Establishment of the Black Rock monument in 1859. Image from the McCord Museum (Creative Commons).
History tends to be interpreted in the form of a story with a beginning, middle, and end. And so as I started to plan out my Goose Village documentary project, I created an outline laying out the area’s history in chronological order.
The shortcomings of this approach were immediately apparent. Take, for instance, the Black Rock monument. The rock relates to many periods of history and themes covered by my project, including the typhus quarantine sheds for immigrants in the 1840′s, the building of the Victoria Bridge in the 1850′s, and the Ancient Order of Hibernians’ annual marches in the present day. Bones from the mass grave of immigrants have been continually unearthed and reburied near the rock, “a voice arising from the old clay,” as an Irish ambassador referred to them in 1942. So the Black Rock does not belong to one moment in time, easily wedged into an outline under a single heading, but to a 150+ year period of history and memory. Continue reading
A still from today’s footage: the Farine Five Roses flour mill sign overlooking Goose Village.
Today I tested the camera equipment I’ll be using for my Goose Village documentary. Now that my fingertips have thawed, I can blog about my high-def adventures!
I studied filmmaking in college, but back then I only worked in standard definition on miniDV tapes. Now I have access to an HD camera through the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling here in Montreal. Having no experience with the fancy 1080i HD format, I wanted to make sure it would work with my video editing program.
With a tripod and camera bag heaved over my shoulder, I walked down Bridge Street to the parking lot and rubble yard where Goose Village once stood. I gathered footage from around the area, including some of the World War II memorial, which is practically all that is left of the neighborhood, plus some of the Black Rock. I shot until my fingers went numb from the cold, then I came back and whipped up a clip. Continue reading