History is walking in someone else's shoes.
a SimpleKraft Production
Honorable Mention: 2013 Museum of History and Industry/Seattle International Film Festival Gala
Honorable Mention: 2013 Seattle International Film Festival 3 Minute Masterpiece Series
“History is walking in someone else’s shoes” is an idea that came about when I was searching through the Internet Archive site (internetarchive.org) to prepare my grandfather’s family films for upload.
When I came across footage from Robert Leo Kilker, Jr., I immediately became intrigued with the idea of taking a walk following his path through the Seattle Center Campus. I live just up the street and the Seattle Center is pretty central to my daily life, and a place where I feel the history all around me.
It was surreal to find each location and realize that there was someone standing in the same spot filming in 1962. It was even more eye-opening to see the structures as they were and as they are today. I never realized how much of the campus was developed in the 60s and how little it has actually changed.
His footage includes about 20 minutes of what he experienced at the World’s Fair. Capturing some of those experiences and iconic views was my goal as I set out for my walk—51 years later—on March 19, 2013.
Now, how to put it all together? I had many decisions to make. Do I keep the sound with new footage? Should I remove the noise from the old footage? Do I use a split screen approach to tell the story? The result of “History is walking..” is a blend of trial and error, matching up new footage to old and seeing what worked. I was pleasantly surprised, when I began post production, to discover how well some of the shots lined up. I actually let out a big “YES!” when I saw the space needle behind the white condo building match up while riding the monorail—a shot that I had practiced in my head by counting seconds before panning up to catch the needle as I passed, just like Robert did in 1962.
Finally, I wanted to find a way to bridge from 1962 to 2013. Enter the helicopter. I was hesitant to add sound to Robert’s footage, but when I saw the potential to carry over the helicopter sound inserted on the 1962 footage to the blank 2013 sky, and back to the 1962 helicopter, my hesitations disappeared. There are even a few frames of overlap where the helicopter flickers in the 2013 footage.
The credits include film from vantage points that I don’t have access to, but I wanted to put them in front of people.
One of the views is from a now abandoned pier next to the ferry terminal. The shot of the pilot at the needle is my absolute favorite. If anyone has access to that pier or even a helicopter, it would be great to complete my walk in Robert Leo Kilker, Jr.’s shoes.
Special thanks to the family of Robert Leo Kilker, Jr. (Robert has passed, and I would like to dedicate this film to him, his family and the adventures that he led).
1962 Footage courtesy of internetarchive.org
Robert Leo Kilker, Jr. / Kilker Family Films
Special thanks to the family of Robert Leo Kilker, Jr.
This work is a derivative of Kilker Family Films – trips – reel8 1962
Robert Leo Kilker, Jr. of Kansas City organized ski trips by the Kansas City Ski Club and other trips to Europe and the Middle East. 8mm footage of the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle. Exterior shots of the exhibits, the monorail, and of a helicopter ride.
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