Gitsch in Bradford 2012, presenting Cinerama. Image by Thomas Hauerslev|
Armed with his dual major degree in Mass
Communications-Journalism and Broadcasting and Film Production, Randy Gitsch
wasted no time moving directly to Southern California upon graduating from
college. After arriving, while sending out resumes and knocking on doors, he
paid his first two months rent doing “extra work”.
One of his first real jobs in Hollywood was as a staff researcher in the RKO
Studio Archives, which led to his ultimately becoming that collections
manager. There, Randy assisted the BBC in their 6-part studio history,
entitled "Hollywood; The Golden Years", and veteran director, Richard Wilson,
with the restoration of a “lost” Orson Welles feature, "It’s All True".
After RKO’s liquidation, Randy worked as a film sales librarian for both the
Sherman Grinberg and Energy stock film libraries. Reacting to the film
deterioration he found himself having to deal with on a daily basis, in
1990, he became one of the founding members of the Association of Moving
Image Archivists, a professional group which champions the preservation of
film and video.
So motivated to make a difference in the public perception of film archivism
in the U.S., in 1999, he produced and co-wrote, with director Mark
McLaughlin, the critically acclaimed documentary on film preservation and
"Keepers of the Frame".
Thereafter he teamed with
Dave Strohmaier to produce another documentary motion picture,
Adventure", and to bring preservation awareness to this historically
important cinematic format and the handful of rarely seen, 3-panel films
made in it.
He subsequently worked again with McLaughlin as an associate producer on the
feature documentary and multi-part television series, "Hollywood Singing &
Dancing". These days he can say, smiling, “Careful what you wish for”, as he
finds himself fortunate to be deeply involved, again with Strohmaier and a
core restoration team, who have been given the funds to digitally re-master
and recombine the entire 3-panel Cinerama library, insuring it’s existence
and relevance for a new generation of film lovers.
In addition to making motion pictures, Randy has remained a full-time
archivist. With Pro-Tek Vaults, since 2001, he’s worn a variety of hats as a
Film Inventory Technician, and a Film Inspector. He’s also worked off-site
for Pro-Tek clients, including 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. He now
serves as the Supervisor for a crew of seven working to inventory and
digitize the Warner Bros. still photo library.
He has been interviewed on the subject of all things-RKO in such programs as
"The Passions of Howard Hughes" (Passport DVD) and "History Detectives" (PBS),
and on film preservation on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition.
|More in 70mm reading:|
The 2015 European Cinerama Festival
"Keepers of the Frame"
- complete press kit
Member Randy Gitsch (USA)