As Charles Wang lay dying of cancer in a New York hospital this month he was on the telephone making deals for movies that would not start production until after his death. 'For Charles, nothing was impossible,' recalled Peter Moss, a colleague and friend for more than 40 years. In recent days, many friends have been recalling stories of the legendary film industry personality. The managing director of Salon Films died on July 6, aged 74. He was the basis of many stories - some of which could themselves be a good movie. Charles Wang Cheung-tze did not concentrate on making movies himself. He provided the equipment and services for others to make films and he took immense pride in the projects on which he worked. As a fresh graduate in chemistry from Chung Chi College in 1960, Wang joined the former Government Information Services and was posted to the film section. Working for a bureaucratic propaganda office might not seem like fun, but even there Wang left behind legends. During a severe drought, he and the chief of the government film unit, Brian Salt, came up with the idea of shooting a black and white film for distribution on local television. The idea was to persuade people not to use too much precious water. The film was shot in Salt's bathroom and showed three people together in a tub. 'Save Water; Share a Bath' was the message. Mr Moss, who was later to be assistant director of GIS and is now a senior executive of Salon Films, recalls one of the bathers chastely hidden behind the shower curtain was a woman. 'The elderly and conservative film censor declared the result too immoral for public release,' Mr Moss recalled. 'It was probably the world's only recorded instance of a film distributor imposing a ban on its own product.' The Wang family arrived from Shanghai in 1949 and Wang's father, T.C. Wang, opened a photographic shop. Charles developed a love for the art of taking photos. His first job in movies as a part-time apprentice for his father was carrying heavy tripods. But they were inspiring days for a teenager; he helped on such classics as The World of Suzie Wong and Lord Jim. Years later, after he left the government film unit, he was involved with most major movies and television series made in Hong Kong. These included TV shows like Dallas, Noble House and The Love Boat. T.C. Wang founded Salon Films in 1969. Charles took over direction of the company in 1971. He swiftly expanded both in Hong Kong and regionally, with growth based on expensive and modern equipment that rivals did not have and on a staff that reflected Charles Wang's own 'nothing is impossible' philosophy. It became a major film production company and made many local films, documentaries and adverts. It also partnered with top Hollywood studios in important movies. Salon Films is on the credit of movies like Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, Mission: Impossible III and Double Impact. Wang was honoured last year with the Professional Achievement Award at the 25th Hong Kong Film Awards ceremony. In 1996, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of philosophy in business administration and management by the Southern California University for Professional Studies. He gained a Medal of Honour in this year's Hong Kong honours list. He was a jolly, smiling man, but an astute businessman. 'His handshake was his signature,' Mr Moss recalled. 'To do business with Charles was to gain a friend.' When the epic film The Sand Pebbles was shot amid the channels and islands of Port Shelter in the 1960s, GIS appointed Wang to help the foreign moviemakers. One sequence called for the US Navy patrol boat to be surrounded by hostile vessels. It needed a shot from the top of the mast. Wang immediately volunteered to go aloft with the heavy camera. The strain of climbing the mast and balancing the equipment proved too much for his trousers, which split as he filmed. He climbed down, the job complete, with a typical grin. Years after he left government, he called the film liaison office to get permission to shoot background in Flagstaff House, then the official residence of the Commander British Forces and now the Tea Museum. To the shock of staid officials, the background appeared in a soft porn movie with the gracious old building appearing as a brothel. While at Chung Chi he fell in love with Chan Yik-man. They married in 1960 and had four children. His wife died many years ago. A memorial service was held yesterday at the Chung Chi College Chapel at Chinese University of Hong Kong.