Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by Professor Moriarty, Jan 17, 2008.
^ Perhaps to fit within the visual and thematic aesthetic of the film?
The most painful part of the whole run of Enterprise was listening to the lemmings say how great the show was when in reality the show had major problems.
Enough of the "lemmings" talk. Discuss the shows, the ships, the art - not the fans.
Did they change the look of the ship during the series, to fit the visual and thematic aesthetic of each individual episode?
For the same reason that we no longer install shag carpet in our homes: the styles of the times have changed. Some things have endured, most have not. Conversely, the style of the Big E is very much a product of the 1960's and will not play as-is to a modern movie-going audience. This will fall upon deaf ears around here, because Trek fans have themselves convinced that just because they can accept dated 1960's designs that everyone else can.
Well, to be fair, the Enterprise sits in the gift shop, and it isn't because of the design. The Big E is there because of the cultural impact of the original Star Trek series. The show, characters and the ship herself have passed into the common lexicon as the template for space-borne scifi (for better or for worse.)
If you asked the average Joe on the street to describe the Big E, he would most likely be familiar with the broad strokes but fair miserably on the details.
To you. To many others, the classic Star Trek icon are Spock's ears, or Shatner's hammy delivery. It is foolish in the extreme to conflate the view of an uberfan with the general perceptions of the average movie-going public, who are going to have to see and enjoy this movie for it to succeed.
The TOS-R team have done an impressive job within their narrow constraints of leaving the designs untouched. The Big E hersef still doesn't hold up well on the big screen, even in the low resolution in which they showed 'The Menagerie' in theaters a few months ago.
That is, of course, not the reason at all.
JJ Abrams and co. want to make Trek in their own image. They have their own ideas on how to do that. To expect them to slavishly adhere to designs and ideas from the original series is foolish in the extreme. Given that, I think that they've been more faithful than I would be in a similar position. The design of the Big E, for example, is very faithful and reminiscent of the Refit (at least in terms of what we've seen thus far.)
Because it doesn't work stylistically anymore.
That you can't accept that doesn't make it any less so.
And the flag drops on that play. Just because you disagree doesn't make you right. No one needs to "accept" that it doesn't work - there's no proof that this is the case, and, IMO, plenty of proof that it does. Sure, it could use some detailing, but there's absolutely no truth to the rumor that the original design isn't good enough or strong enough or stylish enough to hold its own on the big screen in a modern film.
The interiors may be a different matter, but even those don't require wholesale replacement, IMO - I simply don't believe that an imaginative designer can't use them as a template for something move visually commanding. That I read so many posts that say it's "impossible" saddens me, to think that so many people have so little imagination, and such low expectations, and yet are still "science fiction fans."
Point eloquently made, as always. However, we're talking about a sci-fi television show from the 1960s, hardly the equivalent of the great world relgions, or the creations of the Athenians or Romans.
The reason I understand and agree with the idea that Trek needs to be recreated and re-futurized, is because as our knowledge of real-world space and science changes, the images and conventions of 1960's Star Trek are going to hold less and less attraction to people in general. Now, if you want to let Trek just be a fringe phenomenon, let it become the plaything of those who wish to keep it in the 1960s.
To challenge us in the future, Trek has to present a future worth chasing, ESPECIALLY in the artistic, social, and technological tone it takes.
Just my 2 cents.
Here's an old post of mine, putting this matter into a different light:
Okay, like Aridas and others, I find this sort of statement slightly irritating, but instead of saying "you can't say that," I'm going to ask you to explain WHY you say that.
You say that it "doesn't work." Okay, let's look at that.
Now, assume that you're talking to someone who's never HEARD of Star Trek before, and who furthermore is from a culture outside of our own, not knowing anything about the 1960s and not knowing anything about 2008, either. Maybe this is someone who grew up in an isolated village in the Andes. Maybe it's someone who has had a brain injury that caused loss of memory but not loss of cognitive function. Maybe it's a freakin' MARTIAN. Who it is, and why they're that way, is irrelevant. What IS relevant is that they have no prior knowledge of our current or past culture, and no prior knowledge of Star Trek at any level.
NOW... make your argument to that person. Explain what aspects of the classic 1701 design don't work, and WHY they don't work. How are you going to argue the point you're making to this "blank slate" person with no preconceptions?
If you can make a strong, reasoned argument on the matter, you may be able to convince those of us here who disagree with you that you have a valid point.
But if you just keep saying "well, this is how it is, and if you disagree, you're stupid and clueless," well... that's not demonstrating ANYTHING except that you have your own personal biases and associate those biases with "reality." Which, as I understand, is exactly what you're accusing OTHERS of, isn't it?
I find the "trekkies killed a show" argument to be preposterous on every possible level.
Why? Because the whole point of the show is to be entertainment. And if the show is entertaining, it will draw and keep an audience. And if it draws and keeps an audience, it will be successful. (And I'd argue, if it's entertaining, it's "quality" ... since "entertaining" is the single most important characteristic required by something which is considerred ENTERTAINMENT, isn't it?)
The problem is that Enterprise failed to draw and keep an audience sufficient to justify it's continued existence. You can argue that it was great initially and then changed, and the changes killed it (I don't agree, but oh well). You can argue that it was bad originally, and got better, but the improvements weren't able to undo the earlier damage in time (which is my position). You can argue that it was ALWAYS WEAK, and thus was never able to draw and keep an audience. Or you can try to make the argument that it was a really, really awesome show but that the audiences are too stupid to realize that the show was what they SHOULD have wanted.
Only that last argument is demonstrably bogus. Audiences know EXACTLY what they want... and when they get it, they're happy. When they don't get it, they're not happy. Sometimes what they THINK they want isn't what they really want (remember how many folks were in an uproar over ST2, yet it's widely accepted as the best ST flick and one of the best ST stories ever... and the "unacceptable to fans" death of Spock was central to that).
"Enterprise" failed, not because of the fans, but because it wasn't sufficiently high quality (in that most important area, being ENTERTAINING) to draw in and keep the audience. And that's ALL there is to say about it, when you really get down to what matters, isn't it?
Where'd that $250,000 number come from? The entire TRAILER may have cost that much, sure... though even that number seems high for such a quick-and-dirty (and fairly SHORT) bit. The complete advertising bill for this. I mean, really...
The model itself looks fairly nice... but it's not the model which would be used in a film to represent an operational Starship, is it? Think about it for a moment... all the "guts" bits that were modeled, all the absent paneling...
If you're going to show the complete starship flying through space, this CGI model is NOT the one that will be used. The extra detail present in this model (to reflect "guts") would need to be removed, just for one thing! This isn't like building a physical model, after all. You use CGI models with just the level of detail you'll actually be able to SEE (ie, you don't model stuff on the inside unless it's clearly visible through windows... and you often have a "distant" version that omits that as well!)
So the chances that this model, as we see it, is the "Enterprise" as it will be shown as an operating space vessel are ZERO. The only thing that would accomplish would be to boost render times to many time more than is acceptable... isn't that right?
So, can we all accept that this model, as seen here, is NOT the same CGI model that will be seen in any "spaceflight" shots we may see in the film?
So, given that... the real question is, will the CGI model(s) used to represent the Enterprise (or her sister ships) in the film be based on the ARTISTIC INTENT of what we've seen here?
That's more open to discussion. I'd say that it's correct to say that the model seen in this teaser is intended to represent the current artistic direction of the "official" ship. It may even be a modified version of the current CGI ship and thus may reflect the "real" design fairly closely.
I still fail to see how you argue that the CGI model seen in the trailer is a quarter-million-dollar investment that would be "thrown out" if not used exactly as seen. That argument simply doesn't stand up as far as I can see.
The ship CONCEPT is one thing. The CGI model (or models) used in the film to represent the ship in operational status (plus any "local close-up areas" which are typically not done as complete ship models, but may have a lot more detail than the full model does) are something else. The CGI model used to represent the ship "under construction" is yet ANOTHER thing.
The only way that this is "wasted" is if the "ship under construction" sequence is to be seen in the film, and needs to be recreated using a different model.
Otherwise, the ship design can continue to be tweaked and NOTHING is lost. Is it?
I was referring to the whole trailer with that figure (which isn't an exact figure, but probably safe, what with all the hiring-actual-welders-for-green-screening tomfoolery.
I think that it's quite possible to see this model in action, if they do decide to do so. It'd be pretty easy to just superimpose the paneling and detail on top of the 'pristine' model. All that they had to do was make a production model, and then put all of the paneling and stuff on top, and slap a 'matte' material that roughly conforms to the shape of the area that you're working in to block off bits that would be blocked off.
JJ is redesigning the Enterprise to fit with his vision. Accusing him of doing it "just because he can" is rather puerile.
This confuses me.
JJ Abrams has updated the TOS Charlie X design further than ENT's In A Mirror Darkly, Vektor, etc. That's bad.
ENT's In A Mirror Darkly, Vektor, etc. have updated the TOS Charlie X design less than JJ Abrams. That's good.
Because...the TOS Charlie X design can stand on its own.
Why update the TOS Charlie X design at all?
Why don't I see the TOS Charlie X design un-updated?
Remember, DS9's Trials and Tribblations?
I was under the impression that you'd done some work (even if just "casual recreational" work?) with CGI software before. Am I mistaken?
What you just wrote makes sense if you're talking about a PHYSICAL MODEL. But it makes no sense for a CGI one, I think.
When doing a CGI work for what you're seeing here, you'd make the full thing in a single element, no "mattes" involved. You'd model the hull shape, create cuts, and populate behind those cuts with either 2D inlays (probably the majority of what we see) or 3D inlays (for areas where it will be seen clearly.
You'd create the trusswork infrastructure underneath as CGI models as well. Whether or not the ground was CGI or real physical photography is hard to tell, though it sure LOOKS like real airfield tarmac to me.
My point is that, except for where you want to incorporate real physical elements, you'd be best off doing the entire ship/construction bit as a single scene, and only composite in things like the background. (Well, you might do the nacelles in their own individual passes and do the primary hull in a separate pass and composite with "Shake" or whatever you use, when talking about the final shot, but you get my point... you'd never use MATTES at all.)
Your comment from above would have been 100% correct if we were talking about physical models. But it just seems off-base when talking about CGI work.
Am I misreading you?
I've noticed the new design cheerleaders often argue in ways that completely cancel out each other. The two arguments I've seen used most often here--often by the same posters--are these:
The general public can't tell one Enterprise (Prime, A, B, C, D, or E and any other ship designed along the lines of the Constitution rather than, say, the Miranda) from another but...
The general public will not accept the design of the original because they will see it as dated.
Of the two arguments, the first is by far the more likely and it equally serves the purpose of those of us who think the original should be used largely un-changed (gotta admit, even Vektor's souped up version goes a wee bit too far for me, and I'm a drooling fanboy for most of his stuff) and those who want a redesign. The second argument is completely negated by the first.
So let's leave the general public out of this and look at it for what it really is: an aesthetic disagreement among fans of Star Trek, in which each party is as fannishly invested as the other. I'd hazard to say most of the re-design cheerleaders are fans of several series, perhaps having come to Star Trek from the 24th century. Likewise, I'd guess most of us so-called purists are primarily TOS fans. (One cheerleader--the most [ahem!] vocal was a fan in the 60s but sorta made a member of the club with TNG.)
Having said all that, I'll simply repeat what I've said before: when we saw the re-fit in 1979, it had a great deal of impact because it was the first official update we'd ever seen to the original design. Irs radical redesign was novel and madec an integral part of the story. Since then, we've seen countless updates, variants and sister ships, so many that one more "grand" redesign will mean precisely nothing. At this stage in Star Trek's life (a life that has limped on far too long, btw, but that's another thread), the only way to be novel is to go back to basics and give us the original, with no extraneous new design elements whatsoever.
But that's not going to happen, because these new guys are not "human photocopiers" (yeeesh) and, no doubt, they have a better idea of how things should be done. I haven't posted much lately because, really, I no longer care. I only posted here and now to point out how the cheerleaders have been making arguments that, taken together, make no sense at all.
Oh, and to say "Hi, Cary, glad you're back!"
^ Well said.
For the record, I am an old-school TOS fan, and the original Enterprise is by far the best, with Refit a close second. Am I a purist? Sure--for what was already created. The TOS remasters, for example, I had some issue with because it directly impacted TOS itself.
This new movie is *not* TOS, and therefore doesn't really present a problem for me. It's a complete reimagining/reboot/retcon whatever you want to call it, and as such, I have no conflict.
So yeah, I'm curious what the new E will look like. And unless it has flapping nacelles, laser turrets and big solar panels hanging off the side, I will accept it just fine.
Well, I'm a re-futurizing Trek fan (as long as it makes sense), but I've been around since 1969. So, I grew up when TOS was going into syndication. I first saw Trek on the big screen with TMP.
I remember hearing or reading somewhere that the TMP design for the Big E was what Gene wanted to do for the TV bird but lacked resources to make it happen.
Given that, I'd be comfortable if the "new" Abrams Big E ends up being largely a TOS Big E with TMP detailing (with some artistic license here and there. I don't expect it to be the same, and I'm not sure I would even want it to be the same.
If the degree of change from TOS to the TMP is okay with Gene, it's ok with me in this instance.
Well, I find that very hard to swallow. The SHAPES seen in the TMP Enterprise would not have been much more difficult to make than the shape of the TOS Enterprise. (We've all built models of both... and some of us have SCRATCH-BUILT them... and I'm talking about both CGI and physical models by the way, since the general approach to most CGI models applies to real physical models in many ways as well.)
I don't buy that argument at all. Which is not to say that Roddenberry may not have come along later and SAID it. Gene Roddenberry said a LOT of things, especially in his later years, that are awfully hard to support or justify.
The original E was designed by Matt Jeffries, through a series of "vetting" passes by G.R. and others on the production team. They "got it" and proceeded with that, then later revised it a bit when they got green-lit for a series. There's no indication I've ever seen or heard of that Roddenberry wanted something else but "settled" for what he was given.
If I'm wrong, please provide references to demonstrate how, OK?
Well, here's the thing... G.R. was NOT technologically technically inclined. He was a pretty decent character-action writer, and he was a passable aesthetist. He had a degree of familiarity with military organizational structure. But he never showed ANY inclination, anywhere I've ever seen, that he was, or that he considered himself to be, a technophile. That's why he chose to surround himself with talented people who WERE just that. In the case of Star Trek, the two most prominent were Wah Chang and Matt Jeffries, with Irving Feinberg also being in the mix fairly heavily. THEY designed the stuff... and Roddenberry said "yeah" or "nay" to their various efforts... that's all.
I doubt that Roddenberry would have noticed the differences in shape between the TOS and TMP Enterprise hulls... at least he'd be a lot less likely to notice them than most of us in here are.
I just find it ... disturbing... when I hear these "Church of Gene" sort of comments. He was NOT the sole guy behind Star Trek. He was it's "overprotective and domineering mother-figure." There were plenty of other folks who had at LEAST as much of an impact on the show, though he certainly went through the most pain during its birth!
Would G.R. be able to pick out the differences between Vektor's "uber-detailed" version versus the original? He'd probably have seen a few things but he'd have had to think about it. A lot more than any of us would have to.
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