Filmmakers Randall Miller and Jody Savin have broken their silence following the death of a camera assistant on their Allman Brothers biopic Midnight Rider, insisting they have committed no crime. Director Miller and his writer/producer wife were shooting a dream sequence on a train trestle in Wayne County, Georgia in February (14) when an oncoming train disrupted filming. Sarah Jones lost her life when the train hit her.
The filmmakers, who surrendered to local authorities on Sunday (13Jul14), have pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges filed against them, and now they've released a statement through their attorney.
Miller and Savin write, "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. This was a horrible tragedy and a horrific accident.
"We have remained silent out of respect for the family of Sarah Jones, their loved ones and all of the crew who were injured on that very sad day.
"Our hearts are broken, our spirits are broken. We have young children and can only imagine with immense sadness the heartbreak of losing a child. We are praying for Sarah’s family."
A third producer, Jay Sedrish, turned himself in to police in Georgia on Thursday (17Jul14).
The trio has been indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass.
Several civil suits have also been filed against MIller, Savin, Sedrish and other individuals and entities associated with the film.
Film producer Jay Sedrish has turned himself in to police in Georgia four days after his associates, Jody Savin and Randall Miller, surrendered to authorities for their part in the death of a camera assistant on the set of Allman Brothers biopic Midnight Rider.
The trio has been indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass in connection to the death of 27-year-old Sarah Jones, who was killed while trying to escape an oncoming train as they shot footage for the film in Wayne County in February (14).
Sedrish, the project's executive producer and production manager, surrendered to police on Thursday (17Jul14). He was released after posting $27,700 (£16,300) bond.
Miller and Savin turned themselves in on Sunday (13Jul14) and were also released. The trio faces up to 10 years behind bars for involuntary manslaughter under Georgia law.
Production on Midnight Rider was halted immediately after the tragedy.
Director Randall Miller and his producer wife Jody Savin have been released on bail after surrendering to police in Georgia. The couple and fellow producer Jay Sedrish were charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass related to the death of a camera assistant on the set of their Allman Brothers biopic Midnight Rider.
Sarah Jones, 27, was hit by a train and killed in February (14) as the production crew shot footage on railroad tracks in Wayne County. Six other crew members were also injured.
Miller and Savin turned themselves in to cops on Sunday (13Jul14) and were each freed on $27,000 (£15,882) bail.
Executive producer Sedrish has yet to surrender to authorities.
The trio faces up to 10 years behind bars if convicted of involuntary manslaughter, while the criminal trespass misdemeanour could land Miller and the producers 12 months in prison.
Production on the movie, based on the memoirs of Gregg Allman, was halted following the train tragedy.
Director Randall Miller has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass following the death of a camera assistant on the Georgia set of the Allman Brothers biopic. Sarah Jones, 27, was hit by a train and killed in February (14) as the production crew shot footage for Midnight Rider on railroad tracks in Wayne County. Six other crew members were also injured.
A criminal investigation was launched and now the Wayne County District Attorney has indicted Miller, his producer wife Jody Savin and the film's executive producer Jay Sedrish on the two counts amid allegations they failed to secure a permit to shoot on the train tracks.
The charge of involuntary manslaughter carries a sentence of up to 10 years behind bars, while the criminal trespass misdemeanour could land Miller and the producers 12 months in prison.
Production on the movie, based on the memoirs of Gregg Allman, was halted following the train tragedy and the subsequent exit of lead actor William Hurt, who had been set to portray the rocker. Hurt had previously expressed his concerns about safety on the Wayne County set in an email to a friend, days before Jones' death.
The criminal charges are not the only legal woes for Miller - Jones' parents filed a civil suit against the movie's filmmakers in May (14), and a number of other crew members involved in the accident have lodged official complaints.
News of the indictment emerges days after stars including Heather Locklear, Nina Dobrev and Sam Underwood joined a group of Hollywood crew members to film a public service announcement (PSA) in Jones' memory. The short film calls for increased safety measures on film and TV sets.
Oscar winner William Hurt has been aded to the cast of the upcoming Allman Brothers biopic as the older Gregg Allman. All American Rejects frontman Tyson Ritter was cast as the younger Allman at the end of last year (13), while Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn's son Wyatt will portray Duane Allman in the film.
And on Monday (06Jan14), Hollywood veteran Hurt signed on to play the current day Gregg in director Randall Miller's movie, titled Midnight Rider.
Miller tells WENN, "I am a tremendous fan of William’s work. I can’t wait to work with him."
The director's wife and screenwriter Jody Savin adds, "William Hurt actually helped start Randy’s career years ago. He made an anonymous monetary donation to Randy’s AFI thesis film. And when his identity was revealed, he even agreed to do the voice-over on the film.”
The film is based on Gregg Allman’s New York Times bestselling biography My Cross To Bear, and the blues-rocker insists the husband-and-wife filmmakers have their work cut out on the project.
He tells Rolling Stone, "The script will damn sure change, because I have veto rights over everything. Think about it, man. If you had them doing your life story on the big screen, wouldn't you want to be able to erase anything out of there that you didn’t want? I can pull the plug on it any time."
All American Rejects star Tyson Ritter and Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn's actor son Wyatt are teaming up as Gregg and Duane Allman for a big screen biopic. CBGB director Randall Miller and his screenwriting partner Jody Savin announced the casting news for their new film Midnight Rider on Friday (13Dec13).
Miller tells WENN, "The world knows Tyson as a extraordinary musician and performer; now the world will know what an amazing actor he is as well.
"After meeting many of the hottest young actors in town we understood that to tell the Allman Brothers story with the utmost authenticity we needed actor/musicians."
Savin adds, "And Wyatt has been a Duane Allman fan his whole life. He blew us away with his total embodiment of the rock icon and his uncanny slide guitar chops."
The film will be based on Gregg Allmann’s New York Times bestselling biography My Cross To Bear, which he co-wrote with Alan Light.
Savin tells WENN, "The film focuses on two major parts of Gregg’s life in music: Gregg’s early struggles through the formation of The Allman Brothers Band & the group’s ultimate explosion on the music scene and Gregg’s struggles to clean himself up from drug and alcohol abuse.
"Considering what he has endured, the dark tunnels from which he has emerged, his health and his continued sublime musicianship is nothing short of miraculous.”
Gregg Allman and his manager, Michael Lehman, will serve as executive producers on the project.
Allman says, "I’m excited to be working with Tyson and Wyatt on the music and the story of my life."
This Nobel takes the prize for its ingenious blending of dark comedy into an insanely clever thriller. Thaddeus James (Shawn Hatosy) kidnaps Barkeley Michaelson (Bryan Greenberg) the 20-ish son of a chemistry Nobel Prize winner Eli Michaelson (Alan Rickman) demanding the prize money as ransom right on the eve of the prestigious presentation in Stockholm. This being a wicked tale of deception and familial dysfunction in the extreme you can probably guess the father doesn’t want to pay his precious $2 million prize money for the return of his son. But beware not everything in this intricately plotted thriller is always what it appears to be. Always watchable and surprising the wonderful Alan Rickman doesn’t disappoint -- delivering a wickedly funny performance as the woefully repugnant ego-maniacal and self-absorbed father who is more concerned with bedding his university students than in forging a relationship with his very intelligent but neglected son well played by Bryan Greenberg. Rickman dominates every scene he’s in with his amusing boorish behavior. As his deceptively smart wife Mary Steenburgen has one of her best acting outings in years. It’s a shame this Oscar-winning actress doesn’t get choice roles anymore because when she does even in a small independent production like this she shows she still has it. Cameos abound but the crux of the movie belongs to Rickman and the two young actors Greenberg and Hatosy who make his life a wreck. Randall Miller who co-wrote the script with wife Jody Savin directs Nobel Sonwith a visual flair you never would have guessed from his previous films Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School and this summer’s splendid comedy sleeper Bottle Shock. Here he clearly wants to channel Quentin Tarantino with body parts figuring prominently into the plot yet the director doesn’t let the MTV style visual trickery get in the way of the story he’s telling. Nobel Son mixes a lot of filmic influences but the indisputable highlight is an ingenious caper sequence involving Mini-Coopers that puts the recent The Italian Job to shame. It might not win any awards but it’s a highly entertaining way to spend an evening.
Full of wonderful characters and smart witty dialogue--not to mention the wonders of Napa--Bottle Shock is based on the true story of the beginnings of the California wine industry and its underdog triumph at the blind Paris wine tasting competition of 1976. Using this as a backdrop the film is really a character study focusing primarily on the rocky relationship between novice vintner Jim Barrett (Bill Pullman) and his happy-go-lucky son Bo (Chris Pine). Despite the generational and other gaps between them they both have a common goal of producing the perfect Chardonnay at the Chateau Montelena vineyard Jim in the early ‘70s. By happenstance Brit Steven Spurrier (Alan Rickman) is in Napa on the prowl for the perfect bottle for the upcoming French wine tasting contest he is sponsoring in France which he thinks will boost business for his money-losing Paris wine shop. The elder Barrett passes on the idea but Bo who has just been blown off by their gorgeous intern Sam (Rachael Taylor) in favor of his buddy Gustavo (Freddy Rodriguez) is looking for something to lift his spirits and manages to get two bottles of their wine to Spurrier just as he is about to leave. There’s just one complication: It seems the wine has turned brown a circumstance that seems fatal until some even more astounding facts turn up. The ever-reliable Rickman is absolutely delightful in his role as the enterprising vino connoisseur and leads the perfect cast along with perennially underrated Pullman ideal as the frustrated perfectionist Jim Barrett. The real find of the film however is Chris Pine all raggedy long hair and free-spirited attitude as the love-struck Bo. Pine who’ll play Captain Kirk in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Trek reincarnation is just terrific here totally endearing as he etches a character we root for heart and soul. He is certainly an actor to watch out for. It’s also easy to see why he er pines (pun intended) for Sam a stunning charmer lovingly played by Taylor. Rodriguez (Six Feet Under) is a perfect addition as the romantic threat to buddy Bo. Rounding out the cast in style are veteran Dennis Farina who has a couple of nice scenes and the lovely Eliza Dushku who works at the local bar. Director Randall M. Miller’s last feature attempt was the overly sappy and hopelessly sentimental Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School but what he’s achieved with Bottle Shock is a quantum leap forward in quality. As co-writer (with wife Jody Savin who also co-produced and Ross Schwartz who came up with the idea in the first place) he has infused the film with just the kind of light touch to make this real-life story work as that rare kind of glorious human comedy from the heart. It’s a pure delight that goes down like the finest of wines with a superb look and feel--particularly highlighted by Michael J. Ozier’s eye-popping cinematography. Of course when you have Northern California’s breathtaking wine country as your canvas it would be hard to screw it up. Bottle Shock is on a par with some of the sleeper comic successes of recent years including such Oscar winners as Sideways and Little Miss Sunshine. Like those sleeper hits Miller has unleashed a 100 percent-certified cinematic gem the perfect tonic for a summer night.