One of the stranger titles I've written, but the subtitle would be stranger: Lithuanian man uses stop motion to make insects dance and influences some of the most iconic films of all time.
Wladyslaw Starewicz, a Russian-born photographer and filmmaker was tasked with creating a video of stag beetles fighting. When they refused to do so under the lights, he forged himself a new path to the end result. That path was stop motion and it not only started his highly successful career in filmmaking, but heavily influenced major works in Hollywood over the next century. While not necessarily the inventor of stop motion photography, Starewicz' work — while initially simplistic — grew into complex movements of "puppets" with wire and plastic, and eventually becoming a hit in cinema of the era.
During World War 1, Starewicz worked as a director and cameraman for live-action features before fleeing to Paris to avoid the Red Army as they captured the Crimea. Once in France, he began work as a cameraman before falling back into filmmaking with puppets, producing multiple hit films which are still mentioned today. In 2009, Wes Anderson mentioned Starewicz' work "Le Roman de Renard" as inspiration for "Fantastic Mr. Fox".
A fascinating and bizarre history to a technique still popular today, albeit significantly easier to produce!