• Anne Jo Lee

16mm FILM Blimp Flyover

One of our trips to film at the Dry Tortugas, we visited the Everglades National Park, where they keep several artifacts from the Dry Tortugas; I was gifted this glorious 16mm footage, a silent film shot by the Navy. I took the liberty to add some "island" music that Youtube would allow and will be using some of this footage in the Documentary. The original Barracks and the officers Quarters still partly remain in these shots, they were eventually blown up and removed by the Park Service due to the hazard of falling bricks. Nancy Russell, the Park Curator, was a tremendous resource and incredibly helpful on my hunt for information about the History of Ft. Jefferson and the Soldiers and Prisoners who lived there. I was happy to help transfer this footage from a VHS Tape to DVD and also upload it to the internet for the world to see this special place long ago, with much of the original structures still in place.

I was able to see seaweed pressings, daguerreotypes with images of soldiers and officers, and other forms of art made by prisoners, who were mostly Union deserters.

One piece that really stands out to me was a cane carved by Dr. Mudd, it had an eagle's head and looked quite patriotic.

Ft. Jefferson was a Union fort in the South, along with Ft. Zachary Taylor in Key West and a blockade to prevent the South from getting aide from their allies overseas. During the Civil war, ships were lined up and caught over 130 ships from making it to the Gulf with supplies. One of the most famous prisoners was Dr. Samuel Mudd; A military tribunal found him guilty of conspiring in the murder of a very popular president, and he was sentenced to life imprisonment, escaping the death penalty by a single vote. I will get more into that story in another blog, I did have the privilege of filming at Dr. Mudds Home in MD, which is absolutely beautiful in the fall and they don't allow cameras but made an exception and I also connected with 2 authors while I was there and shot some great interviews that could be an entire separate film on it's own!


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