Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Remembering Don Shebib on The Edison Twins

On May the 10th of last year I wrote about wanting a cable channel dedicated to Canadian films and television programs. In the piece I talked of a conversation I had with an old friend which involved quizzing one another on what Canadian films we've seen.

The name Don Shebib came up. He was the director of Goin' Down the Road, one of the greatest films ever made in this great country.

Back in the summer of 1985 I was an extra in an episode of The Edison Twins, which was a fine youth-aimed half-hour television series produced here in Toronto. The episode, I looked it up, was called "The Fix" and it was directed by Mr. Shebib. That summer I had read a book on the filmmaker written by one Piers Handling, now the director of the Toronto International Film Festival. Shebib guided the cast and guest cast in a 'big scene': A high school basketball game; many extras were needed to fill out the school gym's bleachers. Of course I watched Shebib to see how he moved about and interacted with the actors. (The assistant directors were the production people who marshalled all us "background".)

The location was a high school -- the name of which I've long forgotten -- on Albemarle Avenue here in Toronto. A bonus for me was one of the guest actors was Reiner Schwartz. I was a bit of a fan: he had been the host of an outstanding OECA (Ontario Educational Communications Authority) series called Media 77 (1977 - 1978).

I can't remember ever seeing the completed episode. No doubt I stand right out.

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