Birth name: Jean-Christophe Comar
Born Jean-Christophe Comar, Pitof began his career in 1979 working as an assistant director and editor on films and commercials in his native France. He then branched out into musical scoring, software design and graphic design, creating entire visual graphics packages with titles and logos for a variety of French television stations.
He moved into visual effects directing in 1986, working with directors such as Lars Von Trier and Luc Besson. In 1994, Pitof won the Technical Grand Prize for visual effects at the Cannes Film Festival for his work in Dead Tired. In 1995, he was honored with the Medal of Arts and Letters by the Minister of Culture in France. In 1997, Pitof took on the role of both visual arts director and second unit director for Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Alien: Resurrection and consequently won second prize for visual effects at Imagina that year.
Pitof made his feature film directing debut with Vidocq (2001), a French-language period piece starring Gérard Depardieu that was the first major release to be shot entirely on the Sony-Panavision digital video format that George Lucas had developed. The film was a commercial success and garnered many awards, including Best Directorial Revelation, Best Film, and Best Visual Effects at the Catalonian International Film Festival in Spain.