Robert A. Schneider collection of Cinecraft Production audiovisual materialsCreation: 1947-1976
Robert “Bob” A. Schneider (1943-) worked as a sound engineer, then a writer, producer, and director at Cinecraft Productions, a film and video production company, from 1965 until 1977. This small collection of digital copies consists of twenty films either written by Storycraft or produced by Cinecraft or both. There are also fourteen sets of digital copies of photographs, mostly production stills, but also some images of Cinecraft personnel, workspaces, and equipment. The materials in the collection date from 1947 to 1976.
- Creation: 1947-1976
112 JPEG files. 23 MPEG4 files. 20 TIFF files. 1 WAV file. 1 MPEG3 file. 1 PDF file.
Robert A. “Bob” Schneider (1943-) worked as a sound engineer, producer and director at Cinecraft Inc., a film and video production company in Cleveland, Ohio, from 1965 through 1977.
Schneider was born in Cleveland and grew up in the western suburb of Westlake. As the grandson of an electrical engineer and advanced amateur photographer, Schneider gravitated toward electronics and cameras. He graduated from Westlake High School in 1961 and from the Brooks Institute School of Cinema Production in Santa Barbara, California in 1964.
Schneider began working at Cinecraft selling projectors and apprenticing in the sound department. When the sound engineer resigned due to health reasons, he was promoted to manage and operate the sound facility. From 1966 to 1969, he was responsible for studio and location recording as well as preparing sound elements, music selection and mixing the final sound tracks for films and television commercials.
Schneider also recorded and edited many radio programs and numerous installments of Westinghouse Electric’s innovative sales support program, “Salespoint.” The program was created and produced by Storycraft, Inc., an industrial writing firm that occupied office space at Cinecraft and used Schneider and the studio’s sound facilities. The program’s producer was Nancy A. Bartko (1947-). Bartko and Schneider married in 1969. In 1968, Schneider was given the opportunity to write, direct and photograph his first professional project, “You Can See It in Their Faces”, a film production that Cinecraft donated to Camp Courage in Cleveland. The following year, Schneider was assigned to produce the “Projection ‘70” film series for Standard Oil of Ohio (SOHIO). The series consisted of six, 30-minute films that presented future “projections” into the areas of transportation, housing, food production, education, communications and medicine. The shows were directed by Bill Buckley of Westport, Connecticut and broadcast during prime time, throughout Ohio, one show every other month during 1970.
By 1971, Cinecraft had become increasingly involved in the government film production process and Schneider focused on assignments for the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy. Schneider directed several Navy films including: “The Start of Something Special,” “Heritage,” “Absent Without Incentive” and “Research to Reality," which won a Gold Award at the New York International Film and Television Festival. He also directed the industrial safety film, “American Roulette”, for The Grinding Wheel institute. The film won an award at the Chicago Industrial Film Festival.
In 1976, Cinecraft began its evolution from film to video production. Schneider was given the responsibility for their new subsidiary, Videocraft. He and video engineer David Wolaver (1955-) built the facility and over the next several years created a number of sales, training and television commercial projects using the new medium.
Schneider resigned from Cinecraft in late 1977 and he and his family moved to Dayton to pursue his goal of owning a studio. This goal was not achieved and in mid 1979 they returned to the Cleveland area where Schneider became audiovisual manager at Nordson Corporation, an Amherst-based international manufacturing company and one of his former Cinecraft clients. He eventually attained the position of corporate communications manager and along the way built the one-man audiovisual department into the Visual Communications Center, one of the most comprehensive internal communications facilities at any Cleveland-area industrial company. At its zenith, the Center had a talented team of experts that produced all aspects of visual communications including video, photography, live and multi-media presentations, graphic arts projects and Nordson’s corporate and divisional Internet sites. Schneider retired from Nordson Corporation in 2008.
Scope and Content
This small collection of digital copies consists of twenty films either written by Storycraft or produced by Cinecraft or both. There are also fourteen sets of digital copies of photographs, mostly production stills, but also some images of Cinecraft personnel, workspaces, and equipment. The materials in the collection date from 1947 to 1976.
The Standard Oil Company of Ohio (Sohio) manufactured automotive fuel between 1911 and 1991, before being purchased by British Petroleum (BP). Sohio sponsored several television series, three of which are represented in this collection. The most episodes are from the series called, Let’s Explore Ohio, which aired from 1950 to 1953. Let’s Explore Ohio is a series of short films, about ten minutes long that follow a road or highway and highlight various cities or attractions that people should drive to and visit. There are nine episodes in the collection. Two episodes include Sohio X-Tane gasoline commercials and there are three animated Sohio commercials. The copies of the films sometimes skip or jump, some are missing the end credits, some are missing the introduction or titles.
Sohio sponsored a program about health and wellness called, Prescription for Living which would focus on a different health topic each episode and have a different prominent doctor appear as a guest on the show alongside the moderator Warren Guthrie. There is only one episode in this collection from 1953 and it is titled Your Life’s Blood, which discusses what a doctor can tell about your health from a blood test and various blood diseases.
In 1970, Sohio celebrated the company’s 100th Anniversary. As part of the celebration, Sohio sponsored a series of six thirty-minute documentaries called Projection-70, of which there is only episode in the collection and is titled “Transportation.” Schneider arranged all the shoots, managed the crews, designed the main title animation, soundtracked and mixed the audio, configured the film for the labs, and shipped the prints to the television stations. The series aired on prime-time across the state of Ohio at two month intervals between 1970 and 1971. Work on the project began in 1969.
There are two episodes of The Ohio Story. One episode titled, Backstage at the Big Top about the Mills Brothers Circus from the 1950s. The second episode is Lifeline of the Islands about the Erie Islands air service dated 1956.
There are two films sponsored by the Supermarket Institute which date approximately from 1969. The Spoilers is a film about safe food storage and handling to avoid the spread of bacteria. The second film’s title is unknown, but is about how to prevent shoplifting.
There are two films about power which were produced in the 1970s. One is sponsored by the Ohio Power Company titled Harvests which shows how the power company harvests coal and then conserves and rehabilitates the land. The second film is sponsored by the American Electric Power Company and is titled What Time is the Power on Today? The film takes a hypothetical look at what life would be like if the utility companies had to ration electricity. It shows a series of testimonies of key stakeholders at courthouse “power hearings.”
In 1973, the United States Navy sponsored a film titled Research to Reality which shows how new ships are conceived, designed, and engineered. The Lake Carriers Association sponsored a film in 1960 about the history and movement of long ships along the Great Lakes. The film is titled Long Ships Passing.
There is a film highlighting the city of Cleveland in 1962, featuring television newscaster Chet Huntley. Sponsored by the Greater Cleveland Development Foundation, Cleveland City on Schedule was written by Siedel, and produced by General Pictures, a production company which was eventually purchased by Cinecraft.
There is one audio recording of a radio show titled On Location featuring a story about Cinecraft. The recording is undated.
The photographs are primarily production stills from a Carpenter Steel film, Projection-70, Camp Cheerful, a United States Air Force film, White Truck sales meeting, Liquid Nails, Videocraft, and three United States Navy films: Something Special, Research to Reality, and Heritage. There are some images of sound stages and equipment. There are several images that include Cinecraft personnel. These photographs date from 1967 to 1975.
There is one set of images that belonged to Frank Siedel that date from 1947 to 1962. These include portraits and production stills of projects Siedel worked on. There are also a set of six photographs of celebrities who signed their headshot and sent it to Siedel to congratulate him on The Ohio Story.
Existence and Location of Originals
This collection is entirely digital copies of originals, which are retained by the donor, Robert Schneider and Jon Siedel.
This collection is open for research.
Language of Materials
- Standard Oil Company (Ohio) (Organization)
Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- Robert A. Schneider collection of Cinecraft Production audiovisual materials
- Laurie Sather
- Description rules:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description:
- Script of description: