(written from a Production point of view)
|Birth name:||Douglas Drexler|
|Date of birth:||28 March 1953|
|Place of birth:||New York City, New York|
|Awards for Trek:||2 Emmy nominations|
|Roles:||Makeup Artist, Scenic Artist, Production Illustrator, Special and Visual effects staff, TNG and ENT performer, Star Trek author|
|Beside his MSD of the USS Enterprise-B|
|Winning an Academy Award for Dick Tracy (left) and an Emmy Award for Battlestar Galactica (right)|
Artist Douglas "Doug" Drexler (born 28 March 1953; age 60) has been creating or contributing to numerous Star Trek productions and publications since the 1970s. Starting out in fandom, Drexler has proven to be one of the most versatile production staffers in the Star Trek franchise.
Beginnings as fanEdit
Born in New York City, Drexler was a first-generation Star Trek fan - although he was prohibited from watching television on school nights, Drexler managed to watch "This Side of Paradise", and subsequently to persuade his parents to allow him an hour's viewing a week, for Star Trek.
Drexler, along with Ron Barlow, ran a small Star Trek store in Manhattan, New York - "The Federation Trading Post" - during the mid-1970s. wbm Although failing initially, the store became more well-known after advertising during Original Series syndication, eventually becoming a focus for media contact about Star Trek. Drexler and Barlow were approached by Paradise Press to edit one of the first Star Trek magazines, the Star Trek Giant Poster Book. wbm It was through the store that Drexler met and befriended frequent collaborator Geoffrey Mandel, with whom he compiled one of the first technical reference works in Trek history: the USS Enterprise Officer's Manual, as well as Anthony Fredrickson, with whom he would author the Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual.
It was during this period in time that Drexler and Mandel made up their mind that they would work for the Star Trek franchise one day , as Mandel recalled, "Back in 1979, Doug Drexler and I were probably the two biggest Star Trek fans in New York City. We knew that Star Trek: The Motion Picture was being filmed, and we knew we had to be a part of it, so we took time off from work and school to fly to L.A. and do our best to sneak onto the sound stages of Paramount. Of course, we had no connections, barely a place to stay, and only by sheer chutzpah did we finally manage to get onto the lot, tiptoe upstairs to the Star Trek art department (ironically, the same room I worked in for two years on Voyager), and talk to some of the designers, including Mike Minor and Lee Cole. What was probably a routine meeting for them with two Trek geeks was a decisive moment in my career, and Doug’s-we suddenly realized that there was actually a PAYING JOB for people like us, who liked to design spacecraft and draw little diagrams of ray guns. I can remember coming back home to New York and telling my mother that I finally knew what I wanted to do with my life, and she had a good laugh when I said it was to work in science fiction art departments. Who could possibly make a living at that?!" 
Drexler began working as a makeup artist in 1983 on the movie The Hunger, having been invited to do so by renowned makeup artist, Dick Smith. His other early work included Manhunter and Fatal Attraction.
After engaging in a long correspondence with Robert Justman and Michael Westmore during preproduction of Star Trek: The Next Generation, only to be unable to get a position on the series due to union rules, Drexler moved to Hollywood in 1990 to work on Dick Tracy (being made a member of the LA Union by Warren Beatty), for which he later won an Academy Award. Dick Tracy featured many Star Trek alumni in the cast: Colm Meaney, John Schuck, Ian Wolfe, Seymour Cassel, Hamilton Camp, Chuck Hicks, Mike Hagerty, Robert Costanzo, Ed McCready, Bert Remsen, Walker Edmiston and Michael J. Pollard.
Star Trek affiliationEdit
Now able to work in California, Drexler approached Westmore to reapply for a position in the Next Generation make-up department. Westmore, incredulous at first that an Academy Award winner would want to work as a lesser paid makeup artist for a television show (though Westmore himself was one), hired him. Later friend and co-worker, Michael Okuda, too, was impressed that an Academy Award winner decided to work on a television show, "(...) It was I who was honored to meet this Academy Award-winning artist. He did me – and Star Trek – a huge favor when he said he was interested in working in the Art Department. I already knew of his talent, but I was impressed that he offered to take a huge pay cut to work with us." wbm Drexler's first assignment was putting on the Shakespeare makeup on Patrick Stewart for TNG: "The Defector". (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine, issue 11, p. 53) Drexler continued to work as a make-up artist for three years, earning him two Emmy nominations.
Happy as Drexler was, working on Star Trek, he has professed that, "(...)the art department was calling to me and that's really where I wanted to be." He struck up a friendship with Michael Okuda, whom he admired, and kept in touch with him and his Scenic Art department, waiting for an opportunity to move over. That opportunity came when Star Trek: Deep Space Nine went into production and Okuda hired him, eventually becoming the lead scenic artist on the series. A grateful Drexler recalled, "Looking through the trade paper, Variety, I saw that Paramount had made up their minds and they were going to do Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I got on the phone right away to Mike Okuda, who really stuck out his neck for me, and that's how it happened!" (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine, issue 11, p. 54)
After the Deep Space Nine series wrapped, Drexler moved over as a visual effects (VFX) artist to Foundation Imaging, for whom he worked on Star Trek: Voyager, the only time during his Star Trek years he was not directly employed by Paramount. While still employed at Foundation, he was asked in 2000 to break the stalemate on the design of the new "hero" ship, Enterprise NX-01, for the upcoming series Star Trek: Enterprise. Starting to design a prototype CGI model under the erroneous impression that it would just be a quick mock-up, He found himself in a months long, unpaid, high pressure workload that took up most of his spare time, as he was at the time still fully employed at Foundation. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 10, pp. 25-26) Drexler's dogged determination to bring the project to successful fruition, solicited an accolade of high praise from Michael Okuda, "That’s dedication, but that’s what Doug brings to every project. And it earned him a place among such luminaries as Jefferies, Probert, Sternbach, Eaves, Taylor, Zimmerman, and James." wbm However, Drexler was rewarded for his stressful assignment by his subsequent position as Senior Illustrator on the new series, back in the employ of Paramount one year later.
During his tenure as scenic artist on Deep Space Nine, Drexler taught himself the Adobe Illustrator software which served him well in providing the technical illustrations for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual and Star Trek Encyclopedia. He went on to master the CGI LightWave 3D software as well, the build of the Breen warship for DS9: "Penumbra" being his first contribution in this format for the franchise. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 7, p. 50) Actually, the fact that Drexler had been learning how to build CGI models in LightWave while working on Voyager at Foundation Imaging, was instrumental in his invitation to participate in the design process for the NX-class for Enterprise. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 136, p. 32) Being an Original Series fan, Drexler might otherwise have been a consideration for the producers not to employ him, as friend and co-worker Mandel reiterated, "When they started Enterprise, they made a conscious decision to bring in some new blood, and not just round up the usual suspects; but in practice, it meant that fans like Rick Sternbach, Tim Earls and myself weren’t asked back. However, a number of fans who had worked on DS9 and had been taking an extended leave of absence came back when Enterprise started, so the total number of Star Trek fans stayed about the same." 
While Drexler worked for the live action franchise, he co-authored and illustrated the Manual, and illustrated the second and third editions of the Encyclopedia. His mastery of the LightWave software, aside for his regular work for televised Star Trek, also served him well, when he was asked by Pocket Books to provide (CGI) covers for several of their novels, most notably the covers of the Star Trek: Vanguard series. (Star Trek Magazine issue 162, pp. 82-84), as well as becoming a contributor and editor of the popular Ships of the Line calendars.
Post-Star Trek careerEdit
Following his tenure in the Star Trek franchise, Drexler subsequently worked as VFX CG Supervisor on Ronald D. Moore's successful Battlestar Galactica franchise (two VFX Emmy wins), its short lived prequel series, Caprica, and the more recent Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome (2012) direct-to-DVD movie. Drexler acted as a technical consultant for the Remastered Original Series. Credited under the pseudonym "Max Rem" (occasionally also used in the Ships of the Line-calendars), as well as under his own name, Drexler also volunteered to work on the fan made internet series Star Trek: New Voyages (2004-2007). He worked as visual effects artist, executive producer, make-up artist, casting director, and editor on the series and wrote the story for the episode "In Harms Way". Drexler's most recent employment was a CGI supervisor for Syfy's 2013 science fiction television series Defiance.
Drexler is married to Enterprise food stylist Dorothy Duder.
The Drex FilesEdit
To disseminate all the knowledge he had accumulated over the the years to fellow Star Trek fans, Drexler started his internet blog, the wbm on 14 December 2008. For four years running, a large amount of behind-the-scenes information was posted on this blog, providing an intimate look into all production aspects of Star Trek productions set in the prime universe, with most of its contents not available anywhere in print. Over the four following years, Drexler's blog has amassed a large following; not only fans participated in his blog but former VFX production staff colleagues, such as Brandon MacDougall, Robert Bonchune, Adam Buckner, Dana White Shea, and many more, contributed to his blog too. The more prominent production staff contributors to Drexlers' blog were Rick Sternbach, Michael Okuda and Andrew Probert, who provided a considerable amount of additional information. Activity on the blog had considerably slackened off from 2012 onward though.
The "DrexFiles" proved to be an inspiration for the companion site of John Eaves, who started his likewise successful blog, Eavesdropping with Johnny, on 16 March 2009. He stated on that occasion, "I have to thank the ever and all talented master of media and VFX illusionist, Doug Drexler, for encouraging me to get off my fat butt and finally start a fun blog page!!! I have always wanted to have place to share the fun and adventures of those glorious movie and Star Trek days with friends, coworkers and fans of the films and shows..." 
The blog was taken down in early March 2013, due to perceived copyright infringements put forward by former VFX colleagues. Drexler stated the following on his Facebook page, "You know how I brand all the images I post with Drex Files. Several of my VFX colleagues took exception to that. They felt I was claiming credit for it all by doing that. I received a couple of angry notes that were upsetting. I felt the best thing was to off-line it for now. My intention was never to steal credit, in fact I felt like I was promoting everyone’s work. Drex Files regulars know that I note credits for work whenever I have the info, and if I don’t, I appeal to the audience to speak up if they know something about it. So for now, the Drex Files is dark, at least until I have a chance to think about it and review it." 
ENT: "These Are the Voyages..."
Drexler has made two cameo appearances as a Starfleet officer. Upon starting work on Star Trek, he asked if he could appear as a background artist, in uniform, at some point. His wish was granted in the third season episode "Transfigurations", where he appeared as a command division Enterprise-D officer in several scenes set in Ten Forward. He also appeared in "These Are the Voyages..." as an Earth Starfleet ceremony attendee.
Star Trek credits Edit
(This list is currently incomplete.)
- "The Defector" - Makeup Artist (uncredited, Season 3)
- "A Matter of Perspective" - Makeup Artist (uncredited)
- "Allegiance" - Special Effects Makeup Artist (uncredited)
- "Unification II" - Makeup Artist (uncredited, Season 5)
- "Violations" - Makeup Artist (uncredited)
- "Conundrum" - Makeup Artist (uncredited)
- "Power Play" - Makeup Artist (uncredited)
- "The Inner Light" - Special Effects Makeup Artist (uncredited)
- "Time's Arrow" - Makeup Artist (uncredited)
Emmy Award nominations Edit
- 1990 Emmy Award nomination as for the episode "Allegiance" in the category Outstanding Achievement in Makeup for a Series, shared with Michael Westmore, Gerald Quist, June Westmore, Hank Edds, John Caglione, Jr., and Ron Walters
- 1993 Emmy Award nomination as for the episode "The Inner Light" in the category Outstanding Achievement in Makeup for a Series, shared with Michael Westmore, Gerald Quist, June Abston Haymore, Karen Westerfield, and Jill Rockow
- Star Trek Giant Poster Book magazine series, 1976 – Author/Editor
- This Tree Bears Bitter Fruit, 1977 – Story Consultant
- Sweet Smell of Evil, 1977 – Co-author
- Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual, 1977 – Co-illustrator
- USS Enterprise Officer's Manual, 1980 – Illustrator
- Star Trek Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., 1997 & 3rd ed, 1999 – Illustrator
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual, 1998 – Co-author/Illustrator
- Star Trek Sticker Book, 1999 – Illustrator
- Star Trek: Ships of the Line calendar series, from the 2004 issue onward – Co-Illustrator/Editor
- Star Trek: Vanguard novel series, 2005 – Cover Illustrator
- Ships of the Line (book), 2006 – Co-Illustrator/Co-Editor
Star Trek interviews Edit
- "Doug Drexler: Scenic Artist", The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine, issue 11, March 1995, pp. 50-56, interviewed by David Hirsch
- DS9 Season 5 DVD special feature "A new Enterprise", interviewed on 7 November 2002
- ENT Season 4 DVD special feature "Inside the "Mirror" Episodes"
- "Doug Drexler: The Evolution of an Artist", The official STAR TREK prop and costume auction catalog, 2010, pp. 18-23, interviewed by Alec Peters
- TNG Season 1 Blu-ray special feature, "Stardate Revisited, Part 3: The Continuing Mission" (2012)
- "Designing the Borg tactical cube", Doug Drexler/Larry Nemecek, Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 18, October 2000, pp. 92-94
- "Doug Drexler", Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 21, January 2001, pp. 68-73
- "Doug Drexler (Part 2)", Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 22, February 2001, pp. 82-89
- "Behind the Scenes: Designing the Ti'Mur", Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 3, Issue 3, July 2002, pp. 20-24
- wbm - Doug Drexler's blog
- Doug Drexler at the Internet Movie Database
- Doug Drexler at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- Doug Drexler at Battlestar Wiki, an encyclopedia of the Battlestar Galactica sagas
- Doug Drexler at Wikipedia
- Doug Drexler profile at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- 2002 Interview with Doug Drexler at Trekweb.com
- 2006 Interview with Doug Drexler at TrekPlace.com
- 2013 Interview with Doug Drexler at the Trek Initiative