SLIDESHOW: The restoration of the Alki Homestead will be documented on film
The Alki Homestead, now in the process of review on the path to full restoration/reconstruction will be the subject of a series of short documentary films by Seattle film makers Bus No. 8.
Since the restoration process has to gain approval from the Architectural Review Committee of the Landmarks Preservation Board the project began last week with interviews with architects Mark Haizlip and Greg Squires of Alloy Design Group and Homestead owner Tom Lin.
"Because this project is going to go on for a long time, what we're planning to do is just do short videos along the way," said Bus No. 8 film maker Robert Lawson. "Each milestone along the way we will be here documenting it and release those short videos as we go." The videos will be posted on Vimeo.com.
These will then later be compiled and re-edited to form a long form documentary about the restoration of the structure, built in 1903-04. That restoration process will likely involve a large amount of de-construction since so much of the structure is degraded by age, insect damage, and the 2009 fire. The West Seattle Herald covered the upcoming process here.
Film maker Richard Jackman said, "I think we're interested particularly in capturing the process and it's a complex story with a lot of strands so it will take us some time to figure out exactly what we'll focus on. First of all there's a history up to this point and we want to capture that but also as we're moving forward there's a lot of different players with a lot of different perspectives. Part of what we're doing, by doing it incrementally is that we revisit as we go along.
In our other work we've started out with an idea for a story (...) and the story we end up may not have anything to do with the idea we started with. Right now we have a very fuzzy idea but we are starting to gell that."
They plan on integrating historic stills and even some home video or Super 8 films that people may have shot during their visits there. If you are interested in offering your film or video to the project please contact them at email@example.com.
Bus No. 8 has done promotional videos for non-profit organizations, live events, performance videos and more but their most ambitious project has been the story of Christiana. "You cannot kill us, we are a part of you" tells the story of the “free state” of Christiania, a 36-year-old anarchist squatter community occupying an abandoned military base in the heart of Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen.
During the visit to the building, a family who had just participated in the West Seattle 5K race came to to door and after peering in, were invited inside by Lin.
Very few people have been inside the structure since the fire so they were thrilled to be admitted. Ryan Fisher, Cindy Fisher, their children Evan and Sarah and friend Danyelle Silhan walked through the now ghostly historic building and were shown around. Lin even gave Evan, 7, a "100 year old piece of the Homestead," as the film makers captured the impromptu tour.
Lin said, "I think it's important to record the process of restoring the Homestead, how we revive it, how we restore it so people know what has happened from the fire to now to when it's done. It's part of history being made and it's important to document it."