Most of my two decades in the entertainment industry have been designing and building models for Visual Effects.
My Visual Effects career began in June 1978. I had taken a class in Architectural Model Making at Cal Poly, Pomona where I was pursuing my Architecture Degree. The instructor was a Visual Effects fan who had sold a few models to Battlestar Galactica and he gave me four phone numbers. One of these numbers connected me to Wayne Smith, who unknown to me, was a Theme Park enthusiast. When I mentioned my 1/1200 scale Theme Park model that I had designed and built, he had to see it. Within a few days, I was working as a model maker on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.
Over the years, I expanded my skills and started doing Prop Shop and Special Effects. For health reasons, I wanted to get away from the chemicals and dust of model making. In 1990, I began working with CAD, starting with CAD-Key but quickly switched to the more popular AutoCAD ©. I returned to college in 1993 and completed my Design degree in 1994. I returned to Model Making for 15 months to replenish my savings. I spent these 15 months working as Visual Effects Model Maker on Batman Forever and Independence Day - both the box office winners of their respective summers of 1995 and 1996. Three weeks after wrapping on Independence Day, I began my new career of Visual Effects and Computer Specialist Set Designer on Batman and Robin and never looked back. I left Model Making voluntarily to pursue something I liked better and my last two Visual Effects Model Making jobs were top rated projects.
I now have a number of Visual Effects Set Design credits to my name while also working on more conventional set Design.
There is sometimes an attitude in the Art Department that either people design sets, or if they lack design talent, they build them. They sometimes assume that I canít design scenery because I once built scenery. The truth is that as a Visual Effects Model Maker, I designed much of what I built. I have an AA degree in Architecture and a BA degree in Interior Design. I am proficient in several CAD and graphic computer programs. I am a better scenery designer for having 18 years experience building scenery.