Michael Rubbo | Adventures
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Adventures

When I first got to the National film board in the early 60s, I did not know exactly what to do with myself. My very first film with the NFB, whose title I’ve now forgotten, which has disappeared from the NFB catalog, was about long-distance trucking. It was a typical National film board information documentary, supposedly made in the public interest. It told the story of how produce from Mexico, from the hot and steamy south, would be rushed by truck up to midwinter Alberta where it was 40° below when the truck was unloaded.

That didn’t turn out very well and I retreated a bit into my shell and made some little films about animals. There was a man in Ontario near Niagara Falls, a German who kept animals on his farm, and I filmed them, for what purpose exactly I don’t know.

But I teamed up with him and turned his animal footage into stories for young children. Adventures was one of these films. It was quite fun writing their narration and delivering it on camera. I think it set me up for later storytelling on more serious projects like Sad song of yellow Skin. There was another film made at the same time in the same place called, That Mouse.

I don’t remember too much about the location work but I remember a motel I stayed at on the river which flowed into the falls. It was a quaint and folkloric place, all natural wood in a charmingly forested location. The weather was strange and misty, because of the vapor from the falls, I think. I’d bought myself a second hand MGA sports car, dark green, and loved to drive it in the strange evening light along the river road.