Film project files [textual record, graphic material]
Record Information – Brief
Film project files [textual record, graphic material]
Record Information – Details
- Series includes:
231 lower level description(s)View lower level description(s)
- Place of creation:
- No place, unknown, or undetermined
2.305 m of textual records.
ca. 335 drawings.
ca. 150 photographs.
- Language of material:
- Scope and content:
The series consists of files relating to films written, directed or produced by Colin Low, largely at the National Film Board. Some of the files contain scripts and storyboards (including original drawings and photographs) in various stages of revision, correspondence, financial records and publicity material. Among the projects documented from the 1950s and 1960s are the following:'The Romance of transportation', 'Age of the beaver', 'Corral', 'The Jolifou Inn', 'City of gold' (including correspondence from Tom Daly and Pierre Berton), 'The Circle of the sun' (including correspondence from Tom Daly), 'The Days of Whiskey Gap', 'The Hutterites' (including correspondence from Tom Daly, Kryn Taconis, Wolf Kroenig) and 'Do you know the Milky Way?'. The series contains some material on film projects that were never realized, including ones called 'Charcoal' (based on Indian legends) and 'Microcosm'. The files on the Challenge for Change series on the Fogo Island Project include an account of the effects of the film on the community. There is a storyboard for 'Tiger child' (1970) and a scenario by Donald Brittain. While the files for Low's 1980s projects include ones for the documentary 'Standing alone' (with Low's notes on the screening at the Blood Indian reserve), the files for this period generally reflect a growing interest in IMAX/OMNIMAX films, with a shooting script for 'The Last Emperor of China' and storyboards for 'Transitions' (Expo '86), 'Beavers' and 'Echoes of the sun',as well as material on 'Atmos'. The files on 'Momentum', produced for the Seville world fair in 1992, include publicity material. There is extensive material on Low's last film, 'Moving pictures', including research material, early treatments, scripts, and narration.
Additional material consists of further files relating to films written, directed or produced by Colin Low at the National Film Board, files on IMAX projects, and files on proposed projects which were never realised. A file on 'Universe' includes a draft for the narration and a letter commenting on the film from Sydney Newman. The 'Hutterites' file includes Low's outlines for the project with notes and background material. The 'Labyrinth' files include a transcript of an interview with Tom Daly on the editing techniques used, with revisions by Low, a letter 1966 from architect John Bland regarding architectural work on the project, Low's notes on viewing the film in progress, and notes, minutes of meetings and memoranda regarding various technical aspects. The 'Tiger Child' file contains correspondence from the Japanese partners on the project. A file on 'The Sea' includes a letter from Sydney Newman congratulating Low for winning an Etrog award for the film, followed by another letter from him criticizing the film. The 'Biosphere' file includes correspondence and memoranda, with two letters addressed to Tom Daly. The 'Film on Canada' file relates to a project for External Affairs and includes Low's notes and ideas. A file on 'Standing Alone' contains stories of Indian legends, including one by Chief Jim Whiteface. The 'Universe' file includes a 1984 speech by Low on the film's special effects. The file on 'The First Emperor' contains a treatment for the IMAX film, prepared by the film's Chinese partners in 1987. And the file on 'The Mystery of the Maya' contains Low's notes recording his contributions to and observations on the project.
The additional material includes extensive material on the Fogo Island Project, 1966-1967, filed with material prepared by Low for related work with the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity. The material documents the relationship between the NFB and Memorial University on the Fogo Island project, includes a report by Low on how the project came about and comments on its success. There is a notebook containing schedules, expenses, and a record of screenings. Included is research material and reports on the concept of film as an instrument for social change.
The additional material also includes extensive material on an unrealised project which occupied Low between the late 1960s and the late 1980s: a film adaptation of the short story 'Carrion Spring' by American author Wallace Stegner, deriving from his childhood in Saskatchewan. The files contain letters, 1968-1982, from Stegner about the project and carbons and drafts of Low's letters to Stegner, as well as other correspondence, Stegner's treatments for the film, 1972-1978, Low's notes outlining what he hopes to achieve with the film, and drafts of the screenplay by Vladimir Valenta, 1981-1983 and Nancy Trites Botkin, 1989-1990. Material on other unrealised projects includes Low's treatment for a film on Newton, with a letter from John Kemeny, 1969; and material on a 'Dinosaur Project', including correspondence with the Ex Terra Foundation in Edmonton.
- Additional information:
- Arrangement note:
- Files arranged chronologically by project. The files were largely created by Colin Low.
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