(written from a Production point of view)
Dennis Charles Hoerter (born 19 March 1949; age 72) was an employee of Image G, during the period that company was involved with the Berman-era Star Trek television productions. Before joining Image G, shortly after that company was founded in 1985, Hoerter worked in the motion picture business as a carpenter and set constructor on productions like To Live and Die in L.A. (1985).
Image G, a company specialized in motion control photography, hired Hoerter as property master and as such Hoerter was responsible for all aspects of handling the physical studio models for use in filming and looking after the models when they were not in use. His responsibilities apparently also entailed chasing off burglars as his boss Tom Barron remembered, "We had an unsecure location in Hollywood that could be robbed. A guy walked in once, grabbed a TV, and walked up the alley with it. Dennis chased him, and he got on a bus, and the bus driver defended him; he didn't want a squabble, so he let the guy just take the TV on the bus!". Hoerter was already in the employment of Image G, when that company was contracted in 1987 to handle the motion control photography for the televised Star Trek franchise and has remained in their employment for as long as the company has been used for Trek. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 3, Issue 1, p. 63) Though he has been credited on IMDb as "motion control technician" for one episode only, "Conundrum", he has fulfilled that function for the entirety of:
- Star Trek: The Next Generation
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (for which he is also credited as prop maker)
- Star Trek: Voyager (until season four, when motion control photography was abandoned in favor of CGI)
Numerous behind-the-scenes pictures and footage exist in reference works and documentaries/special features – he himself having been featured in the "Departmental Briefing Year Five - Image G", TNG Season 5 DVD special feature – of Hoerter at work handling the models, that amply prove he had worked on all series. As such, Hoerter has arguably become the most visually documented Image G employee.
Apart from handling and taking care of the studio models, Hoerter also occasionally lent a hand in constructing props (credited as such for DS9) and specialty models such as the breakaway model of the original Borg cube. (TNG Season 4 DVD–special feature, "New Life and New Civilizations: The Best of Both Worlds") During his tenure at the Star Trek television franchises, Hoerter was the recipient of one Emmy Award in 1992 in the category Outstanding Individual Achievement in Special Visual Effects as well as a nominee in the same category on a subsequent occasion in 1996.
Between 2001 and 2006, after he was let go by Image G due to slow business, Hoerter worked in the same capacity for other effects companies including Digital Domain, for whom he worked (and was credited for) as a Miniature Rigger on the production of Star Trek Nemesis.
By 2007, Hoerter was back in the employment of Image G.
Emmy Award win and nomination in the category Outstanding Individual Achievement in Special Visual Effects:
- 1992 Emmy Award win for TNG: "Conundrum", shared with Robert Legato, David Takemura, Gary Hutzel, Patrick Clancey, Adrian Hurley, Adam Howard, and Don Lee
- 1996 Emmy Award nomination for DS9: "The Way of the Warrior", shared with Joshua Cushner, Judy Elkins, Steve Fong, Adam Howard, Gary Hutzel, Don Lee, Fredric Meininger, Glenn Neufeld, Scott Rader, Jim Rider, and Joshua D. Rose