Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Star Trek Designing the Future

Sunday, September 27th, the Art Directors Guild honored four of the designers for Star Trek. The guild held their event called "Star Trek: 45 Years of Designing the Future" at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood to honor John Jeffries (for Original Series), Joseph R. Jennings (Wrath of Khan), Herman Zimmerman (Deep Space 9), and Scott Chambliss (Abrams' Star Trek). This group is credited with designing much of the look and feel that we associate with the Star Trek Universe today including the starships, the planets, phasers and more. Designs that seem to now influence much of the tech created today. Below are snippets, but click here to read the full article from Hero Complex.
In the original “Trek,” other planets looked like the soundstages they were, but back in the day, the show was state-of-the-art. The papier-mache "rocks" weren’t even painted – "Paint was too expensive," Zimmerman said – they were lit with different colored lights, so the same boulders could double as other planets.

Said Zimmerman of graduating from “Deep Space 9,” set in the mid-23rd century, to “Star Trek: Enterprise,” set in the mid 22nd, he was relieved “to be designing a show only 90 years in the future.”

Jennings joked about developing five designs for a phaser, and the powers that be choosing one element from each of the five they wanted incorporated. By the way, in "Star Trek" parlance, when a rock or wall has “GNDN” painted on it, it merely means “Goes nowhere, does nothing."

Chambliss, the youngest and most restrained on the panel, commented briefly about conceptualizing the look of the 2009 “Trek” film. He was thinking about Nero’s ship one evening while chopping ingredients for dinner in his kitchen. Looking at the knife, he said, “That’s scary.” Then pointing the imaginary knife at his face, he said, “That’s really scary.” Hence the idea for the Romulan’s ship.


  1. making sci fi shows based on future is a big challenge as the look of the show plays a huge part in its popularity and to design a futuristic look is not an easy job but star trek tv show has maintained it superbly. hats off to star trek team

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