More Star Trek Movie Make-up Secrets

Earlier this week we reported on the first part of an in-depth report on the make-up for the new Star Trek movie. Now the final two parts are online, giving away more secrets of creating the aliens and make-up effects from the Romulans, Klingons and more. Excerpts and photos below.


Vulcans and Romulans
Part 2 of SciFi Now’s look at the Star Trek make-up has an interview with Joel Harlow, who worked with Barney Burman creating the make-up effects for the film. Harlow’s team did much of the work on the Vulcans and Romulans from the movie. Discussing the Romulans, Joel states:

With the Romulans, J.J. wanted to see something completely different. They still resemble Vulcans in that they have pointed ears and pointed eyebrows, but we went through something like six different full make-up tests specifically for the character of Nero [Eric Bana] and ultimately designing what the Romulan aesthetic would look like. At that point, it was myself, Neville Page who was the creature designer and to a lesser extent, [make-up department head] Mindy Hall coming in and throwing out ideas and coming up with ideas for what the Romulans would look like.

Harlow transforming Eric Bana into the Romulan Nero

And for the third and final part of the series, both Harlow and Burman talk about developing the Klingons, which ended up being cut from the final movie. The Klingons from the Rura Penthe scenes all wore helmets that only showed their mouths and eyes, so the team only developed those parts of the Klingon face, but Harlow notes that they had forehead ridges in mind:

What was neat was the helmets were designed with that very familiar Klingon forehead ingrained in them, and then you would see the skin area around the eyes, which would sell the fact that they were Klingons.

Harlow works on a Klingon

Go to SFN to see the full series on the makeup of Star Trek including many more photos, including tests:


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It was certainly something. Is there going to be something similar on the DVD perhaps? Maybe an Easter Egg?

Does anyone else think the Klingon’s should be the villains in the next movie? Everyone is saying yes or no to Khan but I haven’t seen anyone mention the Klingons, and let’s face it you can’t have ST without the Klingons!

It’s worth looking through the photos to spot Zach Quinto looking like a feral Vulcan with hat-hair as he gets his ears fitted. And I think that’s him getting the Blue Man treatment, too.

part 3 links to part 1!

“We discussed story elements and history, and talked about scarification as a way to evolve the Romulans into having that V-shaped forehead. The first time you see them, they’re human-looking other than the pointy ears, but after many years, they start to have this V-shaped brow; my rationale was, keyloid scarring over many years, but we’ll see if the audience likes that idea or not. It’s not something written into the story so there’s no time to explain it.”

so do ST09s Romulans have the V ridges or not?

That’s a huge close up of Nimoy in there

The Klingon in the make-up chair is cool! I say bring on the Klingons for the sequal!

I’m OK with the Klingons being the baddies in the sequel as long as its an original – and good – story.

Good Klingons, not 2D cartoon Klingons like STIII. Make em interesting badasses.

I read somewhere that the writing team isn’t sold on the idea of Klingons as the driving antagonistic force in the sequel because they feel like after all the progression they’ve made over the franchise, bringing them back to more two-dimensional villainy status would be a major step back.

I don’t necessarily agree with them, because I’m confident this team could pen them rather three-dimensionally and still maintain their terror. But it’s something I thought I’d throw out there in response to the question. I wish I could remember where the heck I read it. Might have just been the film’s wiki page, though I’m pretty sure it had a reference, at least.

Either way, I know I also read that they’re very open to dealing with relevant social issues more in the sequel, which is very good news to me if they can pull it off properly. Now if they could do that *and* have Klingon bad guys, I’d go see it ten times!

That Klingon makeup looks amazing. Can’t wait to see the final product in the next movie (hint, hint)!

i guess V ridges on romulans can be explained as its some short of Ethnicity trait ,
basically some romulans have them and some dont, like Epicanthic fold with humans , maybe some vulcans have them too and they where more common in a certain region on the planet vulcan . Say the region where most of the romulans came from before leaving?

SCARY klingon bad guys will be cool, just as long as they are made out to be REALLY bad ass, with cool weapons and stuff, but with real motivations and more realism. extended battle scenes with more hand to hand combat will show what these big mouths are made of, eg, show what a bat’leth can do to someones head or how ferocious these lot are in close combat. in my opinion, hand to hand combat scenes with these lot havent been real enough in the WHOLE of star trek, on the big screen where it matters, in my opinion ( perhaps due to time, budgets and production styles) . after all, aren’t they supposedly ‘warrior’ types? perhaps a star trek film with these guys actually causing a lot of damage and having some sort of upper hand ( ‘upper hand ’caused by the advances in tech somehow they gained from caprturing the narada? i havent read the nero comic yet, so i dont know if they did or not ), would make for good cinema going?

I agree. If the Klingons can look half as menacing as this guy then I’m all for them being in the next movie. I think this look with a TOS sophistication (compared to TNG) would make an excellent force to be reckoned with and besides, I would love to see young Kirk’s first encounter with them.


Agreed. It’s about time we see Klingons in a villainous position again. They should be a vicious terrifying force, but smart and cunning just the same.

Yes the Klingon looks awesome! I can’t wait to see him and his brothers and sisters (sans helmets w/fully developed foreheads) with the sense of menance and conquring terror as was seen in TOS , make them vicious and vile , let us see the vast klingon slave labor camps as Kirk told us about in Errand of Mercy , give us a true sense of foreboding when a fleet of klingon ship is seen bearing down on an innocent planet with a fleet of federation ships standing in the way . Let us see gloruis hand to hand and epic space battles between the Klingons and the federation , battles which all other Klingons only dreamed of!


10: “I read somewhere that the writing team isn’t sold on the idea of Klingons as the driving antagonistic force in the sequel because they feel like after all the progression they’ve made over the franchise, bringing them back to more two-dimensional villainy status would be a major step back.”

Where did you read that?

I can imagine how to turn Klingons into the “bad guys” and yet not make them two dimensional, or a simplistically bad species of humanoid—the same way you can portray Nazis as bad without portraying Germans as bad.

I think the Klingons would be a good way to go—but I don’t want to see them become the comic book villains of the past. So I’m concerned by your comment, if that’s true, because it implies they aren’t seeing the way around it, which I find hard to believe.

First off, you have to quickly show the stratification of Klingon culture. They are not all war mongers, and they do NOT all wear the same clothes. But you also have to show that Klingon society is not completely free either—they are ruled by a political caste closely allied to an obedient and vicious warrior caste who controls them. So while Klingons are not all bad, the bad ones govern and expand the Empire, and the decent Klingons are as much oppressed by the warrior and political castes as the alien races they subjugate and fight with.

If ALL Klingons were snarling idiots they would never make it into space, so that implies the same level of sophistication somewhere in Klingon culture that other spacefaring cultures have, only that sophistication and intelligence gets manipulated to the desires of the ruling caste, so that the Klingons unfortunately get defined by the face they present to other humanoids, which is an ugly brutal face, but it’s not all of what they are.

I’m not thinking of Klingons as Vikings. I’m thinking of them as Mongols, who were quite vicious in their tactics, but they were real people not comic book villains, and with all that that implies.

If the Klingons are brought back, forget about anything we saw after “A Matter of Honor.” The whole ‘High Council’ and Lursa/B’etor.Duras/nightmare (and all the shouting) should be relegated to the past. I miss the pre- “honor and bloodwine!” Klingons. I prefer the ones that slit your neck while you sleep (TOS) for improved efficiency.

Make the Klingons as potentially varied as humans are and utilise an issue between them which is not cultural (i.e. they are like Russians) to flesh them out. They should still be ruthless and unruly, but not utterly unapproachable.

As was mentioned in TNG, a Klingon would not hide his face behind a helmet. While I like the look of the make-up shown, drop the helmets.

All these ideas about Klingons… I hope they do not show up until the third film. That way they are only mentioned in the second movie as being very menacing to the Federation until we meet them in the third movie. That way their rep is built up as being very menacing, I hope they are portrayed by tall, big and agile actors when we do see them, not fat, loud, obnoxious wind bags. The 2nd movie should focus on the realm within the Alpha Quadrant species for now, kind of like what Enterprise seasons 4 tried to do. Let’s see some Tellarites, Andorians, etc. It would be interesting to see the Andorians react to the destruction of the Vulcan homeworld. After all, the events that happened in the original TOS timeline will still take place in some form or another with alternate outcomes and players. Let’s not rely only on actors with bumpy forehead make up for being the only alien species this new revamped Trek will explore, there are Gorn, Mukato, Tholians, Tribbles and such to be explored.

I would love to see the Klingons in the next movie, but I am dreading JJ completely screwing them up from the way we know the Klingons.

Going back to TOS Klingons fits with the era but I still like the Klingons as they appeared in the TNG era.

I like the ridged make up.

If everyone is so critical about Star Trek’s past I wonder why everyone watched. TNG along with TOS are the two best sci fi shows ever.

Yet all I get here is pep0le bitching about it.

Can I ask if anyone is NOT happy with the new Kling on look?

No ridges make more sense due to period, but I am not happy about the latter makeup being bitched about.

Klingon bad guys for next movie. =]

@22: The article states that they only did they eyes and mouth, so the makeup is no complete.

Is it possible that the main fleet was battling with the Klingons at the Laurentian system?

Klingons in the next fiiilm! A space duel between an outstanding cunning Klingon commander and Kirk in the Ent…or something. If only the Klingons were more like reeeal Vikings and not the hidious stereotype

#4 – Gretchen

Here’s the link to Part 3, for anyone who noticed that the “Part 3” link in the article above actually points to Part 1…

Oh, look. It’s the only female romulan crew member of the Narada. That’s nice since she literally only had .8 seconds of screen time.

Damn, they STILL give the Klingons some kind of forehead appliance…which makes them look even MORE like Neanderthals than those ridiculous ridges they had in TNG.

@22. captain__neill

i posted this same response in the previous articel, but it’s all about having the money to produce believeable effects these days. remember, ST wasn’t bound to a TV budget like Nemesis, soit’s natural to now be able create a sci-fimovie that is filled with realistic looking things.

again, it’s not that the past is wrong, it’s that now the past can be fully realized.

yea but all I see is fans bitching about our favourite show and then calling people who dont like the new film , non true fans

Am I missing something here?

Star Trek is a great franchise and all we can do about al the stuff before the new movie is bitch about it?

I love all the early Romulan make-up tests; it’s a great peek into what could’ve been.
While the Klingon appliances were only to support the masked appearance, the subtle ridges and nose seem to allude to the human-looking Klingons of TOS, which feels perfect to me given the time-frame of the new movie.
Too bad some of the photos have dead links.

I don’t like the Klingon appearance at all in that picture, bring back the ridges!

As someone who has sculpted and run foam, I think Burman & co. did a great job. There’s a subtlety to the make-ups that’s really impressive. The Klingons look like they’re somewhere between the old-school version and the TNG variety.
The only thing that bugged me was old Spock’s ears. Too thick, and an unflattering sculpt. Perhaps there was a reason for the look, but I don’t think it worked. Aged or not, a person’s ears don’t change THAT drastically.
Overall though, hats off!

LOL that Klingon looks more like an old Bajoran.

I want the same evil cunning Klingon’s like in TOS instead of the TNG cavemen barbarians that would have never even got past the stone age & made it into space with the way they acted. And yes keep the pronounced ridges like in ST:TMP.
I also hated the way they all dressed the same & not very functional dress. Put them in uniform but still show non uniform when needed.

Bring on the Klingons, for sure. Fueling civil wars with arms dealing and trying to weaken the Federation’s alliances.

Ideally, I’d like to see almost a fusion of TOS and TNG Klingon sensibilities – a little more tribal in the hair braids, a little less “generic military” … and dial up the “Space Viking” status to ridiculous levels so it’s obvious to everyone that’s just why Klingons are so bad-ass.

Obviously Klingons already have a language, but the ideal thing I think would be to hear the men speak with slower, deeper, almost even with Nordic accents, so that every phrase feels like an epic poem, and every war song feels like victory.

We never actually got to see THOSE klingons as the enemy – gleefully singing in unison as they raced down the halls of a starship killing Starfleet officers – our main characters – in hand-to-hand combat. We only ever saw them as allies, but as an enemy nothing would be more epic and fearsome – an enemy that just raided and looted a Federation Starbase just so they could take the spoils of war home and gain fame and power within their own kingdom.

How do you truly beat an enemy like that? I know how the Europeans did it … they didn’t. The consistently lost, until eventually, after years of giving up land and tribute, the viking age ended and Scandinavia became just another set of kingdoms in the increasingly intermarried and interconnected “royal families” of Europe.

I miss Romulan greenish skin tone (like they were depicted in Nemesis), and I don’t miss Klingon ridges. The way new makeup looks, species resemble more to each other. That makes easier explanation of children born from interracial relationships. With this, maybe Ferengi could be used as real threat instead of Klingons, like they were originally meant to be…

Some of the earlier novels did interesting things with the Klingons — talking about different cultural, racial and ethnic groups and their rise and fall within the empire with kind of a macbethy feel to it …

I found the Klingons and romulans more interesting in TOS. TNG kind of made both quite stereotyped. I like the idea of Romulans who are more caught up in orders and politics they may nit agree with and just wanting to get the damned crew home – a bunch of individuals rather than just big masses of bad make up. It would be interesting to see conflict, and just emotions, personalities generally, among the villains themselves, I always wondered about all the officers on the Star Deatroyers in the empire strikes back, and their various motivations…

@ #30 – Captain Neil

i can totally see your point.

i’ve been seeing almost 50/50 in regards to the preference of Klingons…TOS vs. TNG. and while i’d like to get into the various differences of the series themselves, both production and canon, let’s just chalk it up to personal opinion…you like what you like…

personally, i thought Enterprose had better interpretations of aliens and such, especially the Andorians…Shran = total bad@$$