News and Notes

What Becomes of 'Midnight Rider'?

Filming of the biopic has been put on hold due to tragedy on set

The show must go on. Or maybe not. There are increasing calls for an industry-wide boycott of Midnight Rider: The Gregg Allman Story — the biopic starring William Hurt — following a February train accident that killed camera assistant Sarah Jones, 27, and injured seven others. The incident, which halted production and remains under investigation by multiple agencies, occurred during the guerrilla-style filming of a dream sequence on a Georgia train trestle and triggered a wave of outrage about the disregard for crew members' on-set safety.

The production company, Unclaimed Freight — which has been accused of failing to obtain the proper permits for filming on the train tracks and of disregarding accepted safety protocols — recently informed the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees that it plans to resume production in Los Angeles this June. (The union has vowed to closely monitor any resumption of filming.) Representatives for director Randall Miller, who also runs Unclaimed Freight, declined to comment for this story, and a source close to the film says that the decision to resume shooting isn't final yet. In the meantime, legions of crew members have joined a movement to shut down Midnight Rider for good. "If we stop the film, we may save another life," says David Allen Grove, a Steadicam operator who founded the Facebook group "I REFUSE to work on Midnight Rider! For Sarah!!!" (At press time, almost 5,900 people had signed on.) "This will send a very strong and clear message to other filmmakers: If you cut corners on safety, we won't let you finish your film."

Originally posted Apr 28, 2014 Published in issue #1309 May 02, 2014 Order article reprints
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