While growing up, Spreitz was entertained by the popular films screened at the movie house in Graz such as Frankenstein, Dracula, and Tarzan. He did not get behind the camera until 1950 while working as assistant coach to the Women’s Olympic Austrian team. He persuaded team authorities to let him acquire a camera and film the track and field events at the European Athletics Championships in Brussels. Although he convinced them of his expertise, he had in fact never used a 16 mm camera of that kind before. After memorizing the instruction manual, he was a self-taught natural.


Photograph of Karl Spreitz location scouting for BC Film Commission in Stewart, BC


Photograph of Karl Spreitz filming Offerings in White & Gold in Bali, Indonesia

Becoming both a TV cameraman and film producer in his later career clearly demonstrates his mastery of filmmaking. Spreitz worked with broadcasters CTV, CHEK and CBC and produced numerous commercials.  In addition, he worked as a freelance filmmaker for the National Film Board, CBC, the BC Provincial Museum and the BC Department of Travel and Industry. In the 1970s, he met scriptwriter Colin Browne with whom he developed a close friendship and working relationship with as they created at least twelve films together including Offerings in White and Gold and Ninstints. The affordability of 16 mm film allowed more independent films like these to be made outside of mainstream productions.

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