Creating the Majestic World of Stop Motion

WITH Director of Photography Joe Passarelli

Kino Society

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Wonder no more how stop motion movies are made! Today’s guest is Joe Passarelli, a Cinematographer and Director of Photography, who was part of Anomalisa, the amazing film that won the Grand Jury Prize at the 72nd International Film Festival from Venice. It quickly earned praise for its stunning visuals and Passarelli’s ability to make an animated film feel like a narrative feature. Born and raised in a small town in the Midwest, Passarelli graduated from Columbia College Chicago, and continued his film studies at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. Once settled in L.A., he met a lot of people from the film industry, and got into the stop motion world. He made an artistic bond with the supervisor of his thesis, Duke Johnson, who called him a few years later to do Anomalisa with him. Currently, he works as a lighting technician on TV shows and shoots quite a few live-action movies. His passion and talent for stop motion are more alive than ever, with projects developing and many others to come.


  • Joe recounts how his journey in the movie industry began.
  • He tells how he works with stop motion.
  • He comments what he believes makes his work different from others.
  • The filming process of Anomalisa: from crowdfunding to investors coming on board.
  • Joe differentiates between filming animated movies and filming in real life, and why animation requires much more advanced planning.
  • He gives advice for people who want to succeed in the film industry; the importance of working as much as you can.
  • Joe tells what’s next for him and what upcoming projects are on the way.

To learn more about Joe, visit his website.

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