Sept. 11--A local filmmaker will make his feature debut this month with a documentary about the local reaction to the crash of Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001.
Delaware Valley High School 2007 graduate Ryan Balton, who grew up in Dingman Township, co-produced "We Were Quiet Once." The film takes a unique look at the people of Somerset, who have personally memorialized the international tragedy that occurred in their backyard. The documentary's world premiere will be at the Moondance International Film Festival in Mystic, Conn., Sept. 26-29.
"We Were Quiet Once" was directed by Somerset native Laura Beachy, one of Balton's Syracuse University classmates. Beachy was in sixth grade on Sept. 11, 2001, just a few miles from the Flight 93 crash site.
The film features Terry Butler, an eyewitness to the crash who has tattooed his entire body with images of Sept. 11; Father Al Mascherino, a former Catholic priest who bought an abandoned chapel and converted it into a shrine to honor the victims of Flight 93; and Rick Flick, a first responder with the volunteer fire department who now coordinates an annual motorcycle ride among the three Sept. 11 crash sites.
Balton got involved in the film later in the process. Beachy did the interviews, made a rough cut, and then approached Balton to help finish it off.
He watched the rough cut.
"There was a story there, and some really good moments," Balton said. They spent weekends and late nights finishing all the editing and seeking feedback from other filmmakers.
On Sept. 11, 2001, Balton was in seventh grade at Delaware Valley Middle School.
"The day it happened, my dad was working in Manhattan. I won't forget, when he picked me up from the bus that afternoon, he was in tears. He watched one of the towers going down. It personally affected my family and so many in the local community," he said.
Balton, 23, now lives in Bristol, Conn. In addition to filmmaking, Balton works full time at ESPN studio operations.
"We Were Quiet Once," was submitted to the Black Bear Film Festival. "We are hoping to get it shown there. We haven't heard yet," Balton said.
For information about the film and how to purchase it, go to WeWereQuietOnce.com.
A portion of the proceeds go to support Sept. 11 charities.
Copyright 2013 - Pocono Record, Stroudsburg, Pa.