Passing of Jean-Marie Lavalou, the film industry lost a legend

By Nicolas Pollacchi and Adam Samuelson

par Loumasystems Contre-Champ AFC n°334

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It is with great sadness, that we announce the passing of Jean-Marie Lavalou (9 March 1946 - 15 July 2022) – co-creator of the world’s first remote control camera system for use in the motion picture industry.

The story of the Louma is well documented and it was Jean-Marie who brought the many talented engineers together that made his and Alain’s vision possible. Many would say he was obsessive – and he was. The Louma and the magic of cinema was his passion which he relentlessly pursued. He lived his dream of working with the likes of Polanski, Spielberg and was forever in awe of Directors and Directors of Photography.
Receiving the Academy Award with his co inventors was an undoubted career highlight, but for Jean-Marie, he probably got most pleasure from his ‘world’ tour thanking the people that he had worked with along the way.

He was a mentor and friend to many. Blind loyalty from both sides. Some stressful times but also many fantastic evenings drinking the finest of wines. He could drive anyone crazy. When one made a suggestion he would say ‘Je le note’ / ‘I’ll write it down’ which resulted in a mountain of sketch pads on his desk. Then we would watch him try to find the correct pad !
His generosity of time and friendship was without limit. We shall miss his phone calls and seeing him in the office where he probably spent more time than anywhere else.
The L, O and U from his name (together with M & A from Masseron) forms the first three letters of the world’s first motion picture remote camera system.
It always will be that and Jean-Marie will never be forgotten.

Nicolas Pollacchi is Managing Director of Loumasystems and HD Systems, and Adam Samuelson, Corporate Director of Loumasystems and Managing Director of Louma UK.