Locally-made ’65 short deemed historic for color, locations plays at CFA’s Out of the Vault May 10

Chicago was a happenin’ place in the Soaring Sixties. Young filmmakers were changing the face and modus operandi of film, thanks to the new technology of the time, now seeming as archaic as a rewind bench.

Faster film emulsions and advances in sound took a shoot out of the studio and put it on the street?or anywhere else for that matter.

One of those early films, “Nightsong,” considered historic for being one of the first shot on location will play during the Chicago Film Archives Out of the Vault screening May 10 at the Cultural Center.

The 1965, 22-minute short “Nightsong” was produced by a group of local filmmakers led by writer/producer Don Klugman, now president of Media Inc., and part-time instructor at Columbia College.

Shot on Chicago streets and in clubs, “Nightsong” features the once-popular local folksinger, Willie Wright, and includes a performance by Second City star, Avery Schreiber.

For its technical excellence and creative use of color, “Nightsong” won the Coupe Kodak-Pathe at Cannes.

Chicago personalities who worked on it included film editor Ron Clasky, Ric Coken, post-production audio director, and technical advisors Haskell Wexler and Mike Shea.

Marv Gold co-produced, the late Victor Hurwitz was DP, and Judy Harris was featured in the cast.

At the time of the film’s release, Klugman was a scriptwriter at Encyclopaedia Britannica Educational Corp., employer of hundreds of writers and producers; Clasky edited for Walter Schwimmer TV Productions, a Towers Productions-like hub of TV entertainment shows.

Gold was an advertising copywriter, Coken owned Zenith Cinema Service, one of the biggest and oldest sound recording and ADR companies, and Harris and Schreiber were performers at Second City ‘s Playwright’s Theatre.

Today, Coken teaches sound at Columbia College, Ron Clasky is a prominent businessman in Hollywood, Fla., and Haskell Wexler is one of the film industry’s most famous and honored directors of photography.

The screening starts at 6 p.m. at Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater, 77 E. Randolph St. Free and open to all.