Volunteering often awakens people to all that MPTF truly does, as Bob Wald and Suzanne Cranfill discovered. Both native Texans, the couple was so impressed they subsequently decided to leave MPTF a legacy gift.
An Oscar-nominated production sound mixer for RoboCop, Bob was introduced to Suzanne, a well-known costume supervisor, by mutual friends in 1994, and they married six years later. Suzanne jokes, "I came all the way to California in order to marry someone from Texas."
While attending Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Bob registered for a class he thought might be interesting, Introduction to Motion Picture and Television Production. He fell in love with the television and film field and graduated with a BFA. Dallas was a very busy movie and television production hub in the '70s, and Bob started landing gigs like the cult comedy Drive-In. In 1987 he was hired as the production sound mixer on RoboCop, which sent Los Angeles producers calling to offer work. Soon an AMPAS and Television Academy voting member and an IATSE union member, he decided to move to Los Angeles in 1989.
From childhood Suzanne knew she wanted to be involved in entertainment but had no idea that it would manifest itself in costuming, despite sewing from the age of 9 for her dolls and later herself. After receiving her BFA in theater from Waco's Baylor University and an MFA in costume design from the University of California, San Diego, she spent a decade working in theater, including the Mark Taper Forum and Los Angeles Opera. Her first film opportunity was the WWII drama Come See the Paradise as a seamstress, after which she became a set costumer and eventually costume supervisor for major movies and television shows.
Bob and Suzanne felt so fortunate to work in an industry that looked after its own that they signed up to volunteer at MPTF to show their appreciation. Their first project with the Home Safe Home crew was so gratifying they began to volunteer for other projects like building MPTF's Doggywood Dog Park on The Wasserman Campus. "It's so much fun teaming up with other people from all areas of the industry, helping aging members of our industry make their homes safer and more manageable. As a result, we have tried to encourage others to volunteer," says Bob.
But it was the impact of their volunteering that led to the easy decision to leave a legacy gift to MPTF. "MPTF does so many wonderful things for so many in our industry," Suzanne explains. "Being a part of that is very important to us and is really what made us decide to make a legacy gift as a way of giving thanks for two successful careers."
Bob, retired in 2013, and Suzanne, who plans to retire in 2020, feel very fortunate to have worked in this industry for almost 30 years and plan to give more time to MPTF in the future. "I hope that anyone reading this who isn't aware of all the things MPTF does every day on behalf of all industry people will take a closer look," says Bob. "This is especially important for younger members since it will give them a much broader picture of just how special our industry really is. That familiar MPTF phrase, 'We take care of our own' is something very few people in this life can enjoy. We are very lucky indeed!"