Prior to his career as a film director, Robert Stromberg was an American special effects artist, designer and filmmaker who worked on some of the biggest television shows and movies such as "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (syndication, 1987-1994) and "Avatar" (2009). Before the age of computer generated effects, Stromberg worked as a matte painter to create the fantastical settings of television shows and films. He worked behind the scenes as a matte artist on the special effects team of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," who were awarded a Primetime Emmy for their work in 1992. As special effects became more complicated and more reliant upon computer generated graphics, Stromberg was able to adjust and thrive in the changing industry. He received his first Oscar nomination in 2004 for Best Visual Effects in the seafaring movie "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" (2003). Stromberg one-upped himself with an Academy Award win in 2010 for his work as a production designer in James Cameron's science fiction epic "Avatar" in the category of Best Achievement in Art Direction. In the following year, he had a repeat win in the same category, this time for his efforts on Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" (2010). After more than two decades working for others to bring their fantastical visions to the big screen, Stromberg finally took the lead and sat in the director's chair for Disney's "Maleficent" (2014). In his directorial debut, Stromberg directed Academy Award-winner Angelina Jolie in a story centered around the iconic Disney villain from the classic animated feature "Sleeping Beauty" (1959).