dontate now

Join Email List

Facebook  Become a Fan on Facebook
twitter  Follow Us on Twitter

329 West 18th Street Suite #610
Chicago, Illinois 60616
(312) 243-1808

Search Collections

SERIES II: Chuck Olin Associates Films, Videotapes & Ephemera

Bookmark and Share
Series Identifier: S.2005-05-0002
Preservation Sponsor: National Film Preservation Foundation
Inclusive Dates
1965 - 2001
Bulk Dates
1967 - 1986
SERIES II includes films and other items from Chuck Olin’s own production company, Chuck Olin Associates. The date range for this series is 1974 to 2001. It is split into three subseries.
The Chuck Olin Collection is organized into two series reflecting his work with two production companies that bridged the divide between observational documentary filmmaking and more commercial work on television advertisements and sponsored films:

SERIES I: Film Group/Mike Gray Associates Films
Subseries I: Film Group Television Commercials
Subseries II: Film Group Sponsored Films
Subseries III: Film Group Political Documentaries

SERIES II: Chuck Olin Associates Films, Videotapes & Ephemera
Subseries I: Chuck Olin Associates 16mm Films
Subseries II: Chuck Olin Associates Videotapes
Subseries II: Chuck Olin Associates Ephemera

SERIES I includes 16mm films and TV commercials from his time working for the Film Group/Mike Gray Associates in Chicago. The series dates from 1965 to 1973. Series I is split into three subseries that reflect the form and economic purpose of the works: Subseries I includes television commercials, Subseries II contains sponsored films, and Subseries III comprises the company’s political documentaries.

The commercials in Series I: Subseries I were made from 1965 to 1972. There are a total of 221 advertisements in the collection though many are duplicates. They include commercials made for national and Chicago area businesses. National clients represented in the collection include: Alert Soap, All State, Aunt Jemima, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Bunker Ramo, Florsheim, Hill’s Bros. Coffee, Kenner, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Minnie Pearl’s Fried Chicken, Montgomery Ward, Quaker Oats, Sara Lee, Satin Plus, Sears, Thank You Pudding, and Vets’ Dog Food. Commercials for local companies include: Chicago American newspaper, Chicago Tribune, Commonwealth Edison, Illinois Bell, Irv Kupcinet’s TV show, Karoll’s clothing store, Peoples Gas, WBKB-TV, and local politicians running for election.

The sponsored films in Series I: Subseries II are short films made from 1965-1973. Companies and professional organizations hired the Film Group/Mike Gray Associates to make these sponsored films for a specific purpose, such as a training film for doctors on a new distribution method of dispersing pills, for salesmen promoting a condo building, and to recruit African American doctors. Films in this subseries include: Eli Lilly: Identadose, GATX, WLS, Dunbar Sales Film, Eight Flags for 99 Cents, A Matter of Opportunity, The Hidden Resource: A Report on Recycling, and Impressionism to Cubism in 9 Minutes.

Series I: Subseries III contains prints of the Film Group’s seven part educational film series Urban Crisis and the New Militants from 1969. These films are described individually in the finding aid for the Film Group Collection also at Chicago Film Archives. Also included in this subseries are two trailers for the two feature length documentaries made by the Film Group: American Revolution II and The Murder of Fred Hampton. Neither trailer is found on the recent commercial DVD releases of the films. Please note that CFA's Film Group Collection contains additional 16mm prints as well as streaming media for the entire Urban Crisis and the New Militants series.

SERIES II includes films and other items from Chuck Olin’s own production company, Chuck Olin Associates. The date range for this series is 1974 to 2001. It is split into three subseries.

Series II: Subseries I is comprised of 16mm film prints made by Chuck Olin Associates. This subseries includes sponsored films, educational films made for Encyclopedia Britannica, and documentary films originated by Olin. The sponsored films in this series include Box of Treasures, The Gift: Four Seasons Mosaic by Marc Chagall, andA Palette of Glass: The America Windows of Marc Chagall.The four educational films Olin made for Encyclopedia Britannica in this collection are only a small subset of the over 17 films he made for the company. This subseries also includes two documentaries made by Olin without any sponsorship: Jack’s Run: The Story of a First Time Marathoner and the feature length documentary In Our Own Hands: The Hidden Story of the Jewish Brigade in World War II.

Series II: Subseries II is comprised of videotapes of an interview from 2000 and 2001 that Olin conducted with Peter Allen for Olin’s last documentary Call it Home. The 22 tapes are a mixture of DVCAM, Beta SP, and VHS tapes.

Series II: Subseries III contains four 4x6 color photographs that show Olin and Peter Allen. Presumably they are also from 2000-2001. 
Language of Materials
Access Restrictions
This collection is open to on-site access. Appointments must be made with Chicago Film Archives. Due to the fragile nature of the films, only video copies will be provided for on-site viewing. The videotapes in Series II: Subseries II are not currently accessible. The photos in Series II: Subseries III are not processed but are accessible on-site.
Use Restrictions
Most of the films in this collection were made as works for hire. As such copyright was not transferred to Chicago Film Archives and remains with original copyright holder. Determination of copyright for these materials for reproduction is the responsibility of the user. Rights for Olin's two films on Chagall - THE GIFT and PALETTE OF GLASS - as well as his film IN OUR OWN HANDS remain with his estate, which is managed by his widow Nancy Olin.