Photos from The Comstock

Hi All!

New photos to check out from last month’s film shoot in Virginia City and the Comstock Lode. We shot interviews with Ronald James,  Comstock mining history expert, in the Fourth Ward School of 1876, and Michael Makley, Comstock biographies expert, in the historic Piper’s Opera House. We also figured, while we were there, might as well film in a historic Comstock mine: the Chollar-Potosi. It provides an inside look at the Comstock’s unique interior structure. Enjoy the pics!

January Presentation

I was happy to have recently presented on City of White Gold and its story at the Mechanics’ Institute, an organization that has existed in San Francisco since 1857. My presentation included a viewing of the new sample reel and relevant video clips from the film-in-progress. The audience was extremely receptive, and it was an inspirational event all around. Mechanics’ Institute  best describes the evening in their recent testimonial. Please read:

“We at the Mechanics’ Institute were really blown away by Geordie’s presentation of his documentary-in-progress, City of White Gold. He was invited to speak here as part of the Institute’s Authors’ Carnival series. The mission of these special events is to celebrate the speaker’s creative achievements while at the same time highlighting the creative process. Geordie’s presentation was exactly what we hoped for – informative for those who wanted to learn about the film and its subject, yet extremely helpful to those who were interested in the process of film making.

His passion for preserving San Francisco’s cultural heritage and communicating the historical record of the Comstock Lode was palpable – his speech was educational and vividly entertaining with anecdotes of the time period and characters involved. Geordie’s awareness of the intricate Silver Rush events and personalities is considerable, but his true gift is in expressing their magnitude and consequence to the rest of San Francisco and Western history.

While the documentary is not yet finished, Geordie’s presentation here left the audience thrilled with the prospect of its completion and sensitive to the trials of completing an independent film. I heartily recommend him as a speaker. We’re still talking about it here – can’t wait ‘till the film is finished! Then we can talk about a screening!

Taryn Edwards, Manager – Authors’ Carnival series
Mechanics’ Institute”

Thanks to MI for the testimonial and the invitation to speak!


Published in: on January 30, 2012 at 11:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Photographs of October’s Interviews

New pictures are here of recent filming. Click on thumbnails below to see photos of interviews with architectural historian Judith Lynch and history professor Robert Cherny. Photography by Valerie Mandin-Kelly. Enjoy the photos! If you like what you see, consider donating to our next planned film expedition. Our goal is to reach the Comstock Lode in Nevada. Visit the Donate Page to contribute. Send us to the Comstock!

Published in: on November 19, 2010 at 4:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Photos of Sample Reel Interviews

Stills from the recent interview shoot with UC Berkeley scholars Gray Brechin and Richard Walker. Thanks to Valerie Mandin-Kelly for the photography.


 Back to home page:

Published in: on August 27, 2009 at 3:13 am  Leave a Comment  

Origins of a Concept

Some time ago, I heard Gray Brechin, historical geographer and best-selling author, speak of a little known era in San Francisco’s early history. I was awe-struck. What a concept, that Victorian San Francisco was built on the riches of something called the Comstock Lode. I had always thought that the City by the Bay had been built on one long era called the Gold Rush. My historical world was rocked when I suddenly learned that the early San Francisco I knew–the city of Golden Gate Park and incredibly unique and ornate Victorian architecture–came from an era that was dominated by silver. Silver mines of the Comstock Lode. On top of that, the builders of San Francisco who dominated the Lode lived lives that rivaled those of the east coast Robber Barons. After hearing Gray speak, I felt that the story must be told. My goal in making this film is to share my fascination of this subject with others, and in the process to provide some insight into Western history beyond the Gold Rush.

Published in: on August 22, 2009 at 6:47 am  Leave a Comment  

Sample Reel News

Hello everyone! I’m proud to say that production for the historical documentary, City of White Gold, has begun. In June, we filmed up in Virginia City, Nevada: the heart of the Comstock Lode. This last week, we completed filming interviews in San Francisco. Now comes the task of creating the story of San Francisco in the Gilded Age, spurred on by the riches of the Comstock. Production will continue through the summer.

Published in: on July 21, 2009 at 12:46 am  Leave a Comment