Leon R. Harris was a production illustrator on Lingwood G. Dunn VFX company Film Effects of Hollywood, working on films like West Side Story (1961) and The Sound of Music(1965) or The Great Race (1965) He occasionally collaborated at the matte painting team.
During the seventies besides his illustration assignments, he started to work as an art director.
He shared an Academy Award nomination for his work on Star Trek: The Motion Picture along with production designer Harold Michelson, set decorator Linda DeScenna and art directors Joe Jennings and John Vallone. Harris and Michelson also worked together on the 1990 film Dick Tracy, with Harris working as a matte layout illustrator and Michelson as art director.
He also worked frequently with production designer Albert Brenner. Leon designed and hand-painted the Matte Paintings in collaboration with production designer Albert Brenner’s New York Street on the Paramount Backlot at 5555 Melrose in Los Angeles. Leon painted beautiful ‘grey scale’ studies for backlot matte work.
He painted the mattes for backgrounds at the end of each street
Leon Harris (at left) working on a huge glass painting with David Mattingly and Peter Ellenshaw for the film Dick Tracy.
1992 Mr. Saturday Night (illustrator)
1991 Frankie y Johnny (senior illustrator)
1991 Mobsters (illustrator )
1990 Dick Tracy (matte layout illustrator )
1988 The Penitent (production illustrator)
1987 Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (production illustrator)
1986 SpaceCamp (Art director)
1983 Two of a Kind (production illustrator)
1982 Diner (Art director)
1981 Taps (production illustrator)
1981 The Devil and Max Devlin (Art director)
1980 The watcher in the woods (creator: Other World sequence)
1979 Star Trek – The motion picture (Art director)
1979 The Black Hole(production illustrator)
1978 On the Yard (Art director)
1977 Deadly Game (TV Movie) (Art director)
1977 The Girl in the Empty Grave (TV Movie) (Art director)
1965 The great race ( production illustration-matte artist)
1965 The Sound of Music (art illustrator – uncredited)
1961 West Side Story (production illustrator – uncredited)