(written from a Production point of view)
Todd Vaziri is an award-winning visual effects artist at Industrial Light & Magic. He recently worked as a digital artist for 2009's Star Trek as part of ILM's visual effects team. Star Trek marks the second time Vaziri and ILM have worked with director/producer J.J. Abrams; they previously collaborated on the 2006 Paramount Pictures release Mission: Impossible III. Vaziri was the composite sequence supervisor on this film.
Vaziri began his career in visual effects in 1998 as a 2D Supervisor and Lead Digital Artist at Banned from the Ranch Entertainment (BFTRE or BFRE). For BFRE, Vaziri was a digital artist for such films as Doctor Dolittle and A Midsummer Night's Dream and a computer graphics artist on films like the 1999 romantic comedy Forces of Nature (featuring Ronny Cox and Jack Kehler) and the 2000 science fiction thriller Hollow Man (featuring Jimmie F. Skaggs). He was also the computer graphics supervisor on the popular 1999 comedy American Pie and the lead digital artist on 1999 films such as Inspector Gadget (featuring Rene Auberjonois and Andy Dick), Stir of Echoes (featuring Jennifer Morrison), and Drive Me Crazy (starring Stephen Collins).
In 1999, Vaziri was hired as a digital composite artist by Flat Earth Productions. During his tenure at Flat Earth, Vaziri worked on the popular television series Xena: Warrior Princess, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, and Charmed. He was also lead compositor on 2000's feature film adaptation of Dungeons & Dragons (starring Lee Arenberg) and several other films. Vaziri moved on to Pixel Magic, where he worked as a compositor or digital artist on films such as Little Nicky (featuring Clint Howard, Tommy "Tiny" Lister, Jr. and Michael McKean), 3000 Miles to Graceland (starring Christian Slater), Heartbreakers (featuring Sarah Silverman), Original Sin (featuring Gregory Itzin), and Scary Movie 2. He was also Pixel Magic's supervising compositor on the films Driven and Hart's War.
Since joining ILM in 2001, Vaziri has been a digital or composite artist on such films as Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (working for the first time with M:i:III and Star Trek visual effects supervisor Roger Guyett), Hulk (starring Eric Bana), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (featuring Lee Arenberg, Greg Ellis, and Zoe Saldana), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (also featuring Lee Arenberg), Van Helsing, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, War of the Worlds, Chicken Little (featuring the voices of Patrick Stewart and Wallace Shawn), and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Vaziri was even ILM's visual effects supervisor for "Stephen Colbert's Green Screen Challenge," a segment for the 11 October 2006 episode of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report.
More recently, Vaziri was ILM's compositing supervisor for the 2007 blockbuster, Transformers (which, like Star Trek and M:i:III, was written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci). For his work on this film, Vaziri won the 2007 Visual Effects Society Award for Outstanding Compositing in a Motion Picture. Since then, Vaziri's work with ILM has continued as digital artist for the films Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Speed Racer, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.