When Will Vinton began clay animating, we doubt he knew how he would end up. He first began making independent films at Berkeley in 1966. He is a big part of clay animation's history, considering some of the things he and his studio have accomplished. From Closed Mondays, one of this very first film collaborations that also won him an Oscar in 1974, to the recent The Adventures of Mark Twain, this man has done it all. His studio filmography is amazing. You may know him and his studio best by what might be their most popular creations: those hard-partying California Raisins.
In 1987, Will Vinton made a documentary explaining the process of clay animation. It was titled Claymation, and it became Vinton Studio's registered trademark. He definitely pioneered many of the techniques used by clay animators today and this was the first film ever made explaining the process of clay animation.
Even though Vinton has received numerous international awards ("we stopped counting around 350") and critical acclaim, not until recently have any of his rewards been monetary. It may have taken a long time for his work to pay off (literally) but the world of clay animation is in tremendous debt to him. His work has done unbelievably good things for clay animation. Will Vinton currently continues to live in Portland, Oregon (his design studio is located there) with his wife and their three children.