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Visual-Effects Coordinator Edward L. Williams Blasted Into Industry With ‘Star Trek’

Many visual-effects pros start out as genre geeks, dreaming of someday working on a “Star Wars” or a “Batman” movie. Visual-effects supervisor Edward L. Williams won an Emmy for “Star Trek: Voyager” in 1995, though he’d never had that dream.

Years earlier, he’d been a file clerk in Paramount’s legal department. He discovered he had an affinity for post-production when he was dating a woman who worked in the studio’s trailer department — so he became a post coordinator, working on sitcoms. It was then that a buddy asked if he’d come over to “Star Trek: The Next Generation” as a VFX coordinator.

“I was not a Star Trek geek or a sci-fi geek at all,” says Williams. “I looked at it as another experience, growing my knowledge of visual effects, and working on a top show at the time in Hollywood. So I didn’t jump on a chair with joy like, ‘Woo, Star Trek!’”

But moving to “Star Trek: The Next Generation” would prove instrumental. Williams was hooked the first time he shot a model and saw the composite come together. He remembers thinking, “‘Hey, I shot that! This is very cool. I can do this job and learn to love this job.’ The rest was icing on the cake: shooting aliens and people on green screen, beaming people out and beaming them in.”

What really hooked him, though, was the opportunity to channel all his creativity into one shot, starting with nothing but a writer’s description, and bringing an image to life. Williams worked on 1988’s “War and Remembrance,” which won an Emmy for its special effects, and he’d love to do something else in the historical vein.

“I’d say ‘Game of Thrones,’ but I have a buddy working on the VFX of that show,” he admits. “So something educational, using my visual-effects knowledge to enhance the project.”

Boldly Going
Williams has worked on three “Star Trek” series and won an Emmy.
Stitchers (2015)
Sci-fi saga about a woman who hacks into the minds of the dead
The Devil’s Advocate (2007)
Taylor Hackford horror thriller starred Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, and Charlize Theron
Star Trek: Voyager (1995-97)
Williams won a visual effects Emmy for the UPN series; he also worked on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation”
War and Rememberance
He designed miniatures for this Emmy-winning ABC miniseries

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