Diana Walczak

July 11, 2009

Artistic Director, Cofounder, Kleiser-Walczak. Photo: Franziska Walczak

In recent years, Diana Walczak has begun to focus on directing fully CG-animated projects. Walczak’s directing credits include the short film Little Miss Spider: Lost and Found, (a winner at the 2002 New York International Children’s Film Festival) and two stereoscopic projects: Corkscrew Hill (a 2002 Thea Award-winner) and Santa Lights Up New York (created for The Radio City Christmas Spectacular). Writing about Santa Lights Up New York in the New York Post, Liz Smith said, "This is the best short film of the year!" Walczak’s directing credits also include The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man (for Universal Studios Florida), the film for the Philip Glass/Robert Wilson digital opera Monsters of Grace, and the Clio Award-winning commercial Trophomotion.

Walczak is a computer graphics pioneer. She developed the first digital stunt doubles for Judge Dredd and co-directed the creation of two of the first digital human characters, Nestor Sextone and Dozo. In 1988, she and Jeff Kleiser coined the term Synthespian to describe the 3-D characters that they bring to life.

In the early days of Kleiser-Walczak, Walczak contributed to the animation and visual effects of Stargate, The Luxor Trilogy, and The Astronomers. In 1995, she sculpted Michael Jackson and created a digital representation of the artist for his HIStory album cover.

Prior to founding Kleiser-Walczak in 1987 with Jeff Kleiser, Walczak worked as a sculptor and medical illustrator. She studied engineering and computer science at Boston University, finishing with a degree in sculpture in 1985. Walczak’s traditional sculpting skills have been utilized in much of her work as a digital artist and director of computer animated characters. In recent years, she has moved from sculpting characters in clay to designing and sculpting characters with virtual clay, in the computer, using a haptic force feedback tool by SensAble Technologies.

Diana Walczak serves on the board of directors of the Norman Rockwell Museum. She is also on the board of the SEE Fund, an endowment that supports innovative extra-curricular educational projects for the Mount Greylock Regional School District. She lives in rural Massachusetts with her husband and three children.

See essays by this author:
Encompassing Education