Below you can view three minutes of this film. It is just the beginning and the ending. This clip was made from a homemade DVD I bought online. The DVD was made from a very poor VHS copy of the film. After decades of looking for it, I found someone in Canada who had a DVD of the film for sale. I believe it is a later version of the film that was made just for Canada and was re-titled "North of the Yukon." It's my understanding that the film was also purchased by Alaskan Airlines for use on longer flights to Alaska. In the US the theatrical release was titled "The Legend of Amaluk." It played in a number of theaters in a four wall contract release. That meant that the theater rented the print for a flat price, and took a chance on selling enough tickets to make a profit.
The film was made in 1972. It was shot on 16mm reversal film and blown-up to 35mm for its theatrical release. I was hired to do the negative cutting. I was also responsible for preparing the original film for the blow-up to 35MM at Consolidated Film Industries. The producer, Jerry Fairbanks, really created a wonderful surprise for me. As I was checking out the first 35mm print, all of a sudden I saw my name in the end credits! I had ordered the credits, but when I did my name wasn't included, and so you can imagine the thrill of seeing my name on the big silver screen! What an honor this was for me, as Jerry Fairbanks is a two-time Academy Award winner. If you watch the whole clip you will see my name on the very last title. It's my 5 seconds of fame.
I'll never forget the "vault" at Jerry Fairbanks Productions that had thousands of little pieces of magnetic stock and optical sound. These were sounds that Jerry Fairbanks had accumulated over many years. I think all the sound effects used in the film came from that vault. I don't recall that any sound effects were purchased, but they might have been. Whatever wasn't 16mm mag I had to get transferred to 16 mag and cut that into the many sound reels that would be used in the audio mix. At Cinesound, dozens of machines ran in in sync with the film projector while a mixer would operate a huge sound board. Now, it's all done with one computer and digital files. It's so amazing looking back on how it used to be done. Before magnetic sound it was all optical tracks being mixed into an optical track recorder. One mistake and that whole reel of exposed soundtrack film had to be thrown out. Films were mixed in 10 minute chunks, which is how long 1000 feet of 35 mm lasted. Dark ages!
It was also a huge thrill for me to actually turn the 35mm movie camera on and off for the shots of Lorne Greene. Mr. Fairbanks didn't want to pay for a union camera person just to do that and so he told me to do it and not to say anything. The camera was set up by Mr. Fairbanks. All I had to do was turn on the 35mm Mitchel camera with a big toggle switch and say "Rolling" after he said "Camera." Wish I had a photo of me doing that!