I made a short film in 1964. It was a 12 minute surrealistic film about romance gone wrong. It was 16mm black & white. It was the beginning of a 10-year career as an underground filmmaker. I guess I made about 7 or 8 films. I did everything on those films, camera, sound, and editing. I even did my own optical printing with a homemade printer. It was a great time to be an art-based filmmaker. I never made a nickel doing it, but it didn’t matter. I did all sorts of odd jobs to pay my lab bills. I worked as a camera assistant on an animation stand, as a cameraman shooting high-school football games, freelance stills photographer, lab technician, longshoreman, welder, and carpenter. At some point I got tired of the art scene. I never liked Andy Warhol.
I left the big city and lived on Quadra Island for several years. I built houses and worked on fishing boats. It was a lot more satisfying than making art films. I realized after a while that I was destined to work for a living. Then I met Ron Orieux. Ron is one of Vancouver’s top DOP’s now, but in 1973 he was just getting started. He was making a CBC documentary about the arts scene on the Gulf Islands. We hit it off. I looked him up when I moved to Vancouver. He told me about the SFU Film Workshop. I went there and met a great group of Vancouver Filmmakers and basically got on my feet in the Vancouver Film scene.