William D. Snyder, W0LHS, a pioneering filmmaker, and prolific Amateur Radio author died on Friday, September 14th, 2007. He was 90..
FILM PIONEER WILLIAM SNYDER, W0LHS - SK
William D. Snyder, W0LHS, a pioneering filmmaker, and prolific Amateur Radio author died on Friday, September 14th . He was 90.Snyder was best known as one of Fargo North Dakotas' earliest professional film directors. He was responsible for more than 800 documentaries, commercial spots and educational and technical films.In the world of Amateur Radio, Snyder will best be remembered as the World-radio columnist writing the Digital Bus column, and for his participation in the Gatti Hallicrafters Expeditions from 1947 through 1948 to the Mountains of the Moon in East Africa.. He was active for many years on RTTY, CW, Packet and on the ham satellites. He held DXCC-RTTY/Digital with 243 countries confirmed.Snyder first learned the art of film-making after graduating from Fargo Central High School in 1935, when he moved to Hollywood to work for the Technicolor Motion Picture Corp. He returned two years later to attend North Dakota State University, and served four years in the U.S. Army Signal Corp. After getting out of the service in 1946, he sailed to Africa on a series of trips sponsored by Hallicrafters working as a cameraman and a radio operator.Bill Snyder Films made more than 80 award winning films, including "Cry of the Marsh," an educational film that documented dwindling wetlands. After retiring, Snyder still maintained his copious files of historical archives. He founded a newsletter for Fargo Central alumni called "The Cynosure," and served on the board of directors for Bonanzaville USA. He was an active supporter of the Fargo Film Festival,and executive director of the Fargo Theatre.Davis said Snyder had surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm in July, but had been recovering well before succumbing to pneumonia.William D. Snyder, W0LHS, Silent Key at age 90. (WD0AKO)
W0LHS in 2003
After splitting with the Gatti-Hallicrafters expedition, Bill Snyder hooked up with Hollywood radio playwright Arch Oboler of "Lights Out" fame who was accompanying a University of California-sponsored research trip to Africa. Bill used his electronics skills to maintain the group's tape recorders and also applied his filmmaking talents in Kenya, the Belgian Congo, Rhodesia, and so on, for the next several months.After he found his way back to Fargo, North dakota, Bill helped put the community's first television station on the air. On the side he was a stringer for Walt Disney Studios, filming features for "The Mickey Mouse Club" television show and outdoor segments for Disney nature films. Eventually Snyder realized his earlier goal of establishing his own industrial filmmaking company.Bill's first call sign was W9LHS, it was issued in 1932, the day before Christmas. Then a few years later the ninth district was made the zero district and the calls for North Dakota were changed. Today, in 2003, at age 86, Bill is NOT active anymore. As W0LHS, he worked primarily on RTTY and AMTOR. With his taste for DX, he got 251 countries confirmed on RTTY. Last year, he sold all ham gear, his beam and tower went this year. Bill wished he hadn't quit the ham hobby, but Evie, his XYL, wanted to get ready to sell the house, she didn't know she was going to become an invalid.Bill's wife, Evie, is in a nursing home. She had both her knees replaced like Bill did 8 years ago, and is having a lot of trouble. She walks daily, but they hurt, hurt, hurt all the time. Between the many visits to his wife, Bill found time to help with rewriting this HAM history. He wrote his part of the story himself, but he had a hard time to find the appropiate illustrations for his writings.William D. 'Bill' Snyder Velva, ND QCWA # 14460 William D. Snyder, usually known as Bill Snyder, (October 5, 1916 - September 14, 2007) was a producer and director. Snyder founded Bill Snyder Films in Fargo, which for many years was the only full service industrial and commercial production house in the state of North Dakota. Snyder was a frequent special guest at the Fargo Film Festival, where the Bill Snyder Award, given to outstanding documentary films, was named in his honor. The program for the 2001 Fargo Film Festival contained this written tribute outlining just a few of Synder´s accomplishments: "Film producer Bill Snyder started Bill Snyder Films in 1964 when he came home from duty as a U.S. Army Signal Corps officer in World War II and bought a professional movie camera. A year later he went to Africa where he filmed for three different expeditions. He then becase the very first film and photo director for WDAY Television in Fargo. After six years in television he opened Bill Snyder Films again, and with artist Norm Selberg as the art and animation director, and John McDonough as the film editor and music genius, he produced more than 800 audio visual and television projects ranging in length from a string of ten second TV spots to one hour documentaries. For a number of years, Bill Snyder Films, also called Snyder Films, was the only full service industrial movie maker in the area with full cell animation, multi-track sound mixing and sound stage facilities. Nationally recognized, it won more than 60 national and international awards. Clients ranged from the makers of Melroe-Bobcat skid-steer loaders and Steiger Tractors in North Dakota, to the vast Farm Credit System in Washington, D.C. For three years beginning in 1956, Bill Snyder personally covered many news stories about kids in the three state area for Walt Disney´s Mickey Mouse Club Newsreel. Snyder retired in 1983 when he sold the company." ((Source: fargofilmmaking.wikia.com)