CBS 5 remembers TV pioneer Marshall Faber

(Source: Obituary) (Source: Obituary)

Phoenix broadcast television pioneer and former Scottsdale businessman Marshall L. Faber, Sr., 95, died September 4, 2012, at his private-care residence in Friendswood, Texas.

His career spanned seven decades of high accomplishment in television, motion pictures, and real estate. According to his obituary, Marsh was a proud lifetime member of the International Cinematographers Guild and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. His work in film earned him the prestigious CINE Golden Eagle; top awards from the Columbus Film Festival, the San Francisco International Film Festival, and the DuPont Foundation; and scores of other honors.

His obituary gives a glimpse of his lengthy career and contributions to broadcast television and CBS 5 KPHO-TV.

At 17, Marsh was a recognized member of the Capitol Hill press corps. He was the first D.C. photographic correspondent for Newsweek and soon had photo credits in Time, Life, and the Saturday Evening Post.

Marsh was one of the TV industry's first cameramen, learning the art in his spare time at the ground-breaking station W3XWT in D.C. By the late 1940s that unique skill set was in high demand across the country. Marsh moved the family to Phoenix and became the expert behind the camera at fledgling KPHO-TV, Arizona's first TV station. All programs were broadcast live from sign-on to midnight sign-off, and Marsh spent many long days bringing programming to the Valley. In 1953, Marsh accepted the challenge from McClatchy Broadcasting in Fresno, CA, to help design, build, and sign KMJ-TV Channel 24, Fresno's first station, onto the airwaves. Three years later, John C. Mullins, one of the entrepreneurs who started KPHO-TV Phoenix, asked Marsh to join him at Mullins Broadcasting's struggling new venture, station KBTV Channel 9 in Denver, CO. Marsh made the move to KBTV as a cameraman, soon becoming the station's Director of Photography and Operations Manager. In 1956, representing the TV industry, Marsh provided expert testimony to the Colorado Supreme Court in a landmark case that paved the way to allow sound-on-film cameras in the courtroom nationwide. In 1960, KBTV produced Expedition Colorado, a 13-week film series on the history of the State, which won several national awards, including an ABC Network First and the Gold Medal for the most original Western States program from TV Radio Mirror, the industry's leading magazine. As the cinematographer of the Expedition Colorado series, Marsh pioneered the use of the stills-in-motion technique now applied so effectively by Ken Burns and others.
In 1963, Marsh and Martha opened Marshall Faber Productions in Denver, creating hundreds more industrial, educational, and political campaign films. By the early 1970s, they had relocated the company to Scottsdale, where they continued to produce films and to vigorously champion the Arizona film industry. Many Marshall Faber Productions were shot against the backdrop of the Arizona desert, but Marsh's personal favorite was "The Lord's Prayer," a film of the sacred Christian prayer performed in sign language by Chief Shatka Bear-Step. This short film, produced for the Appaloosa Horse Club in 1972, was broadcast on 430 TV stations worldwide as a daily station sign-off.

Marsh and Martha embarked on a second career in the 1980s, establishing Scottsdale brokerage firm, Martha Faber Real Estate, another award-winning venture, which they operated well past their eightieth birthdays. They also collaborated on the textbook, Basic Real Estate, used by real estate schools nationwide.

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