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Apogee, Inc.

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Apogee Productions, Inc., originally known as Apogee, Inc., was a full service visual effects (at the time still called "Special Effects") company created by John Dykstra in 1978, after he left ILM, and had its office located in Van Nuys, CA. [1] It was formed after the Battlestar Galactica movie (which became the series pilot) moved to Universal Studios. Apogee was primarily formed out of ILM employees working on the project before the move.

Epsilon IX station studio model filmed on stage at Apogee Inc by Michael Lawler

Michael Lawler setting up an on-stage shot of the Epsilon IX model at Apogee

The first major movie project for the company was models and miniatures manufacturing as well as designing, shooting and editing key visual effects scenes for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, as the company was brought in by Douglas Trumbull to help out with the troublesome production of that film. For the production, Apogee rented a facility in the San Fernando Valley. The scenes Apogee was entrusted with, were the opening Klingon scene, the digitizing of Epsilon IX station scene, the wormhole mishap sequence, and the V'Ger approach scenes.

Part of their responsibility was having their, by Grant McCune supervised, model shop built a number of studio models for the film, including two two-foot articulated thruster suit puppets, three models of the Epsilon IX station, interior and exterior sections of V'Ger (for which Gregory Jein was brought in) as well as extensively modifying Magicam's D7-class model for it to become the K't'inga-class model.

The company nearly ceased its existence in the fall of 1982, when Dykstra dismantled the company due to the lack of commercial projects. However business picked up shortly afterwards, beginning with Clint Eastwood's movie, Firefox (1982), and the company was revitalized (as "Apogee Productions, Inc." from 1989 onward) [2] Ten years later however, late 1992, Dykstra closed down the company permanently, when he left to join Los Angeles based "Eggers Films". [3]


People employed at Apogee, Inc. at the time of the production of The Motion Picture included:

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