Roger Jay Pietschmann Dies: 3rd Generation Film Technician Was 71

Roger Jay Pietschmann, a third generation motion picture industry vet who, like his father, was a boom operator, sound recordist and mixer with credits including Taxi Driver, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure and Twilight Zone: The Movie has died following a battle with multiple symptom atrophy. He was 71.

Growing up in Los Angeles, Pietschmann attended University High School, Santa Monica Community College, and the University of California at Long Beach before entering the film industry on Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. Many other films followed, including Twilight Zone: The Movie, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Batman Returns, Honey, I Blew Up The Kid, and Madonna: Truth or Dare. Notably, Pietschmann was on location at the Twilight Zone shoot in Valencia, California when a stunt helicopter crashed, killing actor Vic Morrow and two child actors.

Pietschmann also worked extensively in television, his credits including 60 Minutes, American Masters, Family Law, The X-Files, The Division, Airline, Dirt, Sleeper Cell and Dexter.

Roger Jay Pietschmann died peacefully at home July 26 in Los Angeles with his family at his side after a six-year battle with multiple symptom atrophy (MSA). Throughout his illness he never lost his wonderful take on life and sense of humor. He was the third generation of family employed in the motion picture industry. Like his father before him, he was a boom operator, sound recordist and mixer. He received a Primetime Emmy for his work on Sleeper Cell and was nominated for the Cinema Audio Society’s Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Sleeper Cell and Dexter.

Pietschmann’s father, Richard J. Pietschmann Jr., is credited with helping to create the multi-track stereophonic sound system for Cinerama. His grandfather, Richard J. Pietschmann Sr., was a set lighter during the early days of the motion picture industry in both New York and Los Angeles. Pietschmann is survived by his wife Andrea, his daughter Devin, and his brother Richard J. Pietschmann 3rd. Known for his sense of humor, his family have said he maintained high spirits throughout his medical battle. His family have requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in his name to combat MSA. To that end, his daughter has set up a funding site for contributions.

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