Star Trek Cast & Crew Fan Chat Transcript + Pictures From The Set [UPDATED]

EXCLUSIVE: On Friday afternoon [UPDATED and during a 2nd round during the evening] Star Trek director JJ Abrams, along with exec. producer Bryan Burk, exec. producer/co-writer Roberto Orci, VFX supervisor Roger Guyett, exec. producer Jeffrey Chernov and Unit Production Manager David Witz all dropped in to to field questions from the fans. Also joining were castmembers: John Cho (Sulu), Karl Urban (McCoy), Zoe Saldana (Uhura), Anton Yelchin (Chekov), Chris Pine (Kirk), and Zachary Quinto (Spock). They posted online in between takes while shooting on the Enterprise sets! See the full transcript (in easy to read Q&A format) and a couple of photos below (including the very first picture from the Bridge).


AFTERNOON CHAT TRANSCRIPT (see evening transcript below)

JJ Abrams (Director/Producer):
It’s funny that you phrased it that way — carrying the torch — because that’s exactly what it feels like. Trek means a great deal to many people, and I fully appreciate that responsibility. But I have never been overwhelmed by that burden. Quite the opposite. The fans have been part of the inspiration. This experience has felt, from the beginning, like a truly unbelievable opportunity. We’re only half-way through principle photography, but the torch is burning bright and we’re running hard!

Marian Ciobanu: When we will see more detailed clips from the new movie..?
Bryan Burk (Executive Producer):
Barring any thievery from our production office, we’re working on our first trailer right now, which will hopefully be in theaters early to mid summer.

Josh: What was the greatest challenge you faced when you first decided to take on Star Trek?
JJ Abrams:
This may not be a fair answer, but there were two greatest challenges: the first was getting a handle on the vision of the future. The fact that most of the tech that we use in our everyday lives seems modelled after — and actually more advanced than — TOS, made it tricky to find a way to make our movie’s world far more advanced than where we currently are, and yet also consistent with the original show.

The other challenge was, obviously, casting. How in the world were we ever going to find actors who can fill the shoes of that remarkable original cast? It was tough in theory and harder in practice. We couldn’t — and wouldn’t have — gone into production with a cast that simply didn’t WORK.
With the amazing efforts of April Webster and Alyssa Weisberg (our casting directors), we somehow did it. This cast is massively talented and smart as hell and funny and dedicated and completely inhabiting these roles. You will see. Kirk f’n LIVES. Spock is HERE, right now. I can see him. Uhura and Bones and Chekov and Sulu and Scotty are ON THE BRIDGE and they are wonderful.

In short, WHEW.

The Vulcanista: For any cast member — What’s your favorite on-set moment so far? Best on-set prank? (Answers expected to be spoiler free, of course!)
Zachary Quinto (Spock):
Definitely the first time Leonard and I were both in costume at the same time for the wardrobe test.

Roberto Orci (Co-Writer/Executive Producer):
Writing this film with my high school chum Alex Kurtzman has reminded me how solidly constructed the original paradigm for Star Trek really was. Our job was to just do our homework. We not only went back to our favorite episodes and books and movies, but we also read graduate level dissertations about the meaning of Star Trek. It was like going back to Star Trek school, and it made us appreciate Trek even more, which I didn’t think was possible.

Roberto Orci: Just to set the scene a bit, call time today was 1 PM. So JJ is setting up his first shot right now on the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise — bear with us…

Charles Trotter: Do you have a targeted wrap date for the film?
JJ Abrams: Currently it is scheduled to wrap the beginning of April. Which means we’ll be shooting until September. I’m kidding. I hope. No, I am.

RoobyDoo: Mr. Abrams, how important is humour in your vision of Star Trek? And what kind of humour do you enjoy most?
JJ Abrams:
I’m afraid to answer this question, because The Haters will think that I’m looking at Trek as a comedy. I am not. But humor is hugely important. Humor and humanity go hand-in-hand — there is such wit in the screenplay (kudos, Kurtzman/Orci), and the actors bring such intelligence and humor, that my job is just to keep the thing REAL. Dramatic as hell, but also LAUGHS. Without comedy (my fave TOS eps had GREAT wit), the audience finds their own places to laugh. And in a world of humans and aliens, that could be disastrous. So the short answer? It’s very important.

Mawazitus: For Roberto Orci: Seriously, how often do you have to pinch yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming? A dyed-in-the-wool Trekker getting the opportunity to add to the mythos. It must be awesome. How many pages of ideas do you already have for the sequels?
Roberto Orci:
No kidding. I think I speak for many of us when I say that we pinch oursleves every day, and it still doesn’t work. I’d ask Quinto or Nimoy to “pinch” me, but I just think that would make it more surreal…

Gibnerd: Random script question… what is the 10th word on the 10th page of the ST script?
Bryan Burk: "…and…"

Questions for Burk and Lindelof: In your Producer roles, how are you having the history-making production of “Star Trek” documented?
Bryan Burk: From the beginning there has been behind the scenes DVD team capturing all phases of pre-production and production. There’s been talks of possibly having book as well, but that’s contingent on an interest for it.

EuroTrashTrekker: The Trek teaser trailer was very American focused, with all the sound bites from American space program (and none from anywhere else). Star Trek often seemed overly American. How will you make sure that Star Trek is a global film that appeals in Europe, Asia, Latin America, etc?
Bryan Burk: There were different versions around the world of the teaser trailer around the world to deal with exactly that.

Michael (the real one in Texas, by way of Afghanistan): I am a big fan of yours, but also of your friend and so called good luck charm, Greg Grunberg. Can you tell us if he will make an appearance, and if so perhaps a hint as to his part ????
JJ Abrams: I am so pissed at Grunberg. The guy was about to be in the movie — had a GREAT PART — but had to bow out because of some LAME OTHER MOVIE HE’S DOING.

All right, so I’m half-kidding and just disappointed: Grunny WAS gonna be in Trek, and he IS doing another movie, so he can’t be in ours — but his movie isn’t lame, it’s funny, and he’s producing and co-writing and long-time collaborator Larry Trilling is writing with him and directing, so I wish them all the best. Even though I hate Greg now. Who knows, maybe he’ll be a tribble.


JJ Abrams & Bryan Burk chatting with the fans


Yammer: Have you taken anything from the novels? My dream Trek movie would be an adaption of Diane Duane, whos Trek novels combine hard SF with vivid elaborations of the classic characters, and are so well written that they are totally unembarassing to read in public.
Roberto Orci: We have absolutely been inspired by the novels. We’ve mentioned before how much we loved Prime Directive and many others as a great example of all things TOS at its best.

Battletrek: How many visual effects shots will there be in the new movie?
Roger Guyett (Visual Effects Supervisor): We’re anticipating about 1000.

Lawrence Boucher: Has there been a particular moment while filming that has caught you off-guard and made you stand back and say “wow” or just made you think “how cool is this”?
Chris Pine (James T. Kirk): For me, I still get the chills every time I sit in “the” chair, and every time I say who I am in the movie.

Mike J. Hafezi: My current English teacher, Mr. Zimmerman, doesn’t like Star Trek and doesn’t want this movie to happen. What do you say to that?
Roberto Orci: Please tell Mr. Zimmerman that there will be plenty of English spoken in the movie.

Daniel Broadway: Roger Guyett — First, I want to say, I’m a fan of your work. I’m an aspiring VFX artist (compositor) myself. I was wondering what types of software you will be using for 3D animation, but also for compositing. I know you have many in house tools as well.
Roger Guyett: We’ll be using lots of different pieces of software, a lot of ILM proprietary tools, but we’ll also be using Maya, Renderman and Shake (the compositing software). Good luck with your career in VFX!

Captain April: ILM is doing the effects for the film. Will it all be CGI or have they built a physical model of the New Enterprise? Also when will we see a photo of the finished Enterprise?
JJ Abrams:
I was lucky enough to work with ILM on Mission: Impossible III. Roger Guyette and Sherri Hanson are geniuses who are also a true joy to work with. ILM has always been the best — but in recent years they have — remarkably — gotten even better, making the virtual photo-real.
Having said that, my goal is to make Trek REAL — that is to say, not have it be camp — not have it be phony — not have it look like a scrap of green screen was used anywhere. Of course, this is Star Trek. We’re using every trick in the book. But WHEREVER WE CAN, we are shooting on sets — either built on sound stages or expanding upon found locations. This is important. What this means is that the movie won’t have that “actors performing in a blue or green void then placed in front of a spaceship set” feeling that makes me insane. One of our really talented designers recently commented online how we shot on a green screen set and what a shame that was, since we could have built something incredible. And she was right — for that one scene, which will last for maybe thirty seconds on screen, we built only pieces and were surrounded by green. But that is the exception. We can’t build EVERYTHING, and need to make this film on a budget (partly because that’s the $ we have, and partly because I want the studio to see Trek as viable!). The Enterprise will be a combo of the physical and the virtual. A photo is forthcoming!

Jon1701: A lot of good questions so far, but I don’t think the key issue has been addressed yet. WILL THE DOORS GO SWOOSH WHEN THEY OPEN?
JJ Abrams: Dude. Will they ever!

Raffie: Is there anything I can say to my girlfriend to convince her to go see a movie with me that is titled “Star Trek”? If so, that could be very helpful.
JJ Abrams: First of all, I’m relieved you have a girlfriend. Secondly, this movie is not being made solely for Trekkers — that is not to say we aren’t giving the true believers the fix they want — but we’re also making a movie for people (men AND women) who have never seen Trek once in any incarnation.
What finally pushed me over the edge to direct and not just produce Star Trek was my wife, Katie’s, reaction. She loved the characters. She confirmed my deep suspicions that I should direct this movie. The story is dramatic and funny and emotional and romantic and full of adventure. I know I’m biased — but I think people are going to love this experience. For some, perhaps, DESPITE the fact that it’s called Star Trek. Who knows? Maybe your girlfriend will see the movie and become a fan of the show.



JJ Abrams takes a station on the bridge of the Enterprise to chat with fans

Tonight is the last night shooting on the bridge of the Enteprise, and so the team are busy…plus having some tech issues. But people should be popping in and out to answer questions…The article will be updated as more folks chime in below.


Lawrence Boucher: Has there been a particular moment while filming that has caught you off-guard and made you stand back and say “wow” or just made you think “how cool is this”?
John Cho (Sulu): It had to be walking on the bridge of the Enterprise for the first time. It was experiencing something from my past, which was amazing, while seeing it totally revamped and updated. It was a wholly unique experience.
Anton Yelchin (Chekov): for me, it was extraordinary to spend my last shooting day on the enterprise. it really struck me just how epic it all was…AND WILL BE.
Karl Urban (McCoy): For me, the “wow” moment was hearing Nimoy’s voice, and seeing him as Mr. Spock, for the first time in years, and seeing it live.
Zoe Saldana: My “wow” moment was spending time with Nichelle Nichols when she visited the set and knowing that we were shooting in the exact stage where the show was shot back in the 60’s

Darryl: I have a tattoo of the Enterprise, will I have to have it changed now?
JJ Abrams: Which one? Enterprise A, B, C, D, or E?

ensign joe: Question for everyone – If there was one thing you wish the fans would quit complaining about what would it be?
Roberto Orci: complaints mean you still care… so we never want to see you stop complaining.

starbase63: Please settle the arguement that has erupted since the release of the teaser…which shows the Enterprise being built in a ground based drydock (someone seems to have taken a gag photo seriously). Though not official, it has been accepted from “The Making of Star Trek” on, and even listed in the entries both in Michael Okuda’s Star Trek Encyclopedia and the Library at that the ship was assembled in orbit…even in the Enterprise series set 85 years before TOS we see ships being built in orbit. Will we actually see the 1701 finished in the San Francisco Orbital Yard, or has this concept been thrown out? After all, duranium will be just as strong in orbit as it would on Earth…
Roberto Orci: Without giving anything away, nothing in the teaser precludes final assembly in space.

Craig: Mr. Abrams. What made you select the TOS time frame? I have read on other Trek forums fans saying the new movie should have been post Nemesis. Do you feel the 24th or 25th Century Era is done? I think choosing TOS is cool even though I do like TNG and DS9. I can’t wait to see the rest of what the new 1701 will look like.
JJ Abrams: Alex, Bob, Bryan, Damon and I always wanted to do the Kirk/Spock/original crew story. That was what attracted us to the project. New timeframes have been done numerous times in the Trek universe. What we wanted to explore required the TOS timeline.

PM: Did you guys ever discuss the project with [former Star Trek producer] Rick Berman? If so what does he feel about the project?
Roberto Orci: We have note but we have nothing but the deepest respect for all the previous incarnations and stewards of this great franchise, and we truly hope we will have his blessing when all is revealed.

Scott: What is your favorite Trek film out of the prior ten?
David Witz (Production Manager): STII The Wrath of Khan

AJ: What MPAA rating are you shooting for? Are merchandising tie-ins planned on a grand scale to bring in a younger audience for the long haul a la Star Wars?
Jeffrey Chernov (exec. producer): We’re shooting for PG-13. We’re working on a massive intergalactic tie in… but I don’t want to spoil anything yet.

Zachary Quinto: (to no question in particular) live at the center of the action. walking past bob all day – he has been standing in front of his computer for hours talking to you all. so i had to jump on and give a shout out and huge thank you to all of the ardent fans who have been so enthusiastic and supportive of what we are putting together out here. the energy on the set is so exciting. really. especially tonight. literally shooting the final scene of the movie as i type (of course we shoot out of order – there are more than two months of shooting still to go). so we are getting close to finishing all of our principal photography on the actual bridge of the enterprise (and scott chambliss has made it come alive like you won’t believe). we just said goodbye to all of the additional cast members who have manned all of the various stations and posts during the heat of this mission. i found myself faced with such a well of emotion at the prospect of this experience coming to an end for anyone… let alone myself. i still have a while until my picture wrap – but after such a long time separating from my emotional response to things – i imagine the end of this run will be quite a flood. but then it enters into a new and in some ways more exciting phase because we get to share it and celebrate it with each other – and with all of you. and i know that is something we are all looking forward to. so. be safe and well and look forward to seeing you next christmas… thanks again. live long. and prosper. of course.

Rod (Dunedin, New Zealand): To Karl Urban: Go, mate! You’re along way from ‘Out Of The Blue’ now, eh? Cheers
Karl Urban: Mate , I could murder a Spieghts right now, miss that Dunedin surf
your mate,

OR Coast Trekkie: For JJ and/or the crew: There are people here who are getting angry that things look different, and believe that if you get those little minute things “wrong” then you are going to get the big things wrong, and get the message of Star Trek “wrong.” How do you respond to that kind of criticism?
Roberto Orci: We surely understand the concern. I can only say that no decision will have been made out of ignorance of canon or details. — anything you see that you feel deviates from canon will have a canon inspired reason.

And a final message from Cast and Crew of the Enterprise: Thanks for spending the day with us…
Bridge Out.





Related: Put faces to these names…see the Cast & Crew Pictures from the Cloverfield Premiere


Photos: Roberto Orci

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SWEEEEEEEET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;-)

Those look like LCARS-style panels!

Yes first pic of the set

very cool

Darn Roberto for using his Iphone to capture pictures! I wanted to be able to read that call sheet in the bottom of the frame! I am sure there is something spoilery there. Dang!

This portion of is sponsored by Apple.

That photo of the station on the bridge is so totall washed out on purpose. But i think thats the FIRST picture we have seen of anything other than the corridor.


Shiny red buttons! Yay!

Holy Shat! We can see a green screen with compositing tracking squares! Either that, or it’s the worst alien design of all time…

So Apple developed the OS for Starfleet?


nice. part new part old, classic lines…

You know, it would make sense – go through any self-checkout in your local Swillmart, and it’s all touch-panel tech now. From the color and the contours of the console in that last shot, it seems to evoke a TMP-like ambience. And dig the color of the fabric on the chair behind J.J……..this ain’t your daddy’s TOS……..;-)

What’s that gold at the bottom of the second pic ? :)

LOL #6

Trek different!

Absolutely amazing coup.


He was posting… from the BRIDGE?! Holy freaking cannoli, that’s awesome. :D

Burke: “There’s been talks of possibly having book as well, but that’s contingent on an interest for it.”

Interest in a behind-the-scenes book? Are you KIDDING me?? We’d eat that up with a great, big, giant spoon and come back for more!!

Spill, baby, spill…

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

I enhanced the top photo in Photoshop and the right page in the binder is actually a recipe for deep fried Tribbles!

Wicked, love it, thanks Anthony and the Star Trek team from, Dave in St. Albans England.

#8 – I guess middle age is catching up to me. I don’t see any shiny red buttons.

Just put on my reading glasses.


Nope. Don’t see ’em. Point out the snake that’s about to bite me.

Bryan Burk: From the beginning there has been behind the scenes DVD team capturing all phases of pre-production and production. There’s been talks of possibly having book as well, but that’s contingent on an interest for it.

I will be buying both the DVD and book whenever they come out. So yes, I think there will be a big interest.

thanks to everyone who helped make this happen. we all really appreciate that this direct dialogue between the production team and the fans is happening. ive never known anything quite like this in all my fanboy days.


and oh yeah, if ya wanna slip us a picture of the Enterprise we wont tell anyone.

Ok… Now I HAVE to say that the bridge station design looks amazing. What an age we live in that this sort of thing is even possible. I love it!

Thanks to everyone at ST XI for taking time out to do this chat and to Anthony and his crew for hosting this.

Awesome just awesome. It really means a lot to us fans.

From a first generation Trekker.

It’s kind of funny to see the “Countdown to Star Trek” widget next to Abrams and Burk. No pressure, fellas!!!

Oh, yeah, and despite the creaky beginning, thanks so much to Anthony and crew and Abrams and crew for making this once-in-a-lifetime event happen!

Cheers, dears!

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

I’d just like to say thanks. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of any members of a production team chatting with fans while on the set. It really shows the commitment these guys have in producing a quality film. This chat should put to rest any fears of JJ and crew doing anything to upset the fans. How many directors/writers/stars/producers would come and chat with us rabid fanboys while in the process of shooting? This could be the most down to earth group of individuals I’ve ever seen make a major motion picture, and boy is it a breath of fresh air.

*delighted* Apple on the Enterprise bridge. I wonder when the first real ads get out.

Anthony, thanks for your great work!

This whole thing here, online chat from set, was simply wonderful. I want to thank all who put this together. What a great way to connect with fans. What a great way for people all over the world to connect and share. (There was no internet in Trek …).

#27 And fangirls ;)

Apple laptop with a banana next to it. How healthy!

Anthony, I agree with #27 – is this a first?

Freaking awesome! Posting from the Bridge of the big E! Nice one JJ and Mr. Orci!


#30: Yeah, we appreciate a bit of recognition now and then, too. :D

(BTW, thank you very much for linking to that site in your name, that was too much fun reading.

AP: Today has definitely been a red-letter date for, congratulations!

That second photo… Just great stuff. I hope that JJ is sitting at the Comm station.

I saw the bridge and I crapped my pants!!

Effing AWESOME!!!

I love the “relieved you have a girlfriend” joke – only a person who knows Trek (and Trek humor) can deliver that line and not sound like a jerk. :)

great day for

thank you so much Anthony for making all of this happen!!!!

Thanks to everyone that stopped by to chat with us. And a special thanks to Roberto for the pics:)

All hail the hypnotoad… I mean, Anthony… All hail, anthony…

A real coup in getting this site up and taking the online trek universe by storm!

Futurama reference! Nice one!! :D

Anthony- you deserve a raise and some financial support from Paramount…

Geez. I think I’ll have to see it at least 4 times in theater. Did 3 with Transformers and SW ep3.. this is teeming with MUCH more potential.
thank you!

First off, thanks for the opportunity, and thanks for being so willing to sit for a second and chill with some fans.

My question is simply this… will the film take place in the established canon? I’ve seen that it will ACKNOWLEDGE it, that it will RESPECT it, and that there will be REFERENCES. However, you can do that and have it still take place in another fictional universe. As a final, definitive answer, will this film take place in the same fictional universe as everything that came before it?

Either way, thanks for resuscitating the franchise!

Ok i missed everything earlier but after reading the transcript am I correct in reading that there will be tribbles?(was this a spoiler?)

Mr. Abram’s can you confirm this?

Hey, guys.

The photo with the bridge terminal had some mean oversaturation and lense flare going on, so I attempted to clean it up a little bit. Can’t get much out of the souce picture, but it certainly looks a lot better now. Take a look.

To J.J. Abrams and crew: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some of our questions. You all seem like such a fun and thoughtful group of people. I really feel as though Star Trek is in good hands. :)

Hmmm, perhpas it is just me, but I looking at these 2 pics, I would have no idea where in the set they would be.

#30 Very cool website!

And thanks for stickin’ up for us fangirls!

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

45-thanks thats much sharper!


Holy colorful euphemism! Thanks, Blackout!

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|