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Stuart Baird (born 30 November 1947; age 74) is an English film editor and director of Hollywood films. In 2002, he directed Star Trek Nemesis. He also voiced the Scimitar computer in the film. He was born on the same day as Nemesis actor Jude Ciccolella.

Directing career

Prior to Nemesis, Baird directed the action films Executive Decision (1996) and U.S. Marshals (1998). The former featured Star Trek alumni Andreas Katsulas, Brad Blaisdell, Len Cariou, Tim Kelleher, Warren Munson, Richard Riehle, Eugene Roche, and Dey Young in the cast, while the latter had Daniel Roebuck. Jerry Goldsmith was the composer for both of these films, and went on to compose the music for Nemesis. Whether by coincidence or design, both of these movies as well as Nemesis had air decompression sequences in which people are blown out of an airplane (or, in the case of Nemesis, a starship) due to sudden air decompression.

In order to get the job directing Star Trek Nemesis, Baird re-edited some scenes for the Paramount Pictures films Mission: Impossible II (2000) and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001). Baird also served as an executive producer on the latter.

After the release and subsequent failure of Star Trek Nemesis at the box office, actors LeVar Burton and Marina Sirtis criticized Baird for not being knowledgeable about the Star Trek universe and for not even watching a single episode of Next Generation. Sirtis said that TNG was about the relationships of the crew, and Baird did not take that into account. Burton remarked on how, during the first six weeks of shooting Nemesis, Baird kept calling him "Laverne" and kept referring to his character as an alien. [1] [2](X) Production designer Herman Zimmerman described Baird as "a really good editor and as before we started shooting he was charming…as soon as cameras started rolling he became impossible to work with, nothing satisfied him". [3]

Baird later defended himself, saying that he wanted to make a film "that stands alone and doesn't rest on all the past history." Baird told BBC, "I know the fans take it hugely seriously. I took it very seriously to give you two hours of entertainment, with as much bang for your buck, and thrills, spills, emotion, and humour. That was my task, and not to get too precious about it." [4]

Editing career

Baird's primary occupation is that of film editor. It was in this capacity that Baird earned two Academy Award nominations: one for his work on the classic 1978 Superman film and another for 1988's Gorillas in the Mist. Baird also edited the classic 1976 horror film The Omen, which Jerry Goldsmith composed. Baird even co-edited Executive Decision (his directorial debut), working with Nemesis editor Dallas Puett.

Baird's first editing collaboration with Puett was 1985's Ladyhawke. The two later co-edited the 1992 film Radio Flyer and Baird's directorial debut, the aforementioned Executive Decision. Baird also worked with Puett on the films Demolition Man (1993, which featured Bill Cobbs and Bob Gunton) and Maverick (1994, which featured Stephen Liska, Henry Darrow, and William Marshall), with Puett serving as assistant editor. In addition, Baird worked alongside Puett when the former re-edited scenes for 2001's Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, which helped persuade Paramount to let Baird direct Star Trek Nemesis.

Other films that Baird has edited include the first two Lethal Weapon films (1987, 1989), Die Hard 2 (1990, which featured Colm Meaney, William Sadler, Robert Costanzo, and Sheila McCarthy), and The Last Boy Scout (1991, which featured Bruce McGill and Noble Willingham). More recently, Baird has been editing films for director Martin Campbell, including 2005's The Legend of Zorro (co-written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci) and the 21st installment in the James Bond franchise, Casino Royale (2006).

Baird edited the 2008 Columbia Pictures thriller Vantage Point, which featured Bruce McGill and Zoë Saldana in the cast. He also edited the 2010 film Edge of Darkness and another James Bond film, 2012's Skyfall, which was co-written by Nemesis scribe John Logan.

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Jonathan Frakes
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J.J. Abrams