Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Frequently Asked Questions

We'd like to thank the large number of people who've written us to offer encouragement and support. Your kind words have let us know that we made the right choice in releasing this video. Because we can't respond individually we've compiled a FAQ to answer common questions:

Q. Why did you choose to release the video now?
A. We have wanted to release the video for some time, but had not found the appropriate venue. We offered it to a local public television station, but they did not respond.

Q. Why did you release the video on Revver?
A. We chose to release the video on Revver because of its author-friendly licensing terms and support for the Creative Commons. Revver is currently the only authorized commercial distribution channel for this video. Copies on Google Video, YouTube and other video sharing services are unauthorized and we will ask for their removal. While we like and use those services for some content, we do not agree with their licensing terms for this video.

Q. Are you going to make money from this video through Revver?
A. No. We will donate proceeds from Revver's ad-sharing arrangement for this video to a children's charity.

Q. Isn't this video missing important scenes?
A. We did not capture the impact of either plane or the start of either building's collapse. As many have surmised, the impacts of the airplanes and collapses of both buildings did catch us by surprise.

Q. Why did you edit this video?
A. The version we released on 9-11-2006 was intentionally and obviously (using dissolves) edited for length and size only. About 10 minutes of mostly redundant video was removed. None of the media services could host the unedited file at sufficiently high resolution.

Q. Will you release the unedited version?
A. We had intended to, but our plans our on hold at the moment due to time and logistical concerns. We do not feel the high-res version shows anything more than the edited version, and we don't wish to stroke any purient interests. We do not intended to sell or profit from this video in any way.

Q. Does Bri believe she saw a military plane?
A. Bri's comment regarding the "military" plane was due to her seeing a silhouette of the plane and therefore assuming black coloration. Her initial thought was that the plane was approaching the south tower to help fight the fire. There is nothing in our recollection to suggest that events of the day occurred in any way other than seen on the video.

Q. Are those UFOs in frame xxx?
A. Compression of the video for display on the web has distorted some objects, which include helicopters, birds, a fighter jet passing overhead (after the second plane hit the south tower), and glare from a window.

Q. What is the music in the background?
A. The lullabies playing in the background at the start of the video are from a CD we would play to calm our daughter. The CD plays lullabies slowly and includes a background heartbeat. This music was not added to the video at a later date. We have been unable to listen to that CD since.

Q. Was your daughter in day care at the WTC? Is she OK?
A. Our daughter was scheduled to start day care in the North Tower the following week. It is our understanding that all children in that day care were evacuated successfully. We were displaced from our apartment for about a month and continued to live in the area for a year. She did develop asthmatic symptoms which may have been due to the lingering dust. These symptoms cleared up when we moved to a different part of Manhattan.

Q. From where was the video taken?
A. From 41 River Terrace, the tallest building in Battery Park City North, about 500 yards northwest of ground zero. (A blogger has created an image showing our location here.)

Q. Who shot the video?
A. Video was shot by Bri and Bob on a Sony DCR-TRV11 Camcorder. A few days after the tape was shot, we transferred the video to DVD using Apple iMovie and iDVD. The tape and DVD have never left our possession. The released video was transcoded from the DVD. The unedited version was re-transferred from the original tape.

Q. Have you been contacted by the authorities regarding this video?
A. No.


jenisomerset said...

I am only concerned about the lack of traffic on the ground below. As with the Naudet video (the footage of the first plane hitting the tower) this video shows no sign of congestion. Where is all the traffic? There are major intersections all around, yet hardly any vehicles. This also happened (in what we call, in England) the "rush hour". The busiest time of the morning when everyone is off to work and children are off to school. It's almost as if there were road blocks around the vicinity to prevent incoming traffic to the area...

What We Saw said...

My recollection of that day (I was walking along chambers street when the first plane flew overhead) was that traffic was normal for that time.

Jack said...

I worked at 195 Broadway in 1993 when I heard the first WTC explosion. I left New York for New Hampshire late that year, for unrelated reasons. Unlike most of my colleagues and friends here, I knew dozens of people killed on September 11th.

I have been numbed by the political exploitation of a tragedy that claimed so many lives and so many of my own friends and acquaintances. Until this morning.

Your decision to share this video reminded my of the "emotional and personal nature" of my own response at the time. Thank you for helping a 50 year old man cry again for the dozens of my friends and thousands of strangers who died that die.

rayna said...

Over the years there have been speculations that there were several explosions before one of the towers collapsed. Did either Bri or Bob hear explosions?


What We Saw said...

Neither of us heard any explosions other than the planes crashing into the towers. The collapse of each tower was accompanied by a loud rumble which sounded and felt like an earthquake.

Anthony said...
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Onlinu said...


i am just writing from lisbon, portugal, because i saw your home made movie about wtc and its indeed a sad moment.

i want to ask if you cuted anything on the movie? do you still live in the area?

well if you ever come around in lisbon and need a place to chill just give me a msg, i would be happy to be helpfull in anyway.

see ya and lets make sure things like this dont happen again with good politics and good ethics and behaviours between people on the world, if possible.

Joel said...

Are there any plans to release a better quality version to the internet in the form of a torrent. What I mean is a version that will allow for larger screen viewing. I would like to have a version of this uncompressed so to say. I'm not sure how to explain myself but more of like the file you have on your macintosh before it is compressed down and made smaller. The dvd you mention you made. That kind of quality. It would really aid in my analysis of this footage. Please contact me at joelsinga@yahoo.com if you can answer this ? Thank you.

Linda said...

Would you allow independent/non-media researchers to view the original videotape (in your presence), without the cuts/edits and digital transfers?

william said...
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william said...
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What We Saw said...

Onlinu -- thanks for the kind offer.

Joel -- not at the moment, simply due to logistical/time concerns. We're busy with two children and active careers.

Linda -- we'd certainly consider it. Please email.



david & mary grace said...

thanks for sharing your perspective. it's good to see events from your vantage point.

Anonymous said...

i appreciate your release of this footage, however i must say i was highly upset that the video was edited. from a historical standpoint, i feel that you should have released the footage as it was captured, in an unedited state.

of course there may or may not be reasons why you didnt release the full video... i dont know.

in any event, we at Sloopo.com appreciate your efforts.
thank you.

cruyffbool said...

a very moving acount of the tragic events of that woeful day. I feel your decision to release the footage was definately the right one, as it brings a human touch to the tragedy, which sadly many others do not.
Kind regards

Glenn said...

It is a good show film the complete world the terrible event of 9/11. God blesses the victims

mikebrownmedia said...

Hey guys. I just wanted to thank you for releasing the video when you did. I'm sure it was a hard decision to make. As a member of the press (camera operator), I appreciate the piece of history that you captured. Thank you for not stopping, even as everything got emotional.

When the second tower was hit, I heard a woman in the video (Bri, I assume), scream, "Oh my God, oh my God! What's happening!?" For me, it was strange hearing her say that... we shared the exact same thoughts, emotions, and words at the exact same time.

As I was watching your footage, my breath literally stopped. I felt like I was there with you guys, re-living that horrible day. I was 19, eating breakfast with my pastor in San Antonio when the whole restaurant stopped and stared at the tv.

So, all in all... thank you.

Happy New Year! I hope 2009 brings you all the best!

Mike Brown

Anonymous said...

I was asleep in my lofted bed in a dorm at the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis, when the planes hit. Someone came to wake me but both planes had already hit.

I do not know anyone who lived in NYC on 911, nor did I lose anyone to this tragedy.

Hence it has been hard for me to fully grasp the scope and scale of this event, and hard to truly empathize. Your video has helped me in this regard.

This is the longest uninterrupted video I have found. The lack of added music/graphics is key.

Like I said, I cannot imagine the trauma and sadness your family experienced that day. I hope you are all well, and have found some sense of peace.

I would like to give your family a non-denominational blessing, since I do not know your views on spirituality.

Bless you Bob&Bri. Bless your family. I truly hope agents have not intimidated or liquidated you to prevent the unedited version getting out.

As Mr. Stephen King once said, "Long Days & Pleasant Nights."


Jacqueline Keeler said...

I just wanted to thank you for releasing this. I avoided watching video of the towers falling when it happened. I was like you a new mom taking care of a baby (in the Tahoe area in California, though) and my husband and I sat there that morning saying many of the same things you said holding our baby. I wouldn't watch the tv, so we listened to Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! reporting from NYC. It was a hard day. I still think part of our innocence as a generation died that day (I'm Gen X, I guess). My parents as young people were molded by Vietnam, Civil Rights (we're American Indian) and Watergate. Thank you for giving me a chance to relive that day. It is only now, with a new President that I even feel like I can mourn the loss.

slowdad123 said...

I've been having trouble getting a comment into you,so let me just say,"Thank you so much".I cried again and will always shed a tear when I see such extreme footage. Thank you, for having the strength under such distress,to record and share this video.I will NEVER FORGET. Truely, Hal in Cleveland,tn

jan said...

thanks for sharing your video
it gives me chicken skin...
very brave to go on filming during this demolution and waste of human life..

Eliza said...

Hello Bob and Bri,

I posted comments trying to get in touch with you several months back and haven't seen them posted yet, so I assume that you haven't seen them.

I am working on a non-profit documentary film called "From the Ground Up" about widows of firefighters killed on 9/11. We plan to use a clip from your video in our film.
Wish I could get in touch with you to confirm permission. I can show you the film if you prefer. Thanks,

What We Saw said...

Hello Eliza, Thank you for your interest in our video. We have had a lot of people contact us to use our video in various programs, but we have told them all no. We only want our video shown in its entirety as we feel it is important that there is a video of 9/11 out there that shows what happened from the perspective of one family, with no commentary, nothing other than the real-life story of what was happening to one family. I am sorry, but we do not give you permission to use the film or any portion of it in your documentary. Thank you for contacting us. Good luck with your film.