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John Goodson

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
John Goodson
John Goodson.jpg

John Goodson

Gender: Male
Roles: (Digital) Model Maker
Larry Tan and John Goodson finishing up on the Nebula class studio model.jpg

Goodson (r) and Larry Tan refurbishing the Nebula-class model for use in Generations

Goodson (r) and Larry Tan refurbishing the Nebula-class model for use in Generations

John Goodson is a studio model maker and digital modeling artist for Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) who worked on four Star Trek films. He was first a model maker on Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and then became the model supervisor for Star Trek Generations and Star Trek: First Contact. As ILM's model project supervisor on First Contact, Goodson supervised the creation of the ten-foot physical model of the USS Enterprise-E that was used in conjunction with a CGI version. Around 2004 Goodson switched from making models the traditional way, to constructing them digitally, and as a digital modeler, he worked on digital models and simulations for the 2009 movie Star Trek. Goodson was interviewed for the special feature "Industrial Light & Magic: The Next Generation" on the 2009 DVD release of Star Trek: First Contact.

After graduating in 1988 as a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Product Design from the North Carolina State School of Design, John Goodson landed his first job at ILM as model maker the same year, and has, essentially, never left. His first film project with ILM was Ghostbusters II in 1989, followed by Back to the Future Part II that same year. His subsequent film credits include Die Hard 2 (1990), Batman Returns (1992), Mission: Impossible (1996), Starship Troopers (1997), X-Men (2000), the 2001 remake of Planet of the Apes, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006). He was also a concept designer on 1999's Star Trek parody Galaxy Quest and did uncredited work for films like Pearl Harbor (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2003). In addition, Goodson did model work for all three of George Lucas' highly-successful Star Wars prequels. For the first two – Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999) and Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) – he was credited as a concept model maker; for the last, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, he was a digital artist.

In 2007, Goodson made his one and only (short) foray outside ILM, to work as a concept modelmaker/digital artist at ImageMovers Digital, but returned to ILM within a year in May 2008. Since then he worked on the more recent projects, besides Star Trek, Iron Man 2 (2010, for which he received his first award nomination, the VES Award in the category "Outstanding Models in a Feature Motion Picture", though, ironically. he had not received an official credit), Hugo (2011, on loan to Matte World, as he was responsible for supervising the digital matte paintings used in that feature), Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011, earning him his second VES Award nomination in the same category, again ironically uncredited), Red Tails, and Battleship (both 2012).

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