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LawnCow

Greetings Everyone!

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Greetings everyone...

 

Thanks for letting me join in...

 

I live and work in Los Angeles and have been a Trek fan for years.

 

I also work in TV production here and have spent a lot of time on nearly all the Trek shows for the past 15 years or so...

 

If I can post a link.. here is what I do...

 

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0728324/

 

Not sure what I can contribute but feel free to ask questions and I will do my best to answer! :)

 

Oh, I also have boxes of production related materials if anyone collects that sort of thing.. feel free to shoot me an email and I will tell you what I have..

 

Cheers!

Michael

lawncow@aol.com

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Welcome to the board, I'm sure everyone would enjoy hearing anything you'd have to share about your experiences on the shows. I myself have always been interested in the 'inner workings' of TV shows and movies.

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Welcome aboard Lawncow! Interesting variety of work you've done.

 

My first questions regarding Voyager would be: Were there a lot of retakes necessary or did most people hit their lines perfectly? And was it difficult to keep things interesting looking when having to use the same sets over and over?

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My first questions regarding Voyager would be: Were there a lot of retakes necessary or did most people hit their lines perfectly? And was it difficult to keep things interesting looking when having to use the same sets over and over?

 

 

I feel so assimilated already! You know what they say about resistance.. :)

 

As for your questions...

 

There are always a number of takes needed for every scene to get the proper coverage. So if you are asking did we shoot the same scene over and over and over, yes we did. But that's built into the process. We typically would shoot around 8 or 9 pages a day. Each scene required multiple camera set-ups to get all the angles and cover all the dialog so the viewers can see everyone saying their lines on camera..

 

Now if you are asking about multiple takes due to flubbing lines, yeah that happens too. More often than you think but the regular cast on Voyager were pretty good about knowing their stuff. Kate was usually dead on all the time and only rarely suffered thru a loss a lines... Usually that occurs at the end of the day when everyone is tired..

 

A typical shoot day was anywhere from 12-14 hours and sometimes more, especially on a Friday night. This is not a business to have a social life in. LOL

 

Its always a challenge for a director on a show like this to make each scene look fresh and interesting. Most of the sets had "wild walls" that the grips could remove to create a new shooting angle. Fortunately we had a great Director of Photography who could collaborate with the directors each week to create great shots in sets we had used hundreds of times before.

 

We also had a new director each episode, so a new perspective on the sets was always there. And we would get a certain number of new sets for an episode, called "swing sets" because they would swing in and swing out for an episode. Depending on what the script called for, it could be a new ship, a planet surface, a building, anything. Anything that wasn't Voyager or Enterprise, or a cave.. was a swing set for that episode.

 

Dont get me started on that cave.. LOL..

 

That help?

 

Michael

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Thanks Michael. Your info about the wild walls, different directors for episodes and a great Director of Photography answers the question of keeping things looking fresh well.

 

Thanks for sharing your knowledge and insight!

 

Was there much re-writing, new pages being delivered during a shoot, or ad-libbing that got left in episodes on Voyager, or Enterprise? Or was the writing so strong that most scripts needed few or no changes?

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Was there much re-writing, new pages being delivered during a shoot, or ad-libbing that got left in episodes on Voyager, or Enterprise? Or was the writing so strong that most scripts needed few or no changes?

 

There was absolutely NO ad-libbing. Everything on Trek is tightly scripted. As a matter of fact, if we had a line change from the set, even if it was just one word, we had to call Rick's (or Brannon's) office for approval. Production would cease until the line was approved or rejected, but that usually only took a few minutes.

 

Tho I do remember a 45 minute discussion on Enterprise about whether the captain slept with a shirt on or no shirt on.. LOL

 

We had a direct line to the production office. No dialing, just pick it up and it rang. We dubbed that phone The BatPhone... and would use it to call in line changes.

 

As for revisions, there were usually some for every episode. The first version of the shooting script comes out on all white paper. The next revision comes out on blue paper. After that its Pink, then yellow, then green, and then a whole bunch of other colors. There are scripts that have only a few colored pages and some scripts that have absolutely no white pages left in them.

 

The worst was the days that the production office published revisions for scenes we were shooting that day. That meant that the prep that the actors and director did for those scenes was useless and we had to make it up on the fly..

 

Fortunately the actors were all, for the most part, very good at last minute changes and were quick study's..

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welcome to the forum

. i look forward to hearing more of your behind the scenes stories. i love that stuff. i can't get enough

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OK so what was the deal about the cave?

 

Have you been to any conventions?

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OK so what was the deal about the cave?

 

Have you been to any conventions?

 

 

LOL I havent been to a convention yet. Its on my to-do list but just never seem to figure out when and where.. LOL

 

It would be fun to see folks tho..

 

As for the cave, it was a permanent structure located on Stage 16, otherwise known as Planet Hell to the crew.. matter of fact that moniker dates back to TOS I believe.. The cave was a two-story structure shoved in a corner of the massive stage. It actually has three levels if you count the pit.

 

It was just unpleasant to work in there for a few days.. the "dirt" on the ground was unpleasant to breathe and usually the sets required atmospheric smoke for effect and that meant the entire stage had to be cracked. They keep telling us that stuff is not toxic but when anyone in Los Angeles wants to go OUTSIDE to get air.. you know inside is pretty tough.. :)

 

We didnt use Stage 16 with Enterprise.. but for Voyager it was everything from Astrometrics to alien planets and ships, to city squares to holodeck sets and tons more...

 

I take it back, we DID use 16 for the pilot of Enterprise. The SpacePort shootout sequences took place inside that stage. Huge space. And we used 500lbs of plastic snow to make the blizzard. I picked that stuff out of my hair for a long time... LOL

 

Michael

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Welcome, Michael, to stf, from a longtime trekkie-and a big fan-shocker-of Voyager, and Enterprise, as well as TOS. Have fun here, and we are all glad to have you aboard.

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That is very cool,Michael Risner ,have you ever met any of the stars. Welcome to the site hope you injoy this one cool pl;aces too go about trek stuff and Sci fi..I've seen miria sertis before i'm from arkansas. Hope you enjoy site..

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