Don’t look for much about my friend Jim Wilson on the web. This page (when finished) may be the best you’ll find. He died before he could build a web presence (he would have) and his filmmaker friends have been slow to add some personality to brief facts. This is an ongoing assembly.
Interview Cantrills Filmnotes ISSUE 13, APRIL, 1973 Scripts From Dreams: Interview with Jim Wilson on his film K-Tape 1 Page 34 Back cover: stills from K-Tape 1.
Jim and I met via Peter Tammer who had been a friend of Jim’s from his early Uni days. Jim did Architecture at Melbourne Uni (“Because I didn’t know what else to do and it looked ‘creative’.” He didn’t complete the course but he did complete a 16mm feature film based on the lives of the ‘Lorne set’, wealthy friends his age who summered at Lorne on the surf coast, and all hung out at a restaurant, coffee lounge called “The Arab”. Drugs and alcohol featured, Jim was living on an allowance from his parents, he had shares in his family-owned stainless steel manufacturing company. Lorne was where he met Katia ( Katia Antōnopoulou ), his wife (a writer and translator) who realised he was on a downward spiral and dragged him back to Greece where she lived in Athens. She told me: “he was in a poor state of health but I wasn’t going to let him die”. He didn’t and they had houses in Athens, the Islands and in the hills above Larissa. They returned to Melbourne, bought a small terrace house in Street and I met him at the early Film Co-op days. As we became friends with a tech fascination for Super 8, I drove him one day to VFL (Victorian Film Labs) to retrieve the masters for his Black and White feature film to destroy. He refused to show the one print that he had, saying it was awful and he was embarrassed (we, by then, thought that Brakhage was God and commercial cinema sucked). He had shown it in Lorne at least once. He burnt the print in his backyard incinerator, spooling of the film in handfuls under the Hills Hoist.
Jim and I formed a Super 8 production company called Super 8 Productions (there’s some Letraset titles somewhere that I found). I had the agency experience and could pass out the occasional jobs (or at least make sure with got to quote on them). We made a couple of test commercials, some Trade ‘Presenters’, used on rearscreen projectors as loops. Some sound (with a trouble to change 24fps machines to 18fps ones.)
The camera of choice was my Canon DS8 that Jim is using in the still with Melbourne Filmmaker Vince O’Donnell holding a coat to block reflections. We were shooting some archive images mounted behind glass, while making the Echuca Travel tourist film.
I’ve transferred a couple of the films, one for the Victoria Police about training, and there’s one hour of material covering the Gas & Fuel Energy Week held in the CBD.