The Interim director of Savannah's Film Services Department William Hammargren confirms that the film Midnight Rider has shut down and crews are returning home to Los Angeles and Savannah. The film was halted last week after a second camera assistant, 27 year old Sarah Jones was hit by a train and killed while filming was taking place in Jesup. Several other crew members were injured.
Hammargren tells News 3 that the movie's crew was scheduled to be in the Savannah and Chatham County areas for about 24 days. He says he spoke briefly with a member of the production company last night and was told that production has stopped. On Monday, Hammargren told us that filming for this week had been canceled due to the death but he assumed it may be resumed. Now it appears that is not going to happen. The website of Variety is reporting that the film is "on hold" and that crews may be called back at some point in the future.
Hammargren says it's his understanding that there were about 60 crew members involved in the production of Midnight Rider which was a film based on the life of rock star Greg Allman. He says he has had a few calls from others regarding the tragedy and fielded some questions, including about safety, but it appears that no future film projects set for Georgia or Savannah will be shelved.
The production company Unclaimed Freight from Los Angeles was making the film locally. Hammargren says several months ago he met with the film's director, Randall Miller, the executive producer Jay Sedrish, the associate producer Andre Danylevich and the location manager, Charlie Baxter.
A funeral service for Jones was held yesterday in her hometown of Columbia, South Carolina. Last week after Jones died, we were told that the production crew had a permit to film in Jesup on the property of the Rayonier company, which is near the site of the railroad tracks where the accident took place. But an incident report on the accident indicates that a representative from CSX railroad indicated that no permission had been given to film on the tracks and that a permit submitted to the railroad had been denied.
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