Sunday, February 27, 2005


As the audience watched his Emmy-winning reel from the Enterprise 3rd season episode, "Countdown," Curry mentioned that he had designed the Xindi acquatic species based on "a little known dinosaur, the Mososaurus." (For the uninitiated, the Xindi were aliens at the center of the year-long Enterprise 3rd season arc.)

He based the insectoid species on the fly. For the insectoid, an actor in a smooth bodysuit was photographed performing the actions, to guide the animator.

Will Actors Be Animated?

An audience question: Will there be a time that actors will be animated?

I think the technological possibility of doing that exists now, but I think audiences want to be told a story by live, living human beings. If you look at something like Final Fantasy---it looked very real , a wonderful art form, but ultimately people want to see living actors, whether on stage or on the screen.

What about bringing dead actors to life, like Humphrey Bogart?

That was done in France. Unfortunately, the Bogart estate prevented that from happening. But say you take a death mask from Abraham Lincoln and get an actor so you can do motion capture and, like Lord of the Rings or what we did with the Xindi, you have a character that's acted by an actor, [and you can use the Lincoln face.].. Ultimately it will be virtually indistinguishable, from having a computer generate an actor or having a real actor---it's probably happening in Washington now."

Effects and Story

"In Star Trek we try to recognize that story is king and that the visual effects only exist to serve the story, so when we create the shot we try to use the philosophy that if this were a real event---assuming that all Star Trek stories are based on true historical events--how would a great cinematographer photograph this event in a way that would delight and viscerally involve the audience? We try to help the audience share the experience that the characters are going through."

Curry also mentioned that "one of the most valuable courses I had here [at HSU] was a script analysis course... it enlightened me to find the medium layer in a story, because even if we're doing a space shot, it has to drive the story. Script analysis reinforces the value of interpretation of story."

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