Thursday 23 June 2011

Mosman Faces – Putting YOU in the Picture

Way back in August 2009 the seed was planted for Mosman Faces.

An application for a Library Council of NSW Library Development Grant followed and in early 2010 success!

Grant received; it was time to put the verboseness of a grant application into action - Local Studies at Mosman Library hit the ground running.

In creating Mosman Faces the plan was to build on our already existing websites Mosman Memories, a place for past and present residents of Mosman to share memories of their street and Mosman Voices, which provides access to our oral history collection.

We wanted to go one step further and bring Mosman’s stories to life on screen through filmed interviews. We wanted the interviews to be online and interactive and we wanted these interviews to be complemented by scanned images of materials from our Local Studies collection. In short, we wanted Mosman’s story out there!

So the fun began. Since I had planted the seed I took on the implementation of the project, but not without the able assistance of staff members Donna Braye, Mosman’s Local Studies Librarian and Bernard de Broglio, Mosman Council’s Internet Coordinator.

Recreating Mosman’s story in a new attractive format requires much activity behind the scenes – choosing the interviewees, gathering information, selecting materials and images, scanning images, setting up the website and of course the interviewing and filming.

How many interviews? Who do we interview?

Ten ‘Faces’ were chosen and all agreed to tell their story. The Mosman Faces included Barry O’Keefe, ten times Mayor who was known to have shed blood for Mosman’s bush land, Paul Delprat, local artist and self proclaimed Prince of Wy and Judy Gibson, who never lived in Mosman but knows many of its inhabitants intimately from her days at Taronga Zoo.

We started off filming ‘on location’ but with the amount of equipment and tight time frame and possibilities of things going wrong the remainder of the interviews were done in the relative calm of our Library meeting rooms.

And what’s a story without images?

Following filming, the interviews were transcribed and they were edited and now it was time to match images to the words.

I won’t go into the detail of selecting and scanning of the images or the tediousness of the paper edit, with one eye on the timer code, one on the transcript and an ear on the interview but every project has its ups and downs and the show must go on!

Whether it was song and dance with the Mosman Musical Society, romance at the classic old cinema, The Kinema, or talking to the animals at Taronga, Mosman was planning to put on its face for a launch in Library Week, 23-29 May 2011.

The website was in Bernard’s capable hands, text was added, snaps were added, a logo was added and waiting, waiting, waiting…the day of the launch the films were added!

The night of nights was not exactly as planned but Mosman’s story was out there!

This week additional images, music and film footage is being edited into the stories and of course these ten interviews are just the beginning – stay tuned to Mosman Faces, another exciting installment from Mosman Library.

- Mary Lou Byrne

Mary Lou Byrne spends most of her work life at Mosman Library in Local Studies but also frequents the Reference Desk. She does not tweet, blogs irregularly, uses Facebook occasionally, emails frequently but does love a good story!

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