Blum, Leonard

thank you for smoking poster

Leonard Solomon Blum was born in Toronto in 1951, and raised in Toronto, Montreal and Toronto. He spent his youth playing in rock bands, including The Brass Union which had some success with a 45 rpm single (“It Won’t Be Long”). Among Blum's fellow students in high school was Dan Goldberg, who later became a scriptwriter with whom Blum was to collaborate on many projects. In 1972, Blum enrolled at McMaster University, where he worked on student film projects with Ivan Reitman, an older student who had already established himself as a budding filmmaker. Blum graduated from McMaster with a degree in sociology in 1975.  He initially pursued a career in music, working as a session guitarist and producer with the Sound Canada Recording Studio in Toronto. He also wrote commercial jingles for clients such as The Bay, Chrysler, Pepsi and Labatt’s.
 In 1977, Blum wrote a two man cabaret, Midnight Opera, which was produced at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto. In 1978, he wrote After the Opera, which was produced by Theatre Passe Muraille. Also in 1978, Blum was contacted by Reitman to devise a scenario for a film about a summer camp. The resulting film, Meatballs, was shot in Haliburton, Ontario, with a script by Blum, Goldberg, Janis Allen, and Harold Ramis. It turned out to be an immensely popular film, setting records for the revenues it grossed, and the writers won a Genie Award for their screenplay. Blum was invited to work on Reitman's next project, Stripes, whose screenplay Blum co-wrote with Goldberg and which starred Harold Ramis and Bill Murray. At the same time, Blum and Goldberg wrote the script for Reitman's Heavy Metal, a futuristic animated film. In 1983, Goldberg and Blum began work on a script called GMen, which became the film Feds. To develop the project, they moved to Los Angeles (although Blum's wife, Heather, continued her studies in Canada). In 1986, Blum returned to Canada, while Goldberg opted to stay in the U.S.  Although Blum and his family moved back to Los Angeles briefly in 1991 so that Blum could work on the Disney picture Beethoven's 2 nd ( another Ivan Reitman film), they soon returned to Canada. In 1995, Reitman asked Blum to adapt the autobiography of the controversial American radio host Howard Stern. The resulting film, Private Parts, was released in 1997. A number of other films (including The Pink Panther, Over the Hedge, and Grass) followed.  In later years, Blum occasionally wrote under the pseudonym ‘Solomon Vesta’.
  Between 1998 and 2001, Blum wrote a weekly Arts column (‘Going to the Movies’) for The National Post. In 2003, he became a certified Yoga teacher, and in 2005 he opened the United Yoga Studio in Montreal and he now works there fulltime.  Also in 2005, Blum received a Distinguished Alumni Award from McMaster Univerity. Blum currently lives in Montreal with his wife, Dr. Heather Munroe-Blum (Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University). They have one daughter, Sydney.

Sources:

Library and Archives Canada Biography:
http://collectionscanada.gc.ca

Ackerman, Marianne. “From films to yoga—what a stretch!” The Gazette (January 22,
2010): A.2.

Glinter, Ezra. “Meatballs recipe for success.” McGill Tribune (February 6, 2007)
 

 

Accession No.: 
2006.004
Dates of creation: 
1963 2005
Physical description: 

5.4 m textual records

393 photographs
· 6 contact sheets (4 col., 2 b&w)
· 251 prints (233 col., 18 b&w)
· 20 digital photos (col., on CD)
· 116 35mm negatives (col.)

113 audio recordings
· 105 cassettes (133 hr., 8 min.)
· 8 CDs (8 hr., 5 min.)

94 video recordings
· 78 VHS cassettes (96 hr., 29 min.)
· 15 DVDs (26 hr., 20 min.)
· 1 Mini Disc (30 min.)

6 graphic materials
· 6 posters

6 artifacts

Scope and content: 

  This fonds consists of 15 series, divided mainly by production (these include produced and unproduced projects). These are: Go Further, Grass, Over the Hedge, Howard Stern: Private Parts, Tales of the Rat Fink, The Pink Panther, ‘Chris Rock Project’, ‘Freedom’, ‘Jackie Gleason Project’, ‘Corky’, ‘The Unprofessionals’, ‘Materials Submitted to Blum’, ‘Going to the Movies’, ‘Len and Heather Blum’s Personal Archives’, ‘General Materials’.
  The first series, Go Further, includes four subseries: Textual Material, Video Material, Audio Material and Artifacts.
The first subseries includes notes, contracts, correspondence and publicity materials.
The second subseries includes video footage from the film (post production).
The third subseries consists of a CD considered for the sound track.
The fourth subseries consists of a poster.
  The second series, ‘Grass’, includes four subseries: Textual Material, Video Material, Audio Material and Artifacts.
The first subseries includes correspondence, research materials, and drafts.
The second subseries includes trailers, research materials and various versions of the film.
The third subseries includes music that appeared on the soundtrack.
The fourth subseries consists of a poster.
  The third series, Over the Hedge, includes four subseries: Textual Material, Video Material, Audio Material and Artifacts.
The first subseries includes scripts, notes, correspondence, outlines, legal documents and research notes.
The second subseries consists of a crew selection video.
The third subseries includes research material.
The fourth subseries consists of a poster.
  The fourth series, ‘Howard Stern: Private Parts” includes five subseries: Textual Material, Photographic Material, Video Material, Audio Material and Artifacts.
The first subseries includes correspondance and advertising documents.
The second subseries includes photographs taken at the Cannes festival.
The third subseries includes publicity material.
The fourth subseries includes research and publicity material.
The fifth subseries includes a poster.
  The fifth series, ‘Tales of the Rat Fink’, includes three subseries: Textual Material, Video Material, and Artifacts.
The first subseries includes a script.
The second subseries includes postproduction elements.
The third subseries consists of a poster.
  The sixth series, ‘The Pink Panther’, includes two subseries: Textual Material and Artifacts.
The first subseries includes scripts, handwritten notes, correspondence, and arbitration materials.
The second subseries includes a poster.
  The seventh series, ‘Chris Rock Project’, includes three subseries: Textual Material, Video Material, and Audio Material. The first subseries includes transcripts, outlines and notes.
The second subseries includes research material.
The third subseries includes research material and recorded telephone conversations with Rock.
  The eighth series, ‘Freedom’, includes two subseries: Textual Material and Audio Material.
The first subseries includes research material, letters from Ivan Reitman’s parents, transcripts, and a script.
The second subseries includes original interview tapes.
  The ninth series, ‘Jackie Gleason Project’, includes three subseries: Textual Material , Audio Material and Video Material.
The first subseries includes research notes.
The second and third subseries include research material.
  The tenth series, ‘Corky’, includes four subseries: Textual Materials, Photographic Materials, Video Materials, and Audio Materials.
The first subseries includes a script.
The second subseries includes photographs of the Wilkinsons music group.
The third subseries includes a VHS tape of the Dini Petty Show.
The fourth subseries includes music by the Wilkinsons on commercial cassette.
  The eleventh series, ‘The Unprofessionals’, includes two subseries: Textual Materials and Video Materials.
The first subseries includes research material and notes.
The second subseries includes research material.
  The twelvth series, ‘Materials Submitted to Blum’, consists of textual material (primarily scripts).
  The thirteenth series, ‘Going to the Movies’, consists of textual material. Included here are leather bound books of published columns, as well as original drafts.
  The fourteenth series, ‘Len and Heather Blum’s Personal Archives’, consists of two subseries: Textual Material and Photographic Material.
The first subseries includes correspondence, personal accounting papers, press clippings, and a journal.
The second includes photographs of various personal events.
  The fifteenth series, ‘General Materials’, consists of two subseries: Textual Material and Photographic Material.
The first subseries includes correspondence, passports, calendars, press clippings, financial documents, real estate documents.
The second subseries includes photographs of Blum at various personal and professional events.

This fonds includes textual material relating to a number of productions, including:

  • Howard Stern: Private Parts (Film, 1997)
  • Grass (Film, 1999)
  • Go Further (Film, 2003)
  • Madagascar (Film, 2005)
  • Thank You for Smoking (Film, 2005)
  • Over the Hedge (Film, 2006)
  • Tales of the Rat Fink (Film, 2006)
  • The Pink Panther (Film, 2007)

This fonds includes audiovisual material relating to a number of productions, including:

  • Howard Stern: Private Parts (Film, 1997)
  • Grass (Film, 1999)
  • The Making of Ivan Reitman (Television, 2002)
  • Go Further (Film, 2003)
  • Madagascar (Film, 2005)
  • Thank You for Smoking (Film, 2005)
  • Over the Hedge (Film, 2006)
  • Tales of the Rat Fink (Film, 2006)
  • The Pink Panther (Film, 2007)
Rights and access: 

A) No access restriction.
B) Material is subject to copyright restrictions; please consult an archivist.

Language: 
English