Big Movie Zone Blog Press Releases Teacher's Guides Community
Browse Movies

Director Profile: Ben Stassen

bigImage


Occupation: Director, Co-Founder nWave Pictures
Active Years: 12
Birthplace: Belgium

A graduate of USC's School of Cinema and Television, Ben Stassen began his career in the film industry by producing My Uncle's Legacy, a film that earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in 1990.

It was during the making of his second feature film that the Belgian native was introduced to the Brussels-based company, Little Big One. A high-end computer graphics company, Little Big One enlisted Stassen's talent as a filmmaker to help get their work acknowledged by the international film community. Stassen welcomed the challenge and suggested that the company use CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) technology to make a simulator ride film as a way to showcase their work in high-end venues around the world. He met with Showscan Entertainment and got them interested in tackling the challenge of producing Devil's Mine Ride, one of the first high-resolution computer graphics films in the large screen format. Devil's Mine Ride achieved huge success and set the precedent for many other ride films to come.

Stassen went on to co-found nWave Pictures with D&D Media Group, the largest television production company in Belgium. As a content producer, D&D Media Group welcomed the idea of setting up nWave Pictures not as a service company doing production for third parties, but as a fully integrated digital studio developing, financing, producing and distributing products for the location based entertainment market. The plan was a solid one-in less than five years Stassen produced 17 ride films and has built the largest independent library of motion simulation films available in all formats.

In 1996, nWave had the privilege of producing three CGI sequences for Special Effects: Anything Can Happen, a WGBH/Nova giant screen production directed by Ben Burtt. The success of that venture inspired Stassen to move nWave into the giant screen industry head first and undertake their own in-house production. What emerged was the company's first feature-length giant screen film and Stassen's first directorial effort, Thrill Ride: The Science of Fun, co-financed with and distributed by Sony Pictures Classics. The success of Thrill Ride fostered further giant screen efforts, which include 3-D Mania: Encounter in the Third Dimension, Alien Adventure, and Haunted Castle-all directed by Stassen.

In the Fall of 2006, Stassen embarked on his most ambitious project yet, Fly Me to the Moon, the first feature length animated film designed and created in 3D for a 3D only release.

Director Credits

Related Articles

nWave Begins Prod'n on Fly Me to the Moon By nWave Pictures (October 10, 2005)

Wild Safari 3D Interview: On-screen Field Guide Liesl Eichenberger By BMZ Staff (June 27, 2005)

Stassen - 'S.O.S.' For Planet, and Industry? By BMZ Staff (February 2003)

nWave, WWF-Netherlands Team Up in Big Movie Project By Bob Mazza (August 20, 2001)

Where Are Big Movies Headed? By Ross Anthony (5/2001)

Stassen Speaks on Haunted Castle Controversy By Ross Anthony; Mark Kresser (Addition) (February 5th, 2001; April 2nd, 2001 (Addition))

Encounter -- The Interview By Ross Anthony (1999)