(written from a Production point of view)
John Howard Grower (born 21 September 1955; age 66), is a visual effects artist and has been the head of the special effects company Santa Barbara Studios (SBS), which he founded in 1990 and operated until 2002, and has worked, while operating his company, on several Star Trek productions, which included the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager, as well as the Star Trek films, Star Trek Generations, and Star Trek: Insurrection. Long before becoming CEO of SBS, he did, in an otherwise unspecified role, made an early uncredited contribution to the Star Trek franchise, while working in the employ of Robert Abel & Associates (RA&A) on Star Trek: The Motion Picture, or as he has put it, "I started in the late '70s in Hollywood and even worked a few months on the first Star Trek." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 121, p. 58)
John Grower has been interviewed on several occasions for various magazines regarding his, and his company's work on Insurrection. These interviews were published in, among others, Star Trek: Insurrection - Official Movie Souvenir Magazine, American Cinematographer, and Cinefex.
Grower received an Emmy Award nomination for his work on Star Trek: Voyager in the category Outstanding Individual Achievement in Graphic Design and Title Sequences in 1995, shared with Dan Curry, Erik Tiemens, and Eric Guaglione.
Career outside Star Trek
Starting out his motion picture industry career at RA&A, John Grower has, beside his work on The Motion Picture , worked as visual effects coordinator on Walt Disney's science fiction film TRON (1982), Prior to forming SBS, he served as director of production at the computer software company, Wavefront Technologies, which later merged with Alias Research to form Alias|Wavefront. It was their CGI software package, "Maya", that became the package of choice for SBS.
While operating his company, John Grower has outside Star Trek, worked as visual effects supervisor on productions such as the short documentary Cosmic Voyage (1996, along with Eric Guaglione, Kathi Samec, and Mark Wendell), the horror film An American Werewolf in Paris (1997), and the fantasy film The Little Vampire (2000), while he has, on personal title after the closure of SBS, worked as digital effects artist on the thriller K-19: The Widowmaker (2002) and the action film Torque (2004).
More recently he worked as visual effects supervisor for Cinesoup on the fantasy film The Thief Lord (2006), the action thriller Bangkok Dangerous (2008), the comic adaptation The Spirit (2008), the horror film Drag Me to Hell (2009), Something Borrowed (2011), and the Michael Jackson documentary This Is It (2009).
Star Trek interviews
- "Stellar Phenomena", Eric Frederickson, Star Trek: Insurrection - Official Movie Souvenir Magazine, 11 December 1998
- "Effecting an Insurrection", Ron Magid, American Cinematographer, January 1999, pp. 40-46
- "Visual FX", Larry Nemecek, Star Trek: Communicator issue 121, February/March 1999, pp. 52-59
- "Lost in the Briar Patch", Kevin H. Martin, Cinefex, issue 77, April 1999, pp. 68-95