A.M. Creative Recap: John Reitzammer
Written by Felicia Ingram
John Reitzammer, simply put, is a creative who preserves memory. But there is more to his own history. For example, his name, Reitzammer, represents his heritage of German immigrants who settled south. Formerly the principal of Newbridge Biofilms in Miami, Florida, as well as the State Film Commissioner for the State of Florida, the documentarian started a new chapter in 2007 with New Bridge Bio Films. Reitzammer is not interested in telling the stories of the rich and famous. Instead, he chooses to preserve the distant memories of family and plain ol’ regular folk.
His instrument of choice is a camera, and his subject is anyone with a memory to share. If a camera makes a person an artist, why then aren't there more compelling stories? But it doesn't. What Reitzammer has is the intangibles. Not everyone can take video captured on an iPhone from random ramblings to a seamless recollection of one thought.
Piece by piece, he stitches the story together weaving in scenes of old. What comes through every bit of Reitzmammer’s work is his signature editing style. His LinkedIn page advertises him as a media producer, an accurate description for the variety of content he has created from “Jackson: First To Rock.”
Today Reitzammer is creating memories in a different way in order to preserve the history of Jackson’s historic rock-and-roll history. He wants people to know that Jackson isn’t just a place where legends in Rockabilly once lived; according to him, Jackson is the birthplace of rock-and-roll. So he appropriately named his most recent film Jackson: First to Rock. During his presentation at July’s A.M. Creative, Reitzammer shared the documentary telling Jackson’s music story. The film included sounds cultivated in our backyard over sixty years ago. He described the music’s origins as “white people who wanted to dance to country music” and blues sung by blacks in Jackson. This blend of sounds become the roots of the music loved by the world.
“Jackson: First To Rock” is displayed at The Carnegie Center for Arts & History in Jackson. The museum is under the vision of Jimmy Exum, the execution of Steve Little and Randy Williams who compiled the collection and is host to exhibits including the Carl Perkins exhibit. Reitzammer simply sees himself as a piece of the puzzle and the efforts of those to memorialize the history of Rock and Jackson’s role in the American Music history.
Check out Reitzammer’s work at newbridgebiofilms.com.