Volume #14 - 1046.|
RELATIONS AVEC LES ÉTATS-UNIS
PUBLICITÉ SUR LE CANADA AUX ÉTATS-UNIS
le 15 décembre 1948|
MEETING OF SHORT SUBJECT AND NEWSREEL HEADS TO DISCUSS THE CANADIAN COOPERATION PROJECT FOR THE YEAR 1949|
Present at the meeting were: company executives, Robert Mochrie, Chairman of the Distributors Committee; John O'Connor, Universal; Russell Holman, Paramount. For short subjects, J. Bonfield, Fox; Max Weinberg, Loew's; Maurice Grad, Columbia; Tom Mead, Universal; Oscar Morgan, Paramount; Allen Dibble, March of Time. For newsreels, A.J. Richard, Paramount; Tom Mead, Universal; Walton Ament, Wamer-Pathe. For the Association, Francis S. Harmon; and Taylor Mills.
The purpose of the meeting was to present the report of the accomplishments of the Canadian Cooperation Project in 1948 and to discuss the program for 1949. Mr. Hannon opened the meeting with a short discussion of what the Canadian Cooperation Project had meant to the industry during the past year and how, in the words of Right Hon. C.D. Howe, a problem between a government and an industry had been "treated with more imagination and ingenuity than had been done by some of our overseas friends."
It was pointed out that to date the program had been a notable success with the delivering of 105 newsreel clips about Canada up to December 15, 1948, as compared to 61 clips in the entire year of 1947. Ten different short subjects featuring Canada have been released since the inception of the project. The efforts of Colonel Owensmith on the coast to feed story material and to encourage the inclusion of Canadian sequences in feature pictures were also described at the meeting. Mr. Harmon mentioned that this portion of the program in Hollywood is moving along and because of the time required in the production of feature pictures the actual "pay-off' on 1948 efforts on the coast will not be observed on the screen until 1949.
After Mr. Harmon's opening comments a discussion of what could be done with newsreels for next year was entered into. The newsreel men in the meeting pointed out that their efforts are definitely limited at the present time because, for the most part, they are entirely dependent upon the coverage that Associated Screen News can give them. They indicated that this was not entirely satisfactory and that if American newsreel men were free to move back and forth from the U.S. to Canada to cover important news events in Canada they felt that they would be able to present better quality newsreel coverage of such events.
Mr. Harmon requested that Mr. Mills discuss this problem with Mr. Henshaw and Mr. Fitzgibbons to see what could be done in 1949 to implement the wishes of the newsreel companies.
Mr. Harmon suggested the idea of a Canadian newsreel round-up of four or five hundred feet which might be prepared and released at the time of the opening of the Canadian Parliament. This important newsreel, he stated, could be built up with reference to some of the political and economic highlights of 1948, such as Mackenzie King's retirement and St. Laurent becoming Prime Minister; the signing of the Newfoundland pact wherein Newfoundland will become the tenth Canadian Province; the successful operation of the Canadian austerity program under the leadership of Mr. Abbott, and other events that we might be able to include in such a newsreel summary. The newsreel heads present indicated that they would look into this request and determine what could be worked out both for Canadian release and U.S. release.
The newsreel men indicated further that they felt that the Association was giving them enough newsreel material about Canada and rather than quantity they were more interested in better quality coverage.
Mr. Harmon read a report on the number of short subjects which have been prepared and released by the member companies during the past year. He then mentioned eight subjects which are now completed and will be released in the next few months prior to the opening of the all-important tourist season. These subjects include:
Discussion was then held on the two key short subjects which would carry Canada's important economic message to the American public which it was hoped would be as successful as Paramount's Neighbor to the North, released in 1948, and which will continue to play through 1949.
Subject #1 is being discussed now by RKO under the tentative title The New Canada. It is hoped that Mr. Bonfield and his writer will go to Canada early in 1949 to complete this important script and make arrangements for shooting early next spring.
As a second subject Mr. Harmon mentioned the title Things are Better in Canada which was suggested by Mr. Fitzgibbons. It is possible that The March of Time would make this subject provided sufficient photographic material and subject matter could be collated to make an outstanding two-reel motion picture. This subject would take a considerable amount of preliminary work on the part of all of us interested in the Canadian Cooperation Project.
Another subject which was suggested as a possible short was a film on the Canadian National Parks. A memorandum submitted by Mr. Scythes of the National Film Board of Canada was read, outlining a number of subjects which have been made in the past on individual parks. Footage from these subjects might be judiciously cut to make a compilation reel that would be most useful to the 1949 tourist program.
The possibility of a short subject on Newfoundland was presented to the group and interest was shown by both Columbia and Paramount. Mr. Holman suggested that the story of Gander and Newfoundland as an air base might make a subject for their Pacemaker Series. Mr. Holman also affirmed that Jerry Fairbanks was arranging to send a man to Canada in 1949 to obtain suitable material for his two series, Popular Science and Unusual Occupations.
Mr. Bonafield said that they were making a picture on U.S. National Defense and would like to include suitable footage that would indicate that Canada and the U.S. were working on joint operations for the defense of the northern areas of the continent. (A telephone call to Canada was put in immediately following the meeting and the footage is supposed to be on the way by diplomatic pouch today.)
I is hoped that a short subject may be made available this spring dealing with the Canadian International Trade Fair in Toronto. It is felt that such a subject should be released prior to the opening of the 1949 Fair. It may be that the Film Board or Associated Screen have sufficient footage on the 1948 Fair to make such a subject.
One of the interesting developments of this meeting was the suggestion by Mr. Weinberg, Mr. Holman and Mr. Mead that Canadian backgrounds and locations might be worked into cartoon subjects and singing shorts. Any suggestions on this theme which Mr. Renshaw or Mr: Newman might offer would be appreciated.
The overall feeling of all present was that each company representative wanted to do everything he possibly could to implement the Canadian Cooperation Project. The representatives were pleased with the fact that their efforts in 1948 had been successful and were appreciated by our friends in Canada. They hoped to make the 1949 program everything that Mr. Howe hopes it will be. As reported by Mr. Harmon his comments on the project were read to the assembled group at the opening of the meeting. Through Mr. Newman he expressed his pleasure with the success of the project and expressed the hope that it will be even more successful in the coming year.