Stage artists Michael and Denise Okuda, best known for their creative designs for the Star Trek franchise and other iconic space adventure productions, will receive the Art Directors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award from the Scenic, Title & Graphic Artists (STG) at of the 26th edition of the ADG. Price.
The awards ceremony, scheduled for Saturday March 5, 2022, will return next year to a live event at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown in the Wilshire Grand Ballroom.
The award will highlight the Okuda’s artistic contributions to many memorable space-related dramas, their collaborations as creative producers for new visual effects, and their expert status as authors of “The Star Trek Encyclopedia “, among many other stellar achievements. This is the first of four Lifetime Achievement Awards to be announced by the Art Directors Guild.
“The roots of graphic design for film and television can be easily traced back to Michael and Denise Okuda and their work on the Star Trek franchise,” said Clint Schultz, Chairman of the STG Board. “Through graphic design, the Okuda added a unique visual language to the sets, whether through props, signage, or their graphical user interface for reading (also known as Okudagrams). In addition, their work on Star Trek has led to “real world” graphic design opportunities and to lend their artistic talents to various NASA space programs.
“On behalf of the Scenic, Title & Graphic Artists Council, we proudly salute the accomplishments of Michael and Denise Okuda. They continue to work and inspire us all within the profession and are the true definition of teamwork.
Michael Okuda is the lead designer for everything Star Trek and has earned screen credits on more Star Trek productions than anyone except creator Gene Roddenberry. A multiple Emmy nominee, he’s responsible for everything from designing control panels to inventing alien written languages across the many iterations of Star Trek.
His involvement in the franchise began with the movie “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” and continued until “Star Trek: Enterprise” was no longer airing in 2005. He returned to work on the remaster of “Star Trek: The Original Series” (1966-69) in 2006 and again for the remastering of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1987-94) in 2012.
His involvement in space was not limited to fiction. He designed various emblems and logos for NASA and has designs that can be found at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, the Planetary Society, and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
His work was not limited to space films, as it included productions such as “The West Wing”, “Sully” and “Richard Jewell”. He is a member of the Television Academy, the Art Directors Guild, the Visual Effects Society, and an Affiliate Member of the Manned Spaceflight Operations Association. He and Denise are technical advisors for the Apple TV + series “For All Mankind,” which presents an alternate history of the US space program.
Denise Okuda, when she was still Denise Tathwell, was an uncredited extra in “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” (1979). She married Michael in 1993 and was a video / computer playback supervisor and graphic designer on seven Star Trek TV shows and motion pictures.
His other credits include pilots for “Threshold”, “Star Patrol”, “The Flash” and “The Osiris Chronicles”. She was recently a graphic consultant on the Netflix series “Space Force”.
Among the many other Star Trek-related projects she and Michael have worked on include writing multiple editions of “The Star Trek Encyclopedia”, two editions of “The Star Trek Chronology: The History of the Future” and “On Board the USS Enterprise She was even a medical consultant for the Star Trek editorial staff.
To honor her creative work, Denise received the Spectrum Award, presented by the Cal State Los Angeles Eagle Con. She is a member of the Art Directors Guild and lives happily in Los Angeles with Michael and their two dogs.
Earlier this month, “Star Trek: Picard” showrunner Terry Matalas revealed that the Okudas worked in the art department for season 3: “Beyond, thrilled that this group is working on season 3 of Star Trek. Picard It’s not a Trek without Mike Okuda and Denise Okuda.
The ADG Awards recognize excellence in production design in motion pictures, television, commercials, music videos and animated feature films. Other ADG Lifetime Achievement Award winners from the Council of Production Designers and Art Directors (AD), the Council of Set Designers and Pattern Makers (MEDS) and the Council of Illustrators and Matte Artists ( IMA) will be announced shortly.