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  

Interview with Dr. Terence Young

City of White Gold just filmed an interview with Terence Young, PhD, in the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco. Terry is professor of historical geography at Polytechnic University, Pomona. He is also author of the fascinating and intricate book, “Building San Francisco’s Parks, 1850-1930.” We brought him up from Southern California to speak on the Silver Age creation of  one of the world’s magnificent urban greenspaces, Golden Gate Park. The interview was fantastic, and the setting of a Victorian conservatory as backdrop enhanced the filming. The Conservatory of Flowers dates to 1878, the oldest structure in the Park.

Dr. Young spoke about the park movement in the United States during the 19th Century, San Francisco’s desire for an unrivaled urban park, and the trials and tribulations of building a greenspace on top of the city’s inhospitable terrain. We can’t wait to share the video with you!

We also spent time filming throughout Golden Gate Park, trying to capture as much of the Victorian essence of the park as possible. We look forward to editing all of this precious footage together. Until then, please take a look at these pictures of the interview. We hope you enjoy! (Thanks to Nilanjan “Neil” Nag for the photography.)

Published in: on October 25, 2011 at 6:17 am  Leave a Comment  

Upcoming Interview

We’ll be interviewing this week! Interviewee Terence Young, PhD. will be sharing his knowledge on the creation of San Francisco’s one-of-a-kind Golden Gate Park during the age of silver.  Dr. Young is an historical geographer at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. His expertise includes environmental geography, cultural and historical landscapes, and parks & preserves. He has lectured to many public audiences  and published numerous journal articles.  His 2004 book, Building San Francisco’s Parks, 1850-1930, explores links between ideas about nature, landscape design, and social order during the development of San Francisco’s park system. We can’t wait to film this interview!

Published in: on October 16, 2011 at 6:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

Documentary in the Classroom

City of White Gold was recently presented to 8th grade social studies students at St. Mary School in Gilroy, CA. In this grade students learn about the Civil War and the subsequent Gilded Age. Geordie was happy to introduce the classroom to a new topic: the discovery of silver in 1859 and its dramatic impact on the West. The presentation was a great success. The class was engaged in an interactive discussion that included a viewing of the sample reel. The teacher later wrote: “you’ve made quite an impact. The students are aware of the Silver barons and have actually mentioned it a few times.”

Read the students’ impressions of the event:

“It was very interesting to hear about it because I had always known about the Gold Rush, but never about the Silver Rush. It turns out the Silver Rush was crucial in our American History.”


“I learned from Geordie Lynch that there was a silver rush after the gold rush. It made people rich, it lasted long, and it brought many people to California. His video was very effective and it helped me learn a lot. And I think other junior high students would enjoy it too.”


“He explained what the stock markets were, in a fun and effective way. He used fake money, and a stock market certificate to make the stock market clear to us… People would be part of the stock market, and people either became really rich, or in debt… It was harder to get the silver, because you had to go deep down in the mines and could easily get poisonous gases into your lungs… I did not know anything about the silver rush, and I was excited to learn about it.”


“Thanks for coming to into our class to let us learn about the silver rush and how stocks work… Also great job on your documentary, hopefully we find out when it debuts and I will be able to watch it at home with my family.”


“My reaction to Geordie Lynch’s video was that I was impressed on how good it was. Also it wasn’t just information, but it had a lot of pictures and it had background music.”


“I thought the documentary looked very professional and outstanding. I felt like I was watching the History Channel. It helps me to get an idea about what I want to do for my Civil War Project and how it should be done as far as filming, editing, and research.”


Thanks to Cecile Mantecon and her 8th graders for the invitation to share the subject and project with them!

Published in: on May 31, 2011 at 3:47 am  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  

Filmed in October

We just completed another film day of interviews a couple of weeks ago. We filmed at an 1880s Victorian home in the Lower Haight of San Francisco. In the earlier part of the day we interviewed Judith Lynch about Victorian architecture and its details, and the inspirations behind its progression.

In the afternoon, we interviewed Robert Cherny, Professor of history at San Francisco State. (Robert is also an academic advisor for the film). We covered three decades of San Francisco history, from industry to politics to the Chinese.

That make seven interviews so far. Our next focus is to get up to the Comstock for further filming by next spring, once the money is raised to do it. We’re looking at a few exciting sites to film at, as well as a couple of interviews waiting to happen up there. Virginia City, here we come!

ps: Photos of the recent interviews will be uploaded here soon.

Published in: on October 25, 2010 at 11:31 pm  Comments (1)  

Upcoming Interviews 2010

City of White Gold has just received a grant from The Victorian Alliance of San Francisco, a preservation organization since 1973. Thanks to them and to individual contributions, we will be filming interviews very soon! Planned filming will be on October 11th, 2010, in a fascinating San Francisco 1880s Victorian home with stellar interiors. Interviewees will be Judith Lynch, Victorian architecture journalist and teacher who was deeply involved with the Victorian Revival of the 1970s; and Robert Cherny, Professor of History at San Francisco State University who is intricately versed in 19th century San Francisco and California history. We are excited and proud to be interviewing these writers and historians.

We are most grateful to all who allow filming to be possible. Special thanks to The Victorian Alliance for their most gracious financial contribution. Learn more about the organization by visiting their website-in-progress at www.victorianalliance.org.

Published in: on September 30, 2010 at 7:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Here are some pics from the recent May interviews. Three separate interviews were filmed in one full day, one museum-quality San Francisco Victorian home, three different locations. Extreme preparation, focus and efficiency were key to a successful day. We started at 8:00am and rapped at 6:00pm, somehow with all our faculties still intact! Enjoy the photos. (Photography by Valerie Mandin-Kelly)

Published in: on June 13, 2010 at 5:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

New Upcoming Interviews

City of White Gold is excited to be filming soon, on May 23, 2010. We’ll be interviewing Charles Fracchia, historian and founder of the San Francisco Historical Society, Paul Anders, architectural historian with an expertise in Victorian homes and society, and Jim Flood, direct descendant of the silver king James C. Flood.

We’ll spend the day shooting the interviews in another gorgeous, museum-quality San Francisco Victorian interior. The house was built in the 1870s, and is decked out with furniture and interior design of the decade. It is a privilege to be able to film the experts in such great historical houses. Once the interviews are “in the can”, we’ll post photos. Stay tuned.

Published in: on May 10, 2010 at 7:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

San Francisco City Tour

A raffle was held for donors who attended the sample reel kick-off screening party. The winner invited 12 friends to enjoy a San Francisco city tour, hosted by the filmmaker. It was a fantastic day; one to be remembered. Check out this collection of photographs that were taken  by the “tourists”.

Published in: on March 29, 2010 at 4:07 pm  Leave a Comment