Joey Shanks is a self-taught filmmaker who loves experimenting with new ways of working with cheap materials to create high quality special effects.
According to IndieWire, Shanks has teamed up with the people at PBS Digital Studios to produce a weekly series that explains how to produce DIY special effects for low-budget productions. His YouTube channel Shanks FX has explained how to create planets with dry ice bubbles and how to make stop-motion animations.
Working out of his home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Shanks works alone, shooting the material to use in other projects as well as shooting himself setting up the effects.
PBS Digital found Shanks after stumbling upon a Kickstarter campaign for one of his projects, SCI-FLY, where he was providing video updates that explained how he shot many of the film's scenes.
Shanks aims to have a new episode every week, and often supplies bonus content on Fridays. Because he hasn't been trained formally in photography or filmmaking, he prefers to work alone. ”I don't really know the terminology -- I'm not quite sure how to talk about f-stops or depth of field. With stop-motion and animation projects, it's just easier to have less people around.”