Mini Documentary

A Mini Documentary: Restoring Paul Rudolph Hall

A New Home for the Arts: Restoring Paul Rudolph Hall, Construction of Jeffrey H. Loria Center for the History of Art and Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library.

Dean Robert A. M. Stern of the Yale School of Architecture and Charles Gwathmey, Partner, Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects, tell the story of the Yale Art and Architecture building: from its lauded beginnings, the period of renovation after a tragic fire, and its new beginning as Paul Rudolph Hall in combination with Jeffrey H. Loria Center for the History of Art and the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library.
This video was completely directed and produced by the Yale Broadcast & Media Center as a special project for the Yale Office of the Secretary in celebration of the restoration of Rudolph Hall. The challenge was to put together a story about the building: from its illustrious beginnings, the tumultuous period of the 60′s and 70′s and the beautiful renovations that make up what we now know as Rudolph and Loria Halls.
The story is told through 4 major elements: two major interviews, historical photographs from Manuscripts & Archives, B-Roll capture, and a walking tour of the new facilities.
The Interviews: An interview was conducted with Charles Gwathmey, primary architect for the restoration of Paul Rudolph Hall and the construction of Loria Hall, and with Dean Robert Stern of the School of Architecture.
In the case of Charles Gwathmey, the shoot took about 3 hours, including set up, the interview and striking time and took place at a New York City location, so as to be as convenient as possible for Mr. Gwathmey. The questions posed were crafted 2 weeks in advance and sent to his office for his review so he could prepare any answers. Mr. Gwathmey answered a lot of questions about the restorations and about the design of the new building. A few challenges we dealt with were the immense amount of wind at the balcony of the NYC location and the change of lighting for the background as the day progressed and the sun continued along its course in the sky.
Dean Robert Stern’s interview was very similar, but with significantly less travel time. Dean Stern spoke on the restoration, but really supplied a lot of the sound bites that gave us the background and history of the building. The history he related really allowed us to build a picture of what the building once was and what it has become today as a result of the restorations.
In both interviews, the crew involved 2 cameras and 2 audio techs as well as a director and the interviewer.
The Historical Photography from Yale’s Manuscripts and Archives: There was an immense amount of research that went into learning about Paul Rudolph Hall. The Yale Manuscripts and Archives Digital Images Database (MADID) proved to be invaluable in finding visual aids for the video. MADID’s digital reproductions only comprise a small percentage of the department’s holdings- containing only photos that have been requested to be digitized by patrons. In the case of the photographs found in the database on the Rudolph building, we requested to view the originals (which required a request to MADID to pull the images from archives) and found a number of other fantastic construction and post-1969 fire photos that had not been digitized. The Secretary’s Office paid to have those we wanted to use in the video to be digitized. The digitization process took a week at most. Once we received high- quality digital copies of the photos, we consulted the Office of General Counsel about copyright of the photos. A number of the photos had no specified owner, but at least one was under copyright by a photographer from 1969. In the case of each photo that had no owner, the Yale Fair Use Tool form was used to determine if the image was able to be used in a free, educational case. Permission was requested of and granted by the photographer in the case of those photos that had identifiable owners.
The whole process of research, digitization and copyright clearance was many weeks long, but the end result allowed us to paint a more vivid picture of the building’s history.
B-Roll Capture:B-Roll” is supplemental footage that can be shown with audio from the interviews and intercut with the interview footage and photography. A camera-person and director took one Sunday to walk around Rudolph and Loria halls to shoot the building from all kinds of different angles. Places that were visited during the walking tour were visited again with unlimited time to shoot the scenes carefully.
The Walking Tour: A Saturday morning and half an afternoon was dedicated to the interview and a walking tour around the buildings with Dean Stern. The crew for this was 2 cameramen and 2 audio tech- one set was focused on Dean Stern, while the other would do on-the-go shooting of the subject that Dean Stern was talking about. This was a great experience because we got Dean Stern to talk about these intricate and intimate spaces that only Architecture students have access to, and we were able to bring that to the video.