Animator Owen Klatte working on his wood-carved stop motion animated film Of Wood

Milwaukee Animator Owen Klatte’s Wood-Carved Stop Motion Film

Check out the trailer (below) for Of Wood, an experimental short film created by Milwaukee animator Owen Klatte.

Klatte grew up in legendary Lake Mills and learned animation at UW-M. After school, he went to San Francisco where he worked on both stop motion and CG animated films. His credits include The Nightmare Before Christmas, Charlotte’s Web, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, and James and the Giant Peach, to name a few.

When Klatte retired, he returned to Milwaukee where he now teaches animation at UW-M.

“What got me excited about animation to begin with was going to the Oriental Theatre here in Milwaukee,” Klatte told Isthmus. “Every year they would have this collection of short, independent films from film festivals around the world. And I was blown away by those.”

Related: Did you know Monster House takes place in Mayville, WI? Here’s why.

For Of Wood, Klatte conceived of the idea of telling the story of man’s relationship to wood through a stop motion animation process that involved hand-carving every single frame from a piece of wood. Klatte took a few woodcarving classes, then spent the next four years carving out this unique short film in his basement. A single frame could take as long as three and half hours to complete.

2,600 hours of shooting later, Klatte emerged from his basement with this captivating 7-minute film.

Watch an interview with Klatte about the process (and even go down into his basement) right here.

Milwaukee animator Owen Klatte working on his wood-carved stop motion film Of Wood

Owen Klatte working on Of Wood in his basement

Watch the trailer for Of Wood:

Of Wood is currently screening at film festivals around the world.

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