“When I was about twelve years old” explains Canadian Filmmaker Stanley Fox, “I got a Christmas present, and it was one of those ‘Kodak, home, do-it-yourself darkroom kits.'”
That was in 1940. That gift ignited Fox’s passion for photography.
In 1946, Fox was loaned a motion picture camera by friend Dorothy Burritt, from the Vancouver Film Society.
“Her husband was off at the war” remembers Fox, “and she had a 16-millimeter camera…”
Fox honed his craft on the streets of his city, Vancouver.
Two of his short films won honourable mention at the Canadian Film Awards in 1949 and 1950.
“Suite Two”, made with Dorothy Burritt, was about her home and her circle of artistic friends.
“In the Daytime” was an ambitious amateur documentary, a day in the life of Vancouver.
Royal BC Museum archivist Dennis Duffy proudly comments that “we premiered the film at the National Film Week in Vancouver.”
Both films are now preserved at the Royal BC Museum.
In 1953, television arrived in Vancouver.
“And they had no-one in Vancouver who was experienced in film, so they would hire almost anybody!” admits Fox with a broad smile.
Over his sixteen years at CBC Vancouver, Fox managed the film department, directed and produced television programs, and mentored young filmmakers.
In 1972, Toronto’s York University invited Fox to teach in their new film school, and he headed east for the rest of his long career in television, and film.
Duffy points out that “it was interesting to me that Stan was largely a self-taught photographer and cinematographer, and he had developed his skills as an amateur…
“He went on to inspire other filmmakers, through the CBC, through TV Ontario, through his work as a professor…
“A whole generation, possibly two or three generations of young Canadian filmmakers had the benefit of Stan’s teaching.”
Stanley Fox. An important contributor to the history of Canadian film.