(written from a Production point of view)
Rocco Gioffre is a matte artist and current co-owner and Visual Effects Supervisor at Svengali Visual Effects. He provided additional matte paintings for Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979. Nearly thirty years later, he returned to the Star Trek franchise as Svengali FX's VFX Supervisor on J.J. Abrams' Star Trek.
He began his career at the age of 18, working as an assistant matte artist under special photographic effects supervisor Douglas Trumbull on the venerable 1977 science fiction film Close Encounters of the Third Kind (starring Teri Garr). He again worked under Trumbull on Star Trek: The Motion Picture and another acclaimed contemporary science fiction classic, 1982's Blade Runner (featuring Joanna Cassidy).
Gioffre was a founding member of the effects company Dream Quest Images, where he worked for seven years. He provided matte paintings for many Dream Quest projects, including the films Blue Thunder (starring Malcolm McDowell), Gremlins (starring Zach Galligan and featuring Jonathan Banks, Keye Luke, and Dick Miller), The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (starring Clancy Brown, Robert Ito, Christopher Lloyd, Vincent Schiavelli, and Peter Weller), and Short Circuit (featuring Brian McNamara and Barbara Tarbuck).
For his matte work on the hit 1987 science fiction/action film RoboCop, Gioffre received a Saturn Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. He shared this award with special makeup effects creator Rob Bottin, ED-209 sequences creator Phil Tippett, and photographic effects artist Peter Kuran, the latter of whom also worked on Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. All four artists also received a nomination from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards for their work on RoboCop.
Gioffre's additional film credits as a matte artist include Caddyshack, Dreamscape (featuring Christopher Plummer), Throw Momma from a Train (starring Kate Mulgrew), RoboCop 2 and RoboCop 3, Dances with Wolves, Predator 2, City Slickers, Hook, Cliffhanger, and Rob Roy. In the late 1990s, he worked for Pacific Ocean Post (POP) Animation, where he supervised matte paintings on films such as What Dreams May Come and Mystery Men. He then worked with Illusion Arts on such films as Bicentennial Man and The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle. This was followed by projects with RIOT Pictures, including The Scorpion King (starring The Rock) and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (starring David Andrews and Kristanna Loken).
In April 2002, Gioffre co-founded Svengali Visual Effects with Jamie Venable. Since then, Gioffre has supervised Svengali's visual effects on such films as Garden State, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Apocalypto, Eragon, The Reaping, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, I Am Legend, The Forbidden Kingdom, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, and the upcoming Watchmen.