Descendants and Volunteers: send us a brief video of you!

An invitation to the 1919 Boston Police Strike descendants and project volunteers:

We are quickly approaching the 100th Anniversary of the Boston Police Strike. As part of the commemoration on September 7, 2019 at UMass Boston, we plan to compile three short video montages, one focused on the strikers themselves, another on family stories, and another on the reflections of the project volunteers.  We hope to receive a number of these types of stories to craft into a montage between now and September 7.

We are inviting all descendants and volunteers to record your memories and stories to help us create these video tributes.  Here is an example of a draft video created by by Susan Geddis Eppling, who is both a descendant and a volunteer, about her own experience.  Susan will be managing the video process for the project, and will be editing the videos that come in from other descendants and volunteers.  Note: we will add in images, music, subtitles etc – all you have to do is tell your story to your cell phone!

Guidelines for Recording Yourself

  1. A cell phone or ipad is fine to use to video record your stories
  2. Record your video “sideways”, i.e. in horizontal or landscape format (not vertical).
  3. Clear audio is key, so try to record your video in a fairly quiet environment.
  4. Try to stabilize the camera or at least eliminate unwanted movements.
  5. Compose the shot well and fill the frame; a three-quarter view of you works well – that is, framed from the waist up, or from the knees up, sitting or standing.
  6. Record in a well-lit room or space, but do not have a window directly behind you, to avoid glare.

TIP: consider having a friend or relative point the camera at you, instead of trying to juggle a “selfie”!  Or, feel free to come to Healey Library for one of our staff to point the camera at you!  Email us at bpstrike@live.umb.edu to set up an appointment.

Delivering Your Video Message

  • Take a few moments to prepare yourself for what you want to say.
  • It’s okay to record your message a few times: if we end up using your footage we will edit out any pauses or “false starts”, so do not worry about that!
  • Please look directly into the camera lens when delivering your message.

Read through the prompts below and pick one or more that you would like to respond to in a video.  Feel free to add additional comments if you like. We are not expecting lengthy responses, and we plan to edit multiple  peoples’ memories into each video collage, so try to keep your replies fairly brief and focused. And, feel free to make several small videos, each answering a single question, instead of one long video!

  • Suggested prompts for FAMILY MEMBERS of a man who participated in the 1919 Boston Police Strike.  Pick and choose which ones you would like to respond to, or make up your own. Try to use full sentences when answering the prompt questions as this will help us in the editing process. For example, “My family never talked about the strike…” instead of “No, they never did.”)
    • Please begin each video by saying your name and the name of your relative who participated in the 1919 Boston Police Strike.  For example, “My name is Mary Smith, and my great uncle Michael Donovan was one of the Boston Police Officers who went out on Strike”.
    • When did you first learn that your relative participated in the 1919 Boston Police Strike?  Who told you?  Was the story told proudly?  gingerly?  ashamedly?
    • Did your relative share any stories about his personal experience of the strike or its aftermath?
    • Did your family ever talk about the strike?  Who? What did they say?  If they never mentioned it, why do you think that was the case?
    • Did your family comment on the fact each striker had “Abandoned his dutyprinted on his roster card
    • What was impact of the strike on your family?  Emotionally?  Financially?  Other? 
    • What would you like people to know about your relative, and/or about the 1919 Boston Police Strike Project?
    • Tell us about an experience that was surprising or exciting for you.
    • What is something interesting that you learned about the strikers from this project?
  • Suggested prompts for PROJECT VOLUNTEERS.  Pick and choose which questions you would like to respond to, or make up your own.  Try to use full sentences when answering the prompt questions as this will help us in the editing process. For example, “One thing that really surprised me was…”)
    • Please begin each video by saying your name and your role(s) in the 1919 Boston Police Strike Project (volunteer, family member, staff, observer, other…)  For example, “My name is Mary Smith, and my great uncle was one of the Boston Police Officers who went out on strike”.
    • What has working on this project meant to you?  New research skills?  Gaining knowledge about the strike, or of your relative?  Gaining general historical knowledge?  Working as part of a team?  Other?
    • What sticks in your mind as a story that you uncovered in your research that was the most:
      • dramatic?
      • tragic?
      • funny?
      • moving?
      • surprising?
      • other?
    • Did this project change any opinions or assumptions you had about the strike or the strikers?
    • How did it feel to be part of a team on this project?

Uploading Your Video: in order to be able to review and edit all the video submissions, we request that you upload your video to us by July 15, 2019.

When you have completed your video stories, please check “Yes” in the permission form below, then upload the video or videos by clicking on the blue “WeTransfer” button:

Giving us permission to use your video

Giving us permission to use your video

Thank you for your support and participation in this project.  If you have questions, please contact bpstrike@live.umb.edu

Sincerely,
Susan Eppling, Video Project Manager
1919 BPStrike Project Team

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