(written from a Production point of view)
Neufeld was brought in during November 1992, halfway through the production of the first season of the new Star Trek television series, in order to alleviate the work pressure on VFX supervisors Gary Hutzel and Robert Legato at a time when the episode alternating two-team VFX format, employed so successfully for the predecessor series Star Trek: The Next Generation, was not yet hammered out satisfactorily. His first recorded credit was the fourteenth episode of the season, "The Storyteller". After the departure of Legato and starting with the second season, Neufeld paired up with David Takemura, who transferred from The Next Generation to form the second standing VFX team for Deep Space Nine. For that season's effects heavy episode "The Alternate", Neufeld brought in his immediately former employer, Video Image, to help out VisionArt Design & Animation with the CGI for the episode. At the end of the fourth season, in May 1996, Neufeld decided to leave the franchise and move on, "Shattered Mirror", his last recorded credit.
Having had only worked on movie productions before, Neufeld found working on a highly time-pressured television production, like Star Trek challenging at first, as he, only half-jokingly, admitted, "I honestly can't think of any effects job that's demanding as this one. Since we only have a few weeks to deliver our effects the question is. how much quality do I sacrifice to meet the schedule? My attitude is none, but then I find myself asking, what happened to my life? I thought I had a life here." (Cinefantastique, Vol 25 #6/Vol 26 #1, p. 100)
Though the practice of using Styrofoam camera test models for establishing, evaluating and devising studio model shots or footage had already been firmly established prior to him being hired on the franchise, it was Neufeld who in particular embraced the technique. For the second season Deep Space Nine episode "Sanctuary", in which a fleet of Skrreean refugee ships arrive at Deep Space 9, he took the technique to a whole new level, by taking the very unusual step of actually using the rudimentary models as filming models. "We had to to create all the ships they arrive in," he clarified, "The script read "There are more than ships at the station than we have ever seen before, a ship in every docking port and hundreds more lined up waiting to dock." As soon as you read something like that, you know you're in for a lot of late nights." Realizing there was no practical way to have each ship individually shot and edited in post-production, Neufeld, "(...)called in our foam fleet. We put them on C-stands, arranged them and shot them six to ten at a time. We'd made marks on the monitor to show where they were, then we'd rearrange them, move the camera further back to make them smaller and shoot them again. When we were finally finished we had this yellow brick road of ships going off in the distance." How unusual his approach was at the time, was realized by him when he got a call from post-production editing, "They told me the negative was covered in scratches, and I thought, my goodness, my shot's been ruined. It turned out to be the background ships. Some of them were so small that the people at the lab thought they were dirt." (Cinefantastique, Vol 25 #6/Vol 26 #1, p. 100)
According to his resume, Neufeld had been responsible for over 1000 individual effects and had contributed to more than fifty episodes. His work on the franchise has earned him and his team two Emmy Award nominations.
Career outside Star Trek Edit
The middle child of movie producer Mace Neufeld, Glenn Neufeld was born in his fathers birthplace and graduated from Columbia University, City of New York with a 1982 BA in Theater Direction. He joined his father on the West Coast and graduated with a 1984 BA degree in Computer Science and Mathematics at the University of California, Los Angeles as well.
Still, even before graduating in New York, Neufeld had already decided to follow in his father's footsteps by aspiring a career in the motion picture industry and has as production assistant, already contributed to the productions The Frisco Kid as early as 1979 and as still photographer, property master and assistant art director on the low-budget 1983 horror movie, Frightmare. This film featured Star Trek veterans Jeffrey Combs and Scott Thomson in the cast. After his graduation, Neufeld then served as production assistant in the 1985 adventure film The Aviator and even had a supporting role in the film. Neufeld is credited as Associate Producer for the films Transylvania 6-5000 (1985, starring Ed Begley, Jr.) and No Way Out (1987, starring Iman). He was also an assistant post-production supervisor on the latter film. Afterward, Neufeld joined the company Video Image (having already been an occasional CGI vendor for two of the Star Trek films), during which time he worked on films like The Hunt for Red October (1990, featuring Gates McFadden and on which a slew of Star Trek VFX staffers worked, most notably those of Gregory Jein, Inc.) and Batman Returns (1992).
While working on DS9, Neufeld took time off from the series to work as Visual Effects Supervisor on the 1996 comedy Jingle All the Way for 20th Century Fox, as well as writing the script for the un-produced Paramount Pictures movie project, Gypsy Trade. The latter earned him the right to join the Writers Guild Of America, West. Since leaving DS9, Neufeld has contributed or supervised visual effects work for such Paramount Pictures releases as The General's Daughter (1999, starring James Cromwell and Clarence Williams III), The Sum of All Fears (2002, featuring James Cromwell and Bruce McGill), and The Core (2003, starring Bruce Greenwood and Alfre Woodard). The majority of the movie productions Neufeld had worked upon up until that point in time, were not only Paramount Pictures productions, but also productions on which his father served as co-producer
Most recently, Neufeld was the VFX supervisor on the 2007 fantasy film Mr. Magoriam's Wonder Emporium, released by 20th Century Fox, as well as the productions The Expendables (2010), The Mechanic and Drive Angry (both 2011), Stolen (2012) and Big Thunder (2013).
Emmy Awards Edit
For his work on Star Trek Glenn Neufeld has received the following Emmy Award nominations as Visual Effects Supervisor in the category Outstanding Achievement in Special Visual Effects:
- 1995 for the episode "The Jem'Hadar", shared with David Takemura, Erik Nash, Joshua Cushner, Les Bernstien, Adam Howard, Patrick Clancey, and Don Lee
- 1996 for the episode "The Way of the Warrior", shared with Joshua Cushner, Judy Elkins, Steve Fong, Dennis Hoerter, Adam Howard, Don Lee, Fredric Meininger, Gary Hutzel, Scott Rader, Jim Rider, and Joshua D. Rose
Further reading Edit
- "Special Effects", Tim Prokop, Cinefantastique, Vol 25 #6/Vol 26 #1, 1994, pp. 99-102