resolved.
Director Randall Miller (Bottle Shock), producer Jody Savin (Bottle Shock), executive producer Jay Sedrish (Paycheck), and first assistant director Hillary Schwartz (John Carter) were charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass as well as being cited by OSHA for "serious" and "willful" safety violations. On 9 March 9 this year, Miller pled guilty to felony involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespassing and received a ten-year sentence, of which he is expected to serve two years in jail followed by probation. Sedrish was also convicted of felony involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespassing via a plea bargain and sentenced to ten years probation. The charges against Savin were later dropped as part of the plea agreement with her husband and business partner Randall Miller.
William Hurt described the event as "the sorrow of my professional career and one of the great sorrows of my personal life."
Jones parents' founded the Sarah Jones Foundation to "foster on-set safety through awareness and accountability." The film also hopes to help raise funds for the foundation.
Smith said, "Through the eyes of Richard and Elizabeth Jones, this documentary will explore who Sarah was and what it was about her that made her so beloved by so many of her colleagues – and, in turn, made her loss especially devastating."
We Are Sarah Jones is due for release next year.