Familiar – (Collaboration with Diane Christiansen) 2014
View trailer here

When an innocent decides it is not enough to live a life in a chomping maw, she ventures out into a strange and frightening landscape of dreams, melting trees and piles of dung. But is the new, unknown better than the old familiar?


Directed by Joel Benjamin
Produced and animated by Joel Benjamin, Diane Christiansen
Sound and Music by Steve Dawson

Technique: 2D analog and digitally drawn, stop motion with Buddha Board, After Effects cutout.

I’ve known Diane for several years now and absolutely adore working with her. Her work is fantastic and she’s incredibly sweet. We have very different tastes and methods but some similar sensibilities that worked pretty well for this collaboration.

Creatures are all designed by Diane and animated by the both of us as well as some of her interns.

Backgrounds were all stop motion with Buddha board – which is NOT at all meant for animation and why it was so much fun to work on. Basically it’s a white board that you paint onto with water. It ends up looking a bit like sumi ink and as it dries, it disappears. So it was a sort of forced time span. Experibuddha #2 was done using the same technique.




Flatpack Film Festival, Birmingham, UK

Tally Shorts Film Festival, Tallahassee, FL USA

Screening as part of as yet untitled show at Rule Gallery, Denver, CO. USA

August-October, 2015

Diane Christiansen” Glike Gallery, Culver City, CA USA

Mixed Media” Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, IL USA