Dilemma Minor

Flooring consistency inconsistency.

I’m having a bit of a quandary about some mundane deck plating issues as I’m a little torn on how to handle the alignment of the texture pattern on the upper platform.

In the first film, special attention seemed to be paid to making the bridge set one, solid, internal, environment.  The actual set was devised as a collection of pie wedges that could be moved in and out for camera placement in order to film scenes.  Seams between sections, though they persist, were downplayed or camouflaged where possible.  As I’ve studied film screen shots, the decks actually appear to be covered with some type of matting composed of either a rubber or vinyl (possibly PVC).  One shot I’ve come across however, seems to indicate that the matting used on the upper platform was put in place after the wedges were fit together.  Though applied to those separate wedges they still appear to be in a consistent alignment across the entire surface.

Floor covering appears continuous across the upper platform in The Motion Picture.

Of course the matting itself came in individual sections with its own seams, but the overall orientation of the bumped pattern appears uniform across the upper surface in this one screen shot above.

In the second film, director Nicholas Meyer complained of a fairly claustrophobic filming set and wanted more freedom to maneuver his crews during filming.  The bridge set also had to pull double duty as the control center of two separate starships.  Therefore, the individual pie wedges had to be more distinct and mobile and production seemed less conservative about camouflaging those individual seams of the set’s design.

Seams are far more notable in The Wrath Of Khan. Here the set portrays the Reliant.

In addition to portraying the Reliant, several of the Enterprise’s stations were switched around from their locations in first film.  This process alone might have been the cause for the apparent realignment of the the deck’s pattern if the same matting was salvaged from the first production.

Enterprise stations play switch-a-roo.  Seams definitely prominent.

There are even shots that accidentally reveal this “open bridge policy.” An entire wedge (at least one) can be declared missing just to the side of the main viewer at the bottom right of this image below.  This one surprised me.

Watch your step! Upper platform section completely missing in bottom right of this screen cap.

Currently, only three of my bridge sections are aligned in sync similar to the first film; the the two turbolift sections and the single station in between.

The three upper sections in sync.

Since all the other stations on the bridge, as I start them, begin as that central wedge and are eventually rotated into their final locale, they all appear unaligned like the second film on.  Still, there are only three other sections at present.

Either way I’ll have to decide which route to take; whether a single textural application to the entirely assembled upper platform (as it appears to be in the first film), or identical applications to each individual pie wedge (as the sections were more transitional from the second film onward). Though identically oriented, the latter option would leave the deck patterns relationally out of alignment as the wedges were rotated into final position.  However, they would have the same relation regardless of where they were eventually located.  Of course I could just leave them as they are now, and call it a happy bastardization. 😀

Not a major concern but I wanted to post my thoughts and also wanted to post some images to make my points on another message board. 😀


~ by starstation on November 10, 2012.

4 Responses to “Dilemma Minor”

  1. If I recall my Starlog Magazines correctly, the bridge set in TMP was actually constructed with the sections locked together. This provided the set with the solidity that the filmmakers were shooting for, but it also limited filming angles. When they were gearing up for TWoK, the bridge was reconstructed from the parts of the original, but weren’t locked together, so that any console section could be pulled back to make room for the filming crew to get the angles they wanted. Not sure if that was the driving reason for it, or if they needed to rearrange the sections to make Reliant’s bridge look different from Enterprise’s.

    History aside, this is some seriously awesome work you’re doing.

  2. Thanks for the reply. That sounds about right for the TMP, though I didn’t realize how locked together the parts might have been during filming. Interesting. It certainly explains Meyer’s disdain for the set up however, and his need to break things up. And yes, from what I’ve read over the years, switching the segments around was crucial to making the Reliant all the more different a starship. Besides paint jobs and other minor details, not only did they reduce the number of turbo lift alcoves (visible) to one and move it to the aft center, but they added large equipment modules, not seen on the Enterprise, to the sections flanking it. All of this to further the differences and offer production something to explode without damaging the original set design! 😀

    This also offered the opportunity to return Spock to something more akin to his TOS location as Kirk’s right hand man, but other than the aesthetics of storyline, I don’t know how imperative that was.

  3. I remember reading a similar anecdote about the TMP bridge; the bridge could have been “wild”, but Robert Wise chose not to utilize that feature, hence some of the odd filming angles and his use of the split-diopter lens to try and gain some depth.

    When they built a new bridge set for TFF, one of the lessons learned from the TMP-TVH bridge was to separate the walls from the floor: a consequence of Meyer (and also Nimoy) taking advantage of the segmented bridge set was that the floor tended to squeak because each pie segment was a single unit from floor to ceiling. When they built the TFF bridge, it had a unified floor, but the wall/ceiling units were still sectioned and could still be removed at will.

    As an aside, I found this blog via Rigel 7’s blog (which he linked to from a thread on TrekBBS posting his renders of various Enterprise-refit interiors), and I have to say I *really* love what you’re doing here. The TOS movie bridges are my favorites, and the complexity of the consoles and display graphics from the TMP bridge are overlooked because they lack the slickness of Okudagrams (not to knock Mike Okuda’s work, either).

    • Well, that’s a cool anecdote (and I do love anecdotes 😀 ). I never knew precisely how distinct the bridge set for TFF and after was from the TMP bridge. I thought it was just a major, major renovation, but to learn so much was new is pretty wild.

      Thanks for the compliments. I’m glad you were able to find the site and can appreciate it.
      I actually fell hard for Okudagrams when they were fresh and new, but soon realized how much I would miss the concrete clickity response of buttons and switches if they were to suddenly go away (I state ironically as I type this on my iPad 😉 )

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