Pete Kozachik is an award-winning animator, visual effects artist and cinematographer, who will present a 20th anniversary screening of his first major film, the animated classic The Nightmare Before Christmas, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. Peteâ€™s other credits include Corpse Bride and Coraline. Peteâ€™s next project has just been announced: Auntie Claus, a stop-motion animated feature based on Elise Primaveraâ€™s book. Pete is also the brother of Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik.
"A work of grand visual wit, clever songs, funny gags and genuine pathos, it is perhaps the greatest stop-motion animated film ever, a painstaking style of model animation that computers have all but completely done away with." - Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
â€śTâ€™was a long time ago, longer now than it seems, in a place that perhaps youâ€™ve seen in your dreams. For the story you are about to be told took place in the holiday worlds of old. Now, youâ€™ve probably wondered where holidays come from, if you havenâ€™t Iâ€™d say itâ€™s time you begun.â€ť
And so begins Tim Burtonâ€™s fanciful tale of Pumpkin Kings, Oogie Boogies, and Sandy Claws, The Nightmare Before Christmas. Filled with terrifyingly beautiful sights and one hell of a catchy soundtrack, The Nightmare Before Christmas tells the simple story of Halloween Townâ€™s most famous citizen, Jack Skellington, and his desire to bring the colorful joy of Christmas Town to the German-expressionistic gloom of his community of ghouls through some of the most remarkable stop-motion animation ever seen. (Dir. by Henry Selick, 1993, USA, 76 mins., Rated PG)
About Pete Kozachik
Animator, visual effects artist, and cinematographer Pete Kozachik began collaborating with Henry Selick in 1990, and was the director of photography on the directorâ€™s features James and the Giant Peach (for the stop-motion portions) and The Nightmare Before Christmas. On the latter, Mr. Kozachik was also part of the movieâ€™s visual effects team, and as such was an Academy Award nominee.
He was the cinematographer on Tim Burtonâ€™s Corpse Bride, directed by Mike Johnson and Tim Burton; that stop-motion project was lensed with digital SLR cameras, which had never previously been used for an animated feature.
The Michigan native began his career working as an assistant to an industrial filmmaker while studying graphic arts and physics in school in Arizona. By the time Mr. Kozachik moved to Los Angeles circa 1980, he had directed local area television news and variety shows; shot and edited documentaries for a PBS affiliate; and produced and directed commercials as well as two low-budget animated films. He has since worked on over three dozen features, including James Cameronâ€™s The Abyss and George Lucasâ€™ Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and several hundred commercials.