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Old November 21 2013, 03:17 PM   #850
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Location: North Wales
Re: TOS Enterprise WIP

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Of course the torpedo gunners sitting at their bow consoles were killed or severely injured which at least could also explain Chekov's manual override torpedo firing joystick on the bridge. That didn't look like standard torpedo firing procedure to me.
Indeed, and since the Torpedo Bay was assuradly out of action at the time, it means the two torpedoes launched had to have been sitting in the tube already, preloaded by the now injured crew. If there was also a torpedo (or two) sitting in the portside tube during Khan's attack it would certainly explain the mighty explosion!


FP has been used in film making for decades, in everything from Star Trek to Willy Wonka. It was used in the Star Trek pilot "The Cage" of course (Talosian corridor), but more famously in main series run as the "cathedral tubes" in TOS Engineering. Thanks the FP, in our first visit to the Engine Room we were treated to the depiction of a huge, long piece of equipment behind protective mesh and it looked pretty realistic. However, before long the directors began freeing themselves from the restrictive camera angles that were imposed on them by FP and we ended up seeing the tube structure as it really was.
FP was used agin for the Engine Room in TMP and works pretty well, with child-actors standing in for adults at the far end. Only one camera angle was really used, which helped carry the illusion. The isolation door in TWOK was added by Nicholas Meyer to free up his camera angles, but in the process of filming the scene the tapered angle of the walls and walkway were revealed. Still, it is a great scene.

As far as I know, painted backdrops were not used in TOS (although matte paintings certainly were). However, they too have a long history in stage & film and Robert Wise seemed perfectly happy to include them in TMP. Here, painted backdrops represented very long corridors throughout the ship, although there were places where there didn't seem to be enough room to include them in the vessel's structure! Then again, maybe they weren't real corridors after all?

Mytran wrote: View Post
Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Robert Comsol wrote: View Post seemed clear that the only way that such a long straight corridor could ever squeeze into B-deck was if a portion of it was some sort of holographic display - perhaps an attempt by the Enterprise's interior decorators to relieve feelings of claustrophobia?
Holographic panels suggesting more space than available might be an unorthodox but helpful solution, IMHO.
Helpful until you run into one by accident. Not a good way to trust your ship
How says these are high resolution? The closer one gets it could become more obvious it's just an illusion.
You don't need to be close up to see that it's an illusion - and although I initially suggested "holographic" images, I think I was being too generous. Painted backdrops share all the inherent problems of a forced-perspective set except that being 2-dimension the camera is even more restricted in the angles that work to carry the illusion. On a straight corridor the mismatching of lines becomes more obvious than ever, leading to floors that appear to slope up or down at weird angles. At worst, the painted backdrop depicts a corridor that diverts sharply to one side, when a moment ago it was mostly straight.

Where you can get away with it, backdrop painting are a cheap solution to extending the depth of your set. TNG continued the tradition such as in the pilot, and also in the episode Coming of Age. Here they used a backdrop used RIGHT NEXT to the actors, never a good thing!

Backdrops continued to be used throughout TNG, DS9 and VOY. Federation Jefferies Tubes were a frequent user from their very first appearance leading to some odd angles sometimes, although mostly worked OK if you squinted.

In Lessons the "floor sloping" issue is present but the reasons behind the scene blocking are clear a moment later.

It was used really well in Quality of Life but usually just wound up behind the actors, who masked many of the deficiencies in using a backdrop painting.

The best use of a painted backdrop in Star Trek was on the corridor set of DS9, where the effect was used to depict the huge curving arch of the massive space station. With no straight lines to match up, the illusion was far easier to carry off and was used extensively throughout the show.

So, what can we make of all this in relation to the walls and corridors on the refit Enterprise? I must admit, I am tempted to treat them as what they are - painted murals on the corridor walls, much as you'd find landscapes or pleasant vistas on modern hospital wards or posh reception areas. However, the image of a medium length straight corridor painted on a flat wall is neither aesthetically pleasing (like a landscape) nor would it carry off the illusion of extra space unless viewed from a very specific position. Deviating from that viewpoint by even a little would make the corridor appear weirdly angled, or just fake. Also, a (in-universe) painted mural is clearly NOT what the set decorators intended and I am loathe to go so against them so completely. If I can rationalise away any oddities (strange energy emissions causing visual distortions etc) and keep the long corridors, I will.
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