Bob Beitcher develops movies after they’re shot.
Beitcher has become president and chief executive of Hollywood-based Consolidated Film Industries, which does motion picture processing and post-production.
“We plan to expand our current lines of operation, which include release printing, trailer printing, restoration, imaging and titles and opticals,” said the Santa Monica resident.
Projects include film, TV and commercials anything where the image is originally captured on film, Beitcher said. Project sizes range from $2,000 for a small commercial to $2 million for a movie. The bigger jobs are large-format films, such as those put out by Imax.
“We’ve worked on almost every Imax film that’s come out in the last few years,” Beitcher said. “That’s definitely a growing segment of our business. If you look at the traditional 35-millimeter film business, it’s very mature, essentially flat in terms of growth.”
Growing or not, the traditional film business remains a large source of revenue for CFI, which handles projects for Sony, Paramount and Warner Bros. Ironically, it’s CFI’s relatively small size (400 employees) that attracts business, Beitcher said.
“Technicolor and Deluxe are very efficient, but perhaps a little impersonal. CFI can produce the same quality of work with a personal touch,” Beitcher said.
That may be one of the reasons CFI has been employed to work on films by director James Cameron, the latest being “Titanic.”
“We did the whole front end film developing, processing, printing, timing. We’ve been involved in it since September ’96 from the moment Cameron started shooting,” he said.
Although Beitcher hesitated to cite how much footage Cameron used on “Titanic,” he guessed it probably was over a million feet.
“The movie is three hours, so you’ve got to shoot a lot of film,” he explained.
Beitcher said he enjoys working in the entertainment industry, but he almost ended up in another field entirely.
“The truth is, I had nearly accepted a job in commercial banking at Morgan Bank. At the last minute, Columbia Pictures had a vacancy (in its finance department),” Beitcher said. “To some degree it was serendipity.”