(written from a Production point of view)
Joseph "Joe" Chess is a camera operator and director of photography who worked as "A" Camera Operator and second unit director of photography on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager. He took over for Marvin V. Rush as director of photography on the episodes "The Host" and "Emanations" when Rush worked as director. Chess also worked as cinematographer on the 1996 video game Star Trek: Klingon. Chess-Wilson and Captain Joe Chess, seen on various artwork, were named after him. He left Voyager after shooting of its first season was complete, but returned to the franchise almost a decade later, acting as camera operator on the final five episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise.
Prior to his work on Star Trek, Chess worked as camera operator on the television series Frank's Place (1987-1988), the comedy The Runnin' Kid (1989), and the science fiction comedy Meet the Hollowheads (1989).
Further work as camera operator and steadicam operator include the television series The Client (1995-1996), Sliders (1996-1997), Moloney (1996-1997), Profiler (1998-1999), Ryan Caulfield: Year One (1999), The West Wing (2000), Crossing Jordan (2002), 10-8: Officers on Duty (2003-2004), Summerland Beach (2004), Desperate Housewives (2004), Supernatural (2005), and Moonlight (2007). He also worked on a number of films such as the drama Jerry Maguire (1996), the drama Deep Impact (1998), the action film Six Days Seven Nights (1998), the drama Varsity Blues (1999), the sport drama Love & Basketball (2000), the fantasy comedy Bedazzled (2000), the action comedy I Spy (2002), the comedies National Security (2003) and Freaky Friday (2003), the action thriller The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), the superhero movie Iron Man (2008), the science fiction thriller Surrogates (2009), the comedy Little Fockers (2010), and the science fiction film Battle Los Angeles (2011).
His work as cinematographer can be seen on the television documentaries The Making of 'Dances with Wolves' (1990), Getting the Goods on 'As Good As It Gets (1997), and The Making of 'A Knight's Tale (2001) and on David Livingston's short film Slice of Life (2000, with Robert Picardo, Patricia Tallman, editing by Peter Lefevre, makeup by Brad Look, assistant direction by Adele Simmons, on-line editing by John Carroll, and costume supervision by Damaris Cordelia).
Star Trek credits
(This list is currently incomplete.)
- Season 3 - "A" Camera Operator (uncredited, 26 episodes)
- "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II" - "Half a Life", "The Mind's Eye" - "Redemption" - "A" Camera Operator (Season 4, uncredited, 25 episodes)
- "The Host" - Director of Photography
- "Darmok" - "Violations" - Camera Operator (Season 5, uncredited, 11 episodes)
- "The Masterpiece Society" - "Time's Arrow" - Camera Operator, S.O.C. (Season 5, 14 episodes)
- "Time's Arrow, Part II" - Camera Operator (Season 6)
- "Realm of Fear" - Camera Operator