Oscars Mention ‘Midnight Rider’ Victim Sarah Jones During ‘In Memoriam’ Segment

Sarah Jones Midnight Rider Death

Sarah Jones, the “Midnight Ride” camera assistant who died Feb. 20, received a brief mention at the end of the “In Memoriam” segment in the Academy Awards telecast.

Jones was included at the end of the photos segment with a note that she had been included in on the Oscars.com site, where it was 37th of 111 photos.

On the in memoriam photo gallery on the Oscar’s official website, Jones appears on slide No. 37 of the 111 honored.

Jones, 27, was killed in a train accident while filming in Georgia. About 800 people attended a memorial Sunday in Altanta, where her spirit and kindness were heralded.

Friends and associated of Jones had been campaigning for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to include her in the “In Memoriam’ televised segment, which began Sunday with James Gandolfini.

Other film industry figures recognized included Karen Black, Tom Laughlin, Carmen Zapata, Hal Needham, Paul Walker, Fay Kanin, Deanna Durbin, Elmore Leonard, Saul Zaentz, Peter O’Toole, Ray Harryhausen, Richard Griffiths, Sid Caesar, Roger Ebert, Shirley Temple Black, Joan Fontaine, Run Run Shaw, Harold Ramis, Eleanor Parker, Ray Dolby, Julie Harris, Maximillian Schell, Tom Sherak and Esther Williams.

The segment concluded with Philip Seymour Hoffman, followed by the mention of Jones.

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  1. Tom Davidson says:

    I’m not a film person. I work on a railroad, so maybe my opinion won’t square with that of most Variety readers. Frankly, I don’t care. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences supposedly represents people who are professionals and experts in the art and science of Communication. Today I posted the following comment on a web forum hosted by Trains Magazine (Kalmbach Publishing Co.). Here’s what these professional communicators communicated to me:

    Did I miss something at the Academy Awards last night? Before the Great Display, there was talk of people wearing black ribbons as a reminder of the death of Sarah Jones, but I never saw any. The Academy said they couldn’t put a mention into the Pageant because she didn’t die within the right time frame. Poor planning on her part, I guess. Then they said there might be some mention. I paid close attention to the tribute to those who have passed away and almost missed it. Her name flashed on the bottom of the screen just as they were cutting away for a commercial. I saw the name, but the lettering below it was too small to read. I tried to move closer, but it was gone and the commercial was on before I could get closer. It may have been on the screen for two seconds; three at most. I guess that’s my fault for having bad eyes. So now we know how seriously Hollywood takes her death, and I suspect we can now make safe predictions as to the long-term impact her death will have on the film industry. Very sad. They think of her as just another face on the cutting room floor. I may never watch the academy awards again. I don’t even feel much like capitalizing it. Sarah, you deserved much better from the hypocrites who called you a Colleague.

    That’s what I posted. Maybe I’m being naïve, but maybe they could have shortened the pizza distribution segment by a couple precious seconds.

  2. linda simeone says:

    High marks and kudos to the Academy for indeed posting Sarah Jone’s obit mention. Her death is extremely tragic, driving home the fact that making films can be deadly for the sake of one’s art. The Academy did not have to mention her at all and I was so stoked that they took the time and effort to do so at the nth hour, but came through nonetheless. The tributes from all over on Facebook and other sites is testimony of how important safety should be while filming no matter the location. Her loss of life and the injuries of others on this set did not have to happen. Something went terribly wrong and not unlike the Vic Morrow and 2 children TWILIGHT ZONE on set accident several decades ago, hopefully a thorough investigation and added safety coda will be noted and adhered too. Casting blame at this point is moot, making sure it never happens again is important.

  3. J.E. Vizzusi says:

    Well, its better than no mention I suppose. Hollywood is tight about mentioning in public mistakes and on-set production disasters. Sarah is in our hearts and I pray somebody will have to answer. But I do appreciate the Academy for the on-air mention and on-line slide. If I was ever mentioned along the likes of a Ray Harryhauson, that means you have reached the pinnacle of your craft. Sarah was the age Ray was when he was just starting.. so very sad indeed.

  4. Cinda says:

    I wonder how they decide whom to memorialize? The actress Kim Hamilton also died last year. I did not watch the Oscars so I don’t know for sure if they showed her photo or not. I’m referring to what was written in the article above. Ms Hamilton’s name wasn’t mentioned. I just hope she wasn’t overlooked.

    • Taking into consideration the recriminations that followed when Dorothy McGuire (Best Actress nominee for 1947 Best Picture winner “Gentleman’s Agreement”) was overlooked/snubbed during the March 24, 2002 “In Memoriam” segment, which listed only 25 names, the Academy has come to realize that an organization which, above all, fails to honor and protect the memory of its own personnel, substantially diminishes one of the fundamental principles underpinning its existence. As the body which bestows the Awards, the Academy is first obligated to remember all of its winners and nominees at the time of their departure. Dorothy McGuire’s death in 2001 occurred before the widespread use of websites, but in 2014, in addition to the 47 names displayed for the television audience, 111 additional names appear on the Oscar website, for a total of 158. The first 78 are in alphabetical order and feature photographs (including Sarah Jones). The remaining 80 names are shown without photos, in and out of alphabetical order, in groups of one, two or three. Kim Hamilton, unfortunately, was not among the 158 names on the Oscar website, but her name and photograph were, at least, included on another on-screen “In Memoriam” list: TCM’s honor roll of those who died between late December 2012 and late December 2013. The Academy’s 2014 on-screen list did not repeat its past error of snubbing Oscar-nominated actors, but it still omitted some other nominees and even one winner—-Bob Godfrey, who had four Oscar nominations for Best Animated Short Film, one of which, “Great”, resulted in a win on March 29, 1976. Finally, a number of singers who also did some acting, such as Patti Page, Eydie Gorme, Richie Havens and Lou Reed, as well actors known primarily for their TV series work, such as Allan Arbus, James Avery, Conrad Bain, Frank Bank (“Lumpy” on “Leave It to Beaver”), Bonnie Franklin, Lisa Robin Kelly and Marcia Wallace were only commemorated on the December 29 edition of CBS News Sunday Morning, where each was remembered with a film/video clip and a few kind words from host Charles Osgood.

  5. DJ McGraw says:

    Sarah was a 2nd assistant cameraperson. Please correct the post above

  6. Steve says:

    She was NOT a camera operator!!! Do your research properly aaahhhhh!!!!

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