Film Opticals of Canada Ltd. closed its doors in 2005, but it lives on for me in business card form. During my years there we produced titles and optical effects for films such as The Sweet Hereafter (1997), American Psycho (2000), and Ararat (2002).
I was one of two optical printer/camera operators. Those days! And late nights.
Of course, what "Film Ops" did then we can now do on a computer in our basement. Faster, cheaper (a lot cheaper), and with a heck of a lot less (potential) stress.
Side note: my name is emblazoned via my least favourite font. My own ego would have demanded nothing less than "Arial".
Some film and television people of note who popped by the Film Opticals facility during my days there: Kiefer Sutherland; Saul Rubinek; Jason Priestley; and Atom Egoyan. Messrs Sutherland and Priestley were super-nice guys, apparently: polite and courteous. I say "apparently" since, in both instances, I missed them by minutes. (Pardon the apparent name-dropping, but I had no other association with those gents.)
I worked on a full-time freelance basis at my favourite Toronto-based optical house from 1994 to 2000, returning a few times after that term to do some relief shooting . The company was on Fraser Avenue when I started there, but moved to Carlaw Avenue in late 1999. In my opinion the move was not a good one for the company ― this change of location was beyond their control.
Mike Smith, the main guy at Film Opticals of Canada, was full of wisdom and knowledge regarding the film business. I learned so much from him.