Sunday, February 27, 2005

How he got started

"My last year at HSU, my fellow students were kind enough to grant me a one man exhibition of painting, and during that time by a remarkable coincidence, Marcia Lucas, who was George Lucas' wife at the time, was visiting to give a series of talks on film editing. She happened to stroll by the little gallery and saw some of my paintings, and came and talked to me about them, and told me I should look into doing matte paintings.

So I was invited down to ILM, got a lot of advice and pointers on doing matte paintings, and they set up some meetings for me, so after school I went to Universal Studios and started on Buck Rogers and the original Battlestar Galactica"...

Then [many] features later working for various facilities, I was invited by Paramount Pictures to work on Star Trek. It sounded like a good idea, I thought it would be a four month project to help this little pilot get off the ground, and 18 years later I'm working on the final episode of Star Trek."

On the importance of the Peace Corps and his education in his work for Star Trek

After obtaining his undergraduate degree in art, Curry went into the Peace Corps. "It had a profound effect on my life. I learned something very important. In this country we say there's the First World and the Third World. But I really discovered that there is no Third World---there is only one world and we all live in it together. And that we should start making our international policies based on that fact."

"I had the rare opportunity to live in rural Thailand building small dams and bridges, but what I contributed to the people there was a small part of what they contributed to me. Since then I've become aware that everything you experience in life becomes part of your career, whether directly from the educational system or from some stuff that happens by surprise, and much of what I encountered in Thailand became part of Star Trek, especially the Klingons. They were much influenced by people in the Himalayas and Southeast Asia, and the protracted period of my misspent youth that I spent in sword schools."

After the Peace Corps and a few years teaching art at a community college on Cape Cod, Curry entered the graduate program at Humboldt State University, and "another profoundly influential period of my life." He thanked the faculty members by name (several of whom were present for his talk) and added that his relationship with fellow students were "just as influential in shaping my opinions about things, because of their dedication to the art of theatre and film, and their dedication to integrity."

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