Saturday, September 21, 2013

Newhouse School Alums Collaborate on 9/11 Documentary

In one sense, We Were Quiet Once can be viewed as a meditative, grassroots companion piece to Paul Greengrass' unforgettably visceral 2006 drama United 93.

The documentary's three principals graduated from high school in the two years immediately following Greengrass' film and their movie essentially picks up right where United 93 left off. On the ground, examining the aftermath in Somerset, Pennsylvania of a heroically thwarted terrorist flight that still, forever, changed the fabric of a once quiet community.


We Were Quiet Once premieres September 28th-29th at the Moondance International Film Festival in Mystic, Connecticut. Director Laura Beachy, who graduated from Syracuse University's Newhouse School in 2012, is a public relations coordinator for Rodale, while co-producer and co-editor Ryan Balton (Class of 2011) now works for ESPN. The other key Newhouse team member is director of photography Cory Sage (Class of 2012).

Beachy recently spoke to a reporter for her Alma Mater's SU magazine. She said a rough cut screening in 2012 was a key part of the process and that the documentary was finally completed in May of this year:

"It’s taken two-and-a-half years to hone a film that I am willing to show," Beachy says. "That’s two-and-a-half years of growth, two-and-a-half years of equal parts inspiration and frustration. But to be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way."

Front and center in the film by Somerset native Beachy are three area residents: auto salvage worker Terry Butler; volunteer firefighter Rick Flick; and Catholic priest Father Al Mascherino. Butler's body is covered with tattoos relating to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

[We Were Quiet Once]

Previously on FilmStew:
Bringing Grace to Ground Zero

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