Dr. Raymond E. Fielding, Dean Emeritus of the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts, passed away on Sunday, December 30, 2018. He was 87 years old, and had been a member of the Visual Effects Society for more than 21 years.
His career in film education spanned 45 years at five different universities, including serving as a member of the founding faculties at three different major Schools of Film/Communication. In 1990 he was appointed as the first permanent Dean of the FSU Film School. He served in that position for 13 years until his retirement in 2003, when he was appointed Dean Emeritus. Under his leadership the FSU Film School became a national leader in film education and an acclaimed incubator for upcoming professionals in the film and entertainment industries.
Ray’s professional career in the film/entertainment industries covered more than six decades and included service as a Trustee of the American Film Institute (1973-1979) and as a lifetime member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences since 1981. He was the author of five books and numerous journal and encyclopedia articles. In 1973, his book The American Newsreel 1911-1967 was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Letters. Another book, The Techniques of Special Effects Cinematography, has been the acknowledged industry standard in visual special effects for over 40 years. His national reputation as an American newsreel scholar and expert on early visual special effects made him a frequent presenter at industry conferences throughout his career and retirement.
In addition, for the past 35 years, Ray served as a consultant and expert witness on film technology, copyright, patent and archival services for numerous film and television organizations, including Universal Studios, RKO General, CBS, ABC Television, British Broadcasting Corp., Hearst Corp., Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and The Smithsonian Institution.
Born January 3, 1931 in Brockton, MA, he was the only child of Walter and Irma Nelson Fielding. Ray grew up in Long Beach, CA. In 1946, he and his family moved to Toyko, Japan, where his father, an Air Force civilian employee, was stationed during the post-war occupation of Japan. He attended and graduated from The American School in Toyko before returning to the U.S. to attend UCLA where he earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees. He earned his PhD. degree from University of Southern California in 1961.
Ray was preceded in death by his wife Carole and his parents. Per Ray’s instructions, no memorial service will be held.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Dr. Raymond E. Fielding Graduate Fellowship Fund (FO #4005) within the FSU Film School. Checks should be made payable to the Florida State University Foundation (put Fund Code #4005 or the name of the fund on memo line of check) and mailed to: Gift Processing Office, FSU Foundation, 325 W. College Ave., Tallahassee, FL 32301. Ray lived life on his own terms as much as possible. He will be greatly missed by many whose lives he touched in numerous ways.