John Pytlak has passed away

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Andreas Wideroe
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John Pytlak has passed away

Post by Andreas Wideroe »

Our dear friend and long time member of the filmshooting forums, John Pytlak passed away friday night. He will be deeply missed.

Here's the message his daughter Anne posted on another forum:

"Hi everyone,

This is Anne, John's daughter. I am so sorry to give you the news that my dad passed away last night at 11:40pm EST after a year-long battle with cancer. My dad had a fantastic day Thursday -- he felt the strongest he has in a long time and had a very enjoyable day with his sister and brother-in-law who came to visit. He has been sleeping downstairs the past few weeks in a hospital bed and I have been nearby on the couch, and he slept quite well Thursday night. Friday morning he said he felt weaker than usual, but was very optimistic about trying to have more nutrition within the next few weeks. At 10am, he started having severe cramping and it got progressively worse as time went on. He was on 2ml morphine every half hour and nothing could stop the intense pain. Even though he had so much morphine, he never lost his consciousness and was very alert throughout the whole ordeal. He decided to enter hospice that evening. My sister Katie flew home from Boston and arrived around 10:30pm. At hospice, the nurses were able to give him enough sedatives to lessen pain, and he fell into a deep sleep. He died very peacefully, surrounded by family.

He loved participating on various film boards and he had such admiration and respect for you. He -- and my family -- appreciated all your kind words and prayers. My dad may not have met many of you face to face but he considered you all his dear friends.

Please know he left this world at peace and much loved. Again, we cannot thank you enough for all your support you have shown over the past year and the friendship you gave him."


You may post your condolences, wishes to his family or stories about John here in this thread.

Our thoughts are with John's family now.

You were a great man John and you will always be in our thoughts. Thank you so much for all you have given us. May you rest in peace.

Andreas Widerøe Andersen
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Last edited by Andreas Wideroe on Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by HTTK »

Oh my...this is really sad. Didn't know he was this bad yet. :(
Rest in Peace my friend. Enjoy that big film lab in the sky.
He was so very nice to lend us his time here and answer all our questions. Also to keep us in the loop at what was going on at Kodak. He will be missed deeply. My prayers go out to his family.
The next roll I shoot of film I'm dedicating to Mr. Pytlak.
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Post by Patrick »

I was really shocked when I saw the subject header. This is indeed very sad news. From reading John's posts from the last few months, he seemed like he was in really good spirits. His enthusiasm for sharing knowledge about any film related matter certainly never waned. We have lost a great friend and a vaulable allie. Rest in peace John.
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Post by Andreas Wideroe »

John made a total of 926 postings here in the Filmshooting forums. This makes him one of the most active members.

Here is a list of all John's messages:


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Post by Andreas Wideroe »

Message from the Cinematography "General" mailing list by Ted Langdell. Posted here with permission from Ted.

Sorry to start your day with some sad news.

Eastman Kodak's John Pytlak passed last night (Friday, Aug. 17 2007) in
Rochester, NY from the effects of a nearly year-long battle with cancer.

He was a frequent contributor to many film and image related
discussion boards and e-mail lists.

Like a lot of other folks, I've only met John through his replies,
and came to appreciate his gentle nature and wealth of knowledge. I'd
hoped that he might have been well enough to attend the September
AMIA Conference in Rochester, where he lived and worked for Kodak.
I'd hoped to meet him and thank him for his replies to my questions
over the last two or three years.

His initial health problem was noted back in September of last year
on the Association of Moving Image Archivists list, this list and
several others like the Telecine Internet Group (,., and

Brad Miller and John Hawkinson at organized a surprise
e-mail communication campaign just before Memorial Day in order to
collect and package a collage of messages they sent to John in

They'd sent e-mails to all but John advising of the plan, which was
picked up in a similar fashion by the Telecine Internet Group
directing readers to the project.

Click here to see the forum
and here to see the poster:

(You may have to register first)

He was intermittently posting to different groups as his health
allowed, often to the "Yak" forum.

(You may have to register first and scroll through the more than 25
pages of support to date)

His last post there was on Aug. 15. His daughter Anne announced
John's passage at 11:40 p.m. late yesterday (Friday) in the same
forum this morning (8/18) posted at 05:31 AM Central Daylight Time.

He was also posting regularly to ... 256&st=260, where Anne also reported his passage.

Professionally, he was John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist,
Worldwide Technical Services, Entertainment Imaging Research Labs,
Eastman Kodak, Rochester, NY.

Folks with Particle Transfer Rollers on their telecines, film scanners and other film handling machines see John at work every day, as he was intimately involved in their development at Eastman Kodak. Perhaps they should be renamed "Pytlak Transfer Rollers" or "Pytlak Particle Transfer Rollers."

He received an Oscar in 2001 for his work on the Laboratory Aim Density System.

Outside of work, he was John Pytlak, Husband, Father, Friend. He passed surrounded by his family.

No obituary has been posted yet to ... uaries.asp, the Rochester newspaper's website. Check back.

John's legacy of helpful contributions lives on in his frank and courage-building postings about his health, and in the pages of posts you'll find in this Google search. ... 8&oe=UTF-8

Thanks, John.

Ted Langdell
Ted Langdell Creative Broadcast Services
Marysville, CA
Main: (530) 741-1212
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Post by ultramarine »

....I can't find words to express my feelings...
Rest In Peace John....
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Post by paul »

rest in peace John..
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Post by Muckymuck »

He was here right to the end and will be sorely missed. He was a great advocate of the Super 8 format in Kodak, and a genuinely nice guy too.
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Post by flatwood »

It's a sad day. So sorry to hear. My thoughts go with his family.
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Post by super8man »

Rest in peace.

My deepest sympathies go out to his family in their time of need.

My website - check it out...
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Post by BK »

I was saddened hearing the passing of our dear friend John.

He will be missed and my heart goes out to the Pytlak family at this difficult time.

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Post by etimh »

Death is nothing at all.

John was a great guy and will be dearly missed. I learned a great deal from him.

Rest well, friend.

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Post by steve hyde »

John was one of the most knowledgeable and generous experts on the film and cinematography forums. He was a professor of film technology. He helped us learn how film emulsions work and how and why film technologies offer many creative possibilities in digital post production. He was motivated to help people learn.

We have learned a lot from John. He will not be forgotten.

Condolences to his family and friends.



Here is a nice link to Film-Tech that has a video of John Pytlak's acceptance speech at the Academy Awards, 2001 ... ytlak.html

check it out.
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Post by DriveIn »

By John's posts we all knew this was coming, but still did not expect it since John was so positive and trying so hard to keep going. John still had a most positive outlook in spite of any setbacks. His passion for his life and career shows in the lifetime of achievements and accomplishments we have all experienced by his contribution to the industry. A man to be admired and remembered in the same positive outlook expressed by John Pytlak himself. Sincere condolences to the family.
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Post by David M. Leugers »

While I am greatly saddened for our loss, especially for John's family, I am very relieved that his passing was a model for leaving this world with dignity and being surrounded by love. A fitting send off to a first class human being and avid supported of all of us in the film community.

David M. Leugers
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