I didn’t know Sarah Jones.
For those of you unfamiliar, Sarah Jones was a young woman whose life was taken in a tragic accident on the set of “Midnight Rider”, a film shooting in the Savannah area. From what I’ve read about her, she was a bright and welcome presence on set, and a friend to many in my circle of film school friends. I’m not going to write about the circumstance that lead to her death, because they are being covered by people with far more insight into the situation than I. No matter the situation, her death is a tragedy.
I didn’t know Sarah Jones, but since the accident, her loss has been weighing on my mind.
My friend Ryan Estrada is a comic book artist, and all around great guy. I’ve only ever spent time with him once, a summer in 2009 when we worked on a feature film together. But since then we’ve remained in touch, even if he lives on the opposite side of the planet in South Korea. One of Ryan’s many charms is that he finishes watching a movie no matter how he feels about it. Not just to the end of the movie, but through the end of the credits. From his point of view, it’s important to pay respect to the people who created the film that you just watched, whether you enjoyed it or not.
There have been many stirring movements to honor Sarah’s memory, including Slates for Sarah. Another movement is attempting to get Sarah Jones added to the in memoriam list at the Oscars. I applaud both of these efforts, to show love and unity behind a fallen member of the below the line family.
The readers of this blog aren’t in film production. But they do watch television, and films. And most likely, they do not stick around for the credits. I know I am guilty of that as well. This brings me back around to Ryan Estrada. Let’s honor Sarah, who for most would have just been another name in the credits, by sticking around and watching the list of names in the next movie you see. Try to read them, and connect that they are real people who put real sweat and real tears into the film you just watched. I don’t expect this to become a regular habit, so that’s why I’m only asking for you to do it at least once.
I didn’t know Sarah Jones, but I don’t want her to be forgotten.