The director of Midnight Rider, Randall Miller, has been found guilty of being privy to the death of an assistant camera operator on board the movie set.
Many times movie set workers are subject to dangerous working conditions. Well, not anymore! Recently, after relentless efforts and a call to arms by movie set workers, the institution of safer conditions was enabled.
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This was after a landmark case, that of director Randall Miller, proved him to be guilty of unconscious abetment to the murder of an assistant camera operator in a train accident on set. This was a watershed in Hollywood history.
There has been no other case of a film creator answering guilty to the charges of involuntary manslaughter in reel life (which in this case copies real life). The victim in this case was a female hand named Sarah Jones who was killed at the tender age of 27 about a year ago when a train hit the ramshackle set.
The movie was Midnight Rider and while Sarah died immediately, at least half a dozen other members of the cast crew got injured in the process.
Sarah Jones’ father said that justice had been done when the director was declared guilty and awarded a prison sentence for his crimes. He said that it sent an unequivocal message to other directors and producers that if they didn’t own up to being responsible for their wards, then they ought to get ready to face the long arm of the law.
Meanwhile, the director had asked for leniency with regard to his spouse who was his business companion too. This he got since the law is not unfair even to criminals. Miller will have to spend at least two years behind bars and serve eight years worth of probationary time.
Besides this Miller is to cough up $20,000 which is the fine imposed on him for his negligence and he will also engage in 360 hours of community work. The only previous example occurred in 1982 and it caused a lot of hubbub in the industry.
The less-than-careful attitude of directors towards the safety of set crew will have to change in Tinsel Town from now onwards. When just for the sake of entertaining people a camerawoman’s life is thrown like so much refuse on the grounds of the set, it is indeed cause for worry.
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Human life is precious be it that of a president or that of a peon. Now that there will be repercussions to such actions by directors, maybe the law will knock some sense into their heads as far as crew security is concerned.