(written from a Production point of view)
Eugene "Gene" Paul Rizzardi, Jr. (born 24 November 1952; age 62) is a model maker and visual effects (VFX) artist who oversaw the build of the Borg cube model as well as building the forced perspective Enterprise-D dorsal saucer section for the Star Trek: The Next Generation second season episode "Q Who", while hired as sub-contractor by Starlight Effects. As subcontractor, Rizzardi did not gain official recognition for his contributions.
In addition to the television franchise, Rizzardi has made two contributions to the Star Trek films. He has constructed the transparent display model of the USS Enterprise-E, seen in Star Trek Nemesis, albeit uncredited again. More recently, he also worked in the prop shop for 2009's Star Trek, earning his first official Star Trek credit.
Career outside Star TrekEdit
Hailing from the East Coast, and educated at the New York School of Visual Arts, Rizzardi started his work in the VFX department and as miniature and model maker in the early 1980s when he worked on projects such as the science fiction film Scared to Death (1980, with Carey Howe), the science fiction film Megaforce (1982, with Persis Khambatta), the science fiction television movie V (1983 for David Stipes Productions, with Gregory Jein, Scott Squires, and Hoyt Yeatman) and its following television mini series V: The Final Battle (1984), and the television fantasy film The Hugga Bunch (1985) for which he won a primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects in 1985.
Further credits include the horror comedy Critters (1986), the fantasy film Masters of the Universe (1987), the action film Bulletproof (1988), the sequel Rambo III (1988), the horror film The Blob (1988), the horror comedy Army of Darkness (1992), the science fiction film Demolition Man (1993), for Digital Domain the drama Apollo 13 (1995) and the blockbuster Titanic (1997), the science fiction sequel Alien: Resurrection (1997), the science fiction film Godzilla (1998), the drama American Beauty (1999), the horror film Final Destination 2 (2003) and its sequel Final Destination 3 (2006).
More recently he worked as special effects technician on the television series Tell Me You Love Me (2007), the drama Charlie Wilson's War (2007), the romance Lie To Me (2008), the television series Saving Grace (2008), and the action sequel Crank: High Voltage (2009), as prop shop foreman on the comic adaptation Iron Man 2 (2010), and as special effects foreman on the comedy Bad Teacher (2011).
Rizzardi is operating his own model, and prop company, "Modelwerkes Models", founded in 1979 and located in Canyon Country, CA., providing services for motion pictures, television, architectural industry, theme parks, and corporate clients. He is a member of the Visual Effect Society (responsible for the VES Awards), the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Visual Effects branch (responsible for the VFX Oscars), and the Association of Professional Model Makers.