Gordan Cantowine, Long-Time ITVA & MCA-I Member Passes

Emails have been flying about with fond memories and condolences about the recent death of Gordan Cantowine. 

Always an entrepreneur, Gordan ran Monitor Video Production Services in Huntington Beach for many years. Over the decades, Gordan made many friends in the industry and was an active member in ITVA, the original name MCA-i. His son, Tom, said that Gordon proudly displayed his ITVA plaque of recognition in his home office.

Brad Hagen and Ecar Odin, the CEO and GM of Video Resources Inc, respectively, mentioned that they knew Gordan as far back as 1974, when he owned a lab called CPS as well as the production company, Monitor Video. "He always supported youth and the AV Community in one aspect or another, " Brad said of Gordan. "In fact, one of my first semi-pro moments was him putting me on a gig for Boys Life Magazine, published by the Boy Scouts. It was documenting some scouts on survival training with the Navy Seals. It was a blast and I still have photos of that project in my Archives!" Like everyone else, Brad expressed joy at knowing Gordan and sorrow at his passing, "I will miss Gordan. He was an industry expert and an outstanding person."

Gordan started his career as a Navy photographer aboard the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany during the Korean War. In 2004, when he retired he turned the business over to his son, Tom, who currently operates it in Corona CA. http://www.monitorvideo.com/  

Gordan Hadley Cantonwine was born on January 24, 1930 in Seattle, Washington in the midst of the Depression. His passion for photography began early in life - by age 15 he had opened his first portrait studio on the front porch of his home and had converted the basement into a darkroom.

Upon graduating high school in 1948 he enlisted in the United States Navy. His first assignment was in Washington, D.C., where he was assigned to a Navy fighter squadron as a photographer’s mate. The Korean Conflict erupted and he was transferred aboard the Navy aircraft carrier USS Oriskany as one of the ship photographers.

After five years in the Navy, he decided to move on to greener pastures. Armed with a wealth of experience, he headed for Hollywood. He worked for several advertising agencies and producers, including Stanley Kubrick during the filming of the motion picture Lolita.

In 1958 Gordan met the love of his life, Beverly. They were soon married and settled in Huntington Beach, California to raise a family of five children. In 1962 Gordan opened a small business in Huntington Beach called House of Cameras There, he operated a portrait studio, developed film and sold cameras and AV equipment. Beverly and Gordan worked together in a number of family businesses for the next 42 years.

In 1965 Gordan founded CPS, a full-scale photo lab and studio. He employed several lab technicians and staff photographers. He offered services in commercial, industrial and wedding photography, along with custom film processing and printing services.

By the early 70s he had developed a large presence in youth sports photography and was photographing and packaging thousands of team pictures annually. Gordan continued operating this successful business for nearly two decades.

In the early 80s, Gordan learned of a turnkey production company that was for sale. Gordan was more than anxious to return to his true passion of storytelling, and in 1982 he sold CPS and established Monitor Video Production Service. The new business was an instant success. Gordan worked hard to land new accounts and reestablished contacts from his days in Hollywood. In 1985 he brought his son Tom on board. He was excited to have his son join him and enjoyed teaching him the trade.

Gordan, Beverly and Tom worked together as a team for over twenty years and eventually moved the business to an 8000 square-foot, full-service facility in Santa Ana. Monitor Video employed a full-time staff of six employees and offered location video production, soundstage rental, editorial services, sound recording, graphics/animation and duplication/distribution services.

Monitor Video was the first facility in Orange County to offer an all component-digital edit suite based on Sony’s new Digital BetaCam tape format.   The company was one of the first to adopt non-linear editing and was a beta test site for Discreet Logic (now Autodesk).

In the mid-90s, Gordan began teaching for the Coastline Regional Occupational Program. The classes were held on evenings and weekends at Monitor Video and gave students the opportunity to learn in a real-world environment. Gordan enjoyed teaching and gave many students their start in media and entertainment careers.

In 2004 Gordan retired from Monitor Video. He was able to devote more time to another passion: travel.   He visited every corner of the world, often with his children, grandchildren and friends. (

His son Tom continues to operate Monitor Video, now located in Corona. Tom works on many of the same accounts he and his father had developed so many years ago.

In January 2012, Gordan was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and began the fight of all fights. He maintained a positive attitude and a strong will throughout his treatments, and even managed to take short vacations with family and friends.

On February 20, 2013 Gordan lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. Gordan is survived by his wife, Beverly, daughters Chris Carter, Linda (Dave) Henry, sons John, Tom (Jill), grandchildren Ricky, Michael, Ryan, Chloe, Jordan, Tanner, Griffin, Caitlin and great-grandchildren Topper, Beau, Reid and Marlow.

Gordan’s memorial service was well-attended by family, friends and associates. He was awarded full military honors for his wartime service to our country. Some of the attendees included longtime industry friends, and even a few students he had taught years ago in the Coastline Regional Occupational Program.

To help find a cure for pancreatic cancer, the Cantonwine family has set up a memorial fund in memory of Gordan at the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. We encourage you to sign the guest book and to leave a message of how Gordan touched your life: http://www.pancreatic.org/fund/gordan_cantonwine

Gordan Hadley Cantowine will be missed by his family and his many friends in the media industry.

Gordan Hadley Cantonwine

January 24, 1930 – February 20, 2013