Extra, Extra, Read all about it!June 10, 2008 About my museum job, Exhibitions, Jack the Ripper
Museum in Docklands was about to open its first ever major exhibition and the press team felt that something special was needed to mark this momentous occasion. We knew what we wanted it to involve; Jack the Ripper and the East End, web 2.0 and the public – but how would we use those ingredients to create a magical mix?
Naturally, we would kindly ask members of the public to transform themselves into East End street urchins and pretend to sell newspapers, screaming the headlines at the top of their voices. The Jack the Ripper video was born. I was volunteered to take to the streets of London armed with a digital camera, tripod and props to find willing participants.
Day 1 was spent in Canary Wharf, not far from Museum in Docklands. It was a Friday lunchtime and the square was filled with people whom I presumed would be more than keen to don a flat cap, sandwich board and speak in a cockney accent. Oh how wrong I was. I approached countless people and suffered knockback after knockback until a very lovely chap decided that it was a Friday; he was in the mood for fun and would very much like to be on YouTube for all his mates to see! Inspired by what had just been recorded I fearlessly approached people to persuade them to take part and found some brilliant folk who were more than willing to be filmed. At times small crowds gathered whilst others appeared disinterested but the session had been a success and I left with fantastic footage.
There was a change of location for day 2 of filming, which took place in Covent Garden. Stood upon the cobbles, I once again encountered some rejection before finding video gold. A perfect blend of Londoners and tourists had once again impressed me with their ability to transform themselves into East End street newspaper sellers.
It was then back to the Museum to edit the footage and create the fantastic short films that would form a series online. I am forever grateful to those that took part and helped make the project such a success.
Check out our Facebook and YouTube pages over the coming weeks to see the finished videos. You can also see photographs from the Jack the Ripper exhibition on Flickr and the Museum in Docklands website. Enjoy!