Series 02 - By the Seat of their Pants series

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By the Seat of their Pants series

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Reference code

CA ON00420 HAR-02

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1985-2017, predominant 1987-1989 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

325 video cassettes and other material

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1947-01-04 -)

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Scope and content

Les Harris began work on a documentary on bush pilots in 1987, first under the working title of “Aviation in the North.” Noted bush pilot Punch Dickens served as historical consultant to the film. Harris and a small crew conducted a research trip in February 1988 where he shot some preliminary interviews and location footage with a JVC camera on VHS tapes. Later in 1988, Harris returned with Sony Betacam cameras to record extensive interview footage with pilots and others working in the industry. Harris conducted these interviews in their homes or places of work, including filming pilots during flights. A last trip to Yellowknife was made in February 1989 and additional footage was shot up until March 1989. Archival footage and photographs were gathered from the National Archives of Canada, Northern News Service Ltd, the Provincial Archives of Alberta, Cine audio visual, Provincial Archives of Manitoba, RCMP, National Defense, Bellevue Pathé, and Wardair. Harris also copied footage from three individuals: Punch Dickens, Willy Lazerich, and Thomas Pierce. Harris used VHS, U-matic and Betacam cassettes for editing and rough prints. Final masters are on 1” and were migrated to Betacam SP. Harris kept his production records and research materials, including photographs, notes, correspondence and clippings. The series has been arranged into seven subseries: 1) Masters; 2) Viewing or broadcast copies; 3) Final mixes and international tracks; 4) Intermediate production elements; 5) Research material and other textual and photographic records; 6) Raw footage; and, 7) Archival footage.

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Physical description

Series contains:
240 video cassettes (ca. 97 hours, 54 mins) : Betacam
43 video cassettes (ca. 19 hours, 18 mins) : U-matic
37 video cassettes (ca. 64 hours 20 mins) : VHS
1 linear metre of textual records
ca. 79 photographs
6 audio cassettes (ca. 9 hours)
4 cassettes (ca. 4 hours, 6 m) : 8mm
4 audio reels (ca. 2 hours, 24 mins)
4 video cassettes (ca. 2 hour, 6 mins) : SP, Betacam
3 audio discs (ca. 36 mins) : 33 1/3 rpm
2 audio cassettes (ca. 1 hour 48 mins) : DAT, 2 track
1 video reel (ca. 56 mins) : 1" Type C
1 video cassettes (ca. 6 mins) : VHS-C
1.2 GB (2 films)

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