Letter from Ontario Motion Picture Bureau cameraman, Norman Gunn, sent to Gordon Sparling in November, 1973. (Courtesy University of Toronto, Gordon Sparling collection).
“Since retiring from the motion picture industry in 1964, I am frequently being asked by young movie enthusiasts how they can get into the business. This is a question that I find very hard to answer, especially at this time when the industry has changed so much in all respects. The question always starts my mind going back many years to when and how I started in the motion picture business.”
“My basic interest in motion pictures started about 1907. At this time, from my older brother I obtained a projector. This projector which I believe was made in Germany and used a revolving disc of animation showing a juggler in action.”
“Several years later I obtained a projector with an intermittent movement that used 35rum. film in a loop of about 6 feet in length.”
“As time went on I acquired an Eastman Brownie Camera and so started my interest in photography. It was the combination of these two interests that eventually brought me into the motion picture business.”
“While I was at Upper Canada College, the time would be around the last of 1914 or the early part of 1915, there appeared an advertisement in the Saturday Evening Post by the Pathéscope Co. of America.”
“It explained how at last the motion picture was available for home use on a par with the phonograph. The 28mm film was non flammable and could be used without any danger. I wrote New York asking for details and was sent a very elaborate brochure describing all the different models of Pathéscope Projectors. They also advised me that a Canadian company was to start business in a very short time and that they had sent my inquiry to them. So the Pathéscope Co. of Canada started in business in the Nordheimer Bldg., at Yonge and Albert Sts.”
“If my memory is right, Lady Eaton bought the first Pathéscope projector. My parents were not far behind in doing the same. It was at this time that I met for the first time Bill Redpath. As you know Bill Redpath was General Manager for Pathéscope for many years and was one of the originals in the industry. Needless to say I was very happy obtaining five reels per week from the Pathéscope Library.
The library was composed of travel, comedy, and various forms of educational films. Most of the films were produced by PathéFrères of France. One of the dramatic films was the original Pathé version of Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I remember it went on for many weeks – at five reels a week. As time went on we were able to obtain some films that were produced in the States. I remember very well Charlie Chaplin in “A Night At The Show!” also I recall one of the first pictures that Mary Pickford appeared, directed by D.W. Griffith. I think it was called the “Fisherman’ s Daughter”. The Library at this time began to receive Official French Government War films. PathéFrères were the Official cinematographers for the French Government. It was these films that made a deep impression [in] my life that I will refer to later on.”
“In the years of 1915 to 1918 the war was at it’s height. I took my Pathéscope projector all over the country showing pictures promoting Victory Loan Campaigns. This alone was quite an experience I had to carry along with the projectors, a storage battery, a screen, films, plus my own personal luggage.”
“Travel in those days was by train and in the towns and villages we visited for the Victory Loan promotions we would travel from the nearest railroad station by horse and buggy. There usually was a couple of bond salesmen along with me. We would set up in the local Town Hall or some church at these locations. I would start early in the day setting up the projection equipment for the pre-advertised movie show. I often wonder how it was possible to put on a show that seemed to be so appreciated by large audiences with the equipment at hand. The big problem was to get enough light on the screen. The light source in the Pathéscope projector at that time was a small six volt lamp. This lamp was nothing more than carbon type filament. However it was wonderful the results we were able to obtain in screen quality by using an aluminium painted screen and arranging our projecting angles to get the most reflection to our audience.”
“It was at this time that the Pathéscope Co. moved to a new location at 156 King st. West. They had a large set up here. A complete laboratory was installed.”
“Back in my home I was now the proud owner of a 35mm Victor Animatograpgh. This was bought from the Pathéscope Co. who at this time at their new location had taken on the sales of Victor 28 mm projectors. These projectors were a great improvement over the old Pathéscope projectors. They had a star and cam intermittent movement and the light source was much greater using the new projection lamp with a concentrated filament.”
“These were the great days for the PathéscopeCo. They brought from the Rothhacker Laboratories in Chicago, Bill Rubineck who was in complete charge of the laboratory. He did a marvelous job, setting up everything with the test equipment that could be obtained, at a time when the war was at it’s worst.”
“Back home again, with a 35mm projector with a light source of 750 watts concentrated filament, I was in my glory. Jules and J.J.Allen were the big names in the Canadian motion picture theatre and distribution business. They controlled the distribution of Famous Players Pictures and Artcraft pictures through their Film exchange under the name of Famous Players Film Service. Their head office was in Toronto, with branches throughout all Canada. I got in touch with them to see if I could obtain films to run in my home. The result was that I was able to obtain any of their product at a very small cost. I think these were the most happy days of my life and for my family. We had all the best pictures of the day. A program would consist of a feature picture running from six to eight reels; a comedy of 2 reels mostly from Mack Sennett, a travelogue by Burton Holmes, and an Official War Office Film. Through this connection I began to meet most of the personnel of the motion picture business of that era. I would imagine that at that time our family had the only motion picture theatre, complete with projection room in the country. The only thing missing was an Orchestra but this was taken care by a Victor Victrola and a large selection of records.”
“Specialty Film Import was another film Exchange. It was headed by Ernest Ouimet in Montreal. This firm distributed Pathé pictures across Canada. They were also the distributors of Official War Films. I was interested in obtaining these war films for showing in my home. I was very interested in war films and had the idea of some day making a history of the world war. I was amazed at the lack of interest in the many historical War films that were being junked after a few weeks of use. I started making a collection of any war films I could put my hands on. The film exchanges were using them for leader film, this was used at the head of a reel of film for threading the projector. Everytime I received a film with war film leader, I would save it for my collection. I also at this time was able to buy various war films. This was a start for a collection of war films that proved quite valuable in years to come…”
“It was at Specialty Film Import that I first met Roy 0′ Connor. The year I believe would be late 1917. One time when I entered the office to obtain some films, the first man I spoke to behind the counter was Roy O’Connor. I remember very well Roy starting up a conversation regarding some grievance he had with the Toronto street Railway. He evidently knew that my father was Superintendent of the railway. This was my first meeting with Roy O’Connor, a meeting that ended up in a very close friendship until his death.”
“The Pathéscope Co. was in high gear. The first all Canadian newsreel was launched. The Canadian National Pictorial was started. It was produced for the Dominion Government. I find it hard to pinpoint the date of this venture. l think it would be late 1917 or 1918. The staff at this time was composed of as follows; Editor, Mr Crow(I do not remember his first name). He was quite well known in the newspaper business. Charles Roos was film editor and put it all together. Bill Rubenick was Laboratory manager. James Callaghan was in charge of the printing room. The cameramen working out of Toronto were -Mike Shiels, Fred Huffman, Dick Bird, Mervyn LaRue. Staff cameramen were also stationed in most of the provinces across Canada. The camera equipment were made up of English cameras, such as Moy, Prestwich. In the printing room the same names prevailed. I remember that later on another printer was added. It was called a Nestor. This machine had a peg automatic Light change board and also could be operated one frame at a time for test strips. Of course all printers were of the step motion.”
“I should mention here that Mervyn LaRue became quite famous for his medical cinematography in Chicago. Dick Bird was still quite active in nature films and lecturing about fifteen years ago. He lived in Regina.”
“The company had a very large commercial picture work, among whom were the Massey Harris Co., and many other accounts including various Dominion and Provincial departments.”
“I find it very hard to arrive at specific dates. So much seemed to happen in my life from 1919 on. As far as I can ascertain, I started working for the Pathéscope Co. in 1919. The Canadian National Pictorial was still going strong. I started working in the laboratory racking up film. The staff was about the same, with the exception that Bill Rubenick left to take a position with the Jam Handy organization in Detroit. It was at this time that I met Ross Beesley. Ross was doing the reduction printing.”
“It was here that I obtained my basic training in laboratory work. Working in those days was one big adventure. In the printing room and Laboratory everybody seemed to sing while at work. I remember so well a song routine Ross Beesley and I had with a popular song of that time “Are You From Dixie”. I recall many years later when I was walking down Victoria st. in Toronto, I heard from behind me
in a loud voice…..ARE YOU FROM DIXIE…..and before I even turned around to see where the sound was coming from, I started singing YES I AM FROM DIXIE….. TURNING AROUND IT WAS ROSS BEESLEY who I had not seen for many years. So right on Victoria St. by the old Arcade we shook hands and completed our duet.”
“Another episode I remember well, was when we were in the dark room. Of course all processing was done by rack and tank. The wash tanks which took 12 racks were quite large, being about 6 feet deep and covering an area of about 3 feet by 6 Feet. In the summertime when the temperature got pretty high we would leave one tank out of commission and the water would become just right for a cooling dip from time to time. One day it was very hot so we decided to cool off, so we stripped and jumped in.”
“While we were enjoying ourselves, the buzzer sounded, telling us that somebody was coming in through the light trap door into the dark room. We immediately turned off all the lights and jumped back into the tanks. It was a party of about 10, male and female who were being conducted on a tour of the plant. They, of course, were blind, coming in from the light. It must have been at the time when the first panchromatic negative film came on the market, for I remember yelling out that we could not put on any lights as we were processing negative. At that they retired from whence they came and we got out of the tanks and dressed.”
“Back to the doings of the Pathéscope Co….By now the old connection with Pathé Frères had come to an end. The Pathéscope projector was replaced by the Victor 28mm projector. This was the start of the end of the name Pathéscope.
I was at this time very anxious to become a cinematographer and eventually persuaded Mr. Redpath to let me cover a news story for the Canadian National Pictorial. My First news story to get on the screen was the covering of the annual regatta held at Hanlan’s Point. I featured the War Canoe race. It turned out very well and I was congratulated.”
“It was sometime around August in 1920 that the Canadian National Pictorial came to an end. I believe this was the dominating factor that brought the Pathéscope Co. to end and subsequently re-organize under the name of Film And Slide and later to become General Films. Most of the old staff were left out. Ross Beesley and I being without jobs decided to take a camping trip up north of the French River. We thought we could make a fortune picking blueberries at the same time and made arrangements with a wholesaler in fruit, who supplied us with a huge amount of baskets. It turned out that the blueberry crop was very poor and we ended up in the north country with a huge supply of empty baskets.”
“Ross Beesley was given a position with Film and Slide out in Vancouver. I do not know how long he was with that Company but remember he ran into some trouble with them.”
“On November 4th, 1921, verified by a bill of sale and the Custom report.I took delivery of a Universal camera and tripod from Burke and James In Chicago. This was a very popular camera of that time for newsreel work. It was a camera of a capacity of 200 Feet. This camera was developed with many improvements from the original Universal camera that was used with great success by the American army in World War 1. The original camera had a capacity of 400 feet and was quite cumbersome. The new model which I obtained was quite compact and had an automatic shutter control for fade outs, dissolves, etc. The price for this equipment was $1250.00. In those days this was a fortune.”
“From now on I was to be a lone wolf. I made contact with Selznick News in New York. They were at that time one of the major newsreels in the U.S.A. They were greatly interested in me covering events in Canada and offered me a very generous arrangement. So now I was in the Big time newsreel business which lasted until the Selznick Pictures Organization went out of business.”
“Going back in time, while I was with the Pathéscope Company I made up an acquaintance with Allen M.Beattie who was working with the Ontario Motion Picture Bureau. This developed into a real friendship. He was a survivor of the sinking of the Lusitania in which he lost his mother. He was very active in forming the reparations committee that eventually were successful in payment to all the survivors of the disaster.”
“Allen Beattie and I decided to start up a motion picture laboratory business in 1922. We started off in an old coach house at the rear of 22 Glen Rd., in Rosedale. This location belonged to the parents of another friend of mine, Kingsley Mullen who was interested in art. We were given permission by his parents to take over the coach house. We renovated the whole building, putting in a whole new hot water heating system etc. We installed a complete motion picture Laboratory. It consisted of one negative developing tank, one positive developing tank. These tanks had a capacity of two racks at a time or a footage of 400 feet. Our Hypo tank had a capacity of 400 feet. The wash tank had a capacity of five racks or 1000 feet. We had one printing machine and if memory serves me right it was a Williamson, made in England. ‘We had quite a nice set up for those days. It consisted also of a nice screening room with a Powers projector and quite an elaborate title set up along with editing room. We installed a special printing press for title work using aluminium ink. We were very fortunate at the start of Filmart Motion Pictures. We did all the Ontario Government title work and processing until they got involved with Filmcraft and the Drury Government.”
“When Filmcraft was brought to a close with the fire of 1923 and the Drury Government was to be defeated, Mike Shiels who was the senior cameraman with the Pathéscope became very much involved with the new candidate Ferguson and started making shorts for his election campaign. All these election shorts were produced by Filmart and when the election took place and the Drury Government was defeated Mike Shiels was really the top man in motion picture production as far as the Ontario Government was concerned. Under the supervision of Mike Shiels Filmart turned out a lot of productions. Alas, as it must come to all of us, Mike Shiels passed away of heart trouble.”
“The Ontario Government installed a laboratory of their own in the Parliament Bldg’s. We still continued to do their title work but that was all except for special camera assignments.”
“It was at this time that The Ontario Government decided to open up a production studio at Trenton, Ontario.”
“I was approached at this time to take over the management of the Trenton Studio. At this time in my career everything was going very well. My newsreel connections were working out to my advantage and also Filmart Motion Pictures were doing very well. Taking all this into consideration I declined the offer to become head of the Trenton Studio and continued in my own way.”
“I would like to say a few words about my connection with the Trenton Studio when they started to produce “Carry On Sergeant” produced by Captain Bruce Bairnsfather, the famous cartoonist of world war I.”
“It became apparent during the production of “Carry On Sergeant” that a lot of official war footage would be required to complete the picture. As a result Captain Bairnsfather found out that I had quite a library of official war films. It is one of the most vivid memories in my life…..the first meeting I had with the Captain.”
“I was living with my sister at the time in a house at 145 Albertus Ave., in north Toronto. We had made arrangements to meet on a certain day at a certain time for a screening of the war films I had in my possession. One morning about 11 o’clock I was looking out of the front window and up drove a huge car,I think it was a Rolls Royce. It stopped in front of my driveway. It was driven by a uniformed chauffeur. The front door opened and out stepped a uniformed footman who in turn opened the rear door and stood at attention while out stepped an individual dressed in morning clothes and bowler hat and cane, marched up my sidewalk to the front door. He rang the doorbell…..and this was my meeting with the famous Bruce Bairnsfather.”
“I had the projector set up in the living room. I screened a lot of material with which he was very pleased with. To make a long story short, my collection of war films had started to pay off.”
“In 1923 fire destroyed the Filmcraft Laboratories which ended an era in the Canadian Motion Picture industry both good and bad. It was the motion picture industry with it’s RAMIFICATIONS BETWEEN FILMCRAFT and the Ontario Government that brought about the defeat of the Government and the sending to prison of the Hon. Peter Smith, the provincial treasurer. I will not dwell on this situation as it would take months of writing.”
“Back to Filmart…..Now that Filmcraft was no more I became involved with many names that were to continue on for many years in the industry. Roy O’Connor, Harold Peberdy, came to Filmart. Roy O’Connor who was very well known with the film exchanges brought in a lot of new business. At the same time we started to have a lot of business with the individual theatres in trailer work. It was this part of the business that Harold Peberdy was at his best. He was a wonderful artist and no one else has ever really replaced him. I still can remember Harold when we would have to make up a title announcing a certain musical number to be played by Jack Arthur and his orchestra at the Regent Theatre. Harold would lean back in his chair and take a puff of his pipe and out would come an original background scene for the announcement title.”
“It was a toss up with Harold whether to stay with Filmart or go to the large company, Associated Screen News. I think he took the right choice as future years proved. The Canadian Motion Picture Industry suffered a great loss when Harold Peberdy passed away. I still treasure a series of lead titles he did for me when I started to produce a History of World War I.”
“It became apparent that Filmart would have to move to the downtown district near to the theatres and Film Exchanges. In 1924 Filmart moved to a new downtown location at 107 Richmond St. east. We were located on the third floor of the building.”
“Equipment that had survived the fire at Filmcraft became available to us. The most important being a Bell &Howell continuous printing machine. We also obtained a reduction printer for printing 35mm to 28mm. This machine later on was changed over to Print 35mm to 16mm. Laboratory equipment included one 2 rack positive developing tank, one 2 rack negative developing tank, one 5 rack hypo or fixing tank, one 10 rack wash tank. Our drying drum had a capacity of 5 racks, or a footage of 1000 feet. We had two title stands and one animation stand. In the newsreel field, I was now with PathéFrères Cinema Ltd., of London England. It became a very happy association that lasted for many years. I covered Canada for the Pathé Gazette and Pathé Pictorial. There was also a considerable amount of commercial work from the Pathé commercial department.”
“In 1925 Mr. Bryant Fryer who had been working in New York on a series of animated shorts under the title of”Aesop Fables” arrived in Toronto. Production had come to an end in New York after many years, and he was anxious to start the series again.”
“He had the backing of a distribution firm in London, England under the name of Cranfield and Clark. We became interested in the deal and set up the special equipment required for this special form of animation. It was a unique form of animation. It consisted of a frame of clear glass four by five feet mounted on a frame set at a 45 degree angle. Back of this was a White reflective surface
which reflected the light back through the glass to the camera. Bryant Fryer would draw out the actual background scene in black and white with all the halftones. Then this scene would be replaced on the glass surface by different densities of paper that when the reflected light from behind would duplicate the original drawing. Different tone values were achieved by different densities of paper. Then another glass surface would be placed over the background scene, and on this glass would be the actual animated characters cut out of paper. The animation of these characters would be shot one frame at a time in the regular cartoon manner. Actually everything was a silhouette. The finished result with the prints being toned and tinted was quite pleasing.”
“I think we produced 12 of these shorts. At the start we had been assured by the distributors that we would receive a great amount of return from world wide distribution. As each short was completed, Allen Beattie and myself could not get a smile out of the effort. The trouble we decided was that the producers were putting forth a type of English humour in these productions that would not go over with American or Canadian audiences.”
“When the cash returns began to be much lower than we were originally promised, we decided to stop our participation in this venture. So Aesop Fables came to an end. I believe we broke about even on the venture. I remember the Ontario Motion Picture Bureau helped out by purchasing the series. Thus ended an era in production.”
“I note with interest your mention of a clipping (May 1928) that Filmart had established in Hamilton. I do not remember this item. It may have come at a time when we became quite seriously involved in starting up a large laboratory in Leaside, Ontario, to look after feature printing in Canada.”
“I remember at this time when we were considering this venture, certain stories appeared in the press, and this clipping might have been one of many. The actual truth was that we had actually raised an amount exceeding $200,000 amongst different friends of mine. We had plans drawn up for the laboratory building and equipment, and the location decided on. It must be remembered that the sum of $200,000 at that time was equal to $1000,000 or more in these days.”
“The reason that we shelved this project was due to the fact that in 1928 there was very disturbing news. There were indications that a serious World depression was starting.”
“Now that we are talking about 1928, I think l should now write about the forming of the first union formation for cinematographers. Len Roos, a brother of Charlie Roos, had been working out of Hollywood for some time, and had made quite a name for himself taking pictures in the South Pacific. He made a trip to Toronto and started getting the local cameramen interested in forming a Union with the l.A.T.S.E. which was of course a very strong organization in the U.S.A. and particularly in Hollywood where it was impossible to work unless one was a member. The initiation fee at the time to enter the union was $1000,00.”
“A meeting was called one night at Filmart Motion Pictures. In attendance were as I recall as follows;-
Len Roos, Charlie Roos, Fred Huffman, Roy O’Connor, Frank O’Byrne, Dick Bird, Allen Beattie, Norman Gunn. We also had advisory help from Bill Covert who was head of the strong Projectionist union I.A.T.S.E. The meeting lasted until the early hours of the morning with the result that the Canadian Society of Cinematographers was formed, or in other words Local 665.”
“If my memory is correct, Frank O’Byrne was nominated president, Charlie Roos vice president, Norman Gunn Secretary Treasurer, Allen Beattie, Director of Publicity.”
“It started off with great enthusiasm and not long after we had a visit of the head of the Hollywood local, along with his wife and two other officials. One of the two officials was Alvin Wykoff who was a very famous cameraman of that time with Warner Bros. We had a very pleasant meeting for them at the Royal York Hotel. It was at the time when sound was beginning to shake the industry. I remember they assured us we had nothing to worry about and that transition would be gradual and easily taken care of by all members of the I.A.TS.E.”
“I have before me as I write, three photographs of the group that attended the meeting at the Royal York. The pictures were taken across from the hotel with the then new Union Station in the background.”
“A vivid memory I have is sometime later on a Saturday night the Toronto star had a headline in large type across the top of the frontpage…. ‘Government Cameramen Demand $100.00 per Week’ “
“Another memory I have is that Len Roos shortly after the Local was formed obtained a transfer to the Hollywood Local. So instead of paying an initiation fee of $1000.00 he made the transfer at a cost of $15.00.”
“Back to 1927. I was now covering for International Newsreel and a few years later when M.G.M News was started and which was turned out by the same organization, my material was used by both newsreels. My connection with International lasted for many years until William Randolph Hearst died and not long after his film interests came to an end.”
“It was in 1927 that Walter Swaffield returned to Toronto. He had gone to Los Angeles after the Filmcraft fire and was working on stained glass windows. He started with Filmart on title and art work. This was to be a long association that lasted until that fatal day in December 1945 that ended Filmart Motion Pictures by fire that destroyed the whole block of buildings.”
1. Walter Swaffield.
“I can remember very well Walter telling me about his early days learning animation. Walter told me that he started with Walt Disney and his brother in Los Angeles. He described the first location when Walt Disney and his brother first started up. It was a small store building they rented. He outlined the first cartoon character they started out with. I cannot remember the name. He said they were hard pressed for money when he was working with them. All the basic steps in cartoon work he learnt there. I remember him telling me that the two brothers did not get along very well at that time with the result they stopped work. I remember Walt telling me that it was at this time that Disney obtained financial backing from a certain lady in New York which enabled Disney to go forward. Swaffield then went into the United States Army and served for the duration of World War I.”
2. The end of Filmcraft and Blaine Irish.
“I am afraid I cannot be of much help to you in this matter. My memory recalls very little. I remember reading the newspaper accounts of the death of Blaine Irish at a camping expedition near the French river. If my memory is correct, his death was caused by some sort of blood poisoning, at least that was the verdict of the post mortem.The name of Captain Roy Maxwell comes into my memory. He came from Hamilton, where he was engaged in the aeroplane business. I believe he was the money man behind Filmcraft. He was chairman of the board, which immediately brings to mind the throat grabbing across the table which you no doubt have heard about. I remember Charlie Quick telling me about an episode he was involved in with Blaine Irish when he knocked him down the stairway. I am talking about Charlie Quick senior. I wish I could contact him, for he could tell me many things about all this Filmcraft mess. I was in touch with Charles in 1968 but since then I do not know where he is. He might be dead as far as I know. Have you any information as to him at the present time?
Evidently; Blaine Irish was not very popular during those days. I remember meeting the Laboratory crew. They came from Chicago, from the old Rothacker plant. If any group personified the Al Capone gang of that period, it was they. I know I felt nervous meeting them in daylight. So with all these elements in the Filmcraft organization it was an explosive situation where any of the many hearsay stories could be true. The only other thing I remember were the many calls I had from the Government opposition members trying to get information from me. If anything else comes to mind I will let you know.
It may help if you could jolt my memory with some particular episode of this drama. I know Roy O’Gonnor told me a lot about the Filmcraft affair, but at the moment my memory is a blank.”
3. Bryant Fryer…Aesop Fables…Shadowlaughs…Jeffrey Keighley.
“I have been giving more thought to the production of Aesop Fables and our association with Bryant Fryer.
I have verified that the first contact with Bryant Fryer was in December of 1925. It took a considerable length of time putting the equipment together to produce this series. Not only that, but there was a lot of details in the business end with Cranfield and Clarke who were back of the whole venture. Taking all this into consideration, I imagine we did not actually start production until the middle of 1926. It. was a very slow process and by the time we had twelve of the series in the can we must have still been producing in February of 1927.
Jeffrey Keighley was the man that actually did all the animation and was responsible for the writing of all the so called humor. I think he was attending the University of Toronto at the time, for I remember most of the work had to be done in the evenings. Bryant Fryer would layout roughly the characters and backgrounds and then Jeffrey Keighley would transfer the sketches to cut out paper.”
“This is the same series that were produced under the title of Aesop Fables. All the time they were being produced we referred to them as Aesop Fables. Even when I read the name Shadowlaughs in your letter it did not ring a bell. However after giving a lot of thought to the matter, the name seemed to be remotely familiar. I remember that after a certain number of the series were made the question that the title Aesop Fables might run the producers into copyright trouble. It was therefore decided to change the title. I believe it ended up as “Shadowlaughs” based on Aesop Fables.”
From Library & Archives Canada:
Biography / Administrative history: Gunn, Norman A: Norman Gunn, cinematographer, was involved with the Ontario Motion Picture Bureau during the 1920s, doing camera assignments. Thereafter he worked at Filmart Lab, doing title work, processing and printing. Later he became connected to Pathe cinema in London. In 1927 Gunn worked as producer for two episodes from the series The Shadow Laughs. Gunn also became a collector of official war films on the First World War. Before his death he resided in Toronto, Ontario. Gunn died 15 December 1981.