Gregg Allman Biopic Filmmakers Say Crew Member's Death "Was Not a Crime"
The producer-director duo behind the Gregg Allman biopic “Midnight Rider” have broken their silence following the entering of a not guilty plea to involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespassing.
“In the weeks and months that follow when the true facts of the events are revealed, people will know that this was not a crime: we never had criminal intent; we would never knowingly or intentionally put anybody’s safety at risk,” director-producer Randall Miller and producer-writer Jody Savin said in a statement. “This was a horrible tragedy and a horrific accident.”
The two were charged, along with executive producer/unit production manager Jay Sedrish, in connection with the Feb. 20 death of camera assistant Sarah Jones, who was struck by a train and killed during the early days of production. Jones’ death has become a rallying point in the below-the-line film community for better safety standards on film sets, especially non-union shoots.
Noting their experience in film and television -- 24 years in the business with 10 films to their credit -- Miller and Savin said, “In all those years we have never had a significant injury or accident of any kind.
“All of our movies have been union films. No crew member has ever left one of our movies over a concern about safety. As members of the WGA, the DGA, SAG, the Television Academy and the IATSE, we believe in living up to the aspirations of those organizations.”
Savin and Miller turned themselves in to police in Wayne County Ga., and posted bail on Sunday before returning home to Southern California.