WOW!! If you picked up the new Star Trek DVD or the art of book, you have really got some amazing and incredible images, concepts & grand imagination laid out in print, The movie versions on DVD and Blue Ray are incredible and are presented in spectacular clarity with some awesome behind the scenes segments. Amazing that all those years of work can be held in practically the palm of your hand. I have all ready watched the movie, and the behind the production stuff is incredible and the book is just as impressive!!
Great fun recollecting those early days of applying to work on the show. I had talked to the art directors on the show several times and after about a month of this it looked fairly certain I was going to have to let this one go,,, Then one day months later I got a call from Christine who was one of the art department Assistants and asked if would like to interview with the Production designer Scott Chambliss??? Why of coarse I would, I had to put a quick book of work together for him to see, so I used rejected images from past films and shows, as well as some of the Perpetual spacecraft designs instead of recognizable Star Trek concepts. I thought if I showed Trek work that was a little off the beaten path, it might help get me a job on a show that openly banned folks that had worked on the prior films and shows!!! It worked, and I am very thankful That Scott Chambliss broke the rules and brought me on!!! One of the first things he asked me was: Will you be influenced by what you’ve done before or can you move on into a new direction??? I could tell it was a big gamble for him to bring me on and he put me on a two week trial basis. fortunately I passed the test and stayed on for about 5 months. It was one awesome adventure, and I got to work with an incredible crew, many of which I had great admiration for. Scott had me put a lot of those portfolio drawings on the wall as a sort of basis or stepping off point for where we were heading in terms of aesthetics and new architecture. once we started drawing though those images looked more out of place as the new look of the film was developing. When we sent our discs of art over to Titan to be used for the art book, there was little to no explanation except by the headings attached to the drawings so it was quite fun to see the illustrations that least belonged to anything printed in the art of!!! HAAA! They were more finished pieces and in color while my illustrations for the job was more in lines of concept only and not finished production art.
I was brought on the film several months after the art department had started, and the amount of work already conceived by James Clyne and Ryan Church was staggering!! For a short while, Nathan Schroeder was on board, and for a short time you had three of the greatest motion picture artists together on one show!!! The talent was incredible and everywhere. Scott had assembled the finest art department I had ever seen…such an awesome privilege to be a part of such a fun ride.
Scott approached things very differently than most of the designers I had worked with before. Usually when your boss asks you to design a future tank, he’ll give you old tank references to build from. When scott asked me to start working on the med-evac shuttles, he gave me pictures of stylized furniture…… One very creative mind, he has, and he spoke his ideas very clearly with the unusual reference material and in the end made for some very unique and right on the mark concepts.
Below is the shuttle sketch based on the table image and the first drawing I did for the show. Scott would have me working on several projects at the same time, always keeping my busy, and one of the cross over projects was an Iowa police cruiser. Below are the first passes of those flying squad cars, and in time this would turn into the flying motorcycle.