24 May 2016
London TV Centre (ITV), London SE1 9LT
If you are interested in hearing about the remarkable work of Robert (Bob) Gitt in conversation with Clyde Jeavons, this event is not to be missed!
(FREE entry for FOCAL International Members and industry colleagues - you must register using the Book Event tab above)
Tuesday 24th May at the London TV Centre (ITV), Upper Ground, London SE1 9LT
18.00 for 18.30 start
ABOUT BOB GITT:
In a career spanning more than fifty years, Robert Gitt has gained an international reputation as one of the foremost experts in the preservation and restoration of motion pictures. Gitt, served as Preservation Officer at the UCLA Film & Television Archive from 1977 to 2005.
“Bob Gitt has dedicated his life to film preservation, and in all honesty I can't think of anyone more deserving of FOCAL's Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Director Martin Scorsese.
In 1970, Gitt joined The American Film Institute in Washington, D.C., where he served initially as film booking and technical manager of the AFI Theater at the Kennedy Center. Three years later, he became AFI’s technical officer and began to work on film restoration projects, including Frank Capra’s Lost Horizon (1937), which he completed at UCLA, and The Blot (1921), influential in cementing Lois Weber’s reputation as an important pioneer woman director.
In 1977, Robert Gitt began work at UCLA Film & Television Archive as its first preservation officer, where he was actively involved in the preservation and restoration of hundreds of classic Hollywood films, both silent and sound. Most recently he was asked by Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker to supervise the digital restoration of perhaps the most beautiful Technicolor film of all time, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s The Red Shoes (1948), in collaboration with the BFI and ITV.
“Bob has led the preservation and restoration team at UCLA for many years and is one of the world's most admired and respected conservation and restoration experts,” said film historian Clyde Jeavons. “He has restored probably more important American movies - silent and sound, classic and obscure - than all the other US archivists put together, and has been a pioneer of techniques to recover early and late Technicolor and to restore the first Hollywood sound-on-disc systems, even working from cracked and broken shellac recordings. In short, he has helped to make available to the highest possible standards countless films threatened by loss and decay.”
“Bob Gitt set the standard for what we call film restoration,” said Grover Crisp, Sony Pictures EVP asset management, film restoration and digital mastering. “Film preservation existed prior to Bob Gitt, but the kind of restoration we know of today is the result of Bob’s standard setting work for almost forty years.”
Gitt has also specialized in resuscitating early sound films, including over one hundred 1926-1931 Vitaphone one reel short subjects, and has lectured widely on the subject of film and sound preservation. His latest project is Part II of his epic history of sound on film (A Century of Sound, 1933-1975) - described as "a gold mine for specialist researchers and technology buffs" - which was launched earlier this year on BluRay.