|Died||October 24, 2015 (aged 88)|
Christopher Chapman CM, RCA (January 24, 1927 – October 24, 2015) was a Canadian film writer, director, editor and cinematographer. Best known for his award-winning 1967 short film A Place to Stand, he also pioneered the multi-dynamic image technique used in films and television shows.
Chapman was born in Toronto, shortly after midnight on January 24, 1927, and just minutes after his twin brother, Francis. Christopher and his twin had four elder siblings, Philippa, Howard, Robert, and Sally. Another brother, Julian, died in infancy. They were children of distinguished architect Alfred Hirschfelder Chapman (of Chapman and Oxley) and concert pianist Doris Chapman.
Chapman was married to Barbara-Glen Chapman (née Kennedy), his wife of 44 years. He died at the age of 88 on October 24, 2015, at his residence in ReachView Village, a long-term care facility in Uxbridge, Ontario. He was survived by his wife and son Julian Chapman (former Deputy Commander of 4th Canadian Division, Canadian Army Brigadier General).
Over his career, Chapman made approximately 40 films for television, the National Film Board of Canada, theatrical release, tourism organizations, science centres, and international expositions. Chapman's first film, The Seasons, won the Canadian Film Award (CFA) for Film of the Year in 1954.
Another of his film's to win the CFA Film of Year was his 1967 short, A Place to Stand, which also received two Academy Award nominations in 1968, winning the one for Best Live-Action Short. The film, commissioned by the Government of Ontario, featured Chapman's innovative multi-dynamic image technique (or 'the Brady Bunch effect'), wherein moving panes of moving images are used within the single context of the screen. Over a year of filming, Chapman shot 70 kilometres (43 mi) of film, which he then edited into 18 minutes, though the images moving across the screen were the equivalent of an hour and three-quarters of film. The process exhausted Chapman and he was still unsure of using it until its first screening occurred: "There were a couple of stenographers, who were eating their lunch watching the screening, and they were agog," Chapman said. "But I wanted to run. I was exhausted and thought it was a failure, but a chap grabbed me as I was going out the door. He'd been standing at the back of the screening room and said he was blown away by it. It was Steve McQueen."
In 1968, McQueen starred in The Thomas Crown Affair, directed by Norman Jewison, a film that used Chapman's split-screen technique. Jewison added the multiple-image sequences into the film after seeing A Place to Stand. Over the years since, many films and television series have used the technique, with the most recent known to be the American series 24, which, by using the technique, documented the simultaneous actions of its characters.
In 1970, Chapman directed a film for the Hudson’s Bay Company, called Impressions, as part of HBC's 300th anniversary celebrations. Impressions, another film of Chapman’s to use his multiple-dynamic technique, follows the HBC's 300-year history using both historic and modern images: iconic images of the fur trade are paired with modern department stores; scenes of farming are shown with oil production are seen, and so on.
|Year||Film||Type||Awards and nominations|
|1954||The Seasons||Documentary short||Won: Film of the Year (6th Canadian Film Awards)|
|1963||Lewis Mumford on the City
|1964||The Persistent Seed||Documentary short|
|1964||Magic Molecule||Documentary short|
|1967||A Place to Stand||Documentary short||Won: Film of the Year (20th Canadian Film Awards)Won: Best Live Action Short Subject (40th Academy Awards)
Nominated: Best Documentary Short Subject (40th Academy Awards)
|1976||A Sense of Humus||Documentary short|
In addition to his film honors, Chapman was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 1987 and awarded a Doctor of Laws by Ryerson University in 2000. Chapman served as president of both the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and the Directors Guild of Canada. He was also a member of The Arts and Letters Club of Toronto.
- Stoffman, Judy (30 October 2015). "Christopher Chapman: Oscar winner invented 'Brady Bunch effect'". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
- "Christopher Chapman CM, RCA, LL.D (hon) Jan 24, 1927 - Oct 24, 2015". theglobeandmail.com. October 26, 2015. Archived from the original on April 2, 2016. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
- "Christopher Chapman, Toronto Wins Award for The Seasons." Montreal Gazette. April 22, 1954. p. 13. – via Newspapers.com.
- Scrivener, Leslie (April 22, 2007). "Forty years on, a song retains its standing". thestar.com. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
- Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran (co-creators) (May 20, 2008). 24: The Complete First Season (Special Edition) – "The Genesis of 24" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- "Impressions. Keystone Archives Descriptive Database. Winnipeg, MB: Archives of Manitoba.
- "Highlights from Impressions (1970)." Archives of Manitoba. July 2020.