video is approx. 17 minutes long,
and is a 42MB QuickTime video file.
Video © Andy Levin
had taught me early on of the value of personal work. One of the first
stories he assigned me to do was a documentary on the World
Trade Center. When I got down there. I remember asking to see the stairs
and being surprised how small they seemed for such large buildings.
When the plane first hit, I was at 12th street and 6th Avenue. I returned
to my apartment, and went out to photograph the burning buildings. I
remember thinking, "Its early, there cant be that many people
inside." Little did I know of the suffering that was going on a
mile away. It was a beautiful day.
I am still trying to figure out why I didnt go down to Ground
Zero - immediately.
In all honesty, Aftermath was my way of making up for not
going down to Ground Zero that morning, like Fournier and Nachtwey and
many others did.
I had lost my mother to cancer a few months before so perhaps it was
easier for me to deal with the emotion of the funerals, the bagpipes,
and people breaking down, than the violence itself. There was a lot
more tape of the bagpipes than I could put in the film; people just
couldnt handle hearing it. Sometimes I couldnt either.
The story of Aftermath is that two weeks ago, it was scheduled
to be shown only in a small firehouse near Ground Zero. I e-mailed about
50 public TV stations offering them the film. One person, Carrie Corbin,
at a small station in Michigan e-mailed me back. She had no time to
look at the film. She had a hundred films to review, on her desk. I
e-mailed her back: You owe it to your audience to see this film.
A week later, sight unseen, she put me in touch with NETA, the National
Educational Television Association. Last week NETA uploaded the film.
On Tuesday, the 4th of September, my contact at NETA, Maryanne Freeman,
e-mailed me. She was astounded. 90% of the public television stations
had scheduled Aftermath for 9/11, including here in New
York. This was beyond her wildest dreams. I say this because its
the most important lesson of all. You have to believe in what you are
doing, and dont be shy about it.
Andy Levin has
been a photojournalist for over 25 years. Levin began his career in
photography with Howard Chapnick at Black Star, and was a Contributing
Photographer at Life Magazine. His father, Robert, was an avid photographer
who brought people like Weegee, Cartier-Bresson, and Paul Schutzer to
the family's home in Long Beach, Long Island.