Mojo Needs Our Help!

Remember that video clip I posted a while back showing how the 1978 Battlestar Galactica might look with modern digital effects? If you’ll recall, that demo was created by a dude named Adam “Mojo” Lebowitz, a very talented visual-effects artist whose work has enlivened many well-loved sci-fi properties in recent years: the TV series Babylon 5, Star Trek: Voyager and Deep Space Nine, the theatrical film Serenity, and the director’s cut of Star Trek: The Motion Picture that was released to DVD. He also notoriously accepted an Emmy for his work on Ron Moore’s reimagined Battlestar Galactica while wearing a Colonial Warrior outfit from the original Galactica.

Well, I saw this morning on The Digital Bits, a DVD/BluRay news blog I follow, that Mojo is in a bad place right now and could really use some of the geek community’s legendary compassion and generosity:

For the last couple of years, Mojo has been suffering from chronic, debilitating pain that’s made it hard for him to work regularly. This led him into an unfortunate pain-killer addiction after a doctor prescribed opiates as a treatment without really investigating the cause. Needless to say, Mojo’s been in a downward spiral. The good news is that he’s finally checked himself into the Glendale Adventist Medical Center for treatment. The bad news is that he’s been diagnosed with Peripheral Neuropathy – essentially it’s severe nerve damage that results in chronic phantom pain, numbness, tingling and burning sensations in his limbs, tremors and lack of coordination. It’s not curable, but it is treatable with the proper medical supervision. But while Mojo has been recommended to a secondary treatment center by the specialists, it turns out that his crappy health insurance isn’t going to cover it. And because he hasn’t been able to work much in the last year, he’s broke and he’s in danger of being kicked out of his apartment. So Mojo desperately needs financial help. His friends (myself included) are doing what they can, but I wanted to throw out the word to all of you in the online film geek community.


If you’ve enjoyed Mojo’s work over the years, if you appreciated his efforts to try and get Battlestar Galactica Remastered going, if you simply enjoyed the clip he produced above – if that’s worth something to you – please consider sending him $10, $20, whatever you can (and feel like) chipping in via PayPal (to: It may literally be the difference between Mojo getting back on his feet or being homeless. By the way, you can visit him here on Facebook, where he often posts CG renderings and other interesting things.

In the interest of full disclosure, I do not personally know Mojo, although I’ve had a couple of brief exchanges with him on Facebook, and he seems like a pretty cool guy. But I do enjoy his work, even though I’m on record as preferring the old-fashioned miniature and matte-painting FX techniques I grew up with to modern CGI. Mojo’s stuff seems far less, well, “digital” than a lot of the effects you see these days, especially on television. To my eye, his starships look almost as solid and massive as those created with physical models, and I know he spent a lot of time on that Battlestar demo trying to get the vapor trails from the Vipers’ turbo engines to look like the practical effects that were done in 1978. You have to admire that level of craftsmanship and passion for the project.

Also, I really despise the way American society positions so many people one illness away from living in a cardboard box. It’s not right, and it’s not fair that people who have bigger things to worry about have to live with that kind of fear. So, for all those reasons, I’m going to throw a sawbuck Mojo’s way. It’s the least I can do for a fellow human being who also happens to have contributed to so many of my obsessions. And I’d like to ask that everyone reading this do the same, even if you can only spare a couple bucks. Skip your Starbucks run today and help out a brother. And if you have a blog or some social media presence, spread the word…