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 Post subject: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:14 pm 

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Location: Cambridgeshire UK
http://variety.com/2014/film/news/midni ... 201116646/


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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:22 pm 
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Train Orders thread:

http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?2,3330673

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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:57 pm 

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The Washington Post carried this story and used a stock image of an NS train.


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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:47 pm 

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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
The most telling quote from the Variety story:

Quote:
An eyewitness told Variety the Open Road Films drama was in its first day of shooting Thursday afternoon and the crew was filming a dream sequence on a railroad trestle when a train unexpectedly crossed the bridge.


Too early to tell, but since it appears that no CSX repersentatives were with the film crew at the time, I would suspect that they did not have permission.

Also, later in the article, someone involved in the production said that CSX trains would sound their horn, giving them one minute to clear the tracks. Also, that's not enough time, which once again leads one to believe that the filmmakers did not have permission to be on railroad property.

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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:49 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:01 pm
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Location: SouthEast Pennsylvania
wilkinsd wrote:
The Variety story leads one to believe that the filmmakers did not have permission to be on railroad property.
The stories also mention that it wasn't railroad property, but instead, Weyerhouser property, which the
film company did have permission to be on. Unfortunately, the railroad already had permission to be on it!


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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:02 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
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Sound like this one will be difficult to untangle.

As most of you know, if they did have permission to be on live track, they would have had a flagmen. Why they didn't, and whether or not they actually had permission to be on CSX property and if so, who granted that permission, will be something the investigators have to figure out. Also, did they have permission to be on the property but not foul tracks? Did they understand what that meant? Did the crew have the required RWP training or at least a briefing? (Needed even if you're not fouling the track so that you know what in the heck "fouling the track" even means...)

Here's an interesting point of view from a blog devoted to movie grips. Good reading, but basically "It's Hollywood. We do crazy stuff for a living, she was almost certainly just following orders..."

http://www.dollygrippery.net/2014/02/sarah.html


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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:24 pm 

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Location: Northern Illinois
That's not exactly the take I got from it. The gentleman writes a long impassionate paragraph that could best be titled, "Just Say No". I quote, "And that's why we are here, guys: To say "No" for those who don't know they can. As a forty something Dolly Grip who's been around the block a few times, I would have said, Hell no to being on that trestle on a live track without a rep or permission..."

Sounds surprisingly like what I used to tell groundmen I was training for our museum operation many years ago... I used to stress that THEY were in charge, that the engineer might have a lot of whiskers and might lean on them to get a move done, but if THEY didn't think they could do it safely, tell him NO.

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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:27 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
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Location: Thomaston & White Plains
While not possessing the vast experience of a Fillmore & Western (or even IRM), RMNE has hosted a number of film shoots over the years. Big-budget Hollywood productions, Japanese TV, cable channel TV dramas, student films, and the ever-present "indie" films (everyone starts out telling you they are "indie", which means they want everything for free or close to it).

There is NO way that CSX knew these guys were going to be on or close to the ROW. Protocols call for flag protection, RWP protection and briefings, etc. The railroads always take this seriously-- big or small railroads.

Film production companies and their on-set personnel many times try to push the envelope by asking for, or simply trying to do, things beyond what they originally stated. That's one of the reasons we always have multiple railroad staff on-site to watch these guys. Nothing moves until everyone understands what is about to happen.

Read some of the commentary from other grips and production people about this incident, and it does seem that "shot stealing", even by "big" productions, is not unknown. This time, it got someone killed.

Film people think they can control all of the elements and illusions in their films. A train is just another prop/stunt/effect, right? Wrong.

Howard P.

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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
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Dennis Storzek wrote:
That's not exactly the take I got from it. The gentleman writes a long impassionate paragraph that could best be titled, "Just Say No". I quote, "And that's why we are here, guys: To say "No" for those who don't know they can. As a forty something Dolly Grip who's been around the block a few times, I would have said, Hell no to being on that trestle on a live track without a rep or permission..."


Yes, he did say that. The FRA regs also say you have a LEGAL RIGHT to say "Hell no!" and you are required, by FRA regulations, to be informed of that right. (Worker's right to challenge on track safety")

But, he also said
Quote:
As a forty something Dolly Grip who's been around the block a few times, I would have said, Hell no to being on that trestle on a live track without a rep or permission. As a twenty-something young grip with something to prove and trying to make an impression on "The Adults," however, you can bet your ass I would have moved the camera up there myself and stood by it to yank it out of the way if a train came.


That's where I came up with the comment that she was just doing her job. My point was that while there's plenty of blame, it's likely that she doesn't share in it. She was accustomed to doing stuff that most people would think is crazy. Hanging out of helicopters or filming from moving trucks is normal for these folks. Yes, she should have asked questions, maybe she did, who knows. But I don't think it's reasonable to fault her if she didn't. He knew better, and is doing his best to educate folks. She may not have.

As for the rest of the impassioned article, I agree, he's telling grips to use their head, and to be willing to ask questions and say No.


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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:41 pm 

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Here is an update that had been passed onto me by a fellow in "the business":

http://variety.com/2014/film/news/midnight-rider-fatality-sherrif-report-says-csx-denied-permission-for-shooting-1201119180/

Producers are clearly in the wrong... Location Manager did his job. Expect manslaughter charges. Read the comments.

RCW


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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:22 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
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Well, that makes it easier to figure out if the info is accurate.

Denied permission but the producer said "screw it" and it did it anyway? That's going to get rather ugly for him.


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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:06 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 12:45 am
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Location: Illinois
It would appear that a few people in the movie industry are learning the hard way, that railroad safety rules are written in blood.

Jeff

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Last edited by Jdelhaye on Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:01 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
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Jeff Lisowski wrote:
Question: Who is responsible for Safety?
Answer: Everyone

This is a joke that the executive producer is claiming it's "complicated."

Either you had permission or you didn't. And to top it off, it was a Union gig? Am I reading this correctly? I wonder what their policies say in them.

The lawyers are gonna be coming soon.


In almost all occasions "it's complicated" actually means "It's a screwed up mess that I don't want to talk about."

Yes, this will be a legal nightmare. I expect that RCW is correct, manslaughter charges could well be involved.

As for "the film industry", you're blaming an entire industry for the actions of one individual. It won't work there any better than it does in the railroad business. You can't even say his actions will have an impact on the industry, as the rules are already soldiliy in place. If his actions were as presented, he simply broke the rules and got caught, with tragic results.


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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:57 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
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Location: Tucson, Arizona
Bobharbison wrote:
In almost all occasions "it's complicated" actually means "It's a screwed up mess that I don't want to talk about."


Legal Translation: I don't want to say anything as there is a strong likelihood that anything I say could be used against me in a court of law in a civil or criminal trial.

Most likely scenario is that the producer and every supervisor/manager under him will be sued civilly and the real blame game will take off with countersuits. Maybe some low level supervisor/manager will get criminally charged.

Rules mean nothing if they are not enforced. From what I have read in some of the comments, that may or may not be the case. Some shops are very professional and others not so much so. One report indicated that the studio involved is in financial difficulty. From everything that has come to light so far, it seems that the manager involved could have been under pressure and was tempted to make what turned out to be a very bad choice.

My own personal opinion is that the biggest result of this incident in the industry will be that the studio will go under, the backers may can the film and maybe a couple of manager/supervisors that were involved in the incident get blackballed. It's a sad situation, but not indicative of an industry wide problem (by itself).

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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:27 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
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I think you're totally correct Alan.

Are there other studios and photographers that "Go Commando" and shoot on the railroad? Of course there are! Most of them do it with no problems and don't get caught. On all but the busiest tracks, the railroad seems to be empty most of the time, so people assume they can get in, take some photos and get out. Often they do. Sometimes they don't.

I don't think studios are the real problem, it's usually amateurs and also a lot of portrait photographers as well. I "went off" on one guy who was promoting the crap out of his work on FB. I called him out on having permission He replied "Well, maybe I had permission, you don't know if I did or not!". I replied "So you got a multi million dollar liability policy and paid who knows how much to shut down the entire UPRR mainline in Portland just so you could do a senior portrait shoot? Dang, you must charge a lot for them!" His response was to block me, LOL!

Sadly, the meme of posing on tracks has become popular, and is a big issue. The Amtrak Cascades train runs at 79 mph in many areas near Seattle. They're also very quiet, especially if the engine is pushing in cab car mode. A recent photo shoot in Auburn, WA resulted in a man's death.

http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/man-str ... cmComments


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