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Stefan Nadelman


Five months have passed since Stefan Nadelman received the Jury Prize for a short film at Sundance for his inventive use of Flash in his film Terminal Bar, and his unique style is already beginning to be seen in the mainstream media.
The idea to use Flash to animate Terminal Bar came to Nadelman while working at Global Education Network, a New York-based company that makes animated college-course computer programs. He conceptualized the film while working on a program featuring an onscreen professor talking to students. The process used to make the professor speak was similar to the process used to animate Terminal Bar.
The Terminal Bar, located just west of New York’s Times Square, is where Nadelman’s father, Sheldon Nadelman, worked as a bartender. The film depicts characters from all walks of life—drag queens, old timers, winos, junkies—illustrating the transformation of the bar from an Irish pub to a gay bar.
Nadelman worked on Terminal Bar at his home on an Apple G4 . People told him, “You did the whole thing in Flash and not in After Effects? Are you crazy?” He describes his work with Flash as “intuitive.”
Nadelman looked through more than 2,500 still photographs his father took at the bar from 1972 to 1982. He selected many for scanning into Flash and cropped to make masks. Nadelman describes these masks as “rectangular boxes with rounded corners.” Up to three masks, panning and zooming, can appear on the screen at a given time.
“Everyone wants me to do something or add that look.” Nadelman said. HBO hired him to add his technique to a short video of actors at the Golden Globes. He is now working on spots for HBO promoting The Sopranos, The Wire, Sex and the City, Six Feet Under, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Nadelman describes his work for HBO as “fast-paced.” He also applied his style to VH1’s Fabulous Life series, working on the pilot for the Fabulous Life of J. Lo.
From the beginning, Nadelman wanted Terminal Bar to be fun and “completely experimental.” He calls the film a “family legacy” and a way to expose his father’s work.

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