Nelson Lowry works as Production Designer for Laika in Portland, Oregon. He has been instrumental in helping Laika create such stop motion films as Coraline and the forthcoming ParaNorman. A few weeks ago, Lowry got up early and gave a presentation at the Northwest Film Center to a group of animation enthusiasts and creators as part of Portland’s CreativeMornings lecture series. These lectures by creative people take place monthly in cities around the world. You can find more information about them on their website.
Lowry’s 20 minute talk seems especially suited to the GeekDad audience. He traces his journey through the stop motion animation profession in the last 15-plus years, discussing the introduction of computers and CG. More interesting to me was his discussion on how 3D printers and laser cutters are changing the way in which stop motion animation is created. Did you know they hand craft each mouth expression on the face of a character with a 3D printer? He had pictures of library box after library box full of mouths. Another GeekDad connection: Lowry started out with Lego as a kid and sees his current work in animation as simply an extension of that early obsession with making stuff.
Lowry also briefly discusses working with directors such as Tim Burton and Wes Anderson, as well as his work on the forthcoming film ParaNorman. Lowry states that in ParaNorman he fulfilled a lifelong dream to create a world of his own imagination and see it incorporated into a film. ParaNorman is set to be released on August 17th.