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Steve Switaj

Owner/Engineer of Flying Wombat Industries, Head of Engineering of Laika Studios

Steve Switaj had a fascination with electronics from a young age. Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, his dad repaired electronic amusements – pinball machines, video games, jukeboxes – so Steve was always taking things apart and putting them back together. He wanted to be an engineer, but an equal interest in art and photography inspired him to take a different path: combining his love of mechanics and images through filmmaking.

After graduating from Full Sail's Film program in 1992, Steve moved to Hollywood, where he appealed to studios by showing off his technical expertise. He started working as a motion control camera operator, and it has since garnered him dozens of credits, including Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sin City, and Tree of Life.

Steve has successfully leveraged his passion into a full-fledged Hollywood career. He’s now head of engineering for Laika Studios, the largest stop-motion animation studio in the world. It’s here that he worked on a variety of acclaimed projects, such as Boxtrolls, Coraline, and Kubo and the Two Strings.

His love of gadgets has also translated into a business – he and his wife are the owners of Flying Wombat Industries, which provides custom electronics related to data capture and real-time previsualization for the filmmaking industry.

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Credits:
Kubo and the Two Strings, The Boxtrolls, Coraline, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I, Robot, Apollo 13, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Interview with the Vampire

Graduation Year:
1992

Fortunately I never had to grow up, I got into a business that lets me be a kid – go figure.”
—Steve Switaj
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