Vancouver’s postproduction industry was shaken to its core in early September with the sudden death of industry pioneer Bob Scarabelli, 49. The widely known and respected president and CEO of Rainmaker Digital Pictures Group was a fixture on Vancouver’s production scene for the past 20 years, helping to put the city on the entertainment industry’s map as a destination for all types of film and television productions. Scarabelli learned the ropes in the late 1970s under mentors Bob Campbell and Larry Muirhead at Gastown Productions, western Canada’s first commercial postproduction facility. After a decade working his way up to senior telecine operator, touching on productions such as 21 Jump Street and Booker, Scarabelli left to manage Video Headquarters’ post facility in Singapore, and later took his young family to Amsterdam to set up digital film services for Valkeiser Sound and Images.
His wanderlust satisfied, Scarabelli came home to Vancouver and founded Rainmaker Productions in 1992. After a stint in Los Angeles with Rainmaker Interactive he concentrated his efforts on making the Vancouver facility a leader in its core businesses. Today Rainmaker has 175 employees and revenues of approximately $128 million. Chairman of the board Hugh McKinnon will assume the role of CEO on an interim basis and Barry Chambers, studio general manager, will continue to oversee day-to-day operations.A memorial service was held Sept. 15 in Vancouver, attended by 1,500 industry associates and family friends. Scarabelli is survived by his wife Luci and their two children.