Alaska Film Archives

[1988 ivory carver; BIMA dredge at Nome]
[1988 ivory carver; BIMA dredge at Nome]
The filmmaker's original labeling scheme has film AAF-20,005 numbered as Bacon 1-01 and titled "Eskimo carver with old bold [bow] drill: WP [workprint]-100 feet." AAF-20,005 has not yet been digitized - it is the workprint for AAF-20,006, which the filmmaker's original labeling scheme has numbered as Bacon 1-02 and titled, "1988 ivory carver with drill in mouth: ECN [Eastman Color Negative]-100 feet." Reed Bovee interviewed filmmaker Bill Bacon in 2010, and the following information about these films is based on Bovee's notes from that interview: "Box 1 - 3 Small Reels, 1 Large Reel - Kotzebue, Nome, Original reels and Work Prints. BIMA is a floating dredge. Huge dredge was digging up gold bearing sand off Nome. Also other shots of Nome on same reel, ivory carver Pat, close up of head shots of dogs, dog team packed with dogs, tourists panning for gold and riding dog sleds, breakwater, tug and barge coming into channel, Front Street of Nome, ivory shop cut in to ivory carver, downtown Nome, the Nugget Inn on Front Street of Nome, Dredge 5 working." [Note that this description does not entirely match actual footage on reels - it is likely that portions of this description were meant for AAF-20,084].
[Beluga whale hunt]
[Beluga whale hunt]
The filmmaker's original labeling scheme has AAF-20049 numbered as Bacon 11-03 and titled “Air Shots of Kotzebue 1981.” Reed Bovee interviewed filmmaker Bill Bacon in 2010, and the following information about the group of films that includes this film is based on Bovee's notes from that interview: “Chilkat dancers, carving on the largest totem pole - The Japanese were having a World’s Fair and they wanted to have the largest totem pole so they went to Haines to have it carved; it was huge - Inuit Circumpolar Conference meeting in Nuke, Greenland in 1980, beluga hunting in Kotzebue - In the evening when the hunters bring in the whales they cut them up and hang them to dry - Nome inside shots of Omiak - When he went to Egg Island, big Omiak Eskimos climbed up the cliffs and got the bird eggs, puffin and seagull eggs - They get up there and drop the eggs down to a guy that catches them, and then he gives them to a guy in a boat where he has a basket with grass in it and they fill up the baskets - Bill got up the hill and it was so slippery from bird droppings that he kept slipping so he could not get down - They had to go around and climb up to the top and drop a rope down to him and pull him up - Says it was really embarrassing.” Notes on the film box are as follows: “Barrow Nulakatuk, ICC Meeting Inuvik NWT Canada 1960, ICC meeting Nuuk Greenland July 1, 1980, Eskimos going to ECC Island out from Nome 1950, Kotzebue beluga hunters return at night 1950” and “Reel 3: Kotzebue, bringing in Beluga whales, cutting up, hanging up.”
[Bill Bacon KAKM interview]
[Bill Bacon KAKM interview]
KAKM-TV interview with filmmaker Bill Bacon on the program "Something to Say." Program 110. Recorded on November 24, 1980. Air date was December 18, 1980. Produced and hosted by Carroll Hodge, and produced and directed by Ron Eagle. Copyright 1980 KAKM. Bacon talks about filming wildlife, Walt Disney, overcoming camera challenges, doing stunt work, working on Mount McKinley (Denali) with dog teams, his early life in Pennsylvania, his experiences after being in the Navy during World War II, meeting pilot Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan, his arrival in Alaska, learning the art of filmmaking, being a freelance filmmaker, operating cameras in cold weather, working for the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, communicating between Alaska Natives and oil companies, filming scenes of whaling for the Eskimo Whaling Commission, his support of subsistence hunting, and being stranded on the St. Augustine volcano.
[Nome, umiak travel]
[Nome, umiak travel]
The filmmaker's original labeling scheme has AAF-20052 numbered as Bacon 11-06 and titled “Nome, Oomiak, Eskimo, Eggel Island.” Reed Bovee interviewed filmmaker Bill Bacon in 2010, and the following information about the group of films that includes this film is based on Bovee's notes from that interview: “Chilkat dancers, carving on the largest totem pole - The Japanese were having a World’s Fair and they wanted to have the largest totem pole so they went to Haines to have it carved; it was huge - Inuit Circumpolar Conference meeting in Nuke, Greenland in 1980, beluga hunting in Kotzebue - In the evening when the hunters bring in the whales they cut them up and hang them to dry - Nome inside shots of Omiak - When he went to Egg Island, big Omiak Eskimos climbed up the cliffs and got the bird eggs, puffin and seagull eggs - They get up there and drop the eggs down to a guy that catches them, and then he gives them to a guy in a boat where he has a basket with grass in it and they fill up the baskets - Bill got up the hill and it was so slippery from bird droppings that he kept slipping so he could not get down - They had to go around and climb up to the top and drop a rope down to him and pull him up - Says it was really embarrassing.” Notes on the film box are as follows: “Barrow Nulakatuk, ICC Meeting Inuvik NWT Canada 1960, ICC meeting Nuuk Greenland July 1, 1980, Eskimos going to ECC Island out from Nome 1950, Kotzebue beluga hunters return at night 1950” and “Reel 6: Eskimo Omiak, Eggel Island standing on its shore, inside shot of Omiak with people underway.” In 2019, an elder from Nome identified Sledge Island, off the coast of Nome, in the film.
[Totem pole carving, dancing]
[Totem pole carving, dancing]
The filmmaker's original labeling scheme has AAF-20046 numbered as Bacon 10-06 and titled “Haines, Air Shots, Indian Art Center, Carving Totem Pole and Silver, Ermine Head Dress, Charley Jimmy Painting, Carl Heinmiller Repairing Mask, Dancing.” Reed Bovee interviewed filmmaker Bill Bacon in 2010, and the following information about the group of films that includes this film is based on Bovee's notes from that interview: “Carl Heinmiller repairs mask - He started the saving of the Tlingit culture - Carl was a WWII veteran - He came back and bought the houses for Chilkat at Haines - He bought two or three of the quarters that the army used and had them repaired - State ferry coming into Haines, pass by North Star landing at Skagway, the old pilings at the waterfront at Skagway; that is where the ships used to come in - It is all worn out now - This is where they used to have the dock.” Notes on the film box that pertain to this film are as follows: “Reel 6: 1986, Work Print, Haines, air shots of Indian, Indian Art Center shop, artist carving totem pole, Sue carving silver, repairing head dress made of Ermine, Charley Jimmy painting, Carl Heinmiller repairing mask, dancing in big hall, dancing outside for Bill special.”