Sound mixer working on Tom Hanks film dies after fall from balcony

Brenda Watkins
October 13, 2018

Bystanders heard a odd noise at one point, went to investigate, and determined that Emswiller had fallen from the balcony.

Allegheny County police say James Emswiller fell around 7:30 p.m. Thursday during a break in filming.

According to reports, it is likely he had a heart attack, apart from maintain serious injuries from his fall.

The first image from the film, which is set to hit theaters October 18, 2019, was released in September, showing Hanks dressed in Rogers' signature cardigan.

After James hit the ground, a nurse on set tried assisting. apparently to no avail. Paramedics arrived at the scene and transported Emswiller to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Mercy, where he died about an hour after the accident occurred, according to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"Basically, he appears to have suffered from a medical emergency while on the balcony", Lebanon Chief of Police Aaron Lauth told People magazine.

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The film is not strictly a biopic about the TV star's life, but tells the story of Rogers' relationship and adventures with journalist Tom Junod, and is based on Junod's 1998 Esquire profile on the beloved icon. "He was taking a break and smoking a cigarette when he fell".

"He fell from the second storey of the building". The report states that several crew members, including an on-set medic, were attempting life-saving measures.

Down the street, a local dining spot called Hitchhikers Brewery is where a bunch of people were eating and they saw and heard the commotion.

Emswiller won an Emmy for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Limited Series for HBO production of "Bessie".

Hanks' biopic is now untitled, and is due for release in 2019. Rogers died in 2003 after hosting "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" for decades on public television.

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