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Joel Fletcher started his artistic journey where he grew up in Madison, Wisconsin. A prolific painter in high school, he originally considered a career in fine art or illustration; however, he was also greatly inspired by stop-motion films such as the original King Kong and the Ray Harryhausen movies. Deciding that stop-motion was "the ultimate art form," Joel decided to experiment with that medium and teach himself how to do it by focusing on animation instead of painting. College was not a viable option; therefore, he supported his independent filmmaking projects by working as a carpenter, waiter, and picture framer. In 1981, he managed to get a special filmmaking grant from the University of Wisconsin's Board of Regents. The grant helped to cover the production costs of his next project, done in the 16mm format, which took two years of spare time to complete. Entitled Fantascenes, it featured various avant-garde animated and live action short films and was broadcast by PBS station WHA-TV.

Due to limited opportunities in Wisconsin, Fletcher moved to Los Angeles in 1985 to further his dream of becoming a professional stop-motion animator. Not having any industry contacts, he found that finding work in the movie business was a struggle but his persistence paid off. Since animation jobs were not consistently available, he occasionally took on other gigs as a model maker, sculptor, and prop fabricator. Joel's skill and experience grew from on-the-job experience as well as learning from many great artists and directors of feature films, television, and commercial projects. He became an avid 3-D stereo photographer and often used that skill to document the various movie productions in which he was involved. During this period he met his wife, Cheryl, an entertainment industry production accountant. They married in 1993 and had their daughter, Caroline, a year later.

During 1994, sensing that digital animation was the way of the future, Joel bought a Macintosh computer and taught himself the basics of CGI through trial and error experimentation. His efforts succeeded as he joined the fledgling computer animation division at Disney a year later. That gig lasted nearly six years during which time Joel became a supervising animator and mentor in Disney's rapidly- expanding CGI division.

Leaving Disney in 2001, he decided to offer his professional services only as a computer character animator rather than as a manager or animation supervisor because animating gave him the most personal satisfaction. Joel continued on as a freelancer not only on movie and TV projects but also other fields of animation such as game cinematics and theme park attractions. He spent the better part of 2004-2005 living in New Zealand and working for Peter Jackson's Weta Digital then returned to Los Angeles where he continued to animate a variety of projects to this very day.

In 2006, Fletcher launched his website to showcase his various art and animation undertakings and share his behind the scenes tales. Later, feeling a personal loss from his inactivity in the traditional arts, Joel took up canvas painting during his spare time. After he retires from the entertainment industry, his goal is to eventually start a new career as a fine artist.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

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