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Spectrum Films to Release Video About Terrorist Attacks

4 Oct, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

It took awhile, compared with past disasters, but an independent video supplier is teaming with an on-the-spot news service to produce a video documentary about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

Spectrum Films will release America 911 on videocassette and DVD Oct. 15. There is no suggested list price, but Jerry Smallwood, the former A-Pix Entertainment president who heads Spectrum, says he expects the video to retail for around $20.

Smallwood says 20% of his gross sales will be turned over to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. “If we can put our money in the hands of people who need it, we will have accomplished our goal,” Smallwood says.

America 911 captures the first 24 hours of the disaster through footage of the attack and man-on-the-street interviews with survivors, rescue workers and witnesses.

All scenes were shot by video journalists from CameraPlanet.com, a division of production and new media company BNNtv.com. The company has teams of reporters equipped with digital camcorders and boom microphones and has provided news footage to MSNBC, MTV’s “Unfiltered,” the Learning Channel and other programs.

CameraPlanet.com offices are at 28th and Fifth and “as soon as this happened, they said to all their crews, ‘Go out and get the story,’” Smallwood says. “This is a defining moment in America’s history, a time capsule that people will want to own.”

Spectrum Films is an independent home video supplier based in Mesa, Ariz., that has been releasing independent product for more than a decade. Among the company’s past releases are the thriller Legal Deceit with Lela Rochon and the Sundance Film Festival award winner Fun with Alicia Witt.

Steve Scavelli, president of Flash Distributors, says he needs to see a copy of the video before he decides whether to carry it.

“It all depends on how it’s done,” says Scavelli, whose Brooklyn offices are right across the bay from the World Trade Center and who participated in the rescue efforts. “If it’s done in the spirit of good journalism and history and to give people who were not able to see firsthand what happened a better understanding of the tragedy, I’m all for it.”

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