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Grant McLean

Director, Producer, Administrator
(b. April 7, 1921 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - d. December 19, 2002 Toronto, Ontario)

Grant McLean joined the National Film Board as a cameraman in 1941. The Board was something of a family affair for him; his father was Controller of the NFB and his uncle, Ross McLean, was Assistant Government Film Commissioner. He began directing in 1947 with The People Between, a documentary about the civil war in China, and later earned Canadian Film Awards for Farewell Oak Street (1954) and High Tide in Newfoundland (1955) before becoming a producer on the seminal Perspective series.

In 1957 he was named Director of Production and Assistant Commissioner. Together with Commissioner Guy Roberge, he encouraged NFB filmmakers to emphasize content over technique, instituted the transition from units to production pools, and was responsible for initiating the Board’s first regional offices in the early sixties. However, during this period he also faced the first internal rebellions by young filmmakers, particularly those from Quebec.

He served as Acting Commissioner from 1965 to 1967 before resigning to join the private sector as President of the Visual Education Centre and, later, as President of McLean-Wilder Associates. He was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2002.

Film and video work includes

Voice of Action, 1942 (cinematographer)
Eskimo Arts and Crafts, 1943 (cinematographer)
Arctic Hunters, 1944 (cinematographer)
Eskimo Summer, 1944 (cinematographer)
Target: Berlin, 1944 (cinematographer)
Use Your Head: The Tump-Line Principle of Carrying Loads, 1944 (cinematographer)
Atlantic Crossroads, 1945 (producer with Tom Daly)
China's Need, 1947 (cinematographer)
The People Between, 1947 (director; co-writer with Tom Daly; cinematographer)
Arctic Jungle, 1948 (co-cinematographer with Laura Bolton)
Who Will Teach Your Child?, 1948 (cinematographer)
Family Circles, 1949 (cinematographer)
Challenge: Science Against Cancer, 1950 (cinematographer)
Eye Witness No.23: The Magic Isle in Toronto Bay, 1950 (cinematographer)
Life Under a Leaf, 1950 (cinematographer)
Eye Witness No. 34: The Fireman is a Grocer, 1951 (co-cinematographer with Walford
Hewitson, Hector Lemieux, Lorne C. Batchelor)
The Fight: Science Against Cancer, 1951 (cinematographer)
Meet Gisele, 1951 (cinematography)
Music Master, 1951 (cinematography)
The Outlaw Within, 1951 (cinematographer)
Sing with the Commodores, 1951 (cinematographer)
Songs by Gisele, 1951 (co-cinematographer with Lorne C. Batchelor)
Talent Showcase, 1951 (cinematographer)
Tropical Lament, 1951 (cinematographer)
Eye Witness No. 41: Sabres at the Ready, 1952 (co-cinematographer with Robert Humble, Lorne C. Batchelor)
Eye Witness No. 42: 27th Brigade in West Germany, 1952 (cinematographer)
Eye Witness No. 43: Traffic Cops in Jumpers and Jeans, 1952 (co-cinematographer with Jack Long)
Eye Witness No. 46: Gadget Ship Aids Mariners, 1952 (co-cinematographer with Thomas Farley, John Foster, Gordon Burwash et al.)
The Ballot-o-Maniac, 1953 (cinematographer)
Eye Witness No. 48: Modes by Mail, 1953 (co-cinematographer with Thomas Farley, Walter A. Sutton, Gordon Burwash et al.)
Eye Witness No. 53: Dutch Family Makes a New Start, 1953 (director; cinematographer)
Eye Witness No. 56: Scottish Shepherd Tries New Pastures, 1953 (co-director with Hector Lemieux, Ronald Weyman; co-cinematographer with Hector Lemieux, Henrik Croscicki)
Eye Witness No. 57: Light Plane Armada, 1953 (co-director with Julian Biggs; co-cinematographer with Eugene Boyko)Eye Witness No. 58: Canadian Works with U. N.'s Problem Refugees, 1953 (co-director with Ronald Weyman)
Farewell Oak Street, 1953 (director)
Diggers of the Deeps, 1954 (director; writer; producer with Nicholas Balla)
Dresden Story, 1954 (producer with Julian Biggs, Gordon Burwash)
Workshop for Science, 1954 (co-director, co-producer with Gordon Burwash; cinematographer)
The Bird Fancier, 1955 (cinematographer)
Carnival, 1955 (producer)
Christmas Comes Twice, 1955 (producer with Grant Burwash; cinematographer)
Coal at the Crossroads, 1955 (producer)
High Tide in Newfoundland, 1955 (director; writer)
In this Dark World, 1955 (producer)
New Hearts for Old, 1955 (producer)
No Longer Vanishing, 1955 (director; co-writer with Leslie McFarlane; cinematographer)
Prairie Profile, 1955 (producer)
Raw Material, 1955 (producer)
Return of the Indian, 1955 (director; writer; cinematographer)
Routine Flight, 1955 (co-director with Gordon Burwash; producer with Gordon Burwash; cinematographer)
Vertical Flight, 1955 (director; writer; producer)
Are People Sheep?, 1956 (producer)
Borderline, 1956 (producer)
Case of Conscience, 1956 (producer)
Curtain at Noon, 1956 (producer)
The Deserter, 1956 (producer)
Elder Citizen, 1956 (producer)
Invasion from the South, 1956 (producer; executive producer)
Is It a Woman's World?, 1956 (producer)
Monkey on the Back, 1956 (producer)
Night Shift, 1956 (producer)
North of 60, 1956 (producer)
Our Northern Citizen, 1956 (producer; executive producer)
Railroad Town, 1956 (producer)
Saskatchewan Traveller, 1956 (producer)
Ship in Harbour, 1956 (producer)
Submarine Hunt, 1956 (producer)
The Tenth Frontier, 1956 (producer)
Win, Place or Show, 1956 (producer)
Woman Alone, 1956 (producer)
Royal Occasion, 1958 (director)
The Atom: Servant of Man, 1959 (producer with Nicholas Balla)
Royal River, 1959 (producer)
Help for the Homeless, 1962 (director)
Aero 1B Operational Test Kit: Model 7042, 1963 (director)
Redevelopment in Four Cities, 1965 (executive producer)
Has Anybody Here Seen Canada? A History of Canadian Movies, 1939-1953, 1979 (appears as himself; TV)