Minnesota filmmakers behind docudrama that recreated I-35W bridge collapse

Author:
Updated:
Original:

A new television drama that aired Saturday night transported the nation back to the terrifying moments on Aug. 1, 2007, when a Minnesota bridge collapsed during rush hour. Minnesota filmmakers recreated the 2007 Interstate 35W bridge collapse for a new ABC television documentary series called "In an Instant."

Andy and Maria Awes of Committee Films put together the show, which profiles stories of survival. The series looks into "epic stories of survival," and the Awes are tapping into their news background to tell the stories. Maria is a former WCCO producer.

The special included dozens of first-person interviews about the disaster that killed 13 and injured 145, the Pioneer Press reports. The show wove those interviews with re-enactments and real footage of the collapse.

The Pioneer Press reports it took a few weeks to build the set in an abandoned parking lot in New Hope. The group tracked down the same makes of cars on the bridge that day, worked on duplicating the concrete cracks and beams. They also had to make the water look like it came from the Mississippi.

A 100-foot-wide section of the bridge was recreated, and tight shots were used to take viewers to the scene.

The footage looked so real, some people thought the bridge collapsed again.

The show aims to highlight survivors and how they react when thrown into a life-or-death situation. It also respectfully acknowledges those who didn't survive.

"It will not be lost on anyone that while we are talking to survivors, there are people in some of these events who did not make it," Maria Awes tells the Pioneer Press. "I think we've done a good job of treating the situation with respect and those individuals with respect as well."

Committee Films is based in Eden Prairie and aims to keep its productions in Minnesota as much as possible, noting it is important to keep the TV industry locals working in state. Minnesota offers Snowbate tax incentives for Minnesota productions.

Saturday marked the network debut for Committee Films, which has also done shows for National Geographic Channel, History and Travel Channel.

Next Up

ann kim

Ann Kim's new restaurant, Sooki & Mimi, to open in February

The James Beard Award winner is the brains behind Young Joni, Pizzeria Lola, and Hello Pizza.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 1.32.19 PM

Firefighters rescue worker after trench fall in Rochester

The construction worker fell about 15 feet.

gray wolf

Grand Marais mayor's dog survives attack by wolves

He heard his 65-pound dog "screaming bloody murder" and then saw the wolves chasing her.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 12.04.55 PM

Minnesota's COVID vaccine appointment site goes live

Huge demand was expected when the site went live at noon.

emily ford

Duluth woman is hiking 1,000-plus miles on the Ice Age Trail this winter

She could be the second person ever to finish a winter-thru hike of the Wisconsin trail.

coronavirus, covid-19, icu

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 19

Two days in a row with fewer than 1,000 new cases.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 10.52.12 AM

After fire destroyed their house, couple forced to euthanize beloved dog

The couple's daughter has launched a fundraiser for her parents.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 10.16.14 AM

Investigation after teacher accused of lewd act during distance learning

No charges have been filed yet and the staff member has not been identified.

cook county schools

Investigation after assistant principal displays "joke" Gadsden flag during announcements

"My apologies to anybody who was offended by that part of the snake that was on that comic and it's been taken down."

Forest - orono, Minnesota

Report: Forests, agricultural land could help Minnesota reduce greenhouse gas emissions

The Nature Conservancy's Minnesota chapter released a report that shows how many acres of trees would be needed to help the state reach its reduction goals.

Related

Bridge stories: 5 years later, survivors revisit I-35W collapse

In the five years since the I-35W bridge fell into the Mississippi River, the span has been rebuilt, most of the lawsuits have been settled and a memorial has been constructed. But pain, grief and memories linger for survivors. Here are a few of the memorable stories from that day.

5 years after I-35W bridge collapse, bridge repair program halfway complete

Minnesota is on track to meet a 2018 deadline to repair or replace 136 bridges that have been identified as having the most serious deficiencies, as part of a 10-year, $2.5 billion program. State lawmakers created the program just a few months after the I-35W bridge plunged into the Mississippi River during the peak of evening rush hour on Aug. 1, 2007, killing 13 people and injuring more than 100 others.