- CA ON00420 HAR-01
- 1914-2017, predominant 1971-1976
Part of Les Harris fonds
Les Harris began work on the documentary series Chabot Solo in 1971. Born in 1890, Charles Chabot was the oldest still-flying aviator when Harris began interviewing him that year. Interviews were recorded on reel-to-reel before any filming began. Harris then conducted research at the Imperial War Museum, the Royal Air Force Museum, the Royal Aeronautical Society, and the Southend Historical Aircraft Museum. He copied often fragile archival footage and photographs from the BBC Archives, Movietone and Pathé. In addition to photographs he received directly from Chabot, he also gathered material from contacts made through or by Chabot. Harris began shooting original footage with a rough shooting guide in the summer of 1972. 16mm cameras were used to shoot original material. The first film should have been completed at the end of 1973, but Harris was in a serious car accident and the last work on the first part of the project was delayed. Post-production work on the first film was completed in 1974. Part 3 was shot mainly in Newfoundland, and all post-production work was done in Canada. The last original footage for Part 3 of Charles Chabot taking the Concord to Gander was recorded in 1975. Chabot Solo part 1 and its two sequel documentaries, Chabot Solo part 2: 1918-1939 and Chabot Solo part 3: 1939-1975 were released to television world-wide over a short period between 1974 to 1975 with BBCTV being the lead broadcaster. Harris kept his production records and research materials, as well as film elements from the point of the first work print and negative trims to final masters and viewing or broadcast copies. The series is arranged into six main subseries: 1) Masters; 2) Viewing or broadcast copies; 3) Final mixes and international tracks; 4) Intermediate production elements; 5) Research material and other textual, art and photographic records; 6) Raw footage. There is also a flying helmet that Chabot wore in the film.