Spock with red makeup

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by cmdr_forst, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. Crewman47

    Crewman47 Commodore Newbie

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    A red tint like this might have worked on screen from the beginning but it does depend on how red he was going to initially be.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    (Crossposted from the Star Trek Phase II Forum)

    So, what color is Mister Spock?

    Well, we know he has "green" copper-based blood. And we know that very early on, it was contemplated that the character might be a Martian with a reddish hue--just like the reddish sands that cover that planet. However, actual make-up tests revealed that reddish make-up doesn't look "alien;" it simply looks like bad make-up--especially for those with black and white televisions. So it was decided to make him a Vulcanian and go for a greenish, ochre, goldenish color, like--well, not quite like anything except maybe chicken soup. It's actually not an extreme difference from regular human color; it's fairly subtle.

    [​IMG]

    Early on, the color would have to be mixed by hand using the available make-up colors--notably using Max Factor's "Chinese Yellow" pigment. But it would be a pain to custom mix this Vulcanian color each and every day if the show actually became a series; it would need to be mixed exactly the same, consistently, for continuity purposes. Of course, Star Trek did become a series and for this custom-colored make up, Star Trek make-up artist Fred Phillips went to The Research Council of Make-up Artists, Inc. (RCMA). This company could (and still does) make custom colors--and then they keep the formulas (something like paint color formulas) on file so they can be produced again later. The RCMA helped to develop all kinds of odd colors—including the strange color for Eddie Munster on The Munsters.

    For us at Star Trek Phase II, it can be difficult (just as it was for Fred Phillips) to use "regular" make-up to try and recreate an appropriate Vulcan color and apply it all evenly to the actor--whether it's Phase II's Jeff Quinn, Ben Tolpin, or Brandon Stacy. Fortunately, the original RCMA 1965 color "LN-1" ("Leonard Nimoy #1") for Mister Spock's odd Vulcan coloration is still available--if you know what to search for and you have the money. Here's a shot of my left hand made up (a little too heavily, I think) with some RCMA "LN-1" that I acquired recently--and my right hand its normal pinkish self as a contrast. It's funny: I've seen my photo on a variety of computer monitors now and it never looks the same. Sometimes it appears really washed out and other times it appears super saturated. (I have no idea how it will render on *your* screen.)

    [​IMG]

    And here's a shot of the little LN-1 make-up jars:
    [​IMG]

    Interestingly, just as Kirk's shirt photographs not quite as green as it is in real life, this LN-1 make-up also doesn’t photograph quite as green as it looks to my naked eye.

    There's no real commentary here--except to say that recreating the look of 1960s Star Trek for our fan-based series requires a greater eye to detail than most people probably imagine--right down to using the proper make-up pigments.

    (For those of you in L.A., I got my LN-1 make-up from Sig Frends Beauty Supply in North Hollywood on Laurel Canyon right at Magnolia. I don't know if they have any left.)
     
  3. starfox

    starfox Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    It always bugged me that Spock sometimes had rosy cheeks, yet was supposed to have green blood. :rolleyes:
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Not to mention having red lips and tongue.

    It always bugged me that Spock wore eye shadow. What was up with that? I suppose the idea was to make his eyes look more hooded, but to me it just looks like makeup.
     
  5. Red Ranger

    Red Ranger Admiral Admiral

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    Interesting. As I recall, they initially used more of a golden tint for Spock's makeup in the second pilot, Where No Man Has Gone Before, before switching to the more greenish tint in the rest of the series. I also recall Rodenberry in his initial notes on Spock referring to him as half-Martian. Maybe that's where the original conception of his skin as red-tinted came from, a hint that he was from the Red Planet. So glad that changed, too!

    They did succeed with red makeup in The Apple, of course. Wonder what the children of Vaal would have looked like on a B&W TV?
     
  6. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    So the question then is - according to who? Is any of the authors of Star Trek 365 someone who'd have been a first-hand observer at the time, or is this a twice-told tale?
     
  7. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah but didn't McCoy and Sulu also have eye shadow on a lot of the time too?
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I already answered that above. D. C. Fontana said "escapee from a minstrel show" in her introduction, Paula Block & Terry Erdmann said "jet-black" in the body of the text.
     
  9. Itisnotlogical

    Itisnotlogical Commodore Commodore

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    If I didn't know that Spock was supposed to be an alien character, I would never have guessed that his skin tone was makeup. It looks very natural.
     
  10. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Fred Phillips had a pancake makeup specialist mix up a combination of Flesh and Chinese Yellow, creating a new sallow shade, which they called "LN-1" ("Leonard Nimoy 1"), which has been used on many of the actors playing Vulcans in "Star Trek" over the decades.

    When ST:TMP came out, I know some people who shouted at Spock, "He's not green!", misremembering that it was his blood that was green, not his skin tone.
     
  11. Neutral Zone

    Neutral Zone Captain Captain

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    Glad we didn't have a red looking Spock as that would've really weird. Another reason going for the green tint other than it being better for the TV, could be that in those days people read comics, books and stories about little green men mars etc. So, it could've been the alien colour of the time.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That was undoubtedly a factor. The original Klingon makeup had some green mixed in with the brown. Then there are the Orion slave girls.

    I wonder where the concept of "little green men" originated. Why green? Perhaps it's derived from the saying about the Moon being made of green cheese -- which originally meant fresh, un-aged cheese ("green" in the sense of unripe), which is why it was applied to the obviously non-green Moon. But that meaning was forgotten over time.

    Hold on, I'll Wiki it...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_green_men

    Nope, it looks like the term was actually in use before it came to be applied to aliens -- it was originally used in reference to various supernatural creatures like goblins and faeries. Hmm, maybe by association with green as the color of nature? So mystical woodland creatures and the like might be green in order to hide among the foliage? Or maybe, for scarier creatures, it's because green is a reptilian color and thus carries connotations of the sinister and monstrous.
     
  13. Sisko_is_my_captain

    Sisko_is_my_captain Captain Captain

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    Imagine how different the mythos of Star Trek would have been if Vulcans had been from Mars instead of Vulcan. There would likely have been major differences in our stories of first contact, the initial human-Vulcan alliance, all sorts of stuff.
     
  14. starfox

    starfox Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    They could also have used the other Vulcan, a hypothesized companion to earth. I suspect this may be where the fictional planet got its name.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Well, not a companion to Earth, but a planet within Mercury's orbit, even closer to the Sun (hence being named after the god of the forge). And yes, a number of planets in science fiction were named in reference to it -- much the same way that the various fictional uses of "Planet X" in the mid-20th century were in reference to a hypothetical tenth planet beyond Pluto (X meaning both "10" and "unknown").
     
  16. Cap'n Claus

    Cap'n Claus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't have the book in front of me, but I think the Solow/Justman book mentions an incident of color correction regarding Spock which mirrored the green makeup issue.
     
  17. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I just looked through it (via the index) and found nothing on the subject.
     
  18. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    There was a story about them putting Brent Spiner in a rainbow of face colours to see how they'd photograph, and also how each colour would appear on b/w TV. But I don't recall Nimoy photos getting colour corrected by the lab; that was Majel in green (and they also tried some Spock-like makeup on her as Number One).
     
  19. captain_fluffy

    captain_fluffy Ensign Newbie

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    a red tinted spock would have looked a little silly imo.. im glad they went with a normal looking look.
     
  20. alchemist

    alchemist Commander Red Shirt

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    Inside Star Trek is one of my favorite BTS books, but I think its index is too abbreviated. I think ssosmcin is referring to the "chicken soup" reference on pages 255-256.