On February 20 during a camera test for the film, “Midnight Rider,” (a new biopic of Gregg Allman), a freight train slammed into the production crew on a narrow railroad trestle bridge in rural Georgia, taking the life of a 27-year old second camera assistant and injuring six other crew members, one of them seriously. On July 3, the film’s director and two others were charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass.
Behind the glitz and glamour of a Hollywood production are many familiar risks. Crews routinely work long hours, work at excessive heights, around temporary electrical wiring and sets, and on worksites that can change completely from day to day. Essentially, workers in the entertainment business face many of the same hazards as those working in construction — but with the added dangers associated with film stunts, onlookers and paparazzi breaching established security boundaries, unskilled extras, and performances using or in close proximity to live ammunition and fireworks.