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Koji Kuramura

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Frederick Koji Kuramura (born 24 August 1965; age 51), generally credited as "Koji Kuramura" but occasionally called "Fred" by close co-workers, such as his former boss at Foundation, Ron Thornton, was a CGI artist for Foundation Imaging and subsequently at EdenFX, after the former went out of business in 2002. He worked on numerous episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Enterprise, as well as the tenth feature film Star Trek Nemesis.

Kuramura's work on Deep Space Nine entailed among others the Defiant-class launch bay [X]wbm, and animating the Fire Caves sequence in "What You Leave Behind". For Voyager, his work included among others, constructing the warp nacelle interior for the USS Voyager crash sequence in "Timeless", the severely damaged USS Voyager in "Year of Hell, Part II", and the Unicomplex and the damaged Borg sphere in "Dark Frontier". (Star Trek Monthly issue 58)

For Enterprise, by then in the employ of Eden FX, noticeable contributions were the CGI models of the International Space Station featured in the opening titles of the series, the NX-class under construction Columbia NX-02 and the ISS Enterprise, as well as his CGI build of the USS Defiant. [1] Kuramura has counted his Enterprise builds of the Romulan Bird-of-Prey (22nd century) [X]wbm and the abandoned prime-universe D4-class [X]wbm among his personal favorites. His work earned Kuramura three Emmy Award nominations, one for the Voyager episode "Year of Hell, Part II", and two for the Enterprise episodes "Dead Stop" (which did win him a VES Award) and "The Council".

Besides the live-action Star Trek productions, Kuramura, despite his low profile, has been one of the most featured contributors to the Star Trek: Ships of the Line calendars, much of which reproduced in its 2006 book derivative. He has, to date, only appeared once in a live Star Trek interview in the "The Next Generation's Legacy: 2007"-special feature on the extra DVD disc of the TNG Complete Series Boxset.

Outside the official Star Trek franchise framework, Kuramura collaborated as CGI Artist on the 2006 vignette "Center Seat" of James Cawley's fan-made internet series Star Trek: New Voyages, which he has followed up with his participation in "Prelude to Axanar" (featuring a host of Star Trek alumni such as J.G. Hertzler, Tony Todd, Gary Graham and Kate Vernon), the 2014 introductory featurette to the fan movie Star Trek: Axanar, produced and co-written by, as well as featuring Alec Peters.

Career outside Star Trek Edit

Apart from Star Trek Koji Kuramura has worked as a special effects crew member on the short film The Blair Witch Mountain Project in 2002, directed and produced by, as well as starring Ike Eisenmann. Another film as digital artists is the horror thriller Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist in 2005, being employed at Eden FX alongside former Foundation co-worker John Teska. Kuramura has also contributed to the Electronic Arts, Inc. video game Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun - Firestorm (2000). [2]

In 2006, Kuramura was hired by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in order to create visualizations, for which his prior experiences on Star Trek were singularly well suited, of space exploration, or as Kuramura himself has put it, "Our job is to bring some Hollywood pizazz, the wow factor, to everything we do". [3] Former Foundation and Star Trek colleague Michael Stetson joined him at JPL. [X]wbm

After a long absence, Kuramura returned to the motion picture industry, having recently worked as digital modeler on Iron Sky (2012, along with former Foundation Imaging colleague Lee Stringer).

Star Trek awards Edit

Emmy Awards Edit

As CG Model Artist/(Lead) CGI Artist, Koji Kuramura has received the following Emmy Award nominations in the category Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series:

Visual Effects Society Award Edit

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

Bibliography Edit

External link Edit

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