Variety’s Creative Leadership Honoree Travis Knight Makes Bold Moves Onscreen and Off

Variety | 10/17/2018 | Karen Idelson


Deep in the pacific Northwest, in the rain-drenched, cold brew-infused world of Portland, Ore., Travis Knight has created something strange and very special. Over the past 15 years, the stop-motion helmer and producer has built Laika, a film studio that’s become famous for crafting movies by hand.

They’ve also been lauded for their cutting-edge technologies that they use in conjunction with their stop-motion art. In 2016, Laika won a Sci-Tech award from AMPAS for its 3D printing technologies.

Years - Kind - Artists - Hits - ParaNorman

It’s taken years to attract and develop the kind of unusual, gifted artists that can make hits including “ParaNorman” and the critically lauded “Kubo and the Two Strings.” But Knight, who describes himself as a lonely kid who loved to read and become immersed in stories, feels in sync with the creative family who’ve joined him there.

“We are a strange group of people, from all walks of life, from all over the world,” laughs Knight, who is receiving the Variety Creative Leadership Award on Oct. 17.

Community - People - People - Kind - Kid

“What I love about our community is that the people come from everywhere and all the people were all kind of the little weird artistic kid in their class and sat in the back and didn’t really get along with anybody, but they have something, some beautiful part of themselves, that was just aching for expression. And I think one of the things I’m most proud of is that we’ve created a home for those kind of people. It’s like Santa’s workshop if all the elves had piercings and neck tattoos.”

Sometimes he finds someone with a reel on the internet. Other times, there’s someone who has specialized in a craft so unique that it’s indispensable to stop motion. Just the same, don’t let the body art or scarifications of the staff distract you. Knight embraces the culture of his...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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