Michael Vitti
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VITTI--Michael J., of New York City, founder of Vittiphoto Productions, beloved son, brother, uncle, colleague, friend died suddenly Sunday, April 19 in Las Vegas, NV at the NAB Show. Gifted photographer, videographer, editor, producer. Born January 30, 1963 in West Hartford, CT. For services please check www.molloyfuneralhome.com or call 860-232-1322. Please send contributions to The American Heart Association. He was deeply loved and he is sorely missed.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in New York Times on Apr. 22, 2009.
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Memories & Condolences
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61 entries
April 24, 2019
Unbelievable. I have Mik's photo on my fridge and will never forget his friendship and "brotherly" love. He was such a huge part of my life both professionally and personally. It still hurts to think that we had plans to grab pizza and beer in New Haven CT when he got back from NAB that year.
Keith Larsen
April 23, 2019
Miss you Mike More now than ever before! Occasionally I talk with you and it is comforting!
Harry Bous
April 21, 2019
This guestbook will now be permanently online for everyone to post their messages and memories of Mike. It's been 10 years already since this wonderful life force has left us. Hope his family knows that we all still think of him, love him and miss him. xoxo
October 28, 2009
You always were a funny dude. Rest in Peace
phil joseph
September 9, 2009
Mike went to Europe with me about four times. We drove my Opel from South France to Athens Greece without brakes. One time in Paris, my mother was ill and I had to make a presentation, Mike took care of her and purchase a robe for her. He wired my house in Greece and my house in SC. We took many photos and rode bicycles all over SC. I would email him and talk with him and yesterday I tried to poke him on Facebook and then the truth of all this tragedy came out.
I miss him and love him and the entire World lost one of the very best
Harry Bous
August 18, 2009
Chris and the entire Vitti family - I just heard about Mike's passing recently. I wanted to send my condolences and those of our entire family.
Terry Gaughan
July 17, 2009
Oh this is so late and so painfull for me to find him gone. I referred to Mike to learn about Final Cut, and they said they read on a Google search he died in Vegas at NAB. i spoke with him before he left and we agreed to catch up when he got back.

I enjoyed Mike so much when we were in BNI together. I loved his enthusiasm about his work. I was so happy to try to help grow the NYFCUG when I worked at HSBC, anything I could do, all he had to do was ask.

I'll miss everything about Mike. He was one of the good guys.

Rob Geils
Rob Geils
May 22, 2009
I knew Michael for a very short time. He welcomed me into the MoPictive family with open arms. His enthusiasm and encouragement will be missed.
My condolences to his family and closest friends
Nelson Navarro
May 22, 2009
Ok here goes. My husband, Richard Blinkoff, wrote a few days ago and I haven't been able to even look at the entries. I think I am still in shock. Michael was one of the most engaged, enthusiastic, open people I have ever known. We have been working together, as Richard said, for about 17 years. Over that time, we have traveled together, photographed together, shared about journeys and challenges and brainstormed about new approaches in both profession and personal life. I guess Michael and I also shared that perspective of blending our work and play. They so intermingled and enhanced each other.

And so when a videographer emailed me that he was sorry to have heard about Michael, I was sure there was some mistake, another Michael Vitti, there had to be a mistake. We hadn't had our lunch date that we were planning, we were supposed to be working together this Sunday. No, it couldn't be Michael.

Since I heard the news, I have been flooded with memories. So many of his photographs are mingled with mine and it feels like seeing through his eyes. I'm not good with words but thought I would share a few memories.

My husband said he never saw Michael angry. The one time I saw Michael angry was when we were shooting a wedding. He rarely complained about anything but had seen the wedding planner speak so harshly to the kitchen staff (and us as well) that one of the staff started crying. Michael told me not to call him for any job with that planner. He said he didn't care how much money it was, he would not work with her again. That was Michael.

There was the time on location when he locked the keys in the car in the middle of central park, and the time he left the camera in the church. We laughed about those for years. Somehow, he always solved the problem, whatever it was.

Michael was always able to keep perspective. He was able to prioritize and enjoy what he was doing even under pressure. He never seemed to take his talent and creativity too seriously even though he was very serious about both. He seemed to approach new and old situations with a fresh eye and ironically, a sense of having all the time in the world. And at the same time, he was totally in the moment.

There were the surprises like the full frontal nude of the groom before putting on his tux. There were the amazing shutter drag shots with Michael's keen eye and unbelievably steady hands. He could hold the camera still at 1/6 of a second, perhaps because of his inner calm, his roll with the punches nature.

Michael was always so passionate and engaged, often sharing tech information that was so far above my head I just watched him explain and listened to the words as if a they were a song not understanding what he was talking about. But he was patient and so generous with knowledge and information whether about photography, computer skills, video or insight into life.

I loved his big bear like body and his quiet smile that could erupt into a blown out laugh and his eyes would get squinty and his whole being was filled with laughter. And I would have to laugh.

I will miss his baseball caps and his "outdoor" clothing and his rugged shoes and pouches and packs and Barneys Warehouse specials and silver lariot and the way he carried his gear and held a frisbee....so many things. I have to cry.

Michael was such a gift. He was such a bright spirit.

Our dogs knew him as Uncle Mikey. He was loved by Jake, our yellow lab, who we lost about 5 years ago and Milo, our black shaggy poodle, who was always happy to play ball with Uncle Mikey and our newest, Rufus, who Michael literally helped us housetrain. Although Michael complained, while laughing, that he couldn't get Rufus to stop eating the wee wee pads.

There were dog shoots and horse shoots and location shoots and studio shoots. Michael was interested in every animal and every person and of course, the things. There were the nights in Times Square, or the deserted swing or the abstract snow or the candle light. And there were so many people that Michael just took into his being. I would look over and Michael would always have found a new person to talk to and have made a new connection and a new adventure. And he would always talk about these people by their first names, as if we had all been friends for our whole lives. I never felt a wall from Michael the way some people construct walls to keep others out. Michael was always welcoming and present.

He appreciated my family and always spoke so lovingly about his own. I loved that he had a sister named Sharon; and that he shot my nephew Michael's Bar Mitzvah. He watched our daughter Rachel grow up and I listened to him describe his nieces as they grew.

I hope he knew how very much I love him and how much he meant to my whole family. I will really miss him.
Sharon Schuster
May 18, 2009
Somewhere around 17 years ago, I was looking for a new photo-assistant, and I innocently answered an ad in the Photo District News. I can’t remember what that job was, but I certainly will never forget the assistant. Michael Vitti had entered my life.
Soon Michael was my first assistant on all my jobs. At that time, I was romantically involved with another photographer, Sharon Schuster, and Michael began to assist her as well. And from her assistant, Michael graduated to second-shooter on most of the high-end weddings that Sharon was also doing. He was around so much that he became a part of our extended family, living in our studio when we would have to travel and babysitting the dogs. When Sharon and I got married near the end of the ‘90s, Michael was there to shoot our wedding. And when my step-daughter had her Bat-Mitzvah a few years later, Michael was there to shoot that as well. It seemed like Michael would always be there.
About a week ago, we found out how wrong that was.
Sharon had been trying for a few days to E-mail Michael about a Bar-Mitzvah she had coming up. She had never done that kind of event without Michael there to second-shoot. Now he wasn’t answering her and that was so unlike him. A phone call from someone who also knew Michael, sympathizing with our loss, changed our day, the past week, and probably the rest of our lives. Michael had died suddenly in a far away place. We would no longer see that smile or hear the laughter that only Michael could bring.
I’ve been hurting all the week since then, not comprehending, wanting to cry and struggling to hold it in, and now, as I write this, I can no longer control all that. I’m trying to recapture and hold on to all the moments I had with Michael the past 17 years. I’ve already lost too many to aging memory, and I can feel others slipping away even as I’m sitting here. Yet I know I will never forget Michael’s basic decency. Despite all our time together, I cannot remember seeing Michael get really angry. Surely, no one will be able to say that about me. And I can’t recall Michael ever being vicious or nasty about anyone else. Again, not my strong suit.
Michael achieved that generosity of spirit without wearing it like a badge in a prideful way. He never needed to convert you to his beliefs about the world and its people. Quite simply, he could let you be you and just be your friend. How rare to find that in anyone. How lucky to have him as a friend.
I saw Michael on the street a week or two before he died. I asked how he was, knowing that he was not a person to complain about life. And, of course, he did not – everything was fine. But he quickly needed to know how I was. Was my work holding up in the recession? Would I be all right in the long run? It only too a shrug of my shoulders to unleash Michael’s desire to help. He was full of ideas about how I could promote my work more effectively. He would try and help get us more studio rentals with his friends in the video business. He’d be away for a while, but we should get together when he got back. We had never done that dinner we discussed a few months back.
And never will. God, I miss Michael Vitti.
Richard Blinkoff
May 15, 2009
Mike Vitti made a difference in my life. His work, his play, his incredible imagination were expressions of a great open spirit that has served as an example, even admonition to me for almost 30 years. He's always been with me and he always will be.
Curry Best
May 14, 2009
My heart goes out to all of Mike's family and friends. I haven't seen or spoken with Mike since college but do remember Mike's unique and boundless spirit. It is something that will live on in each of us, that crossed his path, in this life.
Lynn (Skillet) Roberts
May 13, 2009
This sad news has spread quickly with all the people Mike has touched from college. The World is a sadder place.
Jeff Mancini
May 13, 2009
It has been a good many years since Mike left SC to chase his dream in NY but time has not dulled the spirit of friendship and love that all of us feel for him down here in the South. He was a good soul and the world is a poorer place without him. We will miss you pal.
Kevin Brackett
May 13, 2009
I am saddened by the news of the loss of our friend Mike Vitti. We all loved him very much. I will remember his fabulous smile and the deep generosity of his spirit. My sincerest condolences to his family and I pray you find peace from God and in knowing what a wonderful impact your Michael had on so many.
Renee Taylor Holder
May 12, 2009
I have just heard this terribly sad news about the passing of a friend who I have known for nearly thirty years. While Mike and I have spoken only infrequently since college, whenever we did reconnect it was always as if we had never missed a beat. He was kind, funny, genuine and had a passion for life and his profession. Let us all take a lesson from him and his premature death and strive to enjoy our lives and spread joy to those we touch. I can think of no one who did that better than Mike.
Derek Chiarenza
May 12, 2009
I've known Mike for thirty years, since the wild times at Carolina. My daughter and I came to the city two years ago and Mike spent three days showing us the sights. He was that kind of friend. You will be missed!
Karl Repik
May 12, 2009
As a friend of Mike's for almost thirty years, I'm so sad to just find out about his passing. My deepest condolences to his family, whom I've had the pleasure of meeting. He was a great person who helped me in countless ways.
Jack O'Reilly
May 11, 2009
My heart goes out to all who knew and loved Mike... he did a terrific job of building the NYFCP community... we are all grateful to him and will miss him very much.. I'm still in shock on how abruptly this happened to someone so vital and full of life in every sense..
Carol Binkowski
May 11, 2009
Michael has been an amazing mentor and friend. He was never too busy to help. No matter what question I posed to him, he always knew the answer and responded quickly. He was generous beyond belief in so many ways. A wonderful person I'm privileged to have known. My sincere sympathy and condolences to his family. May God bless his soul.
Artesia Adamo
May 11, 2009
Although I didn't know Mike well at all, I respected him for his resolve and hard work to keep the educational and networking aspect of a FCPUG more than intact, to make it a total experience. Mike you will be missed in this business.
Peace to you and your family.
Lou Rosenberg
May 11, 2009
I always learned a great deal from Mike each time I attended one of his upbeat workshops... and I always came away feeling like he was the model for how to be a leader in our "digital community."
Sarah Galloway
May 11, 2009
I went to one of Michael's lighting presentations. He was so generous of spirit I found myself gaffing for him by the end of the demo. He and I then worked together on a small project. He was always a pro, someone to learn from, someone who made being part of the production circus so enjoyable. It is sad when one of the "good ones" leave too early. To his family, I offer my thoughts.
Rob Katz
May 11, 2009
My heart goes to your family, Michael. Thank you for everything you have passionately created for this community. We will miss you dearly.
Roshd Ghalleb
May 11, 2009
Dear Mike, I met you once when I needed an editor but my film would have taken too much of your time away from Moving Pictures and you kindly proposed me other names. Well... We only met once but I did appreciate your strong and nice presence. I always thought we would meet again as soon as I'll be ready to proudly get back to you with the "baby" ready to screen... I was not fast enough. Sorry. Very truly sorry to miss the appointment. You was such a great personnality you will not be forgotten and in our memory your wonderful qualities will always be inspirational. Hope wherever you are now you can read our words and be comforted by your known and unknown friends. You are not alone. There's an army of great people here ready to help continue what you have built. All my sympathy to your family and close friends.
pauline de Grunne Cohen
May 11, 2009
I first met Michael when he was an assistant photographer and I was managing a studio that he was working at. We lost contact for quite a few years until I saw him at the Final Cut Users Group (soon to be renamed MoPictive) and he remembered me from so many years before. The position of Program Director became available and I wanted to do it.
Michael took me in and I worked with him for 2 years organizing all the speakers for his group. Recently we went to see a movie together and had such a nice time. He was funny, compassionate, caring, great to work with and above all a real person. I will miss his smile and kind words of encouragement forever.
Jim Moore
May 3, 2009
Ben, I can't tell you how sorry I was to hear about the loss of your son. My last memory of Michael was as a little boy. Our thoughts and prayers go with you. Bob Lombardi
Bob Lombardi
May 3, 2009
I had lunch with Mike just before he left for NAB, a little boost for a slow year. We agreed to get together when he returned. I was actually about to call to make plans to meet when I heard. I find this so hard to write, Mike. In some ways I don't think you're gone. I know you'd agree that you've been kidnapped & I should set forth to find what Government Agency has done this. I understand more than ever why Elvis Lives. I know you do somewhere.... Yes Mike, I compared you to Elvis....you would never of guessed. I can hear you laugh, perhaps a poor Elvis impersonation, we'd debate which Elvis, old or young, he was most like. We'd laugh, have a few more beers, fix all the World's Ills and then mock them and us. Yes Mike, to Hell with them all. Then we could talk Tech. Mike did love his Tech, Camera's, Lenses, software, Gadgets, everything. Some I'd know about, most I did not but talk about it we must and I'd smile and nod my head. Yeah Mike, you were Smart (and I don't mean well dressed) You were in fact one of the Brightest people I've ever known. How else could we have fixed the World? I'll miss those moments most, Mike. I'll miss your generosity and positivity. There was always something good coming down the pike. You would always be reaching to give a helping hand. No matter what you'd say he'd always thought you could do it. Well, unless you were a hack. Then well.... I hope if you can hear me say these words as i write them, or is there wi-fi in the here after, perhaps I've brought a smile to you. I can hear you laugh even now. Good Bye Mike, my world is smaller and dimmer with out you.
Jim Chin
May 1, 2009
mike was a gentleman a special person....on of the nices person i ever met...he went out of his way to make people feel good...he was a total class act...as a person as a friend mike will be missed deeply....may god have you in his paradise mike cus you were all that
ricky echavarria
April 28, 2009
His hugs make gangly, clumsy girls feel strong and secure. It's so sad to not have that luxury again. He was such a great friend.
Katie Ferguson Hetrick
April 27, 2009
I graduated high school with Michael.
We spoke briefly by phone last year, he was always upbeat. I will always remember Michael as a person who never had a bad word to say about another.
I am saddened by your loss.
Marc Zetoff
April 27, 2009
Michael was always the bright spot of my day whenever he called. I was so shocked to hear of his passing. My condolences to those he left behind. Please know that he was loved by all and regarded highly as one of the best go-to guys out there. I loved his smile and his generous ways.

He will be missed for a long time to come.
Jan Crittenden
April 27, 2009
We planned this Nab together since 2004, at Aja stand on Monday i was shocked.... i have not words... I remember you like our last meet on 16th April in Soho. I will miss you so much, thanks for all meetings in ny and all suggestions and mail. A kiss to family and friends. So sad.
gianluca paoletti
April 26, 2009
Matt Levy and Mike Vitti on location in Wisconsin
April 26, 2009
Dear Chris and The Entire Vitti Family,
We are so sorry for your loss. Please let us know if we can be of any help to you in the coming days. Eric, Shelly, Claire and Evan
your neighbors
April 26, 2009
April 26, 2009
We learned of your loss while visiting here in Fla, Please accept our sincere condolences. Ned, Carol and Don Brewer
April 26, 2009
Mike was a great guy. I will miss his humanity most.
David Tumblety
April 25, 2009
Your place in our lives was placed there by your zest for life, and your place in our lives is cemented there by your kindness. Gods speed on your journey.
Matthew Kriedel
April 25, 2009
I am very sorry for your loss.

Kate (Connolly) Cameron
Kate Cameron (Connolly)
April 25, 2009
I am very sorry to hear the sad news. Please accept our condolences. Mike was a great neighbor to grow up with.

Terence Connolly
April 25, 2009
Michael was one of the best people I have ever known. He was a bright spot in life always bringing a ready smile and great big hug.
I will miss you my nephew, my friend. You will be in my heart forever.
I'll meet you on the next bridge one day.
Love Aunt Bev
Beverly Namnoun
April 25, 2009
Please accept our condolences during this difficult time. May you find solace in the loving memories you have of Mike. esta and steve snider [billy's parents
esta snider
April 24, 2009
To our dear minkey
we have and will always love you more than you can ever imagine. You have added such spice to my life as your little sister and poured yourself into to my whole family. It is inconceivable to us that we wont be able to play with you any more. You have enriched our lives in so many ways....your spirit and genuine character are part of our being now and will be sustained as long as we live. THANK YOU for being in our lives. Love you, miss you!
sharon,steve, andrew, estelle, charlotte and bryce cadrain
April 24, 2009
Michael was the Cinematographer for my film New York Street Games. I am deeply saddened by his loss!!! My condolences to his entire family. The world was a much better place with him in it.
matt levy
April 24, 2009
matt levy
April 24, 2009
We are deeply shocked and saddened.
Michael taught my husband Final Cut Pro and helped us through numerous technical crises with great intelligence, patience and warmth.

He and his family are in our thoughts and hearts.
Robin & Harold Roth
April 24, 2009
Mike was a great friend for many years.My thoughts and prayers to the family
Allen Miller
April 24, 2009
Dear Ben and family,

Russ and I were so saddened to learn of your loss of Michael. Although we never met him, we have known you for so many years as a wonderful person/friend and our hearts go out to you at this grievous time. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May the Lord bless you all with comfort and healing.
Russ and Carolejane Barrett
April 24, 2009
Pamela and family
No bond is as great as that between a parent and child. My deepest condolences are with you as you grieve
Ray Shea
April 24, 2009
My heartfelt love and sympathy to you and your family for the loss of your son Michael.
Mickie Michaud
April 23, 2009
Wow! can hardly imagine Mike gone.
We became good friends during his leadership of NYC's Final Cut Pro Mopictive group. He was a warm bear of a person -- idealistic & friendly in a truly authentic way & possessed of a renaissance like curiosity, empathy for others, tireless energy, a rare good humor & a charm enjoyed by all.
Bill Rabinovitch
April 23, 2009
I'm devastated, we met many years ago and became friends. He was such a great guy, great fun and I was looking forward to seeing him again. He will be missed. My thoughts are with his family.
Kendra Lowry
April 23, 2009
I lived under Mike on 17th street for several years. I will always remember him as one of kindest guys I ever met. My heart goes out to his family.
Craig Lechner
April 23, 2009
Michael was a mensch. I am grateful to have shared time with him. I am richer for having known him. The artistic community of NYC is stronger for his contributions.
Jerry Weinstein
April 23, 2009
A person who put his 100% in the user community. I learned so much from him as I know many did as well. Was an encyclopedia of technical knowledge and always manage to crack jokes among the jargon. Will be missed dearly.
Michelle Ngo
April 23, 2009
Mike was a really good guy. Always friendly and willing to help you out the best he could.

He will be missed.
Dan Komoda
April 23, 2009
Mike was one of the sweetest, nicest, most genuine people I've ever met. Always caring, always helpful and always at the ready with his great laugh. He is sorely missed.
Frankie DeMarco
April 23, 2009
My thoughts and prayers are with the Vittis and with everyone who was lucky enough to have had Michael add sunshine to their lives. Stay strong and cherish the memories.
David Scott
April 22, 2009
Michael was one of the brightest lights in the user group community. He gave so selflessly of his talent, time, knowledge and goodwill for the benefit of all. Always upbeat, with a big smile, he was concerned about the needs of others before himself. You will be sorely missed my friend.

-Carey Dissmore, IMUG
Carey Dissmore
April 22, 2009
To one of the best people I have ever come to know: I can't accept that you are gone. You leave behind a troupe of friends from all over the world who loved and admired you Michael. You were such an inspirational, fun, and genuinely good soul. I'll not be the same, nor will our industry brotherhood. Peace my friend. And thank you.

Keith Larsen
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