Brook Lapping’s upcoming 90-minute documentary, 9/11: life under attack, for ITV, features never-before-seen footage and sounds capturing the chaos on the land of New Yorkers that day.
Recordings – taken from military command centers, frontline emergency services, government conference calls, air traffic control, commercial airlines, private phone calls, and public broadcasts – allow the viewer to directly hear confusion, anger and disbelief.
Presented without any interviews, viewers hear gripping and deeply moving new stories.
The Finish Line’s Katie Kemp worked with Zinc Post to complete post-production for the project.
This involved an extensive DaVinci Resolve rating and restoration process, as well as three separate deliveries to international broadcasters including ITV, France Televisions and History Channel.
âThe documentary tells the story of 9/11, but without using a narrator or cutting to interview. Everything is purely told through archival footage of the day, âshe said.
This meant there was a lot of work to be done to process and balance the original material. No one had a smartphone in 2001, so all of the archive footage came from very different camera sources and was recovered under varying conditions.
Everything had to look historically accurate and unfold naturally, while crisscrossing in chronological order.
The first step was to make sure the rating reflected the atmosphere in the most authentic way possible. Before the towers fell, September 11, 2001 was a sunny day with blue skies in New York City. Despite the drama, 9/11: life under attackThe note of s was necessary to describe this aspect of the day with precision. Then, after the towers fell, it was necessary to reveal a world plunged in darkness. All this before showing again the sunlight shining in the dust-covered streets, after the debris had been cleared.
âWe had this scene that involved someone who lived just a few blocks from the towers,â Kemp continues. “You see this cloud of dark dust coming towards their apartment, then the world goes from shining sun to shadow.”
Although the documentary was delivered in SDR, Kemp used DaVinci Resolve’s HDR wheels to make sure she could bring out as much detail as possible in those shadows. The Color Warper tool was used to keep the shades of sky blue as consistent as possible across all camera sources, to keep the viewer in the moment.
âWe then made the decision to present the images in a pillar box throughout,â says Kemp. “Not only did this accurately reflect the period of time the footage had been shot, but it also avoided forcing it to a full 16×9 format where we would lose parts of the frame.”
The final delivery was in HD, and by the end of the release there were three completely separate individual versions of the documentary covering different regions.
9/11: life under attack premieres on ITV on September 7 at 9 p.m. and on the History Channel on September 11 at 10 p.m. ET / PT, with a premiere date soon to be announced by France Televisions.