A couple of notes about the history of Cineworks, if only to upset any mythology arising from (some future discovery of) fossilized remains or flawed memory.
When Cineworks first ‘got a place’ (1980) – and you always start an organization with a ‘place’ – it was an empty office, adjacent to Canadian Filmmakers DIstribution Centre West (CFMC-W) – later an independent CFDW, and later Moving Images – on Pender St. We had no furniture, no equipment, nothing but a space with lots of ‘potential’. Our first film equipment was a set of rewinds, 4-gang 16mm synchronizer, splicer and audio squawk-box. I delivered this to Cineworks as a gift, from my collection, but it really came from Intermedia (Vancouver org. ’67-’71), which had dissolved almost 10 years earlier.
But we needed a ‘production’ (to qualify for future grant considerations). One weekend, I brought in a rear-screen, stop-motion 16m projector, Bolex camera/tripod, and over a week created ‘The Wildwest Show’ (a reel in my film Amerika) one frame at a time (rewinding, double exposing the matte content).
This work was notably laborious: With a flu affecting my concentration, I forgot to open the ‘variable shutter’ on the first complete batch of animation, and the lab results were predictably ‘black’ (unexposed) film. So, I had to do it all over, one frame at a time, with the flu, but in those days we just ‘did it’, however we could, and however long it took. This film, I would say, is the ‘first film’ produced ‘at Cineworks’. No big deal, but not a myth.Frame captures (in SD 2006 video capture) of Wildwest Show can be viewed at:
If others have memories to share, they would be most welcome, because in the end, we forget ‘everything’.
*Re-posted with the permission of the author, 2012.
Al Razutis is a multimedia artist, educator and innovator in motion-picture film and video, stereoscopic 3D video, holographic technologies and arts, and web-digital graphics for websites and virtual reality and was a founding member of Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society. For more information, visit alchemists.