In 2011, I directed over 40 short films for TIME's Beyond 9/11 project, which marked the ten year anniversary of 9/11. The majority of films were compelling oral histories recounting each person's own experience of the day. In addition, there were so many powerful stories, that we threaded together four additional films that combined a number of different voices talking about the same theme or story.
The Pitch, tells the story of President George W. Bush, who stepped to the mound to throw the first pitch at Yankee Stadium on October 30, 2001. That night, the first pitch meant more than just "play ball." In an exclusive interview that I conducted with President George W. Bush, he describes the gravity of that night. We also wove in some commentary by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who watched the pitch from the stands.
The Family, is a powerful and moving tale of The Riches, an NYPD firefighter family. Jimmy Riches was one of the first responders to the scene and he died that day. He had three younger brothers: Timmy, Tommy and Danny, who all serve in the FDNY and his father, Jim, who is a retired fireman. The interviews are filled with deep loss and love.
The Survivors tells the story of Richard Fern, Stanley Pramuth, Ron Defrancesco and Brian Clark who were the only four survivors to escape tower two of the World Trade Center. All four of them were remarkably above the point of impact of where the planes hit but still managed to survive. Their unbelievable stories brought us to tears and still haunt me today.