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Christopher Ross

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Christopher "Chris" S. Ross was a model maker who has worked on several studio models that were used in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, while in the employ of Magicam, Inc.. In 2012, Ross came full circle, working as conceptual illustrator for Star Trek Into Darkness.

Freshly graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California (as was his fellow Magicam co-worker Mark Stetson and which also counts William Ware Theiss and Andrew Probert among their alumni), Ross started his professional career at Magicam in 1978 (though he had worked the previous year, supervised by Douglas Trumbull as an uncredited intern on Close Encounters of the Third Kind). His first assignment was helping his supervisor Jim Dow drawing up a preliminary set of engineering drawings for the new eight-foot Enterprise studio model. Though Probert and Art Director Richard Taylor, had yet to start with the final re-design work, it was by then decided to stick with the established lines of the famed starship which enabled Dow and his crew to start with the construction of the model, thereby saving precious time. (American Cinematographer, February 1980, p. 153)

After this chore Ross worked on several of the studio models, the company was tasked to construct, among others the spacedock model, and the travel pod studio model. Still, Ross' most noticeable contribution was the D7-class model, when he was appointed lead modeler on its construction. [1] His build as finished however, was not shown on-screen, as further embellishments on the model were deemed necessary, done at Apogee, Inc., resulting it becoming the K't'inga-class.

Upon completion of The Motion Picture, Ross stayed with Magicam for the remainder of its existence and worked on Carl Sagan's critically acclaimed documentary series Cosmos (1980). After the company went out of business, Ross, working for among others Apogee Inc., continued to work as model maker for productions such as Airplane! (1980), Blade Runner (1982, supervised by Trumbull and Richard Yuricich, and working with Stetson), Dune (1984), Lifeforce (1985, featuring Patrick Stewart), Invaders from Mars (1986), Out on a Limb, and Spaceballs (both 1987).

Around 1987, Chris Ross decided to switch specialism by adding graphics to his skills set, becoming an illustrator. From then on he worked as a concept designer of props, sets and studio models, and has worked on productions like My Stepmother Is an Alien (1988), Batman Returns (1992), Virus (1999), Minority Report (2002), The Island (2005), Iron Man (2008), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008, winning him a 2009 Excellence in Production Design Award, shared with among others Jane Wuu and Richard Bennett), Alice in Wonderland (2010), Cowboys & Aliens (2011, earning him a 2012 Excellence in Production Design Award nomination, shared with among others Scott Chambliss, James Clyne, and Scott Schneider), and Men in Black 3 (2012).

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