New York Reflections

Industry Creatives Testimonial Update – Chris Gill

Hi Film Folk,

I’m just off the plane from New York, back in the UK. This week I just wanted to offer a short blog about some fresh emotions, before they get diluted through the daily grind. It’s a more sombre blog that I typically write.

The last time I was in the Big Apple was in 1999, as a wide-eyed student, sleeping in a YMCA and aimlessly wandering the city. Memories include: looking out of the Statue of Liberty’s crown, eating far too many pizza slices, climbing the Empire State Building, having some child sneeze the contents of their nose all over me at a screening of “Toy Story 2” and the towers.

Those incredible towers. I remember being awe-struck by them.

The New York skyline embodies the incredible human capability for growth and reaching for the stars. The missing WTC towers shows other sides to mankind.

This week was my first time I had returned to NY since the terrible events of 9/11. It felt really emotional. The horror of the events were felt globally, but imagine it was in your back yard? It was your city? Your friends and family? There isn’t a soul in NY who wasn’t hit by this disaster.

Standing there this week, it really brought it all back to me. As a human, perhaps as a filmmaker, you see footage of the events of 9-11 and you almost can’t attach it to reality. It looks too much like a movie, like a fictional event. The optimistic part of your mind tries to put up some defences to shield you from the reality of all of those deaths, all of those families and communities that were crushed.

I spent some time at the “World Trade Centre Memorial”, which was incredibly moving. For those that haven’t been, the area has two large pools at the sites of the foundations of the towers. Water gushes through them into abysses in the centres, and the surrounding walls are emblazoned with the names of the 2,977 victims who tragically lost their lives.

Awful events and disasters strike all over the world, but we seem to be able to put it out of our minds because it’s a distant country, instead we focus on Kanye West’s new sneakers or whatever the Kardashian’s are up to. This is human nature, but we do have a duty to concentrate on the issues that matter and, where we can, to do our bit.

We should keep our heads in the game, not be distracted and upset by things that don’t actually matter, and to try and enrich the lives of those around us. Most critically, we have a duty to do our best, to achieve things and not just settle for exisiting. We’re alive where others are not and have the opportunity to do great things for ourselves and for others.

Thanks for reading,
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It was an odd blog post this week, but one that I felt was important. I’ll be back to more film related topics and lighter tones next week.

Remember that you can always get in touch with me on our contact page. Thanks.