(written from a Production point of view)
The Howard Anderson Company (also referred to as Anderson Co. or as Howard A. Anderson Co.) is a visual effects company (in the 1960s still referred to as special effects), founded in 1927 by Howard A. Anderson (1 June 1890 – 5 October 1979; age 89), which was the first company that catered to the visual effects needs for the very first Star Trek production, Star Trek: The Original Series.
The Anderson Company was run by his sons Howard A. Anderson, Jr. and Darrell Anderson in the 1960s, when The Original Series was being produced. The Anderson Company rented it's facilities on the Desilu lot. They had a close working relationship with Desilu since the early 1950s, when they did the titles of I Love Lucy and Our Miss Brooks. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story)
Most importantly, the Anderson Company produced the exterior visual effect shots of the USS Enterprise, including the starfield backdrops and the planets, for the first and second pilot episodes of The Original Series. They also created various other special effects, such as phaser beams and the transporter effect. However, the extensive effects work required week-by-week on Star Trek (the most effects laden television show up until that time) deemed to be too much for one company, so associate producer Robert Justman and post-production supervisor Edward K. Milkis hired several other effect houses, such as the Westheimer Company, Van der Veer Photo Effects and the by Linwood G. Dunn headed Film Effects of Hollywood, virtually every special effects house in existence in Hollywood at the time, to work on the series, besides the Andersons. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story) The latter company took over the exterior starship effects shots for the regular series' seasons one and two.
The Anderson Company's work on Star Trek was nominated for an Emmy Award twice (both times together with other companies providing effects for Star Trek): In 1967 Darrell Anderson was nominated for Individual Achievements in Cinematography, together with Dunn and Joseph Westheimer and in 1969 the company was nominated for Special Classification Achievements together with the Westheimer Company, Van der Veer Photo Effects and Cinema Research.
Some of the early feature films for which the Howard Anderson Company has provided special effects include X-15 (1961, featuring James Gregory and Kenneth Tobey, with art direction by Rolland M. Brooks), The Manchurian Candidate (1962, also featuring James Gregory as well as Whit Bissell, Reggie Nalder, and Leslie Parrish), and The Caretakers (1963, featuring Susan Oliver, with art direction by Rolland M. Brooks). Later effects credits include Night of the Lepus (1972, starring DeForest Kelley and Paul Fix), Superman II (1980), Predator (1987, with production design by John Vallone), Predator 2 (1990), The Shadow (1994, featuring Larry Hankin and Ethan Phillips, with music by Jerry Goldsmith, art direction by Jack Johnson, costumes by Bob Ringwood), Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001, executive produced by Stuart Baird, with editing by Baird and Dallas Puett), and Collateral (2004, featuring Bruce McGill).
The company has also supplied titles and/or opticals for films like Airplane! (1980), Fire with Fire (1986, featuring Virginia Madsen and Tim Russ, produced by Gary Nardino and edited by Peter E. Berger), The 'burbs (1989, featuring Henry Gibson, Dick Miller, Robert Picardo, and Wendy Schaal, with music by Jerry Goldsmith), Tombstone (1993, featuring Paula Malcomson and Terry O'Quinn), The Mask (1994, featuring Reg E. Cathey, Christopher Darga, Robert O'Reilly, and Jeremy Roberts, with cinematography by John Leonetti), Godzilla (1998, featuring Clyde Kusatsu and Glenn Morshower), Vertical Limit (2000, featuring Alexander Siddig), Jurassic Park III (2001, featuring Linda Park and Bruce French), Life as a House (2001, featuring Scott Bakula and Art Chudabala), Spider-Man (2002, starring Kirsten Dunst), The Master of Disguise (2002, starring Brent Spiner), Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), Out of Time (2003, starring John Billingsley), Finding Neverland (2004), and the Rush Hour and Legally Blonde films.
Staffers involved at the time of the production of Star Trek were among others,
- Darrell Anderson (CEO, Director Effects and Optical Compositing)
- Howard A. Anderson, Jr. (CEO)
- Gary Crandall (Optical Camera Operator)
- Lou Cusley (Key Grip)
- Harry Kersey (Technician)
- Ronnie Peterson (Technician)
- Bob Ryder (Effects Photographer)
- Boyd Vaughen (Staff Artist)
- Lloyd Vaughen (Cartoon Animator)
- "Out-of-this-world Special Effects for 'Star Trek'", Rae Moore, American Cinematographer, October 1967, pp. 715-717
- "Where No Show Had Gone Before", Jan Alan Henderson, American Cinematographer, January 1992, pp. 34-40
- "Special Visual Effects", Daniel Fiebiger, Cinefantastique, Vol 27 #11, 1996, pp. 64-75