7 reasons why the Academy should pay tribute to Sarah Elizabeth Jones

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High stakes for the Academy

By now most of the film industry will have learned about the tragic death of Sarah Elizabeth Jones, a 27-year old camera assistant, hit by a freight train on the set of ‘Midnight Rider’.

Tomorrow is this year’s biggest event for the film industry, the Academy Awards, and, as a ceremony and a celebration, it represents an iconic moment for filmmaking across the world.

A petition was launched this week asking the Academy to make a tribute to Sarah on the night of the Oscars, so that her “love and passion for filmmaking” can be remembered on a global stage, but whether the Academy will make any mention of her on the night appears uncertain, or at least, according to the LA Times, unlikely.

Here are 7 reasons why they should make the tribute, and why it matters to the film industry to have her name and her career remembered.

1. Sarah was pursuing her dream job. She loved filmmaking and it was her passion to do it. The Oscars is a symbol in the film industry for recognition and respect. It’s an occasion for the entire industry to take a moment and remember someone who was just as valuable to a film’s success as anyone else in the room.

2. Films are made because teams of people come together to work for a common goal. From the PA to the film director, make-up artists to ACs and the key grip, each role is just as important as the other. For the Academy to recognize that idea, would send an important message to the film industry and all the people who are entering the business that they are valued, and should be supported when pursuing their dreams.

3. All the films in competition could not have been made without a talented film crew, and people with passion. Without that creativity the Oscars would be a different event. It should put it’s weight behind people who work together in teams to make exceptional films because that message reverberates beyond the film industry. The Oscars isn’t just an entertainment event, it’s about people too, and the nature of how we come together.

4. 58,000 people signing a petition in a matter of days is highly symbolic and unprecedented in the film industry. It sends a clear signal to the Academy that there will be a huge support for Sarah’s tribute and that this movement comes from the heart. It’s fantastic to see people being honored for their achievements, but we must also remember those who are no longer with us, and have contributed to the success of motion pictures and the industry as a whole

5. Film crews across the world have fully supported this idea of an Academy tribute. FIN members in over 28 countries responded to it on our network alone from South Korea to the UK, Canada, the US and beyond. We’ve received countless petitions and messages of support on our forums regarding this, even from the general public who have admired this positive movement, something that we’ve never seen before and it would be fitting to see how an entertainment event can bring these people together, from around the world and pay tribute to Sarah.

6. This week, film production crews have been making “Slates for Sarah” to remember her and pay respect. On Twitter there have been many slate pictures from all over the world to remember Sarah and her passion. People have been truly touched by this, and as we approach the Oscars, a tribute to her would also send a message back to everyone who aspires to create, that their dream will be supported.

7. Over 5700 news articles have been written regarding Sarah’s tragic death, and as the Oscar ceremony gets underway, all the bloggers, writers and journalists will be keeping an eye out for what happens. What if there is no tribute? What would that message send to all the people who supported this? What would that mean to the industry? It is inconceivable at this stage to hear silence from the Academy..As much as it is respected, it also has a role to play in supporting the wider industry and it has this incredible opportunity to connect with people on a higher level.

Thanks for reading guys, and we wish all the family members and friends of Sarah the very best. Follow us on Twitter for the latest news and we will be re-tweeting your slates for Sarah.

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CORRECTION : An incorrect movie title has been changed

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