This has been a tragic year for film as we lost stars like Shirley Temple, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Harold Ramis. Their faces, along with many other late film greats are sure to grace the screen one final time during the Academy Awards "In Memoriam" spotlight. But several stars are hoping to add one more name to the list. Sarah Jones, a 27-year-old camera assistant, was struck by a train and killed while on set of the movie Midnight Rider last week. Now stars like Anderson Vilien and Nina Dobrev have joined together to campaign for Jones to be added to the "In Memoriam" section of Sunday's awards. A petition, created by Vilien, has gathered nearly 45,000 signatures so far, but will that actually make the Academy listen? What are Jones' odds of actually appearing in the segment?
NOT IN HER FAVOR:
- SHE HADN'T WORKED ON A LOTJones most notably worked on The Vampire Diaries set, but besides that specialized primarily in short films or TV movies. This works against her in two ways, one: she's not worked on enough to "qualify" her name appearing alongside famous actors like Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and two: she specialized in TV work which the Academy tends to leave for memorial segments during ceremonies like the Emmys.
- SHE'S NOT A HOUSEHOLD NAMEEntertainment Weekly says the segment tends to "focus only on the deaths of those who are familiar to the public at large" otherwise it could be longer than the show if every crew member was listed.
IN HER FAVOR:
- SHE'S FAST BECOMING A HOUSEHOLD NAMEWith stars like Nina Dobrev tweeting the petition to her followers, Sarah Jones is making headlines, which will familiarize the audience with her. [Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/ninadobrev/statuses/438468487502385152] Thanks to social media recognition, Jones may become familiar enough that people won't be confused if she lands in the segment.
- IT'S BEEN DONE BEFOREIn 2011, publicist Ronni Chasen made it into the segment after being shot while driving home from a movie premiere. With high profile clients like Michael Douglas, the Academy decided to include her even though she wasn't well known outside the industry. The same could possibly happen to Jones, especially if she has celebrity backers.
THE BOTTOM LINE
I'd like to say the odds are in her favor but when it comes down to it, there were so many high profile deaths this year that I think the Academy will have a hard time fitting even just the actors in, let alone the crew. But even if Jones isn't in the Oscars segment, she's received a tribute all her own at the hands of film sets everywhere.
"Slates for Sarah" was in part started by Eric Henson who had worked with Jones on the set of The Vampire Diaries. The idea behind it is for film crews everywhere to write a tribute to Jones on their marker slates and post it to this Facebook page. Pictures have come in from The Voice, Revenge, Downton Abbey, Doctor Who, Melissa and Joey, and so many more. And having the industry come together to celebrate you seems much more special than a 12-second clip during the Oscars anyway.