Portland, Oregon’s creative powerhouse Bent Image Lab recently welcomed award-winning director and animator Stefan Nadelman into their fold. Nadelman whose recent animation work includes commercials for Nike Red Write the Future, The Ghetto Film School, the documentary American Teacher and the film Connected: A Declaration of Interdependence brings to Bent his imaginative style in motion graphics, music videos and animation.

“[Nadelman has] a similar passion to excel at unusual visions with great clarity. His work has a rich variety that is both very graphic and yet very texturally gritty and real,” says Bent Partner David Daniels. “…this combined with wit, charm and humor makes him truly BENT”.

“I’m excited to be a part of a local community comprised of incredible talent,” says Nadelman. “[Bent] made an impression on me and became a place that I’ve always been interested in.”

Nadelman’s previous work includes his multiple award-winning documentary short (winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize) Terminal Bar, a clever retelling of America’s wartime history entitled Food Fight, a hilarious episode of Saturday Night Live’s TV Funhouse, visually moody music video’s for rock bands Menomena and Ramona Falls, and many dynamic commercial spots for clients such as Nike, HBO, VH1, ESPN, Mike&Ike, and AT&T, among others.

“Stefan’s much more than a moving image-maker who creates pretty pictures.  He’s a storyteller in the truest sense of the word,” says Bent partner Chel White. “His narratives come from a unique perspective, and they are infused with humor, drama and unexpected visual flourishes.”

Nadelman’s unique approach comes from his master control of the two-and-a-half-dimensional aesthetic. At Bent, Nadelman will bring fully tracked live action elements and full CG pieces into his already complex web of virtuoso 2.5D. “His use of 3D photo sequences as manipulated textural elements within a greater graphic flow is astonishing,” says Daniels.

Nadelman came to directing organically. Always a lover of animation, the access to the medium was limited during his college years. He chose to study graphic design at Iowa State University and after working in that medium he eventually found himself experimenting with linear editing. He decided to combine his love of animation with his ability to export QuickTime’s to create his first short film Latin Alive. Latin Alive was well received and included in the Best of Resfest vol. 1 DVD in 2000. Encouraged by his early success, Nadelman began work on a new short entitled Terminal Bar while working in web design/animation. He created the film utilizing photographs taken by his father circa 1970’s and early 1980’s of Terminal Bar patrons in New York City. After Terminal Bar’s release the flood gates opened for Nadelman and he began getting work in motion graphics. Terminal Bar won several awards including the jury prize for short film from the Sundance Film Festival and the audience choice award from the Resfest Film Festival. From there Nadelman compiled an impressive body of work in commercials, shorts and music videos. Now Nadelman will continue building his brilliant mosaic at Bent.

“Stefan is an exceptional artist.  He could have taken his talents just about anywhere. Bent’s Executive Producer Tsui Ling Toomer is largely responsible for our new association with Stefan,” says Bent Partner Ray Di Carlo.  “We have always loved his work, and when Stefan first moved to Portland 5 years ago, Bent and Tsui Ling, had the opportunity to help him produce one of his projects.  They have remained close ever since.”

“I love it and I can’t think of doing anything else besides animating and directing,” Nadelman says.

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Chris Arrant

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