SHOUTOUT: Third Ward Time Capsule


Over at USA Projects I’m accepting donations for my Third Ward Time Capsule project.

Here is the breakdown:

Upon my grandfathers passing I was given sixteen 8mm film rolls that my grandfather had recorded in the sixties. Each film has his handwriting on them detailing their content. Titles such as “TSU Homecoming Parade”,”Yates Band” and “Astrodome Construction” are scribbled on the film cases.

With the current gentrification long underway in Houston’s Third Ward, this project will expose the past and hopefully create conversation about what once was. The Astrodome footage has major significance with the impending decision on what Houston chooses to do with the stadium.

For this project I will first convert the sixteen 8mm film rolls to a high quality digital format. I will then edit the clips into a short film about the nearly non-existent history of Houston’s Third Ward.

Of course the 8mm reels have no sound and the video will be in black & white, so a portion of the funding will go towards creating a score for the film.

I also intend on producing video installations at the exact locations found in the film. Places such as Yates High School, Unity National Bank, and Texas Southern University to name a few. Each of these venues has agreed with me to allow a showing of the film. I plan on projecting the film against a part of the building during the evening.
The majority of the funding will pay for the film conversion costs. The company that is doing the transfer is called Just8mm and they specialize in 8mm film to digital conversion. They are also located in Texas, so the turnaround time for the transfer will be about two weeks.
If the project is overfunded the excess will be used for projector and other electronic materials needed for the site-specific installations.
A little backstory:

My grandfather Jesse Gloster moved to Houston, Texas in 1947 from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The reason my grandfather relocated to the south was his hiring as the Economics Professor at Texas Southern University. Upon getting to Houston, my family moved into a house located at 2317 Prospect street in Third Ward. What my family didn’t know was that Texas State Highway 288 was going to force them to move to make way for its construction. The house itself was moved and where it once stood is now the feeder road of Texas State Highway 288.

The community of Third Ward is constantly confronted with the lack of Houston historical essence and the always troublesome gentrification. There are numerous remnants of the “glory” days, embellished with wood boards over windows, and burnt down buildings.