Erich Fitz, the founder of Panther and the inventor of the electro-mechanical camera dolly has died aged 81.
Already at the age of 8 he wanted to create moving pictures, able to trigger strong emotions. After a period at ARRI’s camera assembly gathering knowledge about cameras he started to work as camera assistant and later as cameraman. That was the beginning of an exciting journey until the world's first computer-controlled camera dolly rolled on set in 1982.
That was the birth of the “Panther Dolly” and only one year later it was used in major productions such as “The Neverending Story”. In 1990, Erich Fitz was awarded a technical Oscar for this invention. The following years were marked by many successes and milestones. In 2012, the scepter was handed over to son Andy Fitz, who took the legacy from his father even further.
From then on, Erich Fitz enjoyed his well-deserved retirement and was able to spend a lot of time with his family.
On February 6th, 2024 he passed away peacefully in the presence of his family at the age of 81. His unshakable faith in Jesus Christ and trust in God never left him. He leaves behind his wife Waltraud, his two children Marion with husband Gabriel and Andy with wife Lydia, his 5 grandchildren Christopher with wife Barbara, Elias, Deborah, Alexander and Sarah and his great-grandson David.