David M. Jones, a visual effects artist who worked on Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Alien 3, and Starship Troopers, has passed away. He had died at the age of 74 years.
Janice Gerson, Jones’ longstanding friend, and ex-wife, confirmed Jones died of cancer on April 8 at his Winnetka home in Los Angeles.
For the majority of his professional life, Jones worked at ILM, Universal Hartland, and Boss Film Studios.
He worked on Batman Returns (1992), The Scout (1994), Outbreak (1995), Air Force One (1997), and Starship Troopers (1997) at Boss as a model shop supervisor or visual effects supervisor, among other films.
Jones began his career by building miniature models and working in the Star Wars optical effects section, as well as consulting on Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
(In 1978, both films were nominated for the Academy Award for Visual Effects, with Star Wars winning.)
He earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial design from Cal State Long Beach and then worked as a model maker in the film industry.
Jones also directed the short film Choose Your Tomorrow for Horizons at Disney World’s Epcot Center in 1983, as well as handling effects for Budweiser’s “Bud Bowl” Super Bowl ads in 1989-90 and United Airlines’ revolutionary “Orcas” spot in 1992.
Jones, who went by the moniker “Details Dave,” enjoyed flying radio-controlled model planes, fly-fishing, and refurbishing his 1965 Lotus Elan.
Who Is David M. Jones Wife?
David M. Jones was once married to Janice Gerson. The couple later divorced.