This weekend the Virgin Islands Humanities Council held their signature event, the "We the People" conference with this year's theme, "Time, Place and Memory". As I am one of their grant recipients they invited me and two other documentary projects to present our works. Since I am in the very beginning stages of my documentary I presented two short trailers. One is already posted on this site. The other I'll post here which is montage of various footage. For me it was nuts, absolutely crazy, to put something together that quickly. I lost one full night of sleep. But it was a good exercise. It helped me wrestle with how I would weave the story together, how I might visually represent the previous owners, what do I want from my interview subjects.
Attending the conference reinforced for me how important it is to collect these memories. As I looked over the footage of my first interviewee, Gerville Larsen, a historical preservation architect, it made me realize that I really want to be able to access those memories, the personal ones, the smell of the place, if the street was shady, what did it feel like to breathe the air, was it heavy with heat, or light with a fragrance of bread baking or sweet from a ground littered with rotting mangoes. And although with this interview, even though I thought it went well, Gerville was articulate and passionate, it made me realize that I want to be able to access more, especially when I begin to interview people who actually lived in Free Gut.
I look forward to more interviews and research and continue to learn and improve production. Comments are most welcome on what you think about the footage so far.