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WORLD TRADE CENTER

About The Production
To bring McLoughlin's and Jimeno's story to the screen, Oliver Stone brought together an outstanding team of professionals. The director of photography is Seamus McGarvey, who filmed the Academy Award® nominee for best picture, "The Hours.” Jan Roelfs, the production designer, is a two-time Academy Award® nominee and previously worked with Stone on the epic "Alexander.” Editor David Brenner, who won the Oscar® for his work on Stone's "Born on the Fourth of July,” marks his eighth collaboration with the director, joining with his longtime assistant and now fine lead editor in her own right, Julie Monroe. The costumes are designed by Michael Dennison.

Composer Craig Armstrong, who has provided the music for such diverse films as "Moulin Rouge” and "Ray,” writes the score.

Although several of Stone's movies feature operatic camerawork, "World Trade Center,” by comparison, is visually spare.

"Seamus and I agreed early on to go more conservatively on this movie, to keep the moves simple, especially in the holes where the men are buried,” says Stone. "And to concentrate on the lighting. We wanted to keep the balance of realistic shadows, yet see into their eyes. Outside the holes, we sought the light as much as possible in the story of the wives and the Marine, to alleviate the dark. In the end, we played off the light and the dark, with variations, seeking to reverse the normal functions of both.”

With that in mind, McGarvey and Stone designed the camera work to convey the characters' internal emotional journeys. "Oliver's way of considering the lens is amazing. He is very, very precise with what the camera says and what the camera movement means,” says McGarvey. "He is never flagrant with the moves and he always captures great performances. Although we used a more naturalistic mode, there was a vibration throughout that is the director's voice, the voice of an auteur and it created a unique quality. As in all his films, Oliver has identified with the protagonists and their dilemmas, their pain and their hope.”

To achieve that vision, McGarvey embarked on a testing process on the best ways to pick up emotion through shifts in light and focus. "On every film, you find something that offers a way of expressing emotion photographically. I asked Panavision, ‘I'm trying to focus in on a single plane, on an eye or a mouth, trying to explore the landscape of the face without a camera move. Have you anything like that? They told me, ‘We've got the perfect thing.'”

The perfect thing turned out to be a prototype of a lens invented by Steve Hylen, the designer at Panavision, which allowed McGarvey to control and train the lens on certain points of the face as the emotion of the scene dictated. "We used it sparingly, at fairly critical junctures, where we were on the protagonists' faces and as we close in on an eye or a mouth, we can redirect the audience's attention. It was incredibly subtle when we're signaling a memory,” McGarvey says.

"I find that most scripts have a photographic heart and this one certainly had a very strong visual identity,” McGarvey concludes. "It's spare, not highly stylized. Also, there are parts of the story that have a very subjective quality, in that you see it from the characters' perspectives. Increasingly, as the story progresses, it becomes more transcendent. We devised ways of expressing that visually.”

The construction department began resurrecting the World Trade Center while the shooting crew filmed in New York, in order to have it ready by the time Stone returned to California. Devising the set was a challenge for production designer Jan Roelfs because the collapsed towers were very well documented in photographs and on television. While this offered a plethora of research material, it meant that everyone in the world had seen and<

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