Justin Katz: 2013 Big Brain Awards Finalist, Design

You submitted nominations for awards given to the Valley's emerging creatives and the results are in. Introducing our Big Brain 2013 Finalists.

Leading up to the Big Brain Award awards announcement and celebration on April 27, Chow Bella and Jackalope Ranch will introduce the finalists.

Up today: Justin Katz

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photos by Katrina Montgomery, design work by Justin Katz

You get a pretty good feel for Justin Katz's design sensibilities before you even get all the way into his home. The living room is co-habited by an iconic Eames chair and a classic Pin*Bot pinball machine; Katz navigates the balance between professionalism and playfulness effortlessly.

See also:
- Announcing the 2013 Big Brain Finalists
- Meet New Times' 2013 Big Brain Finalists and Celebrate the Winners at Artopia on April 27

iGo Vampire Power from Flock of Pixels on Vimeo.

The 30-year-old motion designer, creative director, and producer at Flock of Pixels has his degree in film and animation from the Rochester Institute of Technology but says he's been making visual stories since childhood. "I'm pretty sure I made a South Park version of Macbeth for my high school English class," he recalls, laughing. "I would do all different kinds of stop motion on Post-it notes."

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Justin Katz
The practice must have come in handy, because Katz won his first set of Rocky Mountain Emmys (the guy currently has five) for a stop-motion video he created for Massage Envy in 2011. The Valentine's Day ad featured footage of candy hearts dancing across the screen. It looks simple, but when Katz explains his moving each individual heart frame by frame, we can understand why his website lists "patience" as one of his production tools.

As Flock of Pixels, Katz works in two ways. The first is sourcing out his individual talents as a motion designer or animator. The second is full production of a video, for which he hires additional creative talent. "I realized how I was working before. I was always collaborating with another designer, another animator, whoever it was," he says. "I realized we could be this flock of creatives."


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