Scholarship Fund Celebrates Life and Work of Michael Vitti

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[] New York, NY - The Vitti Fund is pleased to begin providing independent filmmakers and digital storytellers with the means to further aspirations and achieve career goals. Founded in 2009, The Vitti Fund celebrates the life of Michael Vitti, founder of the New York City Final Cut Pro User Group, presently known as the Moving Pictures Collective of NYC (MoPictive). An integral member of the digital video industry, Michael passed away last year at the young age of 46.

Well-regarded for his endearing passion toward creativity, sharing his knowledge and ultimately, forming a tight-knit community among colleagues, Michael worked to enhance the lives of digital artists and independent filmmakers. His beloved User Group (MoPictive) provides members with meetings, discussion panels and training seminars to foster networking and intellectual growth. The Vitti Fund's mission is to provide educational grants to digital filmmakers interested in advancing their careers through continuing education. Grants in Michael's name will support certification programs, workshops, distance learning, or two-year and four-year programs dedicated to digital arts.

"It is very important to MoPictive that The Vitti Fund reflects the spirit and enthusiasm that drove Michael to build our group in the first place," said Patrick Inhofer, President, MoPictive. "We've worked hard to keep his family in a leadership role in The Vitti Fund. It's why The Vitti Fund is focused on continuing education."

Michael passed away in Las Vegas at NAB in 2009. "At the 8th Annual FCPUG Supermeet for NAB 2009, the entire event was dedicated to Michael Vitti," said Rick Young, Mac Video. "Words poured out about how giving Michael was - how he always had something to contribute - his passion was there for image making and giving whatever he had to the community, which he loved. Michael's spirit will live on through the Vitti Fund, and his work of creating shared spaces for knowledge, community building and artistic growth will continue."

"Michael was a unique guy in a city of unique people," said Dennis Radake, Adobe Systems. "I started working with him when I first joined Adobe Systems over four years ago and he was unfailingly kind and caring. Michael's thoughts were always geared toward helping the community, and to the end, he was supportive of them."

In 2002, Michael re-formed the defunct New York City Final Cut User Group. He often referred to himself as the group's "Fearless Leader," dedicating his life to enhancing New York City's digital arts community. In 2007, Michael renamed the group, The Moving Pictures Collective of NYC (MoPictive), to reflect his desire to shift the group's purpose from Final Cut-centric to a broader support for all digital filmmakers. As the group's leader, Michael went above and beyond the call of duty, organizing monthly meetings, offering seminars and workshops, and providing digital storytellers a haven for creativity and education.

Michael was an encyclopedia of technical terminology who thrived on sharing his knowledge and passion. Consistently working on a variety of projects, his work included offline editing the four-part original series, Murder in Black and White, which examined four heart wrenching murder cases in the Deep South.

As cameraman on independent documentary films, Base Ball Discovered and New York Street Games, Michael considered himself to be a "well-rounded digital guy." However, his passion truly stemmed from capturing artistic imagery on film. He thrived on seeing a story come together and sharing his excitement and results with colleagues, friends and family.

"I came to know Michael through the Final Cut Pro User Group in New York City," said Jay Ignaszewski, AJA Video Systems. "He was the moving force behind the group and his enthusiasm swept up everyone in his path - it was as if you felt as though you just had to be a part of whatever he was involved in. Michael was a staunch supporter of the AJA product line, championing our products at his meetings as well as demoing new products at the trade shows. He was one of the main reasons AJA is a supporter of the user groups throughout the world... and still is."

Fundraising for The Vitti Fund will kick-off at this year's National Association of Broadcasters exhibition (NAB) in Las Vegas, April 12 - 15. Michael was a regular attendee of the esteemed industry conference and built lasting relationships with many of the show's exhibitors and guests. The 13th annual International Media Users Group (IMUG) MediaMotion Ball, the premier event for post-production, motion graphics and 3D, and the Las Vegas Final Cut Pro User Group SuperMeet, the largest gathering of Final Cut Pro, Avid and Adobe editors, HDSLR filmmakers, and digital content creators and gurus, will both raise money for The Vitti Fund. Michael played an integral part of both the MediaMotion Ball and the SuperMeet in years past.

Friends and family urge those who knew Michael to keep his vision alive through The Vitti Fund. A special thanks goes out to AJA Video for their generous donation of $2,000. Contributions can be made through the MoPictive website or via the Vitti Fund website. For more information, please visit the information link.

An Educational Grant devoted to advancing the craft and careers of digital filmmakers in memory of Michael Vitti; community leader, educator, friend.