‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Designers Show Concept Art And Talk Changing Sets, USS Enterprise, And More

Yesterday the Directors Guild of Canada hosted a screening of the season one finale of Star Trek: Discovery, followed by a Q&A with members of the Discovery art department. TrekMovie covered the event, held at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, which included slides showing off concept art for the show, with an emphasis on the season one finale. The panel was moderated by Jody Clement (Art Director). On stage were Tamara Deverell (Production Designer), Joshu De Cartier (Supervising Art Director), Matt Morgan (Set Designer), Emile Poulin (Set Designer), Michael Stanek (Set Designer), Chris Penna (Set Designer & Concept Illustrator, Andy Tsang (Graphic Designer), and Timothy Peel (Motion Graphic Designer).

Designing the Discovery bridge took nine months, even with many sets re-used from Shenzhou

Highlights:

  • No set went through more designs than the bridge of the USS Discovery, with Matt Morgan and Joshu De Cartier working on it from May 2016 to February 2017, creating over 160 drawings.
  • The original design of the bridge was two stories and the extra large size of the bridge was a shooting requirement from co-creator Bryan Fuller.
  • The bridge has 120 display screens, run by 84 computers.
  • The corridor set for the USS Discovery is a redress of the corridor for USS Shenzhou, which was swapped back and forth.
  • The transporter room set also uses the USS Shenzhou set and has been swapped back and forth.
  • Stamets’ lab was originally built as a torpedo room which cost “a lot of money” and was never used.
  • The warp core set extension seen in the back of lab is only supposed to be open when the ship is at warp.
  • The shuttle set design was one of the more complicated things to do because it was like a “puzzle” that had to “fit together like a prism, with so many moving parts.”

Concept art and sketches:

Qo’noS in season one finale: dumpster diving to make something new and sexy

Highlights:

  • The writers wanted to do something not seen before for the Klingon homeworld, so designers came up with a black market as it would be “fun for the art department.”
  • The market sets were built outside the Pinewood stages and reused many elements from previous episodes, including an unused practical Gormagander that didn’t end up getting used for “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad.”
  • Klingon graffiti included the saying: “Your mother has a smooth forehead.”
  • The Klingon dice game was based on craps and had rules developed by Andy Tsang, complete with dice and play pieces. The game was named T’Sang in his honor.
  • The Orion cabaret was developed because director Akiva Goldsman wanted something “real sexy,” and sets consisted of multiple sections of previously used sets including the ISS Charon throne room.
  • The Orion embassy design used elements inspired by Pike’s Orion trader illusion from TOS “The Cage.”
  • The Shrine of Molor set started as ISS Charon quarters and included elements of the Sarcophagus ship from some “dumpster diving” salvage.

Concept art and sketches:

Federation HQ: Toronto stood in for Paris, treaty-signing set was made but cut from season one finale

Highlights:

  • The exterior and interior of Federation Headquarters used Vaughan City Hall, in the Toronto area.
  • A set was designed and built for a Klingon/Federation treaty-signing ceremony scene which was filmed but cut.
  • They based each founding Federation species’ logo flag (with the exception of new one for Tellarites) on designs from veteran Star Trek designer Michael Okuda. Tim says “Michael Okuda is my god.”

Concept art and sketches:

USS Enterprise: Changed at the last minute, left an Easter egg behind

Tamara Deverell talked about how the USS Enterprise seen in the season one finale was the result of months of designing by John Eaves, Scott Schneider, and William Budge, but even after it was finalized it changed again “at the very end.” However, the version right before the final change ended up being used for the display screens on the bridge of the USS Discovery, which we noticed back in December. Tim noted “this is not the model that flies up to the Discovery,” which Tamara called an “easter egg” for the fans.

The almost final design of the USS Enterprise

In “Brother” the only view of this earlier model is an “easter egg” on Owosekun’s display.

The model was also seen on larger monitor in a behind-the-scenes video from December. This shot was not used in the final version of “Brother.”

Season 2: Huts on Kaminar, and Airiam’s story

After the slideshow, there was a Q&A, which included some brief discussion of the second season of Discovery. Deverell talked about how they made new sets for Pike’s ready room and the Section 31 ship, which have already been seen. She also promised, “We are going to lots of new places,” but couldn’t give more detail.

Here are a few more highlights regarding season two:

  • They had to do 22 different versions of the stained glass windows in “New Eden” because “we had to tell the story with the windows” and they kept having to change the windows as the writers kept changing the story.
  • VR is being used more in season two to allow directors and cinematographers to tour virtual sets. The guy in charge of VR has painted the walls of his office black with yellow stripes to resemble a TNG-era holodeck.
  • Designs of Kaminar huts (seen in Short Treks and an upcoming season two episode) used a trace of Saru’s face and elements of “nature’s geometry” including turtle shells, armadillos and female anatomy, which is why Emile Poulin called them “vagina huts.” The starting point from the writers was to use huts from Cameroon.
  • Deverell said originally the show planned to have a main character in a wheelchair but it didn’t pan out. As for the background character in a wheelchair (played by George Alevizos), they felt it was important to cast an actor who used a wheelchair himself. She said there will be “other wheelchairs that use real technology but also with a Star Trek look” seen later in the season.
  • Deverell promised that fans “will learn a lot more” about Commander Airiam, adding “she is a fascinating character and her story will be revealed, a little bit.”

Season two will reveal more about Airiam


Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on Space and streams on CraveTV. It is available on Netflix everywhere else.

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Tiger2

Deverell promised that fans “will learn a lot more” about Commander Airiam, adding “she is a fascinating character and her story will be revealed, a little bit.”

Great article! But it was literally the last line that made me happy and know that we will finally explore Airiam. I been wanting to know more about her literally since her first appearance. I know there is a comic book on her but I don’t know how canon it is. I really hope they show her back story and explain her more. We need more of this kind of stuff in Star Trek seeing technology collide with people in an advanced future.

Philip

I only just found out the same actor was in The Expanse, as Gia – Havelock’s somewhat love interest, who teaches him the Belter language and gesture combination

Hauke Fischer

If you want some hints about possible future Ariam developments, I recommend picking up the Mirror Universe comic book series, Succession.

Land O'Calrissian

Since the stained glass window is very likely of Airiam with wings, I’m sure we’ll learn a LOT about her.

Trek in a Cafe

Really? Is this Lost? Are all the crew in Heaven?

DeanH

Thanks to Trekmovie.com for covering the DGC presentation. I was hoping to go but other Saturday night plans got in the way of what looks like a fun evening. Was lucky enough to meet some of the panelists at a previous production event and one thing I came away with from that Sept 2017 panel was the sheer enthusiasm, passion and understanding many of the production crew have for the Star Trek franchise and Discovery’s role in it. Personally I was wondering about how committed this new technical crew would be, but I remember walking away thinking if the writers and cast have anywhere near the passion and understanding this team has, then Star Trek would be in good hands. I hope that same enthusiasm was on display on Saturday night.

Josiah Rowe

“Tennessee Honey”?

John F Richardson

Tupelo Honey!! Excellent honey, one of the very best.

Scooter

Yeah! I wonder what that refers to? Maybe a file name?

DIGINON

Productions often use fake names instead of the real title to avoid leaks. Basically, if someone accidentally comes across material related to “Star Trek” they’d be more inclined to release it than material related to something called “Tennessee Honey”.

skyjedi

Like Return of the Jedi being Blue Harvest Horror Beyond Imagination. Even the cast list had fake names.

Will

So they got the Enterprise closer than it ended up being and at the last minute decided to make it *less* accurate.

Denny C

Yeah, that’s kind of what I got from that, too.

Hauke Fischer

Yeah it was some of the people at the CGI company that decided to do those changes on their own unfortunately.

Boze

Nah. Even IF we accept the absurd notion that the CGI people are making arbitrary last-time changes on their own, without getting anyone’s previous approval… those changes still would have to be approved by somebody in command. If they weren’t approved, they wouldn’t be used. Blaming “the people at the CGI company” is just someone’s ridiculous attempt to exonerate themselves.

DeanH

Yeah, for some reason the CGI post production guys couldn’t leave it alone and changed the nacelle pylons, the saucer section windows and added a bridge window. The original design above was much better, at least IMO.

Amulius Victor

John Eaves submitted his final version (as shown above). He wasn’t even consulted for the final changes done for the on screen version, so it was a shock to him when the episode aired and saw that it wasn’t his.

Still the final design is awesome in my view, which you get to appreciate more on the Eaglemoss model (perhaps their finest effort to date). If you pick up the Eaglemoss edition John Eaves goes into great detail of the design process of Pike’s Enterprise with pictures of the evolutionary process involved before landing on his final version. Great read.

Also the Transporter Room 3 podcast by Scott Collura at IGN contains a fantastic interview with John Eaves, giving a fantastic insight into back stage shenanigans from the Berman era to the Kurtzman era. Highlight was the sneaky technique Eaves used to subliminally trick Berman into approving his designs LOL.

kmart

Let me guess, this has to do with how Eaves’ designs kept being misinterpretted in terms of what was fore vs what was aft? I remember him telling me that on INSURRECTION, the Son’a ships were approved backwards, as was the holoship (which was intended to have an elevated bridge at the back so as to look out over the ship in immediate f.g. on viewscreen shots, but Berman/Lauritson didn’t want the added expense.)

The idea that VFX folks would switch stuff around during the final period is practically unheard-of in my experience of covering the field. Including nearly invisible in-jokes is one thing, but changing the actual geometry of a design — a historic one at that — just doesn’t fit with what goes on. I can imagination a miscommunication causing this, either internal or external, but why it wasn’t caught — especially when you know there were trek fans on the vfx side as well as in production and editorial — that seems like somebody is just outright lying.

Also, figure that the VFX companies are already putting up with a lot to have this assignment, as presumably they are being instructed to do space the crummy way seen in s1, so their reps are being impacted already — Pix and other vfx companies do fantastic work on other shows, far superior to the lame looking DSC stuff. Why alienate this client they are already hurting themselves to please?

The so-tight rein on publicity (as in journalism, not PR puff stuff) with DSC b-t-s really makes me think CBS is either a neurotic institution or that they are hiding the truth about nearly everything. Then again, Paramount was still trying to spin and control stories about TMP in recent years, refusing to authorize images for Jones’ excellent RETURN TO TOMORROW unless he made changes and deletions, so maybe this is the way all corporate entertainment is going with a vengeance.

skyjedi

Perhaps it is i remember Disney not allowing the publication of the making of the force awakens or the last jedi, because they want to keep secrets on how the films are made. That is for Star Wars. I would not be surprised if Paramount and CBS are the same.

kmart

And that was particularly strange given that the guy who was doing it, Rinzler, had Lucasfilm’s total confidence based on his previous work (even though I still question the omission of a significant event in ILM history from fall 1976 in Rinzler’s otherwise exhaustively documented account of the first film.) Rinzler is starting to do his thing on other non Disney films (that lucky s.o._, must be a great gig), so it is interesting that some studios are still willing to provide images and approvals for projects that show their past in an honest light — guess they’re the exceptions to a tiresome rule.)

CharlieX

Amulius Victor – did your Eaglemoss model come with a design booklet? Mine did not and Eaglemoss told me it wasn’t available yet.

albatrosity

Ya know, I didn’t like the Disco Enterprise when I saw it on screen, and I liked it even less when I saw the Eaglemoss stills on the website. But I watched the Trek Core [I think?] unboxing video and I actually fell in love with the design…it’s so weird how I went from loathing it to loving it in the span of 20 minutes. I guess there’s something about Starfleet ship designs I’m just in love with, probably why I have 30 models in my bedroom.

Phil

Accurate? Enterprise is an artistic creation, there is no accuracy. There will always be an asthetic consideration, and that is going to change from time to time, otherwise today’s Enterprise would still be analog, with cathode tube TV’s in the captains quarters…

kmart

There are valid practical and aesthetic reasons for analog to continue, even flourish. Vinyl is getting big again.

Phil

@ Kmart – No, it’s not. It’s a niche market, because of the sound. There’s no universe where technology goes back to the equivalent of chisels and stone tablets because it’s the superior medium.

Michael Hall

Have to agree with Phil on this one. I love the idea of old school tech like turntables still being relevant, but it’s a matter of spending thousands of dollars chasing a 10% improvement in audio quality (at best, and that’s not even factoring-in the real drawbacks of analog), so it will never be anything other than a niche market.

kmart

Just because only 2% of people can appreciate something good doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile. If it’s MY niche, then it is significant. In this case, I’m not into vinyl (am more about image than sound and would be stockpiling 35mm prints if I had the resources and the space), but I do honestly believe that an analog view of most things is healthier and more realistic.

The fact that so many digital ‘advances’ have turned out to be anything but — media storage being a prime example, since the perfect longterm storage of digital turning out to be a very quick route to decay and permanent loss unless you migrate the data on a seriously expensive and frequent basis — seems a clear indicator that things do not go in a straight line progression, and that new tech does not in any way guarantee superior or more useful tech (and that’s coming from a guy who considered himself a Promethean, in terms of tech being the essential component for upgrading all manner of things in this world.)

So Phil, while you see analog as some throwback to cavemen, I can’t help but think it is barbaric of you to be so simpleminded as to think all progress is good and useful. It’s about what is done with the tools, as well as the nature of the tools. Decades on from EVENT HORIZON and SPACE COWBOYS and I’ve only seem a couple of feature films with spaceship scenes that look as good and convincing (and one of those, INTERSTELLAR, was mostly using miniatures, that chisel-and-stone-tablet approach you cite.)

And the infrastructure to support digital cinematography and CGI is hugely expensive, which means you may not be spending the money up front for film stock and stage time, but you sure as hell are shelling out in post for the net gain of doing a greater volume of work but at what is often much less quality. There are sound environmental arguments against photochemical cinematography, but those are probably a whole separate set of issues and arguments.

And there are folks who embrace analog out of some nostalgia feeling, which seems downright foolish — on another site, I saw somebody mention the hairs visible (caught in the lens gate) throughout FIRST MAN when you watch it in UHD4K, and somebody else was so excited they were going to run home from work and put it in just to revel in that imperfection. THAT seems affected and pathetic. I have a negative reaction to the sterility of some digital capture (and so do most cinematographers, which is why they are using older glass that has more defects and looks less sharp when matched to these fancy big new sensors, but not to the point of craving operator error to point up and cherish photochemical looks.

kmart

From something I read this morning on cinematograpy.com (a thread that address the ‘is film dead?’ thing again with respect to digital:

thread can be found at http://www.cinematography.com/index.php?showtopic=79072&page=2#entry507792

However, it’s not just imagers holding us back. It’s also the gross expense of post production at high resolution. To manage 50 – 100TB of 6 – 8k raw camera media, playing it back in real time with what, dozens of power windows per frame, is a cost that only a few facilities can manage. To me, that PLUS how to store digital for long term, are two huge issues we have not resolved. The studio’s themselves are spending $7,000 per title, per year on storing the master files on LTO tape. So far 12 features shot on digital cameras have been lost and the 35mm separation masters are the only things that remain. Yet the studio’s are cutting back on making separation masters because of the cost. So we’re living in a time where archivists 50+ years from now, will have basically no way to restore movies back to the way they were seen originally. We’re looking at a time where a click of a button and you’ve lost all of your valuable work. Where a little card that fits in your jacket pocket, holds your entire shoot data. If you calculated how much lost data there is across the globe thanks to digital technology, I think you’d see the number is pretty high and that number isn’t getting better. It’s only getting worse as solid state media prices plummet and now we can fit even more data onto each disk. It’s a never ending battle between how many gigs do you wanna loose.

As a cinematographer who works for other people, knowing where your product is in 50 years is probably of least concern. As a professional filmmaker, I care about where my product is long after I’m dead. I can’t control digital, but I can control film. It costs $200/month to store around 50,000ft of 35mm film (basically 50 boxes on shelves) in a building that’s secure and fire resistant. Yes, we’ve had a lot of vault fires, we’ve lost a lot of movies. However, many of them were clearly purposely set for insurance purposes and luckily many of the IP’s and IN’s were saved, even if the camera negatives were destroyed. Our film stock today is also a lot better and non flammable. There is no denying storing and archiving digital is a problem and film is a very cost effective solution.

Phillip Thorne

And this is why all of the culture in ST:TNG seems to predate 1980 — anything produced natively using several generations of digital was lost via war, EMP, disc crash, ransomware, etc. :)

kmart

Have you been reading through my file cabinet drawer full of old story notes, Phillip?

Will

Context clues in my statement would indicate I am comparing the design to the one depicted in TOS. Not some abstract “art aesthetic” concept.

To that end, there is absolutely something called “accuracy,” regardless of what you may think. The design was closer to the TOS design before the changes were made. Meaning the design was more accurate *before* said changes.

AJinMoscow

The “unused” display has the Big E carrying its Kirk-era 430, instead of 203. I still want to know when they lost the nacelle spikes, though. Post-Cage/Pre-Discovery.

Michael Hall

Enterprise didn’t feature them either, more’s the pity.

Denny C

At least now we know that the massive bridge set was all Bryan Fuller and, pfffft, they kind of got stuck with it (and I’m guessing that pricey torpedo room set was Fuller, too).

Tiger2

Honestly, it sadly seems every bad idea this show had seem to have come from Fuller lol. In some ways, its probably best he left when he did.

Hauke Fischer

Yeah I’m really surprised that’s what it came down to. I remember being extremely excited when the original announcement of Fuller’s involvement came out. I adore the work he did on his original shows, Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies and Hannibal.

Denny C

And the grossly underappreciated Wonderfalls.

DeanH

Yeah, sounds like Kurtzman and the team got stuck with a lot of bad ideas. tThat is one of the reasons why I really reject a lot of the attacks on the guy not only heading up Discovery, but the one who convinced the CBS brass to expand the Trek franchise that was missing from the small screen for over a decade.

Denny C

And I’m a fan of his work but his approach to Discovery and his eventual dismissal left them with elements that not everyone seemed to be entirely on board with. So far this season we’ve been introduced to the D7, Klingon’s with hair, no holo displays, the spore drive officially put on ice, an introduction to uniforms which closely resemble the classic design and the list goes on.

Michael Hall

In all fairness, it’s my impression that Fuller would have gone with uniforms much closer to what fans would have expected from the era. The behind-the-scenes machinations of DSC’s first season are still largely unknown to the public, and people probably shouldn’t extrapolate from the few details that have managed to see the light of day.

ML31

True but there are a lot of things coming out that have Fuller’s influence all over them. Like the MU trip and Lorca’s origin are said to have come from Fuller’s brain. In addition to the total radical change in look and feel of the era.

Josiah Rowe

On the subject of Bryan Fuller’s influence, it’s worth remembering that he was removed from the production before most of Season 1 was completed, so he can’t be fully blamed (or credited) for how anything came out. For example, he may well have had the idea “Lorca is actually from the mirror universe”, but his concept of what that meant (or how the revelation and mirror universe story would play out) might have been very different from what we eventually saw on screen.

Also, without questioning the veracity of any of the behind-the-scenes snippets we’ve received so far, it’s very easy to blame the guy who isn’t around any more for unpopular or unsuccessful ideas. As Michael Hall says, we should be careful before extrapolating a behind-the-scenes narrative we really know very little about.

ML31

I recall reading reports that a lot of those things were spearheaded by Fuller. Including Lorca being MU. But yes, I extrapolated from that.

ML31

It sure is starting to look that way. That Fuller was 90% of the problem with the show. The unfortunate part of that is they are now doomed to have Fullers early decisions be an albatross to the show forever.

Ad Astra Per Aspera

There is something about Fuller’s departure and the subsequent ones that tells me he has got quite the ego and flounces off of shows when he cannot get his own way.

BLACKMOCCO

That’s certainly one take on it. He HAS been bounced off a lot of shows, no argument.

To play devil’s advocate – based on nothing but my only speculation, so take that for what it’s worth – he’s also a perfectionist who’s willing to throw out everything done so far in order to improve it. (Seriously, Fuller did a great interview with Nerdist and talks about Hannibal and how once he saw the finished pilot, he threw out the rest of the already finished scripts for the rest of the season to start from scratch in order to improve it!) Good news to hear as an artist; an absolute nightmare if you’re a producer responsible for bringing a show in on time and on budget. Discovery was delayed twice because of him. Can’t say I’m too surprised CBS jettisoned him in the end, even if I’d have loved to see the whole season under his wing.

The other element everyone seems to be forgetting with Discovery is that originally, season 2 would have had nothing to do with season 1. Fuller wanted each season to be set in a different era with different characters. Again, CBS (understandably) balked at that concept for financial reasons. What we’re seeing now with different shows being announced may well be an extension of Fuller’s original hopes for the show. We’ll see. Be kinda cool if he got brought back on for one of the different ones maybe…?

Tumbler

I’d like to know the details of why he felt the bridge needed to be that size for shooting purposes. Was it plans to double as a roller rink? ;-)

Joseph

I have heard that previous shows always had to partly disassemble the bridge in order to work in it because of how tight the confines were in the set – my guess would be he wanted it to be big enough that they could fit the entire filming crew in there without needing to take out a wall. Could be a huge time saver, and opens up possibilities for tracking shots that show more of the set at once.

Denny C

Yeah, probably because it allowed for easier shoots. The largest bridge set prior to this one was Voyager’s but the scale made sense. A bridge with a 16 foot ceiling height makes absolutely no sense.

VZX

LOL roller rink! I do think the Discovery bridge is both the worst and best Star Trek bridge ever. The expanse between the stations is waaaay too big. But the actual consoles, stations, view screen, etc., look absolutely fantastic, I just wish they were closer together. The captain’s chair looks very oddly placed, like a random chair in the middle of the big room. It reminds me of a teacher doing story-time for her class, or a Santa Claus seated in the middle of the mall.

JAGT

Cut the man some slack! The (overly) large bridge set was probably a result of Fuller’s experiences on VOY. Pretty much every director and cinematographer hated the cramped split-level set used for the bridge there, since it limited camera movement and the variety of shooting angles. Just think of it: Could you name ONE episode of VOY in which there is a nice wide-angle shot of the entire bridge? Or how many exchanges have there been on the bridge that weren’t shot in classic (closeup) shot/reverse-shot? And would you remember the location of, say, the engineering station on Voyager’s bridge off the top of your head?
I can see how such things can get frustrating and why Fuller would’ve wanted to provide his directors with the greatest possible amount of freedom. Now what they actually make of it is a different story. I for one could do with a lot less spinning and panning, but that’s just a matter of taste. Still, being able to look at the bridge in its entirety at almost any given point even while the camera is moving is a nice touch.

Denny C

But any production design has to make sense overall with convenience built into it, not just for the convenience of it. Ironically enough, with the wider aspect ration you actually can fit an entire shot of the bridge just like their feature film counterparts but I think the bigger issue is that the larger set also removes a sense of intimacy. There is a lot of real estate between the Captain’s chair and the various stations on the bridge.

They built what Fuller wanted but the bridge set almost serves as a metaphor for his involvement with this series.

kmart

Maybe the torp room was Meyer’s idea, given TWOK. Consigning that to the scrap bin would have been sending a message that your stuff is not wanted, if that is the way TPTB worked.

Phil

There’s probably a broader issue going on in terms of what this show is actually costing to produce. I don’t actually know the cost per episode number (I’m assuming its out there somewhere) , though I’d imagine that future seasons are going to need to reign in the spending to keep the franchise viable.

kmart

I’ve seen 8 mil bandied about for individual eps of s1, but don’t know if that is the pattern budget or just for specific episodes. I honestly don’t know where the money goes on this show, but I said the same thing about TNG over years back (and still don’t have a good answer on that one, given that TNG season 1 was only spending something like 6% of their budget on VFX.)

A34

What’s wrong with the bridge being large?

kmart

Check any of several dozen past threads for details.

A34

No thanks, I have a life. :P

kmart

So does everybody else, quit being lazy (also stop writing in emoticon, english is the language of choice on this board last time I checked.)

A34

Emoticons is the language of future. Get with it.

(^ _ ^)/

kmart

LIteracy is the language of the present. Without it, there won’t be any future for you.

target

So back to the original question… what’s wrong with a big bridge?

kmart

Sigh … any functional operations center, military or otherwise, is about effective and efficient communication. Anything that interferes with that, be it DISTANCE, or pretty glass displays that interfere with vision, or spotlights shining in your eyes when you are trying to read your board or think straight, is an impediment to your operation and decision-making. And the high ceilings — my biggest complaint with the oversize bridges, and even the one in BEYOND — show a reckless display of wasted space, when space should be at a premium, given aspects like life support are factors in spaceflight. David Gerrold addressed all this in the first WORLD OF STAR TREK book, I’m surprised everybody here isn’t at least familiar with the notion.

albatrosity

This is the most ridiculous post I’ve ever seen on this site. Trek fans need to learn to be less condescending. Jesus. I know I ain’t reading pages of comments, especially comments like these.

kmart

albatrosity,

You think THAT is condescending?

I still subscribe to Harlan Ellison’s notion that everybody is entitled to their INFORMED opinion. Otherwise it is just mob rule, which is too close to what we’re getting inflicted upon us in the real world right now.

GarySeven

I attended last night and had a great time. I asked a question of the panel at the end about to what extent they were fans of the show before Discovery and how their fanhood (or conversely their lack of fanhood and unfamiliarity) affected their approach to their work on the show. It was clear to me that most of them were dedicated and knowledgeable Star Trek fans. After the panel I spoke with four of the panelists, including Tamara, the director, at a cocktail reception. A very lovely group of people- warm, down to earth, and genuine. It was a terrific and special night.

DeanH

Thanks for confirming what I thought when I went to the Discovery production presentation way back in Sept 2017. That was the very feeling I got back then. Hopefully DGC will do another Star Trek event down the road.

ST:EXP

Where was everyone finding out about the event??? Jesus. I don’t see it advertised anywhere except the DGC website.

DeanH

Although these events are for the public, I don’t think they advertise them (it’s not as if they are doing it for profit). I first heard about the DGC event on Trekmovie.com early last week. I noticed a few others also posted reply reminders on this site and I also did the same late last week.

They promoted it on social media. We re-tweeted it on our TrekMovie Twitter. We also wrote it up in our Discovery news round up from last week too:
https://trekmovie.com/2019/02/07/watch-reno-and-stamets-face-off-in-star-trek-discovery-clip-from-an-obol-for-charon/

GarySeven

I don’t use twitter. I just read it on the Trekmovie website as noted by Matt above. I’m glad I read the site carefully, because I ended up going and it was great, as I posted above.

ST:EXP

OMG. That was buried way down there. I zoned out by that far down of a scroll. Headline that, baby… that was an “event” !!!

Calastir

Sets too dark. They forgot to turn on the lights.

Marcelo

That has very little to do with the set designers. Different people light those sets.

kmart

Actually the built-in lighting is done in concert with cinematographer and art dept. Producers are also involved here with major standing set, it is only the shot by shot setups that are fully the cinematographer’s purview, along with new sets/locations.

Vulcan Soul

kmart, you seem to have alot of knowledge on the production process of modern TV shows.

So tell me please, who’s to blame for the orange & teal look of Discovery?

kmart

If all that time I spent sweet-talking CBS and waiting waiting waiting through 2017 to do an interview article on the cinematography (and then, when that wouldn’t happen, for an article on the VFX) had paid off even one iota, I’d probably be able to tell you tons. But since CBS stalled and doubled back and then said not till 2018 after the show has finished airing, both of the magazines that had expressed interest told me to forget about it.

Just going by lots of other lousy looking films and tv, the O&T thing seems to just be almost a default among many colorists, who are the folks doing the digital intermediate work. Blu-Ray.com’s forums have folks always complaining about orange and teal, especially on homevid releases of movies that were shot on film and apparently ‘ruined’ for digital.

For the life of me, I don’t know why people don’t like blue skies and white clouds anymore — I watched GENERATIONS recently and the reshot part of the finale looks so nice, like a real movie with actual colors.

cjc960

Maybe they could cut some Tilly scenes and give them to Airiam? Or literally any of the supporting cast?

VZX

But I like the Tilly scenes.

Mark Calcagno

Same!

A34

MORE TILLY !!!!

albatrosity

More Tilly, less annoying Tilly….

ST:EXP

Frustrating I didn’t see this promoted anywhere in advance. Not here on this website unless I missed it? I would’ve went.

GarySeven

Please read a few posts above. It was mentioned within a trekmovie article.

Anne Allen

One of the reasons we are giving up on Discovery, regardless of being old guard trekkies is how dark it all is – and I don’t just mean the stories ( I understand millennials prefer dark stories). I mean the sets! The original Star Trek Enterprise was well lit – just light any work place. You could see what you were doing. And we, the audience, could see what they were doing.
All the darkness – it’s boring.

Alex

Compare TNG to Generations, the darker lighting of the set gave it much more depth and a more cinematic feel. Same for yesterday’s Enterprise, which also used darker sets to represent the alternative universe. If there’s one thing done right, it’s not to kill the amazing sets with flat lighting

kmart

Depends where you saw it. The two theaters I saw GEN in were so dark that basically the actors blended into the floor from the waist down, even in the E-B scenes. I thought the movie had been criminally underexposed all the way till the laserdisc came out!

Now, on Blu, GEN looks sensational to be sure, I think Carson and his DP did a great job on the movie, a lot better than Leonetti did on the Frakes pictures and about a zillion times better than the TOP GUN guy did on NEMESIS.

I think DSC might be a trifle dark, but that’s not the problem, it’s the crappy look of things, like the glarey winshield, which coupled with annoying camerawork, that is most distressing (outside of the stories, the scoring, exterior ship VFX, most performances and the art direction.)

albatrosity

Agreed on the parenthetical wholeheartedly

ML31

I usually do not notice subtle things like lighting but I have to say when I saw Generations the dark was so noticeable that when Troi came to Picard and he asked her if he could help her I wanted her to say, “Yes! Turn the damn lights on!”

Steve

John Eaves certainly loves his over-detailing and pointless cutouts or extensions.

Vulcan Soul

It still escapes me that out of ALL the fantastic production staff from the Berman era all the way back to 1986 – Okuda, Sternbach, Probert etc. – they had to revive Eaves and his unholy Star Wars aesthetics! Then again, he may be the only one who is compatible with grimdark “premium prime time streaming tv” (whatever that means), so what do I know?

It’s a shame that they’re finally giving the Airiam character her due and Sara Mitich won’t get to play the part when it happens. Did we ever find out why Hannah Cheesman took over the role for season two?

They’re being very tightlipped about it. Neither actress nor CBS will say why.

Harry Ballz

If they only put in half as much effort on the storylines as they did on production design!

GarySeven

I couldn’t agree more, Harry, and that’s pretty much what I told these guys at the event. The only thing that I really like about this show is the way it looks, production values, etc. If only I was Lord of the Universe. I would keep the art department and fire the writing staff and hire writers that know what Star Trek is really about.

Harry Ballz

Hey, Gary, I live in Toronto. If I had known about the event, I would have joined you there!

Tiger2

So it sounds like you haven’t liked any of the new episodes this season. Have none of them changed your mind at least a little about the show?

GarySeven

Fair point, Tiger2. So far Season 2 is a big improvement over Season 1. You are right that progress should be recognized and encouraged. In S1 The Discovery was a place I would never want to be, with acrimony reigning among the crew and few moral messages about making the world better expressed on the show. Hell, my own life on Earth was a lot more inspiring than being with these Discovery people doing battle with MU jerks and fighting others all the time.
I love Pike; he feels like Trek to me. They have made Discovery a kinder place and they are actually exploring and discovering (New Eden, the red lights). Maybe they will even do some constructive social commentary instead of presenting dystopian visions.
My own opinion is the show has gone from an “F” (the exception is the arts department who are great) to a “C.” The writing isn’t so great and the pacing of the show still favors speed and overly complex plots over depth. So my position is to not pretend a “C” is an “A,” while still giving credit that the show is definitely headed in the right direction. That is a good thing- and I hope it keeps going in that direction.

Tiger2

Fair enough GarySeven!

And trust me, I had a lot of the same issues you did (well I think a lot of us did lol) in season 1 and why season 2 feels like a breath of fresh air for me. To be clear while I had LOTS of problems with season 1, I didn’t hate it but did feel very let down by it, mostly that it was just missing too much of what made Star Trek special: a sense of exploration and (ironically) discovery, which season 2 has now gotten back to. And while I feel season 2 is a VAST improvement over season 1, its still too early to proclaim it great, but yes definitely better, no doubt.

Since we’re grading, I probably would’ve given season 1 a D and so far season 2 a B-. If episode 3 (which sadly felt like it reverted back to a season 1 episode again with all its problems) was much better it would probably be at a solid B at least. So we’re actually not that far off in terms or our view of the show and while I definitely am enjoying season 2 its not an A for me either. And frankly I will have to at least get through 2/3rds of the season before I can put any real grade on it. But where I am currently.

But I had always made it clear I WANT to like this show even with its problems and the day I felt it was improving, I would say so and I couldn’t be happier saying it now! And I also hope it stays in this direction and only improves.

Ted C

And to think the Enterprise didn’t NEED redesigned. ALl the work for nothing. All it did was ruin an already perfect design. So stupid. l

Tiger2

The old design would’ve felt too outdated. People here are looking at it with decades old eyes and nostalgia. Most newbies, seeing an exact replica from the 60s sitting next to the super sleek Discovery would’ve took a lot of those people out of the show.

ML31

Given the aesthetics of the new world Discovery has created, there was no way they could have used the original design of the Enterprise. It had to look like it belonged in the world of Discovery. Not the world of Star Trek. And I think they did a decent enough job of that. My thing is I’m not a fan of the aesthetics of Discovery’s world to begin with and think they should have leaned more towards the look of the world the producers claimed they were a part of.

kmart

Super sleek Discovery? It still just looks like somebody ran over it and mashed it flat with a Galactic BigWheel. The exterior of this ship is easily the worst Starfleet has offered up — it makes the -D, which I thought as a guppy, look attractive by comparison. Even this tarted up mess of an E looks better than the Discovery. That’s not nostalgia talking, either.

albatrosity

ALSO agree, kinda hate Disco’s design, easily the ugliest Starfleet ship since the Oberth…or predating the Oberth, I guess.

Thorny

Some Aztecing and more windows, and maybe get rid of the very 1960s-looking deflector dish and the Jeffries design is fine.

Phil

Real world design will always see progression. New space capsules won’t look like what was used for Apollo. Future winged spacecraft won’t look like the space shuttle. In sci-fi there is no such thing as design, perfect or imperfect, it’s all aesthetics. TOS movies Enterprise looked nothing like the TV show set, which kinda shreds the ‘perfect design’ theory by itself. Progression isn’t a bad thing now…

albatrosity

You should check out Elon Musk’s passenger rocket, looks straight outta 1959.

slider

I wonder what the sets would have looked like without all the digital make-up and a lack of light?

skyjedi

Imagine if in 1979 people claimed the Enterprise no longer looked Canon, or the Klingons. They updated them for the film. That was okay because people love those designs, but it was a bridge too far for Discovery because it was set 10 years before TOS.

ML31

I am still floored when people still make this argument. A: The Klingon change did not change 40 years of established look. Just a species that appeared in a few episodes 15 years earlier. B: Not only was there a production reason for the redesign of the Enterprise herself, but there was an in universe explanation. Scotty: We just spent 18 months redesigning and refitting the Enterprise.

And on top of all that, TMP was a forward advancement. It wasn’t going back in time and changing everything in that era.

SMDH.

albatrosity

Nailed it

albatrosity

So basically they threw in a continuity error for the sake of an Easter egg…great, fantastic choice Disco production team, you inspire such confidence among the nitpicky Trek fans that watch your show. Like you don’t think this would seem a little off? Like the characters on the show would be wondering why they’re looking at an incorrect display graphic? This is really dumb, like so many tiny details that add up to a major distraction.