David K. Stewart, a special effects director of photography on numerous films including “Star Trek — The Motion Picture,” for which he received an Academy Award nomination, died Oct. 16 of a sudden heart attack at Holy Cross Hospital in Granada Hills. He was 60.
A native of Indiana, he moved to Los Angeles with his family when he was five years old. He later attended Long Beach City College, where he graduated in 1957 with a degree in photo journalism.
Stewart and his wife, Pat, relocated to Mexico City, where they opened a photography business. They returned to Los Angeles shortly thereafter where Stewart took a low level job as a film loader trainee for Dickson-Vasu Camera Service.
After working his way up to assistant cameraman, Stewart joined Robert Abel Films, and for the following five years was involved in the design and photography of commercials utilizing special effects.
Stewart’s feature film career began in 1976-77 when he worked on “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”
He became a director of photography during the filming of “Star Trek — The Motion Picture” and garnered a Visual Effects Oscar nomination for his work on the film.
He subsequently served as the special visual effects DOP on “Close Encounters of the Third Kind — Special Edition,” “Blade Runner,” The Outsiders,” “Brainstorm” and “2010.”
In addition to his wife, Stewart is survived by two sons, two grandchildren and a sister.