“The Vampire Diaries” production team and studio Warner Bros Television have partnered with International Cinematographers Guild, Local 479 and the Atlanta-based production house SIM Digital to create the Sarah Jones Opportunity, an annual internship and job training program dedicated to the memory of Sarah Jones.
Jones worked in the camera department on “The Vampire Diaries” and other Atlanta-based productions. Her death on the set of the Gregg Allman biopic “Midnight Rider” in 2014 resulted in a heavily publicized court case and a call to action from industry members over the state of working conditions on productions.
The Sarah Jones Opportunity helps aspiring Georgia-based filmmakers with a passion for working in the camera field with a 20-week paid internship/camera training program. If that goes well, it will continue with a 30-day stint as an ICG-covered crew member on an Atlanta-based WBTV production and eligibility to apply for membership to the ICG Local 600. Candidates are evaluated by a selection committee comprised of “Vampire Diaries” executive producer Julie Plec and representatives from ICG Local 600, SIM Digital, “Vampire Diaries” camera department and the Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Film & Entertainment. Chelsea Craig was the inaugural recipient and is now a member of ICG Local 600. The application process for the next honoree will begin in a few months.
“Sarah was a beloved member of our camera crew,” said Plec. “Her vivid, delightful personality, extraordinary work ethic, and deep love for the creative and technical aspects of her job made her the kind of artist any production would be lucky to have on the team. Her family at ‘Vampire Diaries’ is excited to honor her memory by providing opportunities and opening doors for more people like her.”