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Robert McCall

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

Robert "Bob" Theodore McCall (23 December 191926 February 2010; age 90) was an artist renowned for his space exploration-themed artwork. He was one of the production illustrators, employed by Entertainment Effects Group, on Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Succeeding Maurice Zuberano as lead illustrator for the V'ger concept, a very important part of his responsibilities was the pre-production visualization for the producers of it and the interactions with it. One of his (non-Star Trek related) paintings was on display in a lounge on board the USS Enterprise in The Motion Picture. [1]

Brought in on the production in March 1979 by Visual Effects Director Douglas Trumbull, McCall had already been interviewed for the position nearly two years earlier, in early August 1977, for the immediate predecessor of the Motion Picture, Star Trek: Phase II. On that occasion however, he was passed over by Art Director Joe Jennings in favor of Jenning's former protégé, Mike Minor. Trumbull had previously worked with McCall on 2001: A Space Odyssey and the two men became close friends on that occasion. (The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, p. 37; Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 8,  p. 70)

Career outside Star Trek Edit

His work on The Motion Picture notwithstanding, he is perhaps best remembered for creating the poster artwork for Stanley Kubrick's acclaimed 1968 science fiction film, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

McCall's work first acquired recognition when several of his paintings were featured in LIFE magazine for a series of stories on the future of space travel. Author and Star Trek The Motion Picture scientific advisor Isaac Asimov described McCall as the "nearest thing to an artist in residence from outer space." [2]

McCall created a number of stamps and insignia patches for NASA during the 1960s and 1970s, including the Apollo 17 mission patch. He also created murals for the walls of the Smithsonian Institute, the Pentagon, EPCOT, and Johnson Space Center. His most famous piece is believed to be "The Space Mural, A Cosmic View," a six-story-high painting on display in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. [3] [4]

In addition to his work on 2001 and Star Trek, McCall created the poster artwork for the films Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970), and Disney's The Black Hole (1979). [5] He also created the art for twenty-one space-themed United States postage stamps. In 1982, he published his own book, entitled The Art of Robert McCall: A Celebration of Our Future in Space. [6]

Later in life he befriended fellow Arizonian, John Eaves, likewise a Star Trek illustrator, who was an admirer of him, as were many other Trek production staffers. [7]

McCall died of a heart attack in Scottsdale, Arizona on 26 February 2010. He was 90 years old. [8]

Further reading Edit

External links Edit

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