Legacies of White Gold
An Ivoryton Library Production
Legacies of White Gold
The DVD sells for $20 and may be purchased at the Ivoryton Library.
To order by mail, please send a check for $25 (to cover packaging and shipping) to the Ivoryton Library, PO Box 515, Ivoryton, CT 06442
An Interview with Jenny Tripp, Script Consultant, on the making of the film Legacies of White Gold
Jenny Tripp is currently on the staff at the Essex Library. She lives in Essex with her husband and two children. She has been a film writer and journalist and is presently a children’s book author. Her next book, which is called Pete and Fremont, is being published by Harcourt. Look for book signings in the near future.
What is entailed in making a movie of this sort?
A documentary requires the pulling-together of a whole panoply of resources -- from interviews, still photos, historical documents, film clips - and knitting them together to tell the story you want to tell, in a way that will hold your audience's interest. The challenge is to keep it moving, when so much of what you're working with is static.
Can you tell us something about your background in film?
I’ve been a writer in feature films, live action and animation, and television, for about twenty years. The one thing I haven’t worked on is a documentary, but the elements of structuring a compelling story are constant, no matter what your form.
Are you working from a script?
We’re working from an excellent outline by Kate DeLuna; the actual script will be in flux until the film is wholly cut together. It’s an ongoing process of discovery.
Who has been interviewed for the film?
So far, we’ve got interviews taped by Gary Ribchinsky, our director, with Edith DeForest and Frank Stopa, both of whom were employed by Pratt/Read in Ivoryton, as well as Henry Towers. Kate DeLuna gave an excellent interview about the ivory trade and the complex commerce it created between Africa and America. Brenda Milkofsky of the Connecticut River Museum talked with us about the importance of the river in shaping the town’s history. Richard Moore shared memories of his father, E.D. Moore, the ivory trader. Larry Bowman, a professor from UCONN, talks about the wonderful collection of rare books that are housed at the Ivoryton Library.
What else will we see in LEGACIES OF WHITE GOLD?
Gary plans to shoot footage of Ivoryton and the factory, along with the present president of Pratt/Read, Woody Comstock. We’re blessed with a wonderful narrator, Caleb Penniman, and with the input of Don Malcarne, the Essex town historian.
What is the purpose of this film?
We’re exploring and preserving Ivoryton’s unique history, and its relationship with a continent across the world. The mathematician Lorenz postulated that the flap of a butterfly’s wing in Brazil could eventually cause a tornado in Kansas. That idea – that a small, simple thing in one place can have a tremendous impact in a far distant one -- is central to the shared histories of Ivoryton and Africa.
What are you going to do with this film?
The film will premiere at a gala at the Ivoryton Playhouse, on Sunday, May 21st, at 3 p.m. Introducing the film will be two Connecticut writers who have focused on this history; Anne Farrow who wrote "Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery", and John Frederick Walker, who’s currently writing a book about the ivory trade.
Ultimately the film will be distributed to schools and libraries though generous grants from Connecticut Humanities Council and Middlesex County Community Foundation/Riverview Cemetery. We’ve also received funding from the Hermes Foundation, the Essex Rotary, and some twenty-odd individual sponsors.
Are you looking for more sponsors?
We would love to have more sponsors! Each of our sponsors will be noted in the program and the guide that we’re producing for the film. Anyone can become a sponsor by contacting the Ivoryton Library at 767-1252.
How do you get tickets to the film premiere?
Many tickets have already been purchased, but there are still seats available. Just contact the library to purchase your tickets. The cost is $15 for sponsors, and $25 for others. There will be a champagne reception after the show, and an opportunity to chat with the people who made the film.
What stands out for you about this film?
The chance to make some small contribution to my adopted home, the Ivoryton Library, and to have some hand in preserving a piece of amazing community history; it’s unique for me, and I’m enjoying every minute of it.