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Orlando Film Community Loses a Member (updated)
By Douglas Lorah
The Orlando film community lost a member on Sunday night, November 11, 2007. Steadicam operator and assistant camera operator Robert "Chip" Monk died from injuries sustained in an auto accident.
There was a memorial gathering tonight (11/15/07) from 6-9pm at Woodlawn Cemetery in Gotha. There is a Memorial Service scheduled for Friday, November 16th at 10AM at Faith World at 7601 Forest City Road in Orlando 32810. If you need directions, call (407) 292-8888.
As of right now, there is a website setup to take donations for Chip's wife Sara who is 6 months pregnant with their first child. www.dayrateforchip.com explains how you can help Sara in this time of need.
I am attaching an email letter that was written by Rob Whitehurst who was working on the same project that is filming in Georgia.
I've just returned from Albany, Georgia, where I'm working on the movie Fireproof. It's with great sorrow that I send this notice to you, just in case you've not yet heard. Our assistant camera operator, Robert "Chip" Monk died last night in transit to Albany for another week of shooting. From the little information we currently have, Chip's Explorer suffered a rear tire blow out, throwing the car out of control, and into a multiple rollover. There were many who stopped to help out, but the fire department had to cut the top of the SUV off to extricate Chip from the car, and he was Life Flighted to the hospital. Chip suffered severe brain trauma and did not survive.
Chip is survived by his wife Sara, who is six months pregnant with their first child, and does not work. She is still in school. His parents came in today from North Carolina. Bob Scott is at the house with Sarah and David Nixon is back in Orlando handling the arrangements. The executive producer and the director of the movie are also now in Orlando to help Sarah and the family.
If you knew Chip, then you knew what a wonderful man he was. I've known him for 12 years or more and can truly say he was one of the nicest guys I've ever met, in the business or out. I never saw him mad, he always had a smile for you, and he was extremely funny. One of the things we both got into in Albany was playing Bocce Balls in our breaks. We both were terrible at it so we had each other to lean on in that. I just can't imagine going to set now without him there. I don't know how I'm going to do that.
If you didn't know Chip, just know that yes, there are still really nice guys in the world and in our business. You just didn't have the good fortune to have met him.
The union has a death benefit to give but it's small. Sarah now has no income so we are setting up a fund for her. If you are interested, please contact me and when I have the information, I'll let you know how to help out. We are asking those who pray, to do so for Sarah, her parents and Chip's parents. And for the rest of the crew and cast. We are taking two weeks to mourn and regroup.
Please ask around your sets and shoots to make sure everyone who knew Chip knows about his passing. The picture below was taken last week, of Chip doing what he loved. He will be so greatly missed.