jeager-n-eaves battle over the borg queen

Way back in 1996, First Contact was being conceived at a feverish pace.  The LA art department was fairly small, and we were working in conjunction with ILM on all the new ships and visuals.  Due to distance and a hole in communications, we would often find ourselves working on the same things!!!  At least three or four times on this one, Alex Jeager and I would be working on the same project at the same time and not knowing it until the big concept meetings would occur.  Herman Zimmerman was my boss, and he would hand out the assignments and then be the one to show the work for approval.  For Alex,  Jeff Mann was the ILM supervisor and he would do the same.  After those meetings, Herman would come in and go over what took place and would always say, well here is what ILM has come up with and it sure is similar to what we are doing.  HMMM…it appears that we are both trying to work out the same things, he would chuckle, and then we would dive into Alex’s awesome work and try and come up with a happy medium.  It was great fun to see what would happen after these meetings, and I really loved becoming acquainted with Alex through  the whole design process.  Alex had come up with this incredible design of the Queen using a gal from ILM as the model.  I heard rumors of a small crush going on here but can’t confirm the facts, HAAA!  Anyway, I loved the stiff-spined look to the details and the over the shoulder stance was beautiful!!!  My version was incredibly heavy with cables and a huge mechanical rig to piece the head and torso together.  I was asked to funnel the cabling back to a smaller amount and lose the rig.  This proved to be still too much so Alex took it down to three hoses which turned out to be the perfect amount.  With the use of three you really got the sense of the mechanics without  overshadowing the Queen with too many peripheral special effects details.  Also included is the storyboard sequence created by Alex that set the scene perfectly for the introduction of the Queen.  Awesome work, Alex, and great to relive those fun times today!!

Queen to king,,,checkmate

Queen to king -- checkmate

the heavy lady

the heavy lady


thinner rig

thinner rig

alex boards 1

alex boards 1

alex boards 2

alex boards 2


and her majesty the queen, Alice Kreige in full makeup

and her majesty the queen, Alice Krige in full makeup

27 Responses to “jeager-n-eaves battle over the borg queen”

  1. 1 DeanneM
    June 1, 2009 at 7:08 am

    Nice to see how this scene came about! It was visually very stunning and has always stayed with me. I like the less is more version that you guys ended up with.

    Must have been just a wee bit frustrating to find out the work was being duplicated. And I bet higher up folks on both sides didn’t really want to be paying twice for something, but I sure like the end result!

  2. 3 Freak
    June 1, 2009 at 7:18 am

    I use to stare at the that pic of the girl form ILM for hours, in your book when I first got it. LOL

    This has to be one of the best sequances in Trek.
    also hats off for Alice Krige protrail of such an evil yet sexy at the same time Brog queen. It would be very hard to say no to her collective. 😉

  3. 5 Matt Wright
    June 1, 2009 at 7:29 am

    I have to say I remember being blown away by this when I saw First Contact in the theater, it’s an awesome effect and as Freak said a wierd and evil yet somehow sexy Queen.

  4. 7 Matt Wright
    June 1, 2009 at 7:36 am

    Oh and her suit has a little Alien inspiration I would say, no?

    • 8 johneaves
      June 1, 2009 at 11:02 am

      it does have that feel about it Debra Everson was the costume designer and developed this one,,, Michael Westmore took the sketch and brought it to it’s gruesome reality!

  5. 9 evil_genius_180
    June 1, 2009 at 8:23 am

    Your first concept would make a great comic book villain. I could see her wreaking havoc for Batman or The X-men or someone like that. I can’t imagine Alice Krige in that getup but it’s a cool concept.

    You guys really did a great job on this one. I like how you combined the two concepts to come up with something that was visually very stunning. I got chills in the movie theater when Alice’s Borgified torso came floating down from the ceiling. Plus, she played that rule beautifully. I was glad when she got to play the Queen again in the Voyager finale, even though someone else played her in “Unimatrix Zero.”

    • 10 johneaves
      June 1, 2009 at 11:00 am

      That first sketch is Alex’s,,, I want to get him over to comment on his stuff so I am trying to get a hold of him!

      • 11 evil_genius_180
        June 1, 2009 at 11:29 am

        Yeah, I know. I was talking about the one after it, your “heavy metal” version. That would make a great comic character.

        His drawing is just stunning. It would be great if you could get him to comment. 🙂

  6. June 1, 2009 at 8:45 am

    I always think of Angelica Huston from Captain Eo when I think of the Borg Queen !! http://cache.io9.com/assets/resources/2008/01/sleaderweb2.jpg

    • 13 johneaves
      June 1, 2009 at 10:59 am

      Captain EO was brought up in the early discussions of the queens concept stages…. I hadn’t seen EO yet so I got a verbal from Frakes,,, She’s an HR Giger girly looking thing that comes out of the ceiling suspended by a bunch of cables!!!! so when I finally saw EO they did have a lot in common!!

  7. 14 James_M
    June 1, 2009 at 8:51 am

    Yeah baby! When I saw ths part at the theater, I so wanted to yell that. I thought this was one of the coolest sequences in the movie. I don’t know if there was any anime influence, but it reminded me of it. To me, anime art has always been “unbound”, they take things to the crazy level. This is what I thought about when I saw the design of the queen and the cabeled bust attaching to the rest of the body. I see it in your early design too. I may be off base with the anime influence, but the borg queen definitely took it to the crazy level.

    • 15 johneaves
      June 1, 2009 at 10:55 am

      Anime is extremely wild!!!!! way cool design work and some fantastic stories. a lot of Japanese influence creeps in when Sci-Fi is concerned as well as the good old American Aircraft junk yard!!!

  8. June 1, 2009 at 10:30 am

    First Contact was great for introducing new ships and the epitome of a Borg! I love to see how these things, especially when they are classic moments, came about. Thanks!

  9. 18 Snafu
    June 1, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Alice Krige has such an unique incredible smile, she made the Borg queen not a simple evil temptress but an entity genuinely wanting to share her joy. For me a Borg Queen is the Borg Collective making itself beautiful, wishing others to freely embrace it, and actually wanting to be loved. The dialogue was very well written to imply lots of things and not to diminish the Collective by making the Queen a simple queen bee.

    The casting was fantastic: Krige, Woodward and Cromwell are memorable.

    • 19 DeanneM
      June 1, 2009 at 1:39 pm

      Snafu, brilliantly put!! You get the sense that she genuinely thinks they do a good thing and that everyone should want to join. But then she casts aside Pickard like an old rag when she gets her mitts on Data! A little megalomaniacal insanity there!!

      Alice’s serene, smug, confident little expressions were priceless as far as bringing that character to life, along with the dialogue, as you said. Great casting!!

      • 20 johneaves
        June 2, 2009 at 4:50 am

        She was just brilliant in the role and pretty amazing how personality can make ugly,,real ugly sensuous!!!

  10. 21 Matt Wright
    June 1, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    It’s stuff like this make me remember how much I am looking forward to the TNG movies to come out on Blu-ray in Novemeber 🙂

  11. 22 Snafu
    June 2, 2009 at 5:25 am

    There’s a moment in TNG’s “The Best of Both Worlds Part Two”, with Locutus already aboard the Enterprise, in which Locutus talks of Klingons’ physical weaknesses, Worf says something like “The Klingon Empire will not yield”, and then Locutus, puzzled, answers “Why do you resist? We only seek to enhance quality of life” or something similar. It was somehow disarming :D.

  12. June 2, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Funny that the Queen says she’s there to “bring order to chaos” and yet the design process was a bit disorganised.

    I think it’s on the First Contact DVD that one of the effects people (John Knoll, maybe?) says that originally the shot where the Queen descends and attaches to her body was continuous, but in editing someone decided to show Data’s reaction shot half way through. Shame. 🙂

  13. 24 Lt. Washburn
    June 3, 2009 at 4:59 am

    Was it good for you?

  14. 25 Bart van Herk
    November 16, 2009 at 2:45 am

    Alice Krige, not Kreige.

    • 26 DeanneM
      November 17, 2009 at 2:54 am

      Spelling corrected and rest of the post edited (I hadn’t gotten back to some of the older posts) with larger images now linked. 😉

  15. November 17, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Wow, how’d I miss this?! Creepy sexy, thy name be Borg Queen. Nice work, mate!


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June 2009

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