|Portrait of Christopher Chapman (1966)|
|Written by Michael LeBlanc|
Through membership in the Arts and Letters Club, Eric met the renowned architect, Alfred Chapman. Eric took Chapman's two gifted sons, Francis and Christopher, under his wing. "Whiterock" is the story of the canoe trip Eric to the Killarney region in Georgian Bay. Francis Chapman (who assisted Eric with the Sunnyvale Hospital mural) became a successful television producer with the CBC.
While Francis made headway in his career at CBC Television, Christopher pushed ahead on his own, as an independent filmmaker. In 1965, in anticipation of Canada’s Centennial Year and Expo ’67 in Montreal, the province of Ontario asked Christopher to create a short film which would be shown at Ontario’s pavilion. The result, which took a half million dollars and two years to complete, was called “A Place to Stand”. The film featured stunning scenes of nature and industry and presented 90 minutes of footage during its 18-minute running time, using what Christopher called his “multi-dynamic image technique.” This was an innovative, multiple-image method that allows viewers to see up to 15 different moving images in independently moving frames simultaneously on one screen. Eric designed the titles for the film and was paid well for his efforts, but his greatest reward was watching Christopher accept his Oscar award for “Best Live Short” for “A Place to Stand” in 1968.Eric often reminded his young charges of Leonardo’s saying that “It is the poor pupil who cannot surpass his master,” and indeed Christopher did surpass his master (as had Harry Somers), giving Eric once again that rare sense of personal and professional fulfillment.
Christopher is a charming man and I was most impressed by “Oscar,” his gold front doorstop.