Sarah Elizabeth Jones Oscar Tribute Campaign Fuels Slates For Sarah, Black Ribbons: Will The Academy Listen?

 @christopherzarac.zara@ibtimes.com
on February 28 2014 2:44 PM

Slate A production clapperboard posted to the “Slates for Sarah” Facebook page from South Side Studios in Dallas.  Facebook.com/slatesforsarah

Updated Sunday, 11:05 p.m.:

Sarah Elizabeth Jones’ name was shown onscreen after the “In Memoriam” segment, immediately following a song by Bette Midler. HLN shared a screenshot on Twitter.

A photo of Jones is also on the Oscars website.

Original Post: 

Amid a groundswell of growing industry support for Sarah Elizabeth Jones, production crews and movie fans continue to call on the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences to pay tribute to the young camera assistant who was killed last week while working on the upcoming Gregg Allman biopic, “Midnight Rider.”

The 27-year-old Jones was on a location shoot near Savannah, Ga., when she was struck by a freight train. Her death has sparked a nationwide conversation about the need for better safety measures on film sets. It has also ignited numerous social media campaigns and an online petition to add Jones to the “In Memoriam” segment that commemorates prolific film-industry professionals who have recently died. The petition has attracted more than 53,000 signatures and will be submitted for consideration by the Academy on Saturday at noon.

On Twitter, countless tweets in support of the campaign have been pouring in, including one from “King of Queens” actor Patton Oswalt.

 

Whether the Academy will heed the calls, or even acknowledge them, remains to be seen. Numerous requests for comment sent to its publicity department went unreturned Thursday, and as of Friday afternoon there has been no official statement on the topic. Updates will be posted here if that changes.

Support is still growing nonetheless. “Slates for Sarah,” a Facebook page through which production crews from around the world are sharing photo messages via their clapperboards, has swelled to more than 50,000 likes. Among the industry professionals who have posted recent messages of support are crew members from the Vancouver set of the CW’s “Supernatural,” the British sci-fi show “Doctor Who” and the big-budget Ben Stiller comedy “Night at the Museum 3.”

Ben Ben Stiller and the crew of "Night at the Museum 3" show their support for Sarah Jones.  Facebook.com/slatesforsarah

A separate Facebook page -- this one asking Oscar attendees to wear a black ribbon at the ceremony -- has attracted more than 3,400 likes. “We are all part of the same family and we ask that the celebrities that we all work so tirelessly to make look great be our voice this Sunday,” the page says in its description. “Wear a ribbon, and when you are asked why, tell them about Sarah.”

According to Variety, production on “Midnight Rider” has been suspended following the accident, which also injured several other crewmembers. The film is based on Allman’s memoir, “My Cross to Bear,” and stars William Hurt as Allman.  

Jones lived in Atlanta and was a member of the International Cinematographers Guild (IATSE Local 600). The union’s news page has been filed with stories about Jones and the need for greater safety precautions on film shoots. An investigation into the accident is ongoing, and there are still questions about whether the production team had permission to film on the railroad.

Supporters of Jones are planning a Twitter memorial on Saturday at 11 a.m. with the hashtag #RIPSarahJones.

Got a news tip? Email me. Follow me on Twitter @christopherzara.

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