Director Bill Mason's short film focuses on his friend and fellow filmmaker, Blake James. In his never-ending quest for freedom, Blake pilots his own plane. This film is Mason's view of his friend as a "hobo of the skies," but it is also an adventure that beckons the viewer to come along for the ride.
Bill Mason and Blake James had a long history together, first meeting at a commercial art studio in Winnipeg. They later worked together at Crawley films before both moving to the NFB. In Blake, Mason wanted to show the world how his good friend marched to the beat of a different drummer. The filming was often dangerous. On one occasion Mason was filming Blake from another airplane and lost him. He searched for him for a great many nervous minutes before discovering that Blake had landed on an Island in the St. Lawrence. Blake had forgotten to switch on his main fuel tank and was forced to land wherever he could. The film was shown theatrically in Canada and bought by an American distributor. Theatrical showings stateside led to an Oscar nomination in the live-action short category.Albert Ohayon
From the playlist: Bill Mason: Beyond the wild, beyond the paddle