DALLAS, TX.- Creepy space worms and Klingon-killing weapons from the Emmy-winning private collection of Star Trek visual effects master Dan Curry will be offered to collectors and fans for the first time April 15. One of Hollywood's most famous visual effects supervisors, Curry won seven Emmy awards and a cult following for work on Star Trek: Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise.
"It took me 18 years to accumulate the memorabilia that's up for auction," said Curry, who serves on the board of the Hollywood Science Fiction Museum. "I was part of the small number of people who made up the '18-year club' people who worked on Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise."
Curry's collection of weapons, creatures, paintings, concept drawings and props cross the block in Heritage Auctions' Entertainment Auction.
"I never really thought about assembling a collection for sale. They were just things that, for one reason or another, wound up in my possession, and I just kept them because I thought they were cool."
Curry's varying roles with the assorted shows afforded him a measure of access that allowed him to acquire the different kinds of lots in his collection. His martial arts experience helped him develop what evolved into the Klingons' fighting style, Mok'Bara, and contributed to his creation of several of the shows' iconic weapons.
"Some of the various roles I played on Star Trek included Visual Effects Supervisor, Visual Effects Producer, Second Unit Director, working with the stunt team, developing the Klingon martial arts style," he said. "I invented the bat'leth, the mek'leth. I also designed the main title sequences for Voyager and Deep Space Nine, so I got to wear a lot of hats. That was made possible by the incredible amount of trust between the various departments on Star Trek, which was quite unusual, especially with the art department and production designers, Herman Zimmerman and Richard James, who trusted me to design anything when I would go to them and say, 'hey, I'd like to do this myself,' and they'd say, 'OK.'"
He also created elements and props for the purpose of realistic visual effects, such as space flight and assorted creatures. Some were at the suggestions of writers and directors, but many were Curry's own creations.
"A lot of the things that the artists on the show created were the result of what the story demanded. If there was a creature
we would get a sense of what it was and what environment it existed in. I would use a Darwinian approach to creature-design. I remember reading that Charles Darwin was visiting an island in the South Pacific, and he saw a particular type of flower. He imagined the type of bird that would feed on that flower, and did a sketch of it. Several days later, they found the bird that looked remarkably like Darwin's sketch. So whenever we had a creature to design for example, on the Star Trek: Voyager episodes, 'Basics, Part I and II.' We went to a Neolithic planet and encountered a creature that lived in caves with a labyrinth of tunnels. Of course, it was scary and carnivorous so it would threaten and eat some of our people. All designs were driven by the story, discussed with and approved by the producers, who were the final decision makers on everything."
The Sword of Kahless (est. $8,000+) could be the top item in Curry's collection. Made of steel, it has Klingon writing engraved into the two protruding side blades and with the Klingon insignia cut into the center, and the center handle wrapped in strips of brown leather. Created by Curry for the 81st episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the Sword of Kahless was one of only two crafted by Gil Hibben, who also is known for creating "the Rambo knife."
Also likely to draw major interest is one of the most recognizable props from the Star Trek franchise: the 1994 Star Trek: The Next Generation Screen Used Enterprise Saucer Model from "All Good Things" (est. $8,000). Cast in fiberglass from the original Hero D Enterprise model mold, this model is the saucer top of the Enterprise NCC-1701-D. Made by Oscar-nominated visual effects miniature builder Greg Jein, the model was one of several created to be exploded in TNG's emotional final episode, "All Good Things." Of the three Enterprises blown up for the sequence, this one came apart with the saucer top in one piece preserving all the details of the Enterprise used throughout the series. The model measures 35 by 29 inches, is signed and detailed on the underside in silver paint pen by Curry, and comes with a rolled, 24-by-36-inch cross-section blueprint of the Enterprise.
The Distant Origin Voyager Screen-Used Creature Model (est. $3,000+) was designed and painted by Curry, and sculpted from modeling clay by creature sculptor Jordu Schell, who also was the creature designer for Avatar. This creature, inspired by the Eryops, a prehistoric reptile from the early Permian period. Shot against blue screen from matching angles, it was composited into the scene, appearing over six feet long on Voyager's holodeck in "Distant Origin," the 65th episode of the series.
Other top lots include, but are not limited to:
· 1997 Star Trek: Voyager Borg City Concept Sculpture (est. $3,000+)
· Star Trek: The Next Generation Screen-Used "Echo Papa" Props from "The Arsenal of Freedom" (est. $3,000+)
· Star Trek: The Next Generation Screen-Used "Worker Bee" Shuttlecraft Prop (est. $2,000+)