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. His career began with Martin Scorsese‘s acclaimed Taxi Driver. Among his numerous feature film credits are Batman Returns, Honey, I Blew up the Kid, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure and Twilight Zone: The Movie—he was on the location with the production when a stunt helicopter crashed, killing actor Vic Morrow and two child actors.
Pietschmann worked on many television series, specials, documentaries and news programs, including Nature, 60 Minutes, American Masters, Family Law, The Division, Airline, Dirt, Sleeper Cell and Dexter. Many years after working with the late Morley Safer on 60 Minutes, he encountered the correspondent again while covering the newsman’s work as an artist. “Peach,” Safer said, “you still look like a kid.”
He received a Primetime Emmy nomination for Sleeper Cell and was nominated for the Cinema Audio Society‘s Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Sleeper Cell and Dexter. He received recognition for his contributions to Emmy Award-winning shows from The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Roger Pietschmann’s father, Richard J. Pietschmann Jr., is credited with helping create the milestone multi-track stereophonic sound system for Cinerama and was recordist and mixer for four of those landmark widescreen movies including This is Cinerama. His grandfather, Richard J. Pietschmann Sr., was employed in set lighting during the early days of the motion picture industry on both coasts.
Roger graduated from University High School in Los Angeles and attended Santa Monica Community College and the University of California at Long Beach. He is survived by his wife Andrea, daughter Devin and brother Richard J. Pietschmann 3rd. His family would like to acknowledge Roger’s strength throughout his long fight against a terrible degenerative neurological disease. His daughter Devin has set up a funding site for contributions used to better understand and defeat MSA. His family requests that donations be made in his name at https://myevent.com/defeatMSA1