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RIP: Brent Chambers

Brent Chambers, founder of Flux Animation, died suddenly on Saturday.

Chambers and Flux made almost 20 original shows for TVNZ, most recently animated shows Little Monstar and Wiki the Kiwi, the latter created with former school-friend Stephen Maire, and the animated elements of Tiki Tour.

Flux animated Leanne Pooley’s 25 April, which premiered in Toronto last year. On its release here Chambers called the production a huge opportunity for Flux Animation. “Such is the nature of the New Zealand industry we do a lot of preschool shows. This lifts us up into a new category.”

Early in his career Chambers trained with former Disney animator John Ewing, who’d moved to NZ. Chambers took over Freelance Animators when Ewing retired. Two years later Chambers and his wife Sue founded Flux, which Chambers grew into the country’s longest-running animation studio. The first NZ TV show the company made was Tamatoa the Brave Warrior, followed by several others including The Adventures of Massey Ferguson, Buzzy Bee and Staines Down Drains.

Chambers continued to seek international work as he had when working with Ewing, and contributed work to a number of successful film, TV and advertising productions. One of the highest profile titles was Davis Guggenheim’s Oscar-winning doco An Inconvenient Truth.

In a statement on Monday, NZFC CEO Dave Gibson said, “Many of our staff have known Brent for a long time and had considerable interaction with him. He was a passionate advocate for the animation sector and his company has produced a wide range of commercial, television and short film animation… Brent will be sorely missed and our thoughts are with his wife Sue, his children and his many work friends and colleagues at Flux and across the industry.”

Flux’s work for international markets included CBS’ Hoops and Yoyo Ruin Christmas, which received three Annie nominations.

Chambers was a strong advocate for the animation sector in NZ, active in a number of industry groups and organisations.

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3 Responses

  1. Kevin Phillips

    I worked at Flux back in the early 2000’s, and it was the most memorable and enjoyable job I’d ever had. Brent, his passion for animation and his support for an industry he loved will be sorely missed by a lot of people, even more so by those who’ve had the chance to directly work with him.

  2. Glen Real

    Brent had a huge influence and passion for the animation industry and was instrumental in so many people’s careers. His drive and determination was inspirational, as was his commitment to growing our industry into a strong and vibrant community. I always enjoyed catching up with him and finding out what his next ideas and projects were, thankfully he was generous in sharing his extensive knowledge and insight and I gained so much out of our meetings. Brent’s passing leaves a massive hole in our industry and my sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends and the team at Flux. Aroha nui to you all.

  3. Adam Bennett

    So sorry to lose Brent, his advocacy for kiwi animation overseas was often overlooked. Hopefully we can all keep the beacon shining.