If you're at all connected to the filmmaking industry in the South -- or filmmaking in general -- you've probably already heard of "Slates for Sarah," a social media tribute to the late Sarah Elizabeth Jones. Jones, a Camera Assistant who lived in Atlanta, was in Savannah earlier this month working on the set of Midnight Rider when she was struck and killed by a train.
While most of us here at the Atlanta Film Festival didn't know Sarah personally, the ripple effect has been profound. We've seen remembrances on the web, we've heard second-hand stories, and we've come to know a little about her. She was part of a recent surge of women joining the camera union locally, an encouraging trend for a position in the industry that has long been overwhelmingly held by men. Online recollections from her colleagues and friends in the South and around the world echo the remembrances sent to us here at the Festival from locals who knew her and worked with her.
"I worked closely with Sarah Jones on The Vampire Diaries. She was a bright and shiny star. She was very talented and completely professional. She was always kind and wore an infectious smile, even on long days and overnights, rain or shine, and you couldn’t help but smile back at her." - Laurie Garner (The Unwanted - Production Designer)
"I was there to train Sarah on her first day on set. We have worked together professionally, on student films, and everything in between. She was an incredible help on each of my personal projects. Sarah Jones had a passion for filmmaking that most only dream about. Her hunger for knowledge and capacity to learn had no bounds. I believe she was attracted to the art of filmmaking because there is no limit to what you can learn from a film set; technically, artistically, emotionally, about others, and most of all about yourself. May we never forget her beauty. Be safe for Sarah.” - Jackson McDonald (Independent Filmmaker & friend of Sarah Jones)
The staff of the Atlanta Film Festival would like to express our sincerest condolences to Jones’ family and friends. In lieu of flowers, Jones’ family requests that donations be made to: BC Education Foundation Sarah Jones Scholarship Fund c/o Brookland-Cayce High School 1300 State Street, Cayce, SC 29033. The International Cinematographers Guild IATSE Local 600, of which she was a member, will hold a memorial in Atlanta on March 2.