(Interviewee gives his name and spells it)
All right, so there's a new movie out called World Trade Center. It's gonna open in theaters next week.
As a New Yorker, are you ready to see a movie like that?
Am i ready to see it? Um sure, I'm just curious about the interpretation. Um, I'm actually like more on the side that uh, it was planned, that the things were supposed to fall, so I'm expecting a movie that's gonna like, kinda like, force the, you know, Americans, everybody bring the flags back out and stuff like that, patriotism. And you know, just kinda solidify why we over in Iraq, you know, playing paintball. You know? (laughs) Can I say that?
So, the movie World Trade Center is about two Port Authority cops who were trapped under the rubble, and so we're just trying to get a take on how New Yorkers feel about this movie coming out right now.
"Uh, well it's good and bad. It's good that you see actually certain things that you can see, what the news didn't show you, and it's bad bringing back some bad memories."
So, would you go see this movie?
And where do you live?
"I live in Westchester."
This new movie coming out, World Trade Center, is the true story of two cops who were trapped under the rubble. As a New Yorker, were you living in New York on 9/11?
So as a New Yorker, how do you feel about this new movie coming out?
"I think New York's ready for it. I think it's interesting to see other people's point of view and I think the public should see it."
And would you go see this movie?
"I would, I'd go see this movie."
So were you here for September 11th?
"I wasn't, I'm not going to be any help"
Interviewing girl from Staten Island
"I don't know. I mean, in a way it's a good thing, in a way it's a bad thing, but..."
In what way?
"In a way it's a good thing because um, like it's letting people know they haven't forgotten, and you know, they still think about it and they let you know that, you know, we respect these people, making sure that they remember all of that, and you know, notice. And in a way it's a bad thing because you know, it's bringing up all these old memories about it. People who lost loved ones. You know. Bad thing, good thing."
Would you go see this movie?
"Yea, I think I'll go see it. I'll go see it"
Interviewee gives name.
What do you think of the new movie World Trade Center coming out?
"It's real good. People need to see it. After what went down, a lot of people lost their lives and got hurt, and they don't need to rebuild it again because it's gonna happen again. It happened in '93, and it happened in 2001, and it's gonna, I believe it's gonna happen again, so they should just leave it as it is. We can't afford to lose more people."
Would you go see a movie like this?
"Sure, why not?"
"Because it's real important. It tells you about the history of the World Trade Center and all the people who love the country, rescued other people, and they lost their lives also."
What do you think of the new movie World Trade Center coming out right now?
"I think it all depends on how it's done because I'm not philosophically opposed to addressing the World Trade Center tragedy in the attack because it really happened, it's real, we live with it every day. Just down the block there are remnants of it still there. So I don't have an objection to it coming out but obviously, how it's done and how it's dealt with for me will be critical."
Would you see it?
"Well, there's a separate issue of whether I'll see a movie by Oliver Stone for other reasons. I'm not adverse to seeing a movie about the World Trade Center."
B-roll. Crowds on street on New York. Ziegfeld sign displaying 'A true story of courage and survival: World Trade Center', Port Authority police. Crowds under a tent. World Trade Center posters.
Interviewer: Do you feel it's important for stories like this to be told?
"Yea, it's essential to never forget what happened on September 11th. The tragedy and the courage and the unity of the country that came from that. It's important that we never ever forget that."
Talk about stepping into someone else's shoes for the duration of this movie.
"Well, you do it with your imagination. I met the gentleman that I play when I was done basically so you just bring yourself to the part."
Acting in world trade center vs. the tv show 24
"Well this is a much more important topic than doing 24. This was the seminal political event of our lives. I'm old enough to remember the Kennedy assassination so this particular event is earthshaking, and so to be part of it and work with Oliver Stone was one of the thrills of my career."
What do you want people to take away from this movie?
unintelligible- camera moves away
Interviewer: What message do you want people to take away from this movie?
"I think people who see this movie will absolutely understand the power of the human spirit, just how strong that is, survival, and how people come together, and all of the things that I think are in each and every one of us, the good things in each and every one of us that come out at times like this. At least that's what I came away from the movie with."
Interviewer: unintelligible question
"Oh absolutely, I think everyone has. I think this has changed everyone. 9/11 absolutely has. It's changed the world, it's changed the way we do things every day, it's changed everything and I think that this movie captures that. It's kind of the start of that I believe."
Interviewer: Do you think they portray everything in the way it should be portrayed?
"Well as far as seeing how things work, what is done to recreate it, that's mind boggling. I still watch the scene where the towers come down from inside. Not many of us who were inside actually survived but he recreated that to the T. So even with us telling him what happened, for them to put that onto film which was unbelievable."
Interviewer: There are some families who say this is too soon to tell this story, Hollywood shouldn't be making money off of a tragedy. What do you say to all those people?
"That's their absolute right. I mean no single person or entity has the monopoly on 9/11, especially the World Trade Center, so those people have every right to feel that way, they have every right to say those things. That's their God-given opinion, especially for the losses that they suffered."
Interviewer: You were there that day, you saw it all, and you lived through it. What's the thing you want people to take away? Does it honor the memory of your fallen comrades?
"Absolutely does. I mean, it finally puts the Port Authority police department out there. Five years after the tragedy and there are still memorials and services where the Port Authority police department is not mentioned, so this is a great service to us, to our department that people finally hear, when I was working the site they look at our hats and see PAPD and say oh, you know, are you Pennsylvania? No, we own the site, we weren't first responders, we were inside when the tragedy occurred. So this gives us our identity. For that part, I'm glad that John and Will's story is out there."
Interviewer: So you were there, you know what went on. Do you feel that this movie is an accurate portrayal of what happened?
"As accurate as you're gonna get. You're not gonna get any better than this. Hollywood, Oliver Stone, everybody, they all went way way out of their way, way beyond the call of duty in the movie business so to speak to make sure it was done right and I believe they did. I mean nobody can tell me that it wasn't close."
Interviewer: What was it like to walk on to set for the first time?
"It was very deep, you know I spent a lot of time at Trinity church behind the Trade Center and when we walked in that was the very first place we walked at dusk. Dust was blowing just like that day, papers were blowing, the set with all the trees and cemetery scenes... it was a tough thing to visualize but it was like well you know this is fake and we gotta keep going. The real thing was real. This, we can do."
Interviewer: unintelligible question
"Initially I would say yes and you know like i said it kinda just ... the feeling of that day 9/11 kinda went away and we were just on a movie set after that."
Interviewer: unintelligible question
"I don't know that you can ever have a sense of closure from something like that. It's something, it's history. It's gonna be in every book that's ever written about the trade center. My part, what we did will probably be part of it and the whole day itself will be written down and that's that. It'll never go away."
Interviewer: What do you think this film means to New Yorkers and what about to Americans?
"Americans? Required reading. Everybody should see it. If it refreshes just a little bit of the way everybody felt days later, I'd be happy."
Interviewer: so you were down in that hole. you know firsthand exactly what that looked like. do you feel that this movie captured the essence of what was happeneing that day?
"Absolutely does. It's not as compacted as I would've liked it to seem, it wasn't as smoky but it's not about that. It's about the incredible things that Will and John had to draw on to get through that day."
Interviewer: When you came across Will and you had to lay across him to get that jaws of life, what was going through your mind at that time to try to keep his spirits up and your own?
"As odd as this sounds, we were joking. We were cracking some jokes in there and that's what cops do. Cops make light of a real bad situation and none of the rescuers that were in that hole with me that day thought we were ever coming out. We acknowledged that, we accepted it and we started work. If we were proven wrong, which thank god we were, ok. If not we accepted it, we were gonna die trying to get him out."
Interviewer: Why is this an important film?
"It's important for everybody to see what went on that day internally. We've all seen the footage, the towers collapsing from the outside. You're gonna get a feeling for what it was like on the inside. You're gonna get a feeling for what these five individuals from the Port Authority police, what they went through that day and also their loved ones, what they went through that day, which is something thousands and thousands of families can connect with. You didn't have to be a cop or a rescue worker that day to connect with the families of Will and John."
Interviewer: unintelligible question
"I think everybody has to decide if it's too soon or the right time to be reminded but I think the most important thing to take from this is to remember the tremendous heroism and tremendous sacrifice in the face of unspeakable terror, and also to recall the unity that New York and America felt. (unintelligible) We would all be better off if that sense of unity continued."
"When I think of September 11th, I have those mixed feelings. That incredible sense of sadness and loss but also pride and how New York has responded with such strength and courage."
"I think everybody has to make up their own mind. I had mixed feelings about coming to see it, but ultimately I know it tells the story of the heroism of firefighters, Port Authority police officers, just New Yorkers and Americans who showed such courage and strength on September 11th and I think it's important to remind Americans of, first of all, the devastating losses from the attacks and the strength with which we responded to those attacks.
Interviewer: What kind of a message does a film like this send to the rest of the world?
"I can't say how the rest of the world will react. I just hope they appreciate the fact that we were attacked not because of what we do wrong but because of what we do right, our belief in freedom, our belief in the ability to speak our own minds or worship as we see fit, and in the face of that barbaric attack we responded with the strength and courage that a great free people can muster in times of crisis
Interviewer: Have you seen the film?
"I haven't yet."
Interviewer: Are you still apprehensive about walking into the theater?
Interviewer: Does this movie come close to conveying what it was like ?
"Yea I think they got it very accurate. Of course for TV purposes it's hard to duplicate zero visibility but for the civilian population it's very very intense and they kept everything as real as they possibly can with all our suggestions that we made between the terminology we used, the equipment we used, the procedures. They did the best they can and there's no spins on it, it's straightforward, it's a story that happened. It's about these two guys who lived, two Port Authority police officers who lived. One of the only good things that happened that day, you know?"
Interviewer: What is the most vivid memory you take away from that day you would think is important for other people to know about?
"Well for me it's a little bit different. I lost my brother and my cousin that day. they were both firemen. So we're digging for John and my brother and cousin were missing, and eleven members of my company. So to ask me that question would be a little unfair to everyone else but that day... it was an emotional day and we were running like crazy just trying to find him, trying to bring somebody home. and like Scott said, there's not too many good things that came out of that hole except John and Will."
Interviewer: What do you hope people will take away from this movie?
"Well I want them to remember that day. That's the day we went to war. That's why we have men and women in our service right now fighting for us. People forget that. They wanna yell why we're over there but they forget 9/11. That's the reason why we're there."
Interviewer: What was your reaction when you heard Oliver Stone (unintelligible)?
"We were a little hesitant because of the history of Oliver Stone and his political opinion all the time and if they didn't really say what we wanted most guys would've walked off the set but John and will assured us he's playing it straight. There's no political agenda and you'll see it in the movie. He did an unbelievable job."
Andrea Berloff, screenwriter
Interviewer: What was it like working with Oliver Stone?
it was one of the greatest work experiences iv ever had, i mean he did not have to be, but he was collaborative, he listened to me, he worked with me, he didn't fire me and i'm really thrilled with the result.
Interviewer: what was it like to write this script?
it was teh hardest porofessional thing ive ever done in my life. i spent a month in my office crying by myself as i sat down to try to rwite this. it was the hradest thing ive ever done. i felt like it needed to be done and it was the right thing to do and i was grateful to have the opportunity to meet these families and get to know them and after i did that i just felt like if their story's not told we're doing ourselves as a society a disservice.
Interviewer: these families have been through a lot and would be skeptical of someone else writing their story. how did you gain their trust?
"You don't meet someone and five minutes later tell them about the owrst day of your life. it took some time to build that trust. i think that within a day or two we all just kind of clicked and we liked each other and it's as simple as that
interviewer: wives of cops- their side of the story
well they're cops' wives, you know, nobody else eunderstands that kind of pressure. in my first conception of the film i was not going to rely as heavily on their side of the story but as soon as you meet them and you understand what they went thorugh, that's sort of the everyman experience. that's the expreience that many more of us had. waiting, wondering, watching television and you need to have that storyline included as well.
int: di dyou spend any time with the character that you lpay?
Sound bite: Will Jimeno
Yes they did. Like I said, to me, the film is 95% true. There is that 5% that they need to do to make a film, which I needed to understand. We used to butt heads a lot because I wouldn’t understand, why this is working and because it flows in the film and there were a couple of instances where to me I don’t care if it flows in the film or not you have to make it right for the job and they listened. And when you have a three time Oscar winning director and you got Michael Pena who you saw in Crash with his talent, they listened. And like I said, Hollywood, Oliver, Paramount, they all hung up their agendas, they all hung up their egos and said, you know what? We got to do this right, not only for America but for the world.
I don’t have to see it on film. I think the day they pulled me out, and that night, and the next day, when I opened my eyes, everyday I say it is amazing. It truly is a miracle. Our story is no different than anybody else. The only difference is that we were buried under there and we were the only two and we didn’t find out until a year later that we were the only guys that survived out from under it. I wish, 3000 other people came out of there. It is not about us, it is about the strength of my wife and Donna McLoughlin, it’s about the heroes that came to get us. It is about our teammates, the Port Authority that died that day, who are angels. As well as the 23 NYPD officer we lost and all the firefighters. It is about that. We are just survivors and you can see in the film, you are going through our eyes.
B-Roll – World Trade Center Premiere – Nicolas Cage
B-Roll – World Trade Center Premiere – Nicolas Cage
Description: World Trade Center NYC Premiere
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