The Nightmare Before Christmas with visual effects artist Pete Kozachik in person


“T’was a long time ago, longer now than it seems, in a place that perhaps you’ve seen in your dreams. For the story you are about to be told took place in the holiday worlds of old. Now, you’ve probably wondered where holidays come from, if you haven’t I’d say it’s time you begun.”

And so begins Tim Burton’s fanciful tale of Pumpkin Kings, Oogie Boogies, and Sandy Claws, The Nightmare Before Christmas. Filled with terrifyingly beautiful sights and one hell of a catchy soundtrack, The Nightmare Before Christmas tells the simple story of Halloween Town’s most famous citizen, Jack Skellington, and his desire to bring the colorful joy of Christmas Town to the German-expressionistic gloom of his community of ghouls through some of the most remarkable stop-motion animation ever seen. (Dir. by Henry Selick, 1993, USA, 76 mins., Rated PG)

About Pete Kozachik
Animator, visual effects artist, and cinematographer Pete Kozachik began collaborating with Henry Selick in 1990, and was the director of photography on the director’s features James and the Giant Peach (for the stop-motion portions) and The Nightmare Before Christmas. On the latter, Mr. Kozachik was also part of the movie’s visual effects team, and as such was an Academy Award nominee.
He was the cinematographer on Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, directed by Mike Johnson and Tim Burton; that stop-motion project was lensed with digital SLR cameras, which had never previously been used for an animated feature.
The Michigan native began his career working as an assistant to an industrial filmmaker while studying graphic arts and physics in school in Arizona. By the time Mr. Kozachik moved to Los Angeles circa 1980, he had directed local area television news and variety shows; shot and edited documentaries for a PBS affiliate; and produced and directed commercials as well as two low-budget animated films. He has since worked on over three dozen features, including James Cameron’s The Abyss and George Lucas’ Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and several hundred commercials.