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John Michael Teska (born 1966; age ~58) is a visual effects designer and CGI artist who has designed many effects for Star Trek over the years. While working as the digital effects supervisor for Foundation Imaging, one major effect he worked on was the crash-landing scene for Star Trek: Voyager's "Timeless".

His first contribution Star Trek was the creation of the Hanonian land eel for VOY: "Basics, Part I". At the time the creature expert at Foundation, his work convinced visual effects producer Dan Curry to contract Foundation to do the CGI effects for Voyager. Further contributions include creating additional 3D matte elements for Star Trek Nemesis and working on Star Trek: Enterprise while employed by Eden FX, from 2002 onward. While working on Enterprise, Teska was responsible for creating the scenes first shown in "The Council" featuring the CG Xindi-Insectoids and Xindi-Aquatics. Interviews of Teska discussing their creation, as well as the creation of the CGI Gorn featured in "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II", were both featured on the special features of the ENT Season 4 DVD.

Upon closure of Foundation Imaging in 2002, Teska moved over to Eden FX, and kept on working on the remainder of the Star Trek television franchise, as well as providing additional 3D matte elements for Star Trek Nemesis.

Teska won Emmy Awards for his work on the visual effects for the Voyager episodes "Dark Frontier" and "Endgame". He also received additional Emmy nominations for Voyager's "Year of Hell, Part II", "Timeless", and "Workforce" and the Enterprise episodes "Dead Stop" (but that did win him a Visual Effects Society–VES–Award), "The Crossing" and "The Council".

Outside the live-action Star Trek productions, Teska has been a prolific contributor to the Star Trek: Ships of the Line calendars, much of which reproduced in its 2006 book derivative.

Career outside Star Trek[]

A 1988 graduate from the North Carolina State University, with a degree in Visual Design, Teska started his professional career in 1988, first in the employ of David Allen Productions and subsequently at Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc., having worked as puppet designer and puppeteer on productions like Puppet Master (1989 and its two follow-ups in 1991), Tremors (1990), Death Becomes Her (1992), Alien 3 (1993) and Demolition Man (1993) In 1993 he joined the new company Foundation Imaging and it was there that he made the transition to creating his creature designs as CGI effects. While in their employ he worked, apart from Voyager, on Babylon 5 and on Hypernauts as well. He shortly left Foundation in 1995 to join newly firmed Digital Muse, but within a year, he returned to Foundation.

After Star Trek, Teska has remained in the employment of Eden FX until 2009, having worked on productions such as When Zachary Beaver Came to Town (2003), The Passion of the Christ and Hellboy (2004), Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005), Shoot 'Em Up and Battlestar Galactica: Razor (2007) as well as J.J. Abrams' and Damon Lindelof's Lost (winning him his second VES award in 2006, shared with, among others, Eric Chauvin) and Surface (winning him a ninth Emmy Award nomination in 2006, shared with Mitch Suskin, Dave Morton, Eric Hance, Pierre Drolet, Eric Chauvin and Steve Fong, as well as his third VES nomination, shared with Eric Hance, Robert Bonchune, Sean M. Jackson). In December 2008 he joined Industrial Light & Magic as creature technical director and has worked on Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009 and its follow-up in 2011), Rango and Cowboys and Aliens (2011) and Battleship (2012).

Star Trek awards[]

Emmy Awards[]

Teska received the following Emmy Award wins and nominations in the category Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series:

Visual Effects Society Awards[]

  • 2003 VES Award win in the category Best Models and Miniatures in a Televised Program for the episode "Dead Stop", shared with Koji Kuramura, Pierre Drolet and Sean M. Scott

Star Trek interviews[]


Further reading[]

External links[]