Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by T'Girl, Nov 26, 2012.
If you don't mind me asking, who did you have the opportunity to interview?
No, I'm pretty sure that's not correct. The film glossaries I find online say a set is a constructed environment, not a structure. If you build an artificial forest or mountainside on a soundstage, that's a set, even if there isn't a building on it. Conversely, if you go out and shoot in a real, existing building, that's not a set, but a location. A set is something you build so you can film or stage action within it. If it's a structure that's erected for the production and that you only see from the outside, then it's a mockup or a facade. The exterior of the Galileo was a mockup; the interior, which was built separately (and was larger than the exterior), was a set.
In general a set is a understood to be a man-made place, typically on a stage or in studio. A location is the opposite, but once it comes into use it becomes the set. There's no such thing as a location set. Ergo, you are on set or off set even while on location. Source: Tony Bill, producer of The Sting.
You can build a set on a location. If you build it, it's a set.
A prop is generally understood to be something that is moveable and interacted with, Props are interacted with by the actors, and the responsibility of the Property Master.
There are gray areas. Things like the shuttlecraft mockup are borderline objects, sort of like driving a car onto a set. Not exactly a prop, but neither is it a set.
Yes, you can build a set on location, but that doesn't mean that anything built on location is automatically a set. A set is a setting -- a place within which the performances and action take place. It's the stage, essentially. The obelisk was at most a component of the "set" that also included the lakeside area, the trees, etc. (by the definition you quote above).
Okay, I did a little more digging, and I've found the answer. I was wondering if "set piece" could be the right term, but I didn't think that was the correct use since I'm more familiar with it in other senses. But the dictionary says:
So that's our answer. If the location qualified as a set, then the obelisk was a set piece.
It's not alone. In the TMP Enterprise, the rec deck is too tall to fit inside the rim of the saucer (due to that undercut thing on the miniature), and the corridor in front of engineering (or rather, the forced-perspective mural that represents the corridor stretching into the distance) goes too far forward to fit inside the ship. Also, the aft compartment of the Delta Flyer from Voyager can't fit inside the ship, and there's no actual exit door on the exterior model. Meanwhile, the Delta Flyer itself is too big to fit through Voyager's hangar doors -- and the hangar is somehow large enough to hold the Flyer, Neelix's ship, and an uncertain number of shuttles as well as the occasional visiting ship. And then there's Nemesis, where the lowermost deck of the ship apparently has a bottomless shaft extending down from it. Oh, and the Star Trek V turboshaft that's over 100 stories tall even though the ship's only 20-odd decks high.
Yes, set piece is the proper term for the Obelisk. Just like the styrofoam rocks used on set. Unless an actor holds one, or uses it then it becomes a prop.
I didn't say anything built on location was a set. I said that functionally any place where the crew is shooting becomes the set.
I've worked on film sets. I've even extraed in "Milk". If anyone on a professional film crew called that obelisk a prop they'd get laughed off said set.
^But you did say "if you build it, it's a set," and that's wrong. It's only a set if it's the entire environment in which the scene takes place. The obelisk was just a part of the environment, therefore it's not a set, just a set piece.
But in your example, that car would be a prop. Another car seen only in the background parked on a street would be set dressing-- unless an actor drives off with it, then it qualifies as a prop. Both would come under the property master's jurisdiction, probably in collaboration with the transportation captain.
It's so confusing, we should just wait for a member of the union to step in here to put it straight.
Bypassing the agonizing discussions about definitions: Wouldn't it be cool to have a full-size replica of the obelisk in your backyard?
You really want to get into definitions? The only real experts are the Hollywood Teamsters and other unions. They're the ones who determine who handles, creates and places what. Anyway, it's all meaningless for discussion here.
A prop is handled and moveable. If not handled by an actor, it's set dressing. As opposed to vinegar and oil that has lain unmolested for 15 minutes on the counter; that would be dressing that's set.
Can't argue with that.
Eventually they even had a third deck that contained the reactor.
The original point was it's not-a-prop. In my experience, what they built would be considered a set (Paradise City in ST:V was a set) or a set piece. I said there are gray areas.
Anyway, what do I know? It's not like I'm a card-carrying member of the Producer's Guild of America or anything.
Not to mention the turbolift shafts where we see a lift coming down from the ceiling of a room that's on the topmost deck of the saucer rim!
Plus it has an escape pod somewhere, PLUS it has a 7-foot medical pod that retracts lengthwise into the outer wall!
This is a bit like the Brady Bunch house phenomenon, isn't it?
Only if you assume it's on the rim. It would fit perfectly right next to the core of the saucer, with those twin turboshafts descending from the bridge. It would even fit dialogue from "Let That Be Your Last Attempt At Making a Title Longer Than For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky", where a rec room spans decks 3-5 right below the bridge.
Only if you assume that Main Engineering is located near the forward end of the engineering hull. Assuming that it's closer to the rear end would make things just dandy again. Say, forget about the aft of the ME set being forced perspective and accept it as being just as short as it really is.
No problem with a 21m long DF. And the exterior model does have a ramp shape right where the aft door would lead.
Well, sort of. It's a matter of inches width-wise, and we can always squint that much. Perhaps Paris squinted the first few times, too, and thereafter there were no further problems?
Not a problem as such - the problem comes from fitting the specific size and shape of hangar internal divisions seen in the various episodes.
Lowermost deck? Why would the Viceroy be on the lowermost deck of the ship? He was going to kidnap Picard, who was on the bridge - the Viceroy would be far more likely to be near the topmost deck! Or more likely at the top of the secondary hull and the bottom of the primary one, where Riker and Worf would meet him at halfway point. Plenty of room for a long shaft - and indeed a good justification for having such a shaft, as the vertical warp core is near the primary/secondary hull junction and no doubt has associated service shafts.
Really, Star Trek interiors hold together pretty well, simply by virtue of mostly representing very large fictional structures. Plenty of room to squeeze extra cubic meters of interior in. In comparison, the Millennium Falcon is small enough to suffer from photographic limitations similar to those making it implausible to shoot TOS shuttle scenes inside a sawed-in-half mock-up...
Not that there wouldn't be weirdness that just can't be explained away. All the bridges suffer from misplaced windows, for example - Picard's ready room on the E-E is an especially impossible addition to the interior. Unless we assume that Starfleet actually places its bridges one deck down from the big bubble at the bottom, as a rule...
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