Art Directors Guild Honoring Star Trek Designers At Hollywood Event

Later this month The Art Directors Guild will be honoring the designers of the final frontier at their "Star Trek: 45: Years of Designing the Future" event in Hollywood. On hand will be veterans of Trek design including Herman Zimmerman as well as Star Trek 2009’s Scott Chambliss. They will be showing clips as well as the Director’s Edition of ST: The Motion Picture. Our friend Daren Dochterman will be moderating the panel.  

Press Release


LOS ANGELES, September 1 — The Art Directors Guild (ADG) Film Society and American Cinematheque (AC) will honor the talented designers who helped to create the futuristic world of Star Trek with Star Trek: 45 Years of Designing the Future, featuring four Production Designers whose work helped bring the science fiction classic to life. John Jefferies, Joseph R. Jennings, Herman Zimmerman and Scott Chambliss will participate in a panel discussion to be moderated by Production Illustrator Daren R. Dochterman, featuring video clips from their work on Star Trek, as well as a screening of the Director’s Edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Documentary video clips of the late Harold Michelson, Production Designer of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, will also be shown. The event will take place on Sunday, September 27, at 5:00 pm at the Egyptian Theatre (6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood).

Writer Gene Roddenberry first conceived Star Trek in 1964. One of the first members of his team was Production Designer Walter M. "Matt" Jefferies, to whom Roddenberry entrusted the crucial job of designing the iconic Starship Enterprise and the ship’s main control room, known as the "bridge." Since then, Jefferies and his colleagues (including panelist John Jefferies) have played an integral role in the success of Star Trek’s futuristic adventures. Not only have they brought the show’s amazing starships to life, but the Production Designers have also been responsible for creating all of the imaginative alien worlds seen on screen. This event celebrates the vital role of the Production Designer with these four distinguished panelists, each representing a different version of the Star Trek saga.

The event will begin with a series of video clips from the first two seasons of Star Trek: The Original Series, which Production Designer Walter M. Jefferies worked on from 1966-1969. Scenes from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, designed by panelist Joseph R. Jennings, will be shown next. Jennings also worked as an Art Director on Star Trek: The Motion Picture, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award® in 1980. He has also been nominated for two Emmys®, for his work on the mini-series Roots (1977) and the television movie Shogun (1989).

Following will be clips from the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Enterprise, all designed by panelist Herman Zimmerman. Zimmerman was nominated for an Emmy® three years in a row (1997-1999) for his work on Deep Space Nine and also won an Art Directors Guild award for his work on this series. Zimmerman’s work includes six Star Trek feature films, spanning from Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) through Star Trek: Nemesis (2002).

A trailer from the current 2009 release of Star Trek will also be shown. Panelist Scott Chambliss was the Production Designer on this film. Chambliss is known for his work as Production Designer on the television series Alias (2001-2006), for which he won an Emmy® in 2002 and an Art Directors Guild award in 2003. 

Just prior to the screening of the Director’s Edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, documentary video clips of the late Harold Michelson, discussing his work as Production Designer on this film, will be shown. This is one of the last projects that legendary Director Robert Wise worked on before his passing in 2005. Moderator Daren R. Dochterman was the Visual Effects Supervisor on the Director’s Edition of this film.

Representing the ADG are President Thomas A. Walsh, and Production Designer John Muto. Working with them are the American Cinematheque’s Gwen Deglise and Chris D. The series is in part sponsored by trade publication Below The Line. General admission: $10. American Cinematheque members: $7. Students/Seniors with valid ID: $8. 24-hour ticket information is available at 323-466-FILM (3456).


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Sounds very enlightening.

Cool. Wish I could go.

Until Star Trek created the non Rocket shaped space ship, I use to view space ships as either rocket shaped or UFO shaped. Then I realized space has no air or real resistance that creates the need for aerodynamics. That space ship quality is only needed to go through atmospheres. I’m sure the structure of the Enterprise has made many learn this fact.

The biggest reason the transported was used it Star Trek was as Gene himself said while envisioning the Series was that he could not afford to each week create rockets or the effects of getting people from up there in space down to the planets. I forgot where he or Gene Coon got the mater-energy-matter idea of transportation from. But it was a perfect idea imported into the Series.

The other news I herd today was the author of ‘The Science of Star Trek’ said he would be one of the volunteers to journey on the lower cost one way trip to Mars. This one way trip idea came about because their would be no money left if the US budget was deverted to making life better for everyone with no real producing people had to work any more, or scoring grades where used in education any more. In other words America became Couch Potatoes and life was easy for all.

We need to honor the people that can create new never before thought of ideas. And this award presentation helps idealize the concept of a creative brain. Not all ideas are great, some only make things easy, but if both are done with out harming the other side of the creation then you can earn respect for you creations.

P.S. To get to Mars on a low budget is not the answer to reaching another planet. This concept of a one way trip does not promote living as long as you can, and death is not the answer or any kind of solution.

I wonder if this awards show will be filmed or taped for later viewing by others or for public broadcast on a tv/cable channel. I’m sure many not in the creative fields would like to see it. Even better if they has a brief documentary on how these people of honor got there and with what brings them there.

It could even be used as a teaching/learning moment to create more inventors in the field.

We need to create creative minds more than we need to create couch potatoes if humanity is to survive.

2. braxus are you not from the 29th century, did they lose the video of this or was there any video in the first place.

Or did you get frozen in 1996 and forgot all about the powers you have in the 29th century.

I to would like to go, so someone please give me a winning lottery ticket so I can afford to go.

Opps I miss IDed the book, it’s the Physics of Star Trek, and I even have the first and second versions of the book.

I’m even a space cadet every now and then.

Guess it’s my human half poluting my Vulcan half.

As Dr. Mc Coy would say, I’d look into having it removed.

Matt Jefferies was brilliant. 40 years later his designs still look new.

I wonder if they have a HD version of the ST:TMP Directors Cut? The DVD version would not be fitting at such an event…would it?

I’d love to know if Paramount have indeed sprung for a HD version… there could be hope for a Director’s Cut Blu-Ray yet!

I wish I could go to this

Herman Zimmerman is my favourite Production Designer on Star Trek along with Matt Jeffries.

Zimmerman always honoured Matt Jeffries.

Yes, a true visionary and thought leader. His designs have a timeless beauty and elegance.

Nice to see this kind of recognition for the ones responsible for how our beloved make-believe universe looks.

Wonder if they considered inviting Richard James, our production designer on TNG and Voyager for 13 out of the 14 years those two shows were on. Sounds like they’re concentrating more on the feature films.

It’s a shame Matt Jefferies can’t be there to enjoy the honor…

I had the honor of meeting Matt Jeffries several years ago at a convention. He was hovering over the infamous bridge model, made out of cardboard or something, along with the other sets. Me being a teen, and not ever seeing any documentary with him on it, began to strike up the conversation. It wasnt until half way through that I asked his name. Boy what a surprise! He was a nice man, and he and I also talked about the newer designs, he of course liked the ‘E’.
Then in 2004 or so, the Egyptian theater was showing Star Trek The Motion Picture, and Harold Michelson was there! He was a nice man too. They were filming that day, and that is probably what they will be showing. Michelson, did a presentation on TMP.
The weird thing is, both Michelson and Jeffries both died just months after I met them! I dont get it!



I was wondering about that myself.

I love your work on Star Trek

#15 – Thanks. I -think- we illustrators had a bit of a hand in the process. :)

14: “The weird thing is, both Michelson and Jeffries both died just months after I met them! I dont get it!”

Oh I get it.

If my name is Herman Zimmerman and I see you coming, I’m running the other way.

@16: Yeah, just a teensy bit….. *bows down, is not worthy*

#18 – “Stand, good sir knight, and carry on the fight for visually interesting design and compelling stories that makes sense in celluloid, television, and digital media.” :)

@19: …And this is why I love the internet. If someone had told me when I was a kid that I’d get to chat with the actual people who actually made actual Star Trek, I wouldn’t have bought it for a second. :D