9/11 Witness Interviews

Steve Rosenbaum
Sep 8, 2017 · 5 min read

Filmmaker History: Suzanne describes herself a photographer. Her work is focused on capturing images of artists work for portfolios. Her decision to grab a camera and begin to photograph the towers from outside her window has turned out to be a very emotionally challenging one.

Gear: Still Camera (35mm) and vhs camcorder.

The Day: Kaufman shoots both stills and video out of her apartment window, and the audio portion of the video tape captures her raw responses and her conversations with her husband.

Filmmaker History: Mookie is an Israeli, and he was struck by how much he was used to the sense of crisis in Israel, but never before in New York. It was strange to have his relatives hysterically calling from Israel, from the terrorist attack.

He was taken by the radios on the street, and how there was an instant sense of community.

He recorded the very first mention of ‘revenge, as a drunken New Yorker said “we’re coming to get you Osama.”

His perspective, both in pictures and in his narrative, makes for a unique view of New York during 9/11.

Filmmaker History: Amateur — slides, home videos, and photos

Gear: Video 8 camera

The Week: Shot footage on various days, from a light plane (prior to 9/11), near Ground Zero and from our condo in Brooklyn.

Most Powerful Memory: Seeing both buildings on fire from our condo and the incredible amount of smoke that was being produced and swept to the southeast by the wind..

His Story: Mike Cunga is a secretive, underground hacker. He is a technological wizard who built a whole series of unqiue cameras (one mounted on a pole, the other wide angle).

Cunga was just steps away from the collapse of South Tower, and rode away on his bicycle with the camera pointing backwards as the debris cloud overtook him.

He has extraordinary underground footage in the subway tunnels, as well as rare rooftop images (shot with a tripod) from the roof of a building just across from the WTC site.

He also has images shot from the handlebars of his bicycle shot in the abandoned streets in the two nights after the attacks.

The Week: Shot footage on various days, from a light plane (prior to 9/11), near Ground Zero and from our condo in Brooklyn.

Most Powerful Memory: Seeing both buildings on fire from our condo and the incredible amount of smoke that was being produced and swept to the southeast by the wind..

Filmmaker History: Gary Pollard is the Founder and Chairman of DocFest — and the New York Documentary Center. The New York Documentary Center was founded in 1997 to provide the public with an ongoing series of programs exploring all facets of non-fiction documentary making, past, present and future.

Gary’s footage includes the startling images of smoke clouds from the lobby of 61 Broadway, as well as the “metaphor” bird on Thursday, and the final scene of the film where his friend returns home to the damaged apartment.

Filmmaker History:I’ve written and produced reality/documentary TV shows for networks such as MSNBC, The History Channel, ESPN, NBC Sports, Discovery Asia and Animal Planet. I was also the supervising producer for “7 Days in September.”
Gear:Sony DX2000

The Day:I began the day in midtown, and actually saw the second plane hit from 5th Ave. and 34th Street. After getting hold of a camera, I caught a cab and asked the driver to take me as far downtown as possible, via the West Side Highway. He got as far as Duane Street in Tribeca, and let me off. From there I hiked down to the towers, which had both just fallen, getting all the way down to the smoldering, smoky block itself. I joined a group of photographers standing atop a heap of god knows what, diagonally across from the burning stumps of the towers. I spent the rest of the afternoon down in Battery Park City area, watching the waves of reinforcements arrive and talking to the exhausted firefighters on their way out of the site. By the time I left the area, around 4pm, all of Manhattan had come to a standstill. I walked back up the deserted avenues, now cordoned off by police.

The Day Of:I went down to Tribeca around 11pm on 9/11 to drop off a camera with an intern who was volunteering with the Red Cross. He said he could get some great footage for us if we provided him with a stripped-down camera. He never showed up. I decided to check out the scene for myself and started walking south with a producer and another shooter. As I got closer to Ground Zero (nearing Chambers and W. Broadway), I joined a group of Iron Workers heading down to the site. The producer was stopped by cops who had secured the area, but I kept walking. Before I knew it, I was standing in a foot of dust watching a 5-story heap of twisted metal burning in front of me. I stayed for nearly three hours — capturing whatever images I could at the time: from exhausted firefighters and cops, to blown out cars, trees and buildings, to dust-clouds that swirled around my head (I was the only idiot at the site without a mask, goggles or helmet).

Steve Rosenbaum

Written by

Managing Director: NYC Media Lab |Author |Curator }Technologist. www.MagnifyMedia.com

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