David M. Jones, Visual Effects Supervisor on Star Wars, Dies at 74

David M. Jones, best known for his contributions as a visual effects supervisor on “Star Wars,” died from complications related to cancer at his home in Winnetka, Calif. on April 8. He was 74.

Jones’ death was confirmed to Variety by his ex-wife and lifelong friend, Janice Gerson-Jones.

Jones was a longtime visual effects artist whose career spanned nearly 30 years. He was born in Sacramento, Calif., but his childhood took him to Air Force bases as far away as Anchorage, Alaska and Freeburg, Ill., where he fondly recalled purchasing his first model airplane kit in first grade. He subsequently earned a bachelor of science in industrial design from Cal State Long Beach. Upon graduating, he began working in the film industry as a model maker, then promoted to a model shop supervisor and finished his career as a visual effects supervisor. David worked at ILM, Universal Hartland and Boss Film Studios during the bulk of his career.

His contribution to the field of visual effects can be seen in works such as “Space Academy” (1977), “Star Wars” (1977), “Close Encounters” (1977), “Buck Rogers” (1979), “Battlestar Galactica” (1979) and “Air Force One” (1997). Jones also worked on 1992’s “Alien³” as an effects art director.

In addition to movies, Jones worked on commercials including Budweiser’s Bud Bowl Super Bowl commercials in 1989 and 1990. He also contributed to the theme park ride Choose Your Tomorrow for Horizons at Disney World’s Epcot Center.

Aside from visual effects, Jones spent time as an artist, illustrator, supervisor, tinkerer, innovator and model maker.

Jones is survived by his son, Hunter, and his ex-wife Janice Gerson-Jones.

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