RIP SARAH JONES
SEPTEMBER 22, 1986 - FEBRUARY 20, 2014
#SLATESFORSARAH :: #SAFETYFORSARAH
Today marks the one year anniversary of Sarah Elizabeth Jones death. Sarah died on February 20th 2014 while working as a camera assistant on the set of Midnight Rider, a biopic of musician Gregg Allamn. Sarah’s death shook the American production world. Sparking conversations that normally would have never been provided or prioritized. The story and the hashtags #slatesforsarah & #safetyforsarah reached globally, especially that it occurred a few days before the 86th academy awards.
I recently had the opportunity to meet with Denise O'Connell who is working with the Canadian Media Guild on addressing health and safety and working conditions in factual TV. Safety in any workplace, not just factual TV, is common sense, but after speaking with Denise and doing some of my own research I've learned that employee / crew safety is at the bottom of priorities for some production companies, especially non union. It's also a little scary that the last revision made to the "Safety Guidelines for Film and Television Industry in Ontario" was in June 2009. Over that time productions, along with technology, have changed so much. Another thing I found disappointing was that you can view the guidelines online for free, but there is a cost for your hardcopy safety manual... We shouldn't be putting a cost on safety.
Denise and her team are working endlessly to make sure changes occur to safety protocol within Ontario productions. They want to meet with the Ontario Ministry of Labour and talk about implementing and updating that manual and making it more accessibly to crew members and productions companies. Sign this confidential form to be apart of the movement and help keep our production friends safe.
Our Chrilleks team strives for crew safety. We always want to make sure our crew members feel safe on our sets. We had a situation a few years ago where we didn't feel the location was safe for us to shoot in, spoke with the client and agreed to switch the dates of production and revisit the treatment to fit the changes. I have never been more proud of my team for bringing up their concerns and my client for being so understanding. It made us a stronger team and a better employer.