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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies XI+

Star Trek Movies XI+ Discuss J.J. Abrams' rebooted Star Trek here.

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Old September 28 2009, 06:34 PM   #271
trevanian
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

The TUC conference table is an ingenious and cheap solution for a movie that had more money problems than can easily be dealt with here (though it does come up again a couple paragraphs down.)

You could probably cut the new movie the same slack ... if Abrams brought it in for 60 mil instead of 150-160 (not counting the interest charges that accrued during the months that the film sat finished and unreleased.)

As is, you really got to wonder where the money went. ILM? ILM gets an insane amount of money (they got a third of the budget on MUMMY, and I've heard closer to half the budget on some more recent high cost flicks), but percentagewise that is way off from what they used to get ... TWOK ultimately cost about 12-13 mil, and 3 of that went to ILM. Later on, it escalated. ILM's price was so distressing to Par that they originally cancelled TUC because they wouldn't spend another 2 mil to have ILM on it ... but then when the producers suggested doing the whole film w/o ILM (like TFF), Par relented a bit, though production had to trim another mil off the budget anyway to get greenlit AND get ILM (though only for most of the work, since matte paintings and most animation went to MatteWorld and VCE and some other companies.)

The production design on the new one seems shameful to me, on a lot of levels.

The cheapness of shooting a brewery PLUS not redressing it significantly (just putting black garbage liner on the floor would slick things up a bit, it did for my super8 flicks when I shot in working environments.)

The glare/glare/everywhere is ludicrous for a working environment, esp a ship's control area where people work off info read from displays.

The one great design notion of the new film -- making the future look like the work of Saarinen, such as the TWA NY air terminal -- becomes the biggest foulup, since the results don't look like Saarinen or inspired by Saarinen, but instead look like people with bad taste THINKING they are evoking Saarinen and missing by a mile (from what I read at trekmovie, apparently the ent exterior and the bridge are supposed to evoke Saarinen .. go rent THE TERMINAL and see if there is any pleasant similarity ... if you find it, congratulate yourself, because you're seeing something that I don't think is there.)
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Old September 28 2009, 10:59 PM   #272
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

Seems to me that the design aesthetic that led to choices like breweries serving as filming locations for engineering and lens flares was an aesthetic that held that the future should have more of a "used, working class, down to Earth" feel to it.

I think they took it too far with the idea of using a present-day brewery to represent engineering, but I understand the aesthetic and enjoyed its employment elsewhere in the film.
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Old September 29 2009, 02:07 AM   #273
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

Sci wrote: View Post
Seems to me that the design aesthetic that led to choices like breweries serving as filming locations for engineering and lens flares was an aesthetic that held that the future should have more of a "used, working class, down to Earth" feel to it.
Yet that seems at odds with the whole 'future is so bright' excuse for lensflares, and the cosmetic look of the bridge, and the utterly useless look of the corridors. Instead of an interesting hodgepodge, just schizophrenic design. And Saarinen is as far from used working class as you can get.
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Old September 29 2009, 02:33 AM   #274
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

Pike saying Fed is a peacekeeping armada when it should of been Starfleet.

Lack of explanation about the sun going Nova in Prime Universe causing so much damage.

thats about it.
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Old September 29 2009, 03:21 AM   #275
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

trevanian wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Seems to me that the design aesthetic that led to choices like breweries serving as filming locations for engineering and lens flares was an aesthetic that held that the future should have more of a "used, working class, down to Earth" feel to it.
Yet that seems at odds with the whole 'future is so bright' excuse for lensflares,
What's at odds with "the future is bright?" Is there some sort of conflict between the idea of a bright future and a future that has a used, working-class feel to it? Does having a better future mean that every piece of machinery is going to look shiny and fresh out of the factory?

and the cosmetic look of the bridge, and the utterly useless look of the corridors.
Pardon me. Are you seriously criticizing the corridors for being insufficiently utilitarian? It's a corridor. It's not like the corridors on the Enterprise-D did all that much.

Instead of an interesting hodgepodge, just schizophrenic design.
I thought it was an interesting hodgepodge, even when I didn't like the brewery redress.

And Saarinen is as far from used working class as you can get.
I rather liked the way they combined the two, actually. Even when an individual set was one I didn't like -- I agree with the criticism that engineering should look more technologically advanced than it did, and should not look like a brewery -- I felt that there was an interesting combo of futurism and a sense of things being used and down-to-earth. I love the fact that Kirk rides a motorcycle to a shipyard where a spaceship is being built. I love the fact that they use hangers that look no different from what we have today to house and launch shuttlecraft. I love the fact that it looks like the engineers on the Enterprise and the Kelvin actually get their hands dirty and don't just spend all day pressing a touch-screen computer console.

Jax wrote: View Post
Pike saying Fed is a peacekeeping armada when it should of been Starfleet.
That pissed me off, too. It's like equating the United Kingdom with the Royal Navy.
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Old September 29 2009, 03:12 PM   #276
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

Kirk being exiled in an escape pod on an ice planet.

I mean... wtf? First of all... wtf?! Second... why didn't they just beam him into the Starfleet outpost where he could be guarded? Why... nevermind... wtf...


Spock's great plan of creating a black hole to suck up a supernova... seriously, bad science.
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Old September 29 2009, 06:10 PM   #277
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

Cryogenic wrote: View Post
In short, it brings forward ideas and establishes a certain mood, making it good for the scene and good for the film.
Sure, I enjoy the scene myself, it's very dramatic.

But the point is that when you look at some people's comments who take umbrage with the brewery, their main beef is its "lack of realism."

I've been in many corporate meeting rooms, some rather hastily arranged and completely confidential. Trust me, in real life, secret meetings don't have mood lighting.

So back to the brewery, it was a look Abrams wanted. That's what I was trying to get at. So in my initial post, while I only quoted a bit of TN's comment, I was also answering this:

TutonicNights wrote:
it seems the makers thought we viewers were so dumb we wouldn't get they used beer tanks if they didn't look exactly like ordinary beer tanks and nothing else.
I don't think JJ was assuming that people were unintelligent, I think he made an artistic choice, he liked the look. That doesn't mean anyone is obligated to agree with him, but it wasn't like, as you say, using blu-tak for the One Ring.

...the overblown engineering scenes in STXI, which primarily, to my way of thinking, exist to accentuate the film's very antithetical (not to mention anachronistic) "steam punk" look
As a lifelong goth/industrial musician who has three friends currently in a popular Los Angeles area steampunk band, I am pretty well versed on the steampunk aesthetic. I can assure you that filming in a brewery is not steampunk. He would have had to add a lot of Victorian dressing—there is nothing Victorian about a mid-50s American brewery. The animated movie "9" is a good example of sci-fi steampunk made today. Whatever design aesthetic JJ & co. were going for, I am very confident that steampunk isn't it.

While no-one can say for certain that a mass of water pipes is inherently less realistic than power conduits and bulkheads, it is an affront to ST's clean futurism to include something so visually discombobulated
Honestly, I never would have thought for a second that any sort of ship can be made without pipes of some kind. That's not to say that an engineering deck needs brewing tanks. But water is a physical substance, and it needs to be moved in some sort of physical vessel from point A to point B. As the saying going, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." It might have been more "Star Trekian" to have the pipes painted white, inside the walls, glowing blue with force fields around them, or otherwise "cleaner." But one way or another, the water needs to get from point A to point B physically, and personally I have absolutely no problem with the idea that the water will be carried in tubes/pipes that are exposed.

Especially if you consider that Starfleet is probably balancing a sort of aesthetic beauty with getting this ship spaceworthy and launched ASAP, it would make sense that when presented with the choice of requiring an extra crew to work extra hours to "tuck in" the water pipes or just leave them exposed in the bottom of the ship and save three weeks or so, the choice would be made to save time.

Ultimately, it's up to the individual viewer to decide if any given set design/dressing works for them or not. For example:

In the ST:TOS episode "The Enemy Within," there is a little Yorkie (or some other small dog) very obviously put in a cheesy "space dog" suit. Its head is exposed in what looks very clearly like a hole cut in the mask. The suit is so unwieldy that the dog is never seen walking by itself, only held or in a box. But the suit works for me. It looks "good enough" and the actors do a fine job of earnestly reacting to and discussing this obviously silly looking unicorn dog that I have no trouble at all with space dog.

OTOH, STVI also has space dogs; on Rura Pente, there are larger dogs with three fangs running guarding the prisoners. These are clearly dogs wearing muzzles. It's a more "realistic" costume in that the dogs are mobile. But something about the complete lack of jaw motility pulls me right out of the scene. I would actually have preferred it if they simply wore cheesy looking spiked hat, instead of a super-cheesy muzzle. To this day, as much as I adore STVI as a movie, I can't look at those dogs without cringing.

I certainly don't expect others to prefer 1966 space suit dog over 1991 space muzzle dog. Nor do I expect others to agree with me that the super-cheese muzzle was enough to pull them out of the scene. But for me, it was.

And back to the brewery. I totally understand anyone pulled out of the scene. But it didn't pull me out.
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Old September 29 2009, 07:51 PM   #278
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

If people didn't already know it was a brewery, I don't think anyone would have noticed.

Most of the poeple who have issues with this film fall into one of the following categories:

1. They never saw it in the theatre.
2. They were skeptical from the outset.
3. They didn't want this film to be made by Abrams in the first place.
4. Were already thinking it was going to suck no matter what.
5. Are already upset that any changes to the design/uniforms/eye color were made.
6. Are upset that this wasn't a straight reboot.
7. Are upset that this was a reboot.
8. Are upset that the film makers didn't adhere to every bit of continuity established.
9. Are upset that this film doesn't look EXACTLY like the TV show.

Therefore the "cringeworthy" aspects of the film can easily be chalked up to preconceptions. Most of these "cringeworthy" moments happened onscreen with numerous Trek films and episodes without so much as a peep..

Then the lensflares.. If lensflares make you that upset, why do you bother leaving the house or turning on your TV?
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Old September 29 2009, 08:43 PM   #279
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

actually some people (like myself, who liked much of the film) had to severely rate it lower because of the plot holes, and, particularly, for the weakest villain motivation in all Trek, especially when they hyped a good villain.
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Old September 30 2009, 01:12 AM   #280
trevanian
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

Sci wrote: View Post
trevanian wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Seems to me that the design aesthetic that led to choices like breweries serving as filming locations for engineering and lens flares was an aesthetic that held that the future should have more of a "used, working class, down to Earth" feel to it.
Yet that seems at odds with the whole 'future is so bright' excuse for lensflares,
What's at odds with "the future is bright?" Is there some sort of conflict between the idea of a bright future and a future that has a used, working-class feel to it? Does having a better future mean that every piece of machinery is going to look shiny and fresh out of the factory?



Pardon me. Are you seriously criticizing the corridors for being insufficiently utilitarian? It's a corridor. It's not like the corridors on the Enterprise-D did all that much.



I thought it was an interesting hodgepodge, even when I didn't like the brewery redress.

And Saarinen is as far from used working class as you can get.
I rather liked the way they combined the two, actually. Even when an individual set was one I didn't like -- I agree with the criticism that engineering should look more technologically advanced than it did, and should not look like a brewery -- I felt that there was an interesting combo of futurism and a sense of things being used and down-to-earth. I love the fact that Kirk rides a motorcycle to a shipyard where a spaceship is being built. I love the fact that they use hangers that look no different from what we have today to house and launch shuttlecraft. I love the fact that it looks like the engineers on the Enterprise and the Kelvin actually get their hands dirty and don't just spend all day pressing a touch-screen computer console.
.
1. The future bright thing sounds like lip service to 'technology unchained,' GR's thing about tech being so good that things can just look nice ... function can be fit into any nice form. THAT is entirely counter to the Abrams engine room.

2. The corridors don't make any sense. Center junctions? No useful wall areas? There are threads here going back a year or more on the corridor suckiness.

3. If you can handle the 'starship built on earth' angle happening in the STAR TREK universe (ANY star trek universe), then I'm talking to somebody who is not from my neck of the woods. So I'm through.
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Old September 30 2009, 01:15 AM   #281
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

number6 wrote: View Post
If lensflares make you that upset, why do you bother leaving the house or turning on your TV?
Lens flares CAN be beautiful, when used with a light/smart touch, like DIE HARD. But not when you use them like a strobe light. That's like including a zoom in every camera shot to give some idea of motion when nothing is happening, amateurish and a pretty tragic disregard of film language.
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Old September 30 2009, 01:37 AM   #282
Sci
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

trevanian wrote: View Post
1. The future bright thing sounds like lip service to 'technology unchained,' GR's thing about tech being so good that things can just look nice ... function can be fit into any nice form. THAT is entirely counter to the Abrams engine room.
So, in other words, you're claiming that it's inconsistent with an entirely separate concept ("clean-looking technology unchained") that you happen to associate with the idea of a brighter future, but which is not inherently linked to the idea of a brighter future.

In other words, you prefer a particular design aesthetic and will try to claim that other design aesthetics are illegitimate. Gotcha.

3. If you can handle the 'starship built on earth' angle happening in the STAR TREK universe (ANY star trek universe), then I'm talking to somebody who is not from my neck of the woods. So I'm through.
Why not? Federation starships are already capable of generating enough energy to negate the effects of gravity (for example, the Enterprise NX-01 flying above New York in "Storm Front, Part II," the U.S.S. Voyager landing and taking off) and of negating the effects of inertia itself in order to allow a ship to reach high percentages of lightspeed while on impulse power without being crushed by the G-forces of that kind of acceleration.

When ships are already able to do that, why couldn't they be built on the ground?

And for anyone who felt, as I did, that filming the engine rooms in breweries was a bad idea, you might be interested in this quote from ST09 Production Designer Scott Chambliss:

Those were choices based on the circumstance we were in with the budget. Both engine rooms were designed to be massive entire sound-stage filling sets that did not look at all what you saw on screen. But the realities of what we had to deal with made JJ And I go "okay, let’s find a location that has got to have huge scale…and see what we can find." I think that is the most vivid case where our original intention had to be modified to fit our budget circumstance.
ETA:

Amusingly enough, they have a built-in plot excuse for building a new, large engineering set for the next film: After ejecting all those matter/anti-matter reaction pods (interesting that their warp system uses multiple reaction pods instead of one large reaction pod as in TMP and TNG/DS9/VOY), they might already need a refit!
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Old September 30 2009, 08:59 AM   #283
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

trevanian wrote: View Post
number6 wrote: View Post
If lensflares make you that upset, why do you bother leaving the house or turning on your TV?
Lens flares CAN be beautiful, when used with a light/smart touch, like DIE HARD. But not when you use them like a strobe light. That's like including a zoom in every camera shot to give some idea of motion when nothing is happening, amateurish and a pretty tragic disregard of film language.

Except they weren't used like a strobe light. I actually saw this film.

Film language evolves. This film may not be to your liking, but it's hardly amateur. The film doesn't fit your aesthetic. Maybe you should make one for us to judge, since you seem to know how to do it so much better.
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Old September 30 2009, 11:22 AM   #284
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

trevanian wrote: View Post
The TUC conference table is an ingenious and cheap solution for a movie that had more money problems than can easily be dealt with here
Yes, absolutely! And an ingenuity that's alien to the makers of STXI.

PhasersOnStun wrote: View Post
...the overblown engineering scenes in STXI, which primarily, to my way of thinking, exist to accentuate the film's very antithetical (not to mention anachronistic) "steam punk" look
As a lifelong goth/industrial musician who has three friends currently in a popular Los Angeles area steampunk band, I am pretty well versed on the steampunk aesthetic. I can assure you that filming in a brewery is not steampunk.
I think my citation is relatively accurate. Like most aesthetic movements, steampunk is quite subjective and very broad. Maybe "industropunk" or some variation thereof would be better, but I think my point can still be grasped. Abrams and his team did their level best to give ST a grungy, clangy, fetid look, totally contrary to the "future history" of ST, which, combined with the shaky camera work, now makes it feel more like Ronald Moore's reworking of "Battlestar Galactica", or Joss Whedon's short-lived "Firefly", than GR's inspiring parable of exploration and innovation. Then there are all the 20th Century-isms, from minutiae like cars and motorbikes, to characters saying things like, "Hi!" and, "Are you nuts?" but that's another discussion. Industropunk...

Flexible ribbed pipes (i.e. vacuum cleaner pipes) draped clumsily over the edges of shuttlecraft? Check. Errant patches of water in 23rd Century shuttle bay hangars (and 24th Century Romulan mining vessels)? Check. Painted walls made of bricks? Check. Fluorescent lighting and flip switches? Check. Scratched hulls, bars, boxes and other metal items? Check. Red and yellow industrial signage on hazardous edges? Check. Heavy beams and pipes with visible nuts and bolts? Check. And ALL a part of Starfleet, which has NEVER had these attributes before (barring Nick Meyer's equally stupid 20th Century kitchen look in STVI). Even the film's logo is completely ludicrous: a scorched metal 3D rotating monstrosity that's a total rip-off of Michael Bay's "Transformers" (the one *in* the film, after the teaser). Coincidence?

http://chrisallensite.com/wordpress/...rmers_new1.jpg

Sci wrote: View Post
And for anyone who felt, as I did, that filming the engine rooms in breweries was a bad idea, you might be interested in this quote from ST09 Production Designer Scott Chambliss:

Those were choices based on the circumstance we were in with the budget. Both engine rooms were designed to be massive entire sound-stage filling sets that did not look at all what you saw on screen. But the realities of what we had to deal with made JJ And I go "okay, let’s find a location that has got to have huge scale…and see what we can find." I think that is the most vivid case where our original intention had to be modified to fit our budget circumstance.
What a load of horse sh*t! They had a production budget of $150 million, the highest in Trek movie history (TMP, adjusted for inflation, cost approx $100 million, so they were playing with 50% more than a film that's often accused of being wildly expensive and a bloated mess). To put this into a modern context, each LOTR movie and Star Wars prequel cost around $90 million and $120 million respectively. This film was NOT cheap. Yet they ran out of money to build at least one set for Main Engineering, one of the most iconic places on board the Enterprise, in a film meant to relaunch ST? Words fails me.

Anyway, thanks for the link. From the same page:

Things wrapped up with some audience Q&A followed by a special credits reel made by Mike Okuda, crediting everyone who worked in the art department on Star Trek over the years, followed by a very candid unaired interview with the late Harold Michelson, Production Designer on Star Trek The Motion Picture.

Video for the evening, both the panel as well as the clips shown, will be made available by the Art Director’s Guild in October. The above is only a small taste of the full event which went on for around 2 hours, so when the video is available TrekMovie will post it.
*squee*

Last edited by Cryogenic; September 30 2009 at 11:59 AM.
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Old September 30 2009, 01:23 PM   #285
trevanian
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

number6 wrote: View Post
trevanian wrote: View Post
number6 wrote: View Post
If lensflares make you that upset, why do you bother leaving the house or turning on your TV?
Lens flares CAN be beautiful, when used with a light/smart touch, like DIE HARD. But not when you use them like a strobe light. That's like including a zoom in every camera shot to give some idea of motion when nothing is happening, amateurish and a pretty tragic disregard of film language.

Except they weren't used like a strobe light. I actually saw this film.

Film language evolves. This film may not be to your liking, but it's hardly amateur. The film doesn't fit your aesthetic. Maybe you should make one for us to judge, since you seem to know how to do it so much better.
You going to give me 15mil to do a down and dirty indy flick? Fine, I can use an existing script of mine, something I actually shot part of before spending myself broke on it in the 90s. The results would blast your socks up off your toes so the tubes slide up and become thigh-wedgies (probably creating a striking new fashion look for you in the process.)

Film language DOES evolve; however, what is present here (in the 7min I've seen online and in ads) is a massive step backward, not sideways or forward, in visual communication.

This ain't Welles in TOUCH OF EVIL using lenses everybody else would be afraid of, this is more like Richard Rush (a good filmmaker at times) making a huge movie-long error with rack focus in GETTING STRAIGHT.
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