FACES OF THE STORM
A Documentary for Victims, by Victims
Producers: Terri Brewer, Victoria Sheehan
On April 27th, 2011 an EF5 tornado tore through the southeast. Like many unsuspecting people in its path that day, those in Tuscaloosa, Alabama woke up and thought they would live to see the night, and another morning. For 54 people in Tuscaloosa, the next morning never came. This is the story of the people who lived, watched loved ones die, and helped, scratched and fought to save others.
This project is the most profound of my career for many reasons. That tornado destroyed my apartment and I lost everything I owned and loved, including a pet- but other people lost so much more. This project showed me what I wanted to do for a living. It showed me the power of storytelling. It was a painful, devastating process that ultimately proved to be therapeutic. Telling the hardest story to tell, and feeling the personal responsibility to do it right. Each day of work I re-lived one of the most tragic hours for the city I called home. It was my job to comb through video, listen to every interview from the field, and then conduct in-studio interviews with those we chose to feature. Through their words I quietly rebuilt myself as the city around me cleaned up and rebuilt itself as well. I look back on this project with fond memories. This work's ultimate message was about the power of people to be beacons of hope in the darkest times. To those Faces of the Storm who will always be remembered- thank you.
You can watch the documentary, which was nominated for a regional Emmy, in its entirety here: https://vimeo.com/36979540