(written from a Production point of view)
Ron Mendell is a concept artist, designer and modeler for Hollywood films. He recently worked as a concept artist on 2009's Star Trek. His tasks for this film included the design and building of the updated TOS-style communicator.
Mendell's film career began in 1991 as a set model builder on the Steven Spielberg film Hook. He has since designed and built set models for such films as Death Becomes Her (working with Star Trek: The Motion Picture production illustrators Tom Cranham and Martin Kline), Jurassic Park (also working with Cranham and Kline), Mars Attacks! (featuring Paul Winfield), The Insider (starring Bruce McGill and Christopher Plummer), Three Kings, and Windtalkers (starring Christian Slater). He has also built digital models for films such as Minority Report (featuring Neal McDonough and Patrick Kilpatrick), Jurassic Park III (featuring Linda Park), and Ali (featuring LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Brad Greenquist, Albert Hall, Bruce McGill, William Utay, and Wade Williams).
More recently, Mendell worked as set model designer and builder on the Steven Soderbergh films Solaris, Ocean's Eleven, and Ocean's Thirteen. He worked alongside Star Trek set designer Dawn Brown on all three of these films. Mendell and Brown had previously worked together on the 1997 film Batman & Robin, on which Mendell was an illustrator and weapons designer.
As a concept designer, Mendell worked on such films as Batman Forever (featuring Rene Auberjonois and Ed Begley, Jr.), xXx (and its sequel, xXx: State of the Union), The Chronicles of Riddick, and the 2005 remake of War of the Worlds. He first worked with Star Trek director and producer J.J. Abrams and production designer Scott Chambliss (among many other Star Trek production staff members) as a concept artist on the 2006 film Mission: Impossible III.
Mendell's other projects include design work for the 1998 film Armageddon (which was co-written by J.J. Abrams) and the 2006 film Deja Vu (starring Bruce Greenwood), both of which have Mendell credited as Assistant Art Director. Mendell was also a creature designer for the pilot episode of the popular science fiction series Babylon 5. In addition, he designed visual effects for 1999's Fight Club (featuring Zach Grenier) and designed vehicles for 2003's Looney Tunes: Back in Action (featuring Dick Miller, George Murdock, Ron Perlman, and Robert Picardo).
Before Star Trek, his most recent concept design work was for 2008's Iron Man, based on the Marvel Comics character and featuring Faran Tahir. Hia most recent project as a model maker was the upcoming G.I. Joe film, starring Rachel Nichols.