Dear Members of IMAGO,
Some 20 years ago, Doug Milsome and his wife Debbie were our neighbors in Los Angeles. Doug and I had worked together and became friends. Not only did we talk about cinematography, but our personal lives intertwined. Many an evening was spent conversing about our lives and often about our children. Ours were toddlers. His, Mark and Sarah, were teenagers and embarking on their careers. Mark Milsome, their son, was often spoken about. He was a camera assistant back in England hoping to become a cinematographer following in Doug’s footsteps. As creative artists, we all strive to leave something behind, a great shot, a beautifully lit movie or, more importantly in both our lives, a son to continue on.
When the word got out a few years ago that Mark had passed on because of a terrible accident on a movie set, I could not imagine the loss this meant for the Milsome family. To lose a child, the father of your grandchild, is beyond any expectation. It seemed so unjustifiable and crude under the circumstances. At first, my thoughts were with Doug, Debbie and the family, but then over the past years, hearing more about the details of a car stunt gone out of control, my sorrow was overtaken by anger. I could not, and cannot, to this day, overcome the feeling that this deadly incident was unnecessary and could have been prevented if some simple safety precautions were in place.
What remains today, besides the memories of a son and a father, is the crude reality of life after. Part of this life is a process of healing for those that stayed behind, Part of this process is the quest for justice. The Milsome family, supported by many friends and colleagues in the industry, have justifiably embarked on this quest to make sense of this tragedy and as an effort to prevent this type of accident in the future.
An inquest started over two years ago, a process to find answers. Answers that eventually will lead to a better world for us in the name and remembrance of Mark Milsome.
The Milsome family needs our support and I hope that you will join them on their path as, in the end, it affects us all. You can read the letter from Sarah Milsome, which includes details of how to donate to the Mark Misome Foundation, now by clicking here.
Kees van Oostrum ASC