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(written from a Production point of view)

James "Jim" W. Veilleux (29 June 194424 November 2013; age 69) was the visual effects co-supervisor (Camera Supervisor) on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan together with Ken Ralston, while in the employ of Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). Veilleux expressed a keen interest in computer graphics, and the responsibility of supervising the work done in that department was reverted to him, which included overseeing the work done at the Graphics Group for the Genesis Demo. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 3, Issue 5, p. 19) Although The Wrath of Khan was his only Star Trek contribution, causing him to be all but forgotten as far as Star Trek was concerned, it was Veilleux, together with Ralston, who were the ones mainly responsible for conceiving and executing the visual look of the original crew Star Trek films as envisioned by director Nicholas Meyer.

Veilleux already had an earlier brush with the franchise in 1977, when he was approached by Producer Robert Goodwin to make visual effects contributions for the television project Star Trek: Phase II as Goodwin had stated in a progress report dated, 14 October 1977, "I need to get with Joe Jennings about the asteroid. If we wish to have one made, I suggest we begin soon. I have access to some existing asteroids through Jim Veilleux, an independent special effects cameraman. He will let us purchase them, or he will photograph them for us if we wish. They are "typical asteroids." If we are looking for something special, we should build it." (Star Trek Phase II: The Lost Series, p. 51) As Phase II shortly thereafter became Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Veilleux's potential contributions did not come to fruition on that occasion.

Jim Veilleux has (co-)authored two articles on his work for the movie, one that has appeared in the October 1982 issue of American Cinematographer, and an article on the same subject that was published in Starlog photo guidebook Special Effects, Vol. 4.

Career outside Star Trek

Hailing from Providence, Rhode Island, but raised in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Jim Veilleux obtained a BS in Nuclear Physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Nevertheless, in his youth Veilleux had developed a passion for photography and deviated from the scientific path by obtaining a Master's degree in Cinematography from the University of Southern California. After serving as 2nd lieutenant in the US Army during the closing stages of the Vietnam War, he pursued a career in the motion picture industry, which eventually resulted in his stint at ILM.

While not an ILM employee when that company was founded, Villieux joined shortly after that company's first production, Star Wars, and has contributed, mostly as effects cameraman, to some of the earliest productions of the company, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Dragonslayer (1981), and Poltergeist (1982), being his last involvement with ILM. Prior to ILM, Villieux worked as miniatures cameraman on the television series Jason of Star Command, also working in those years for the Encyclopædia Britannica Educational Corporation as an effects camera man, making educational films. One of these was Solar System (1977), on which he cooperated with writer/director Thomas G. Smith, [1] and which, catching the eye of ILM's founder, George Lucas, brought both Veilleux and Smith to his attention. [2]

Veilleux has only one other recorded motion picture credit to his name after his ILM years, From Time to Time (1992). After that he left the motion picture industry to work as an independent programmer and web developer, until his passing away in 2013.


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