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Old February 15 2013, 12:31 PM   #44
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: Phaser banks on the Constitution class

...And the comments at that link highlight the one thing wrong with using motion picture shooting hardware as stand-ins for battlefield shooting hardware. Camera work needs to be smooth and steady. Gun work needs to be fast and steady. There is no utility for steadily flowing "pans" in gun applications, as guns need to be pointed rather than panned in order to be effective. This goes for machine guns, too.

Steadicams and more conventional dollies are typically specifically designed to prevent rapid pointing, which would look awkward in film.

However, this only applies to placing a real gun on a real dolly. A futuro-gun that doesn't have much recoil or weight, placed on a dolly that has motion accentuators in place of motion dampers, is a perfectly fine idea, and might look exactly like its stage counterpart cobbled together from motion picture shooting hardware.

That said, I'm not opposed or supportive of the way the "The Cage" phaser mount was executed. I just feel the mounting rules out the idea that the phaser would be a weapon. We have seen phaser drills elsewhere in Trek, in their more compact 24th century form, and they are fine and useful engineering tools. But heavy battlefield phasers aren't very useful if hobbled by a clumsy surface mount, and might predominantly exist in vehicle-mounted applications. (Not as add-ons to vehicles, but rather as vehicles themselves - an uncrewed cannon hovering a few meters above and ahead of Sarge, slaved to her remote control, sounds like the most reasonable application.)

Then again, everything we have seen in this thread suggests that the mounting of heavy phasers indeed is a clumsy affair: Kirk's starship evidently suffered from horrible firing arc limitations, only alleviated by the installation of excessive numbers of actual emitters! Either that, or then weapons are such a tertiary application for starships that they suffer placement limitations as the result.

Timo Saloniemi
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