NASA artist Bob McCall's TMP paintings

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Robert Comsol, May 26, 2014.

  1. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    NASA Artist Bob McCall did a total of four paintings for 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY with the one of the Pan Am space clipper departing Space Station V undoubtedly being the most popular one.

    Given the 2001 allusions I always found present in TMP, I was rather surprised and fascinated that Bob McCall also did pre-production work for TMP:

    http://filmsketchr.blogspot.de/2013/11/vintage-star-trek-motion-picture.html

    Enjoy! :)

    Bob
     
  2. Mario de Monti

    Mario de Monti Captain Captain

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    Great find, thanks for sharing :bolian:

    Be sure to also follow the link below the pictures to his homepage, a lot of very interesting (concept) paintings there.
     
  3. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Most if not all of his TMP stuff is in a book he illustrated with text by Ben Bova. I have it somewhere, but don't recall the title - no, it's VISION OF THE FUTURE.

    His work took place well into post, at the behest of Trumbull, but it is still conceptual stuff.
     
  4. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Didn't he also paint some of the background images actually used in the Spock Walk?
     
  5. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    I've read conflicting accounts about that, but Trumbull initially intended that to be the case. It looks like McCall's stuff is the background, but I've never made a study of it. Frankly, am much more bothered about the triple or quadruple printing of frames while all those moons and planets are coming by than what is happening behind them.
     
  6. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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  7. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    He also did one or two pictures of the Enterprise that weren't in Robert's link. I have a reprint of one in storage. I sure miss McCall.
     
  8. B.J.

    B.J. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I really liked this painting of his because it really shows (better than the movie IMO) how HUGE V'Ger was!
     
  9. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    ^^ Indeed, I hadn't paid attention to the shadows V'ger (behind Earth) is casting, in comparison the alien probe from ST IV is a dwarf.

    (I think the almost finalized Probert orbital office design and the scary nature of V'ger's maw distracted me :rolleyes:)

    Bob
     
  10. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What a shame Harrison Ellenshaw couldn't have gotten onboard for TMP, as well. He was probably the best matt painter in the industry at the tme.
     
  11. KirkusOveractus

    KirkusOveractus Captain Captain

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    I think I saw some of the original McCall paintings at the Smithsonian in the mid or late 1980's, in a room at the Air and Space Museum (the TOS Enterprise model was hanging above them and she was operating, nacelles and all!)

    Those paintings were amazing to see in person - I'll have to see if I can find the photos I snapped that day!
     
  12. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    SHARE, please?

    I like the added forecastle he placed on the Klingon cruiser's Cobra head--up top
     
  13. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    IIRC, it was the one from 2001 with the EVA Pod and the Discovery in background that was sharing space with the TOS Enterprise.

    Bob
     
  14. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    I bought a reprint of this one in the 1990s at a Star Trek exhibit at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum:

    [​IMG]

    As is common with McCall works, the spectacular background often overshadows the subject. Note the interesting detail representing the warp field emitted by the engines. In McCall's vision, warp drive left a distinct, luminescent wake.


    I'm fairly certain there was a second closeup of the Starship Enterprise, but don't remember the details. I did find this, which roughly corresponds to what I think the second painting looked like, but there's a noisy neuron in my skull who insists this isn't it ... still:
    [​IMG]

    This image and the one above suggest to me that McCall may have been working from photos of the unlit model, or viewed it in person. Notice that there are no pools of self-lighting evident and the navigational deflector looks like unlit plastic. I'm sure he'd have painted it blue or amber had he seen clips from the movie.


    I also found this black and white image that I believe is detail from a larger work:

    [​IMG]

    Commissioning McCall to do this kind of work for the franchise was a flash of brilliance. It's a shame there aren't more examples.


    EDIT TO ADD:

    BJ and Robert Comsol thought this image made V'Ger look big. Here's another.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
  15. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    These are great images, thanks for going through the hazzle of finding, posting and sharing these! :techman:

    The one with the visible warp field reminds me how Andrew Probert described the effect (and in his officer's lounge proposal and sketch we also see that field).

    The image above makes me wonder: Is that the Death Star on the left side? :eek:

    And this other link makes V'ger still look a little bigger. WOW!

    Bob
     
  16. Mario de Monti

    Mario de Monti Captain Captain

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    :lol: That was my first thought too when I just saw the picture.
     
  17. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  18. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Colani's stuff would really fit with the 'technology unchained/unleashed' dictum, where the vessel is as much an art form as a craft. I used to have a book of his stuff (lots of beautiful space shuttle work as well as cars) until it fell to pieces.

    For me, he and John Berkey (who is THE guy for painting spaceships) would have been excellent sources of inspiration in terms of not just conceptual art, but having material actually built to match their visions.
     
  19. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    Ahhhh, John Berkey. I both love and hate his work. It's always gorgeous and his paintings have graced the covers of some of my favorite science fiction novels. BUT he has perfected the art of implying detail that isn't really there. Those sharp divisions on smooth forms, the whispy lines of antennae, the convoluted asymmetry ... every time I see one of his paintings I pause. I study. I try to make sense of the details and glean a sense of how its supposed to work. AND IT NEVER DOES!

    But I fall for it anyway. Every time.
     
  20. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I don't know if Syd Mead would feel okay designing a new Enterprise (he introduced me to Andrew Probert) but I know that Andrew Probert has drawn a lot of inspiration from Luigi Colani because he said so.

    Therefore, in a manner of speaking, Andrew's style reflects a certain Colani touch, which I think becomes even more evident in Andrew's design proposal for the Enterprise-F.

    (I was a fan of Colani before I became a fan of Probert ;))

    I also agree with the comments on John Berkey, I feel about his work somewhat like Jonathan Frakes felt about "Yesterday's Enterprise": I do not know what the fu** happened in that episode. I'm still trying to understand it – but I liked the look."

    Bob