Medford native honored for 9/11 documentary

Adocumentary film made primarily with amateur video of the 9/11 terrorist attacks has garnered three Emmy awards for Medford native Seth Skundrick of New York.

The film, "102 Minutes That Changed America," details the attacks on the World Trade Center from the moment the first plane hit the north tower to when the second tower collapsed. Produced by Skundrick's New Animal Productions, it won Outstanding Nonfiction Special and separate awards in the nonfiction programming category for sound editing and sound mixing.

The awards were given during the 61st Emmy Awards presentation in Los Angeles on Sept. 12, eight years and a day after the attacks.

Like most Americans, Skundrick watched 9/11 unfold on the national news at his home, in Chicago, where he settled a dozen years ago.

His move to New York in 2006 gave him a more vivid perspective of the attacks.

"I was in Chicago, so, much like the rest of the country, I experienced 9/11 through the TV "¦ and I was horrified," the 40-year-old Skundrick said.

"But it was nothing like what folks here, people we've met and were fortunate enough to use their footage, experienced."

Skundrick said he avoided packaged news reports from national networks to create a more realistic film.

"A lot of people had the news playing, so there's a bit of information that way, but we mostly wanted it to be unedited, uncensored "¦ real life," he said.

"'102 Minutes' is very much a New York perspective on a worldwide tragedy. This is what, if you were here, it looked like."

Skundrick said his interest in moviemaking began when he and his brother made Super 8 mm films while growing up in the Rogue Valley.

His professional foray into filmmaking occurred after his college years at Oregon State University.

"I went to Oregon State for political science but dropped out right before graduation, much to the chagrin of my dad," Skundrick said.

"Eventually I took some filmmaking classes at the Northwest Film Center in Portland and just fell in love with the industry."

After a handful of jobs in film editing and production, Skundrick opened his own company and began producing documentaries.

Skundrick's father, Don Skundrick of Eagle Point, said the family's connection to 9/11 was two-fold, with Seth's brother living in Washington, D.C., during the attack on the Pentagon.

"Just the event itself is obviously very traumatic," said the elder Skundrick.

"I guess the pride of seeing (Seth's) hard work mingled with the trauma of the event was kind of a bittersweet perspective."

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Buffy Pollock is a freelance writer living in Medford. E-mail her at

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