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Pittsburgh filmmakers behind "Unsinkable" tell story of Titanic and U.S. Senate hearings

Local filmmakers behind "Unsinkable" tell story of Titanic
Local filmmakers behind "Unsinkable" tell story of Titanic 02:31

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — For Pittsburgh filmmakers Brian Hartman and his son Cody Hartman, the story of the Titanic has always held an interest.

"My family was all kinds of Titanic buffs," said Brian. "My mother, with the book "A Night to Remember," she used to show us when we were kids. It was always sort of a fascination, but we didn't know a lot about it. Really, what it came down to was we knew the story seemed endless."

In that vein, a few years ago, Brian and Cody's fascination peaked when they heard the story of the U.S. Senate hearings that happened in the wake of the Titanic disaster in 1912. This inquiry helped give the public an accurate account of the infamous night the ship went down, and it called into question just who was accountable for the tragedy.

"Our main thing was to try and figure out why we never heard of this," said Brian. "There was this big Senate investigation and there was no accountability or anything. And through our research, we realized, that is the story."

It took years to write and develop this project, and when the time came to actually film the movie "Unsinkable," the Hartmans said they needed to look no further for filming locations than right here in Pittsburgh.

"We shot everywhere," said Cody. "We shot at the Grand Concourse. We shot at Ligonier Beach, and we turned that into the North Atlantic. And for me, I think my favorite location was The Pennsylvanian right under the rotunda. We just filled it and packed it with period cars and horses and hundreds of extras."

Both Brian and Cody couldn't say enough about their amazing cast and crew, and they both spoke about just how wonderful it was to film in their hometown.

"For me, it was really special to shoot in Pittsburgh because I was born here," said Cody. "And I have lived other places for a long time, but to be able to shoot this film in Pittsburgh with people that I grew up with in the industry, it was really special."

Earlier in November, the film made its debut at the Three Rivers Film Festival to a sellout crowd and while a few more festivals and screenings are planned, "Unsinkable" looks to debut on a yet-to-be-determined streaming service in April 2024 sometime near the sinking of the Titanic's anniversary.

For Brian and Cody though, they both just hope that when folks see this film, they remember that the Titanic's story is a story about the people who were on board.

"We wanted to hear the retelling of the stories," Cody said. "And we wanted to make a film that was a lot more intimate than what has been done in the past. And I think that was our thesis for the entire film. How do we make this feel like this is something coming from the victims? And it is about the survivors and their stories."

For more information on the movie, click here.

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