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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old March 19 2013, 09:22 AM   #61
ZapBrannigan
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Re: Franz Joseph Blueprints Revisited

Captain Rob wrote: View Post
I can't believe for one second that Paramount Pictures. Which has been historically notorious for both "creative accounting" and extreme penny pinching on their properties. Didn't wring every last possible cent out of anything that had "Star Trek' on it. They owned and still own the copyrights to everything "Star Trek". Paramount puts serial numbers on their one-sheets (posters) to track them if anyone tries to sell one. Back when I managed theatres, I knew of some that were sued by Paramount because a couple of posters ended up in a comic book store.
Studio management and practices change over time. And this was in the first half of the 1970s, before Paramount woke up to the fact that STAR TREK would become a financial goldmine. There was a little window in there when the studio thought STAR TREK reruns would peter out and die soon. Franz Joseph was just very lucky to have such a good product and not be asked to pay any licensing fees on the blueprints.

After that, when Paramount knew there was money to be made, Ballantine Books used a technicality to avoid legal hassles over the Technical Manual. The book itself never says Star Trek. The words "Star Trek" appear only on a separate card that slides out of a clear plastic pocket on the black slip-cover, which itself is not part of the book.

This trick somehow evaded the licensing question because the book itself was just about "Star Fleet," and Paramount had not yet registered that as a trademark.
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Old March 19 2013, 09:53 AM   #62
Warped9
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Re: Franz Joseph Blueprints Revisited

This is all fascinating information I had no idea about after all these years. I, too, would love to read the entirety of the Matt Jefferies interview. His views at the time of FJ's work are rather illuminating.
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Old March 19 2013, 04:18 PM   #63
Marsden
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Re: Franz Joseph Blueprints Revisited

I don't know if anyone is familiar with Star Fleet Battles, but it was mostly based on the Tech manual and had no agreement with Paramount until much later. The creator of the game actually got the license from Franz Joseph.

I'm sure if Gene thought he could squeeze any money out of it, he would have demanded it, as is his right for intellectual property.

Gene was the person who inserted the IDIC into ITITNB so he could sell them through his Lincoln Enterprises.

BTW, I found the Tech manual in the library and borrowed it and poured over it. I loved it. I didn't even know it existed before that. I think the canon status is irrelevant as most things don't have any consistency between them, so I just enjoy what I like and don't worry about the rest.

Last edited by Marsden; March 19 2013 at 04:36 PM.
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Old March 19 2013, 09:25 PM   #64
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Re: Franz Joseph Blueprints Revisited

My theatre work experience began in 1983. So my knowledge of what went on with the film companies in the 70's is somewhat limited. However I have read up on and have seen documentaries on the motion picture industry. During the late 60's and 70's all of the major studios unerwent major changes including mergers/acquisitions. This was mainly due to the advent of smaller production companies that were separate from the studios. The "studio system" of film production that had been in place since the 20's basically collapsed.
I supposed that the sudden profitability of a dormant property belonging to Paramount could have just slipped through the cracks. And Matt Jefferies' coments could be summed up as "Where's my cut?"
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Old March 20 2013, 10:07 AM   #65
Robert Comsol
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Re: Franz Joseph Blueprints Revisited

Captain Rob wrote: View Post
And Matt Jefferies' coments could be summed up as "Where's my cut?"
You make it sound as if this were objectionable. How would you feel if somebody else were making a small or big fortune based on your design work and you don't get one meesly dime?

Besides, I don't think your summary is correct. Matt Jefferies went to great lengths stretching whatever little budget Bob Justman allocated to set construction. And then, you see the Franz Joseph blueprints and suddenly a lot of these sets (e.g. auxiliary control room, emergency manual monitor, herbarium etc.) don't even seem to exist any longer, add to this that the studio sets were not reproduced accurately.
How was he supposed to react: Enthusiastic excitement?

Bob
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Old March 20 2013, 12:07 PM   #66
Warped9
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Re: Franz Joseph Blueprints Revisited

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Captain Rob wrote: View Post
And Matt Jefferies' coments could be summed up as "Where's my cut?"
You make it sound as if this were objectionable. How would you feel if somebody else were making a small or big fortune based on your design work and you don't get one meesly dime?

Besides, I don't think your summary is correct. Matt Jefferies went to great lengths stretching whatever little budget Bob Justman allocated to set construction. And then, you see the Franz Joseph blueprints and suddenly a lot of these sets (e.g. auxiliary control room, emergency manual monitor, herbarium etc.) don't even seem to exist any longer, add to this that the studio sets were not reproduced accurately.
How was he supposed to react: Enthusiastic excitement?

Bob
Good point. And when you study the blueprints FJ even discarded a lot of Jefferies' work such as the sets you mentioned. Hell, the ship FJ drew has similar shape to the ship we saw onscreen yet isn't a reproduction of it in so many ways yet they were promoted as "official."
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Old March 20 2013, 12:49 PM   #67
Marsden
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Re: Franz Joseph Blueprints Revisited

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Captain Rob wrote: View Post
And Matt Jefferies' coments could be summed up as "Where's my cut?"
You make it sound as if this were objectionable. How would you feel if somebody else were making a small or big fortune based on your design work and you don't get one meesly dime?

Besides, I don't think your summary is correct. Matt Jefferies went to great lengths stretching whatever little budget Bob Justman allocated to set construction. And then, you see the Franz Joseph blueprints and suddenly a lot of these sets (e.g. auxiliary control room, emergency manual monitor, herbarium etc.) don't even seem to exist any longer, add to this that the studio sets were not reproduced accurately.
How was he supposed to react: Enthusiastic excitement?

Bob
I agree, if anyone did deserve "a cut" it was Matt Jefferies. I don't think his contract included such a cut because this kind of thing wasn't even thought of at the time.
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Old March 20 2013, 01:37 PM   #68
Forbin
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Re: Franz Joseph Blueprints Revisited

Don'tcha love it when somebody derisively says "Oh, he just did it for the money."
Well, yeah! What do YOU go to work for?
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Old March 20 2013, 02:02 PM   #69
ZapBrannigan
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Re: Franz Joseph Blueprints Revisited

In a perfect world, the STAR TREK BLUEPRINTS and TECHNICAL MANUAL would have been authored by Matt Jeffries, working with a professional draftsman such as Franz Joseph. Then you'd have seen the Emergency Manual Monitor and all the rest, and there would be no bad vibes vis-a-vis giving credit where it was due.

That would have been wonderful.
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Old March 21 2013, 12:13 AM   #70
SchwEnt
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Re: Franz Joseph Blueprints Revisited

^^^ Sure. But after FJ's work came out, and then the rest of the 70s onward when ST hit it big... why didn't MJ go ahead and do it?

I'll accept his word as the creator. His would be the definitive, and he needn't be limited by actual production costs since it'd be only his illustrated designs, only limited by his imagination.

Was it a matter of copyright and license fees and all that?

Jefferies work would have been welcomed by fans, even if off-the-record in an unofficial capacity. He could have shown the whole Enterprise as he envisioned it.

Why didn't he?
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Old March 21 2013, 12:20 AM   #71
F. King Daniel
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Re: Franz Joseph Blueprints Revisited

^As for why it never happened officially, possibly the knowledge that he'd never make as much money from it as FJ did, since those in charge had since
realized what money spinners Treknical books and blueprints were and ensured they would get the lion's share of the profit.
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Old March 21 2013, 02:04 PM   #72
Robert Comsol
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Re: Franz Joseph Blueprints Revisited

SchwEnt wrote: View Post
Jefferies work would have been welcomed by fans, even if off-the-record in an unofficial capacity. He could have shown the whole Enterprise as he envisioned it.

Why didn't he?
Technically we'd have to ask him but unfortunately he had passed away. However, I do believe there are good reasons why he didn't:
  • If I recall correctly, Franz Joseph was unemployed at the time while Matt Jefferies was busy in the industry to make a living. As a matter of fact, Jeffries even worked for the TOS production in his spare time on the weekends. I'd say he just didn't have the time.
  • Where and how they wanted to shoot was the director's final decision. Again, I doubt Jefferies would have had the time to collect notes. More likely he would have had to do that at a later time and start from scratch
  • Franz Joseph made it easy on himself by just making the interiors of the Enterprise recognizable but not accurate. To make his deck plans accurate and to distinguish his work from Franz Joseph, Matt Jefferies would have had to compile production stills and re-examine film reels or early 1970's VCR video etc. Again it would have been a time- and cost-intensive research effort, then.
  • And even if he had these means, in trying to make "screen-accurate" deck plans of the Enterprise you constantly find yourself between a rock and a hard place, which I usually describe and illustrate in the "accurate" deck plan project I embarked upon. While something may be accurate it can also look like crap. Trying to resolve this dilemma (this weekend I intend to present the third revised version of the hangar deck) is extremely time-consuming and requires a huge amount of puzzling and trial and error until you arrive at a solution that could be palatable. By avoiding this, Franz Joseph made it very easy for himself.
  • And since Franz Joseph already "stole the thunder" by being the first, one may wonder if a time consuming accurate project would have still made economical sense. Considering the lack of interest in "accurate" TOS Enterprise deck plans (my thread has only three regular Trek BBS visitors, that ask questions and provide much welcome criticism, proposals and other feedback) I think Matt Jefferies was wise not to do that and spare himself the possible frustration that may have come out of it.
Bob
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Old March 21 2013, 11:22 PM   #73
SchwEnt
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Re: Franz Joseph Blueprints Revisited

I see. But still...

Economics and money aside, I wonder if Jefferies had any personal interest in what was essentially his own creation? He could have worked on an Enterprise project, after he retired, in his spare time, solely as a personal project.

As far as screen-accurate work, that'd be up to Jefferies. Any research or details would be up to him. He wouldn't be doing it on a television production payroll, so he'd get final say and wouldn't be limited in any way.

MJ could go for screen-accurate, canon, semi-canon, original design, intended design, or any variation he desired. If fans could accept inaccuracies or variations from FJ, certainly MJ would be allowed similar freedom.

Plus, being Matt Jefferies, many would take his work as gospel, whatever he produced.
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Old March 22 2013, 12:26 AM   #74
alchemist
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Re: Franz Joseph Blueprints Revisited

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
Thanks for posting that. I'd sure like to read the whole interview. Is it online somewhere, or could you scan it for us?
Warped9 wrote: View Post
This is all fascinating information I had no idea about after all these years. I, too, would love to read the entirety of the Matt Jefferies interview. His views at the time of FJ's work are rather illuminating.
There's no additional info in the interview about Jefferies' views of FJ, but here you go.

Don't forget that this was done in 1976.
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Last edited by alchemist; March 22 2013 at 12:58 AM.
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Old March 22 2013, 01:35 AM   #75
ZapBrannigan
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Re: Franz Joseph Blueprints Revisited

alchemist wrote: View Post
ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
Thanks for posting that. I'd sure like to read the whole interview. Is it online somewhere, or could you scan it for us?
Warped9 wrote: View Post
This is all fascinating information I had no idea about after all these years. I, too, would love to read the entirety of the Matt Jefferies interview. His views at the time of FJ's work are rather illuminating.
There's no additional info in the interview about Jefferies' views of FJ, but here you go.

Don't forget that this was done in 1976.
Thanks. I can't reach that address from work, but I will check it out at home tomorrow night.
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