(written from a Production point of view)
John Grower, is a visual effects artist and has been the head of the special effects company Santa Barbara Studios (SBS), which he founded in 1990 and operated until 2002, and has worked, while operating his company, on several Star Trek productions including Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager, for which he received an Emmy Award nomination, Star Trek Generations, and Star Trek: Insurrection. Prior to being CEO of SBS, he has worked, when starting out in the motion picture business in an otherwise unspecified role, on Star Trek: The Motion Picture, or as he has stated, "I started in the late '70s in Hollywood and even worked a few months on the first Star Trek." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 121, p. 58)
Grower has been interviewed on several occasions for various magazines regarding his, and his company's work on Insurrection. These interviews were published in, among others, Star Trek: Insurrection - Official Movie Souvenir Magazine, American Cinematographer, and Cinefex.
Grower received an Emmy Award nomination for his work on Star Trek: Voyager in the category Outstanding Individual Achievement in Graphic Design and Title Sequences in 1995, shared with Dan Curry, Erik Tiemens, and Eric Guaglione.
Beside his work on Star Trek at SBS, Grower worked as visual effects coordinator on Walt Disney's science fiction film TRON (1982), while employed by Robert Abel & Associates, as visual effects supervisor on the short documentary Cosmic Voyage (1996, along with Eric Guaglione, Kathi Samec, and Mark Wendell). Prior to forming SBS, he served as director of production at the computer software company, Wavefront Technologies, which later merged with Alias Research to form Alias|Wavefront. It was their CGI software package, "Maya", that became the package of choice for SBS.
While operating his company, he has outside Star Trek, worked on productions such as the horror film An American Werewolf in Paris (1997), and the fantasy film The Little Vampire (2000), while he has, on personal title after the closure of SBS, worked as digital effects artist on the thriller K-19: The Widowmaker (2002) and the action film Torque (2004).
More recently he worked as visual effects supervisor for Cinesoup on the fantasy film The Thief Lord (2006), the action thriller Bangkok Dangerous (2008), the comic adaptation The Spirit (2008), the horror film Drag Me to Hell (2009), and the Michael Jackson documentary This Is It (2009).
Star Trek interviews
- "Stellar Phenomena", Eric Frederickson, Star Trek: Insurrection - Official Movie Souvenir Magazine, 11 Decemeber 1998
- "Effecting an Insurrection", Ron Magid, American Cinematographer, January 1999, pp. 40-46
- "Visual FX", Larry Nemecek, Star Trek: Communicator issue 121, February/March 1999, pp. 52-59
- "Lost in the Briar Patch", Kevin H. Martin, Cinefex, issue 77, April 1999, pp. 68-95