Sarah Jones: She Tried to Save the Gear

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.

Later she did stints on “The Vampire Diaries,” and became a member of the Intl. Cinematographers Guild. Eric Henson, who befriended her on the “Vampires” shoot, recalled, “She had a lust for life I was very envious of.” After a 15-hour day on the show that would leave him exhausted, he said Jones would ask him, “Where are we going out?”

She loved to hike and travel to adventurous places. Now her face has been on the Oscars and her name, memorialized on slates around the world, has traveled farther than she ever could in her 27 years of life.

Her brother, Eric, remembers the last day he saw her, the Tuesday before she died. They went shoe shopping. “She said she wanted something girly,” he says, “because she never got to wear anything girly on her job, it was so dominated by men.” She picked out a pair of Nikes with bright pink laces, but reconsidered — too girly. She settled on bright green laces instead.

Eric says he was told she was wearing them when she died.

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  1. more says:

    Obviously, these promotional gimmicks are outright SCAMS.

  2. Gary says:

    I happen to be privy to some of the details of that awful day of February 20 from a first hand account. A certain someone took the crew to that location under the guise of shooting a “camera test.” It was not a scheduled first day of filming. A certain someone who was in charge ordered the crew on live tracks thinking that the last train of the day had passed. Permission to be on those tracks for filming was previously denied days before. There is email confirmation of that from CSX Railway. The location manager, when learning of production’s plans refused, to be involved. The scene, as described by some crew, was gruesome.

    Bear in mind, they were not just on railroad tracks where escape could have been much easier. They were on a RR trestle —- a narrow trestle with no where to go. They had to run toward the oncoming train to get off the trestle. This tragedy was no accident. This could allegedly constitute a criminal act. Georgia authorities are investigating this event as a “criminal investigation.” That certain someone who is responsible for ordering the crew on those tracks should spend an extraordinarily long time in prison as Bubba’s play toy.

  3. nancy says:

    Once again, someone in charge was not doing their job, skimping on the job and / or taking responsibility, and an innocent life was lost because of it. My condolences to her family and friends.

  4. Smooth says:

    Someone shouldn’t make any long range plans.

  5. Browneyes says:

    So sad and so brave!

  6. chris birdsong says:

    A testament to the dedication she had for her job.
    Miss you every day Sarah.

  7. Bill says:

    It’s more than a bit disturbing that Variety seems to be supporting the idea that one’s life is less in value compared to that of a handful of depreciating, ever more inexpensive to replace camera equipment.

    So where’s the dividing line then? Do you die for an IMAX camera but just give up a limb to save a RED Scarlet? Is a Blackmagic Cinema worth an ankle sprain?

    • Listen, you try to save the footage, the film magazine or the data card or the tape drive or whatever, then, successful or not, GTFO. You don’t die for ANY camera, be it an IMAX or a VHS or an 8mm windup.

      I don’t know the specifics of Sarah’s death. I wouldn’t die for ANY camera, though. You try to save the footage, then, GTFO. You don’t die for the footage either. I doubt the specifics of this article. I think Sarah knew to GTFO too, but didn’t have enough time.

      • Jeff Scott says:

        Uh no, you don’t try to save the footage. This is not footage documenting some atrocity in North Korea – it’s only a movie and any footage lost can be replaced with a reshoot.

    • Smooth says:

      Man! I can’t believe that you actually read the article and then made that kind of a comment. The sad part is, your comment indicates that there may not be a way to explain it to you. Just know that you missed the point.

      • Bill says:

        “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.”

        How is that missing the point?

        No well-trained camera tech is supposed to protect the camera gear at the cost of their own life, let alone even injury.

        Saving the footage is admirable, and yet with digital technologies that footage is recoverable from memory cards even after a train’s hit it and it’s lying in several pieces in the river below.

        My comment was not meant to impugn Jones in any way; Variety’s quote makes it sound like trying to save the gear was the RIGHT thing to do.

    • DJ McGraw says:

      Other than the fact that you completely missed the point, do you have anything intelligent to say??

      • Jeff Scott says:

        Agreed, It was a stupid thing for the author to write and if she did in fact try to save the gear or the footage with a train barreling at her, it was a mistake.

      • Bill says:

        Perhaps you missed the point that my list of equipment and injuries was meant to be sarcastic – no piece of equipment, and no footage is worth the loss of life, and certainly not injury unless you know that going in, like a trained stunt professional.

  8. Robbie Goldstein says:

    I find it

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