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MF GALAXY

MF GALAXY is a weekly podcast powered by four mighty engines: * Writers on writing: the craft and the business * Pop culture including TV, movies, graphic novels, and more * Progressive politics, activism, and social enterprise * Africentric change-makers, histories, cultures, art, and more! Mixing brand-new interviews with classic conversations (from my archive of 23 years in broadcasting) with famous and dynamic figures in the arts, Hollywood, and politics, MF GALAXY will take you to places you've never been before, and deliver fresh insights on the places you've been.
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Now displaying: Category: Filmmaker - Visual Effects + CGI
Jan 28, 2019

Doug Drexler is an absolutely amazing artist in the magic of making movies and television. If you’re like me and grew up watching US science fiction and fantasy movies and TV, then you’ve definitely seen the make-up work of Doug Drexler in films such as The Hunger, Starman, Dick Tracy, and Star Trek: The Next Generation—he was the artist responsible for creating the decades-older Jean-Luc Picard in the classic episode “The Inner Light.” But even if you didn’t watch science fiction and fantasy, you probably saw his work in Manhunter, Liberace, Fatal Attraction, Three Men and a Little Lady, or The Cotton Club.

But unlike plenty of professionals who achieve expertise in their fields, Drexler chose to expand his range of excellence into other fields, thus ensuring his career longevity throughout changes in technology. He became a designer on shows including Deep Space Nine and Enterprise, and the movies Star Trek: Generations, First Contact, and Insurrection.

Then he went to work in visual effects, helping to create movies such as Starship Troopers and Defiance, and the TV series including Star Trek: Voyager, Battlestar Galactica, and Caprica, the pilot movie Virtuality, the Galactica web series Blood and Chrome, and the remastered director’s edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Drexler’s outstanding work won him a BAFTA, a Saturn Award, and an Oscar for Dick Tracy, two Emmy nominations for The Next Generation, and two Emmy Awards and a Visual Effects Society Award for Battlestar: Galactica.

Doug Drexler spoke with me by web video on December 21, 2018. We discussed:

  • How popular interest in space exploration is at an all-time low, while love of on-screen SF is at an all-time high
  • The difficulties for some of making a living in movies when movie-making technology has changed so much, and why he’s been able to embrace the changes
  • The triumphs of subtle CGI to create everyday scenes that viewers never notice, and
  • The economic case, even for fan and indie films, for building entirely digital sets for green screen, rather than practical sets using wood and paint.

 

LINKS THAT DOUG DREXLER HIMSELF PROVIDED:

Doug Drexler’s Vimeo page

Matt Jefferies Aviation Illustrator

Mike Okuda Introduction – Iconic Graphic Design – Arch II Class – Week 09

Andrew Probert – Redesigning Cultural Icons – Arch II Class – Art Center College of Design – Pasadena – Week 02

Herman Zimmerman – Designing in Realtime - Arch II Class – Art Center College of Design – Pasadena – Week 05

Joseph Hodges – Production Designer – First Trek Cutdown R02

 

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