On the 5th anniversary of the death of British Cameraman Mark Milsome on set, the foundation set up in his name is calling for long overdue change in on set protection of crews.

Samantha Wainstein, Chair of the charitable foundation MMF says, “Mark was unnecessarily killed whilst filming a car stunt on location in Ghana in 2017. Five years have passed during which time nothing has changed to improve crew safety – we are marking this tragic date by demanding mandatory health and safety education for all crew working in Film and TV.”

The Foundation is asking for the industry establishment, including BECTU, PACT, PGGB, and all industry guilds, to unite to create lasting change. Since its inception, MMF has had continual dialogue with crew. In 2020, it commissioned a detailed survey to gauge opinion on their working conditions and then created a Health and Safety Passport course in 2021. “Whilst individual crew have responded positively to the course, as far as the established industry goes, nothing has changed.”

“The powers that be can’t just treat policy on health and safety along with the wellbeing of their crews as a box-ticking exercise,” says Mark Milsome’s widow Andra. “The overall culture on sets needs to change for good. We are using the 5th anniversary as a call to action and I would like to echo the wise words of our esteemed patron, Rory Kinnear, whose own father Roy died on set: ‘No-one should die for the sake of a shot.’”

MMF will launch Black T-Week on 18th November, when film and television crews across the UK will honour their late colleague by wearing black T-shirts exclusively designed by celebrated cinematographer Benoit Delhomme. Benoit and Mark worked together on The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Theory of Everything.

The Mark Milsome Foundation was set up in 2018 to encourage and support young people wanting to enter and thrive in the film and television industry, particularly those from backgrounds who traditionally find it difficult to gain access due to lack of knowledge of the sector and lack of contacts. The support the Foundation has received from major organisations, including the Association of Camera Operators, BAFTA, BSC, EON Productions, the Guild of British Camera Technicians, Mission Digital, Panavision, Arri Rental, Pinewood Studios, as well as on screen stars Emma Thompson, Daniel Craig, Eddie Redmayne, Colin Firth, Harrison Ford and most importantly, UK film and TV crew including Fabian Wagner, Andrew Dunn, Peter Robertson, James Layton, Sean Savage, Aaron Leach and Jack Plumridge, “demonstrates the positive impact the Foundation is having. Inspiring, nurturing and protecting the next generation of talent is at the top of MMF’s mission list.”

Mark Milsome Foundation Health & Safety course provides a SkillSet Level 2 safety passport, valid for 5 years. It takes 90 minutes, costs just £20 and all profits are gifted to the Foundation and Mark’s family. The course was created in response to a UK wide survey of film and tv crew that received close to 5000 comments and which found that current H&S education is virtually non-existent. It covers all the areas that failed Mark in Ghana, and attempts to protect and empower crew so that such accidents never occur again.

Jon Creamer

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