Rainbow Productions Collection
Dirk Wales was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He attended Stanford University and later received his Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA. Wales studied playwriting and stage direction in the University’s Theater Department, where he was a classmate with both James Dean and Carol Burnett. While a student at UCLA, four of his plays were produced and he was awarded the “Best Director’s Award.” After graduating from UCLA, Wales became a combat infantry officer and was stationed in Munich, Germany. Following his service in Germany, Wales returned to Los Angeles where he worked as the Director and Studio Production Manager at KCOP Television (channel 13) in Los Angeles.
In 1969, Wales moved to Chicago, IL to work as a television commercial producer for the McCann-Erickson advertisting agency. Wales founded Rainbow Productions, a non-theatrical film production company, in Chicago in 1972. Rainbow Productions created educational, documentary, and sponsored films on subjects ranging from vandalism to addiction prevention and diabetes. Specializing in medical education, Rainbow made more than 80 films on the subject of anesthesia. Clients included Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Laboratories, Squibb Pharma, and Baxter Laboratories, among others. Filmmakers including Jim Morrissette, Gordon Quinn and Jerry Blumenthal, who would later go on to work with Kartemquin Films, worked on projects with Rainbow Productions over the years.