Daily Figment 164: The Greatest Second Assistant Director of All Time Is….

….Arthur J Vitarelli

Yeah, we’ve never heard of him either. We have heard of the movies he helped make, as Arthur Vitarelli had a career in the film industry spanning over four decades. He worked with the actors and actresses we grew up loving and helped make the movies that defined Disney live action in the 50’s and 60’s. That’s why Mr. Vitarelli is Imaginerding’s first inductee into the International Brotherhood of Second Assistant Directors.

Imaginerding welcomes Mr. Vitarelli into IBSAD with a mention of a few films he served on as the second assistant director for Disney:

  • The Shaggy Dog (1959)
  • The Absent Minded Professor (1961)
  • Mary Poppins (1964)
  • The Love Bug (1968)
  • Disneyland TV Show (6 episodes from 1959-1969)
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

In addition to Second AD’ing over a dozen films for Disney, he also managed to fit in Assistant Director and Second Assistant Director credits in over forty other films and television shows. His earliest credit is for Unit Director (same as an Assistant Director) on Lake Placid Serenade in 1944. His final credit is the holy grail of film credits, pun intended, as Second Unit Camera on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1984.

The IBSAD window on Sunset Boulevard in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a tribute to the many capable and talented, yet unrecognized, Second Assistant Directors who have carried out the orders of the Assistant Directors and oversaw the Second Second Assistant Directors and Third Assistant Directors and Additional Assistant Directors and…well, you get the picture.

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