For Sarah Jones: This App Would Help Film Industry Workers Report Unsafe Working Conditions
In the wake of a 27-year-old camera assistant's death on set, a free app is in the works to help people who work in the film industry to anonymously report unsafe working conditions.
A group of filmmakers supporting Sarah Jones, who was fatally struck by a freight train on the set of Midnight Rider in February, launched on Wednesday an Indiegogo page to fund their Safety App. In one day, they've already raised $1,791 of their $3,000 goal.
According to the website, the app would instantly connect industry workers with hotlines where they can report safety issues and excessive hours. It would use a caller ID block when connecting the parties so they can stay anonymous. (They noted that the hotlines that are available are "under utilized.") It would also allow people to anonymously submit their timecards showing their long hours. They would give this information to their unions and guilds to fight for better working conditions and wages.
The people behind the app explained their reasons for starting it: "We created the site Pledge to Sarah and are creating this app because we believe that no one should ever lose their life because of a film production. Whether it is an on-set safety issue or an exhausted drive home at the end of a long day we all need to speak up and be heard."
Jones was killed and seven others were injured when a freight train plowed through a trestle in Jesup, Georgia where allegedly the crew wasn't given permission to film. Members of the TV and film industry brought attention to Jones' death and the safety practices for crew members during filming.
Georgia prosecutors charged Randall Miller and Jody Savin, the owners of Unclaimed Freight Productions—the company that produced Midnight Rider, as well as the film's executive producer Jay Sedrish with involuntary manslaughter on July 3.
The Safety App will be completed by the end of August and will be available on iPhones, iPads and Android devices. For more information on the app, visit their Indiegogo page.