We get lots of calls from people who want to volunteer their time and talents to help further the Norman Studios’ mission but are unable to commit to board positions. If you’ve got a little time on your hands, a penchant for research and a love of all-things-silent-film, you can play a starring role in the preservation and promotion of the Norman Studios by volunteering for various finite projects and events. Currently, we are looking for volunteers for the following projects:
Compilation of archival articles, photographs, advertisements and other materials from the Florida Times Union and other early Jacksonville publications ~ Love the library? If you enjoy researching vintage publications, we’re looking for someone to search through the microfiche records at the Main Library in downtown Jacksonville and make photocopies of all silent film-related pieces you can find.
Compilation of archival articles, photographs, advertisements and other materials from publications outside of Jacksonville ~ Many of these pieces can be located with a few clicks (okay, may be a lot of clicks) of your computer mouse. The “New York Times,” for instance, has a fabulous online archive of articles dating back a full century. If you’ve got time to peruse the net and locate articles and ads relevant to silent film production in Northeast Florida, we need your help.
Location of Richard Norman’s “town films” ~ Before Norman began filming in Jacksonville, he traveled the country making films in various towns, primarily in the Midwest. He had a great piece of stock footage of a train wreck and, regardless of whether a train track existed anywhere near the towns he chose, used that footage as a major plot line in his town films. He recruited locals as actors to make his films, then charged them entry to see themselves perform on the big screen and gifted the towns with a copy of their film. It was quite the entrepreneurial project. We need someone to contact historical societies, libraries, city archives and any other agencies in the towns where Norman filmed to see if these films still exist.
Documentary research ~ Inspired by the success of “Hollywood East: Florida’s Silent Film Legacy,” we’re planning multiple documentary projects focusing on Northeast Florida’s time as a silent film hub. Next up – a documentary on Bill Pickett, America’s first black rodeo star and a star of several Norman films. We’re working with Pickett’s nephew Gerald Anderson and have already interviewed actor Fred Williamson. We need someone to help research all-things-Bill Pickett. You’ll get your name in the film credits, too!
We also need help with ongoing committee-led projects. Committees include:
- Video Production
- Museum Artifact Search and Acquisition
- And more!
If you’d like to volunteer, click here to download a Norman Studios Crew Application. Complete the form, tell us how you’d like to contribute to the cause, add your bio or resume and email it to email@example.com, or fax to 904.432.3347. As we launch new projects, we’ll post them here, so check back often.