Mark Sawicki

Animator & Visual Effects Artist, award winning special visual effects cameraman, author, and all around genius.

“Mark Sawicki has written a most informative and valuable book for anyone interested in the World of Animation. I wholeheartedly recommend this book…”
Ray Harryhausen
Stop Motion Animation Icon

About Mark

Mark Sawicki began as an actor and clay animator in Michigan. He attended the USC film school and entered the film industry as a lab technician at Cinema Research Corp. where he worked on the first SUPERMAN film. He later began working as a cameraman for Roger Corman's New World Studios on low budget sci-fi pictures such as ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK.  From there, he went on to shooting effects and creating award-winning animation for commercials, rock videos and 3D features including JAWS 3D and FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 3. 

In 1986, he became the matte photographer for Illusion Arts working under visual effects masters Albert Whitlock, Syd Dutton, and Bill Taylor.  During this period, while working on mainstream films Mark became an instructor for Kodak's Cineon system (a landmark digital film compositing system). After a 10-year stint of compositing matte paintings at Illusion Arts, for such projects as CAPE FEAR, THE BIRDCAGE and STAR TREK IV, Mark became a co-supervisor for Area 51 on Tom Hanks' FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON.  Mark was later the head effects camera supervisor and digital colorist for Custom Film Effects contributing to films such as GANGS OF NEW YORK, ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND and TROPIC THUNDER. 

He has authored three DVDs on the art of clay animation and a documentary TWILIGHT CAMERAMAN on the craft of optical printing available from  He teaches on-line at UCLA Extension and is a guest lecturer at the New York Film Academy.  He is also author of the book FILMING THE FANTASTIC: GUIDE TO VISUAL EFFECTS CINEMATOGRAPHY published by Focal Press.  Mark frequently performs as an actor in independent films.  While he no longer does clay animation, Mark continues to create whimsical clay cartoon characters for the fine art market.

Related Posts

Axtell Expressions - Puppet Performance and Puppetry from Design to Delivery
Behind The ScenesAxtell Expressions - Puppet Performance and Puppetry from Design to Delivery
Stop-Motion Animator and Effects Cinematographer Mark Sawicki tours Axtell Expressions - where Puppets are born and Imagination rules!
May 2013
New Lesson! Mirror Magic - Visual Effects Illusions of Light and Reflection
LessonsNew Lesson! Mirror Magic - Visual Effects Illusions of Light and Reflection
Mark Sawicki shares illusions for filmmakers with reflection and light: clever camera tricks using the unique properties of special mirrors.
March 2013
Stop-Motion bread monster aka "BREADWICH" terrorizes puppet-town for TOGO's
Behind The ScenesStop-Motion bread monster aka "BREADWICH" terrorizes puppet-town for TOGO's
A behind-the-scenes look at the creation, fabrication and photography of a new sandwich commercial, using classic stop-motion techniques.
February 2013