The Drex Files - A Video Addendum
By Doug Drexler - July 30, 2010
StarTrek.com's Guest Blogger, Doug Drexler, gives fans an insiders look at never seen before images and exclusive interviews in the first edition of "The Drex Files - A Video Addendum."
I was a Star Trek fan from the first glimmer of black and white cathode ray over 40 years ago, and am still hip deep. I'm in the enviable position of having worked on Star Trek for nearly two decades and have probably worked in more capacities than anyone in the history of the show... makeup artist, scenic artist, illustrator, and visual effects artist, and you know what? I've never been able to get enough!
Many of you know me from my blog, "The Drex Files." Man, I poured a lot of stuff into that site. When I was asked to put together a column for StarTrek.com, I was dubious. Would a year and a half on Drex Files leave me anything to explore? Read (and watch) this!
We look at one of Trek's sleekest and sexiest unrealized designs, The Sphinx shuttle.
Whenever I think of Andy Probert I think of that scene in The Right Stuff where a reporter asks Gordo Cooper who's the best pilot he's ever seen. I'm one of Andy Probert's biggest fans, and for me he is the best look for Star Trek. His sense of logic and aesthetics has never been equaled. One of my favorite Probert designs is the unrealized "Sphinx" shuttle, a cousin of the classic workbee. We've rustled you up a heapin' helpin' of the man himself, and Douglas "Deg" Graves brings it to life with his newly minted 3D version of the fabled conveyance. A classic Trek design. Why would anyone make Star Trek without Probert attached?
They're the Juggernaut, *itch!
Ode to the Mararthon Mill construction crew.
One of the most thrilling things about working on Star Trek was watching the construction gang in the Marathon Mill take our sketches and blueprints and make them real... and like magic, sets would seemingly coalesce from thin air.
When Mike Westmore piped me aboard the Enterprise D as a makeup artist, I got my first close-up look at those classiest of starship sets. Buddy, I was like a kid in a candy store, free to wander the 23rd century and marvel at the magnificent designs and incredible craftsmanship that went into even the smallest detail.
There is a saying in the makeup department... first to get there, last to leave. But there were days when I would finish up at 2 a.m., pack my kit, head across the Paramount lot to the parking structure, and be blown away that the construction guys would still be at it full tilt. Later, when I made the jump from the makeup department to art department, I would learn who this amazing powerhouse of a gang was. Not only would I be privy to their world and particular brand of magic, but I would now be working with them hand in hand. I would not only be wowed by their incredible talent and skill, but by the unique characters and personalities that drove the Trek construction juggernaut. Heady days, my friends.
A rough and tumble world of pneumatic nail guns, saber saws and testosterone, the "Marathon Mill" was a wild and woolly pirate ship that demanded a thick skin and a sense of humor to successfully navigate. Working with construction was one of the most fun, coolest and most satisfying experiences of my widely varied life in Hollywood. Our Star Trek machine was well oiled, and in its veins flowed trust, affection and admiration. I don't believe that I have ever worked on another show where cooperation between departments was so powerful.
During construction of the NX sets I kept a video record, and this stuff'll knock your socks off. The first installment makes maximum montage of the construction of the NX warp core and engineering department. Hey you know it, and I know it: a cool engineering department is central to a starship, and we were especially proud of this one. It's a remarkable document of a very ambitious Star Trek set, and baby you are there!
Le Voyage dans La Lune!
When I was thirteen years old, four of the sexiest women on Earth were Raquel Welch, Brigitte Bardot, Ursula Andress, and BarBara Luna. When I saw Luna as the captain's woman in the classic Trek episode "Mirror, Mirror" she was IT. She still has more of IT than any two women have a right to have of IT. How does she do it? A few weeks back, my wife, Jimmy Cortiana, Luna and I went to see CHiPs: The Musical (no, I’m not kidding!) at Garry Marshall’s Falcon Theater in Toluca Lake (it was hysterical, but that’s another story). I brought my video camera and captured some classic Luna. She’s silly and zany and adorable. Scamp, vixen, brat, comedian, artist and legend. It's silly for me to go on and on trying to impart the fun of BarBara Luna. Watch the video already!
Ships Of The Line: Active Duty!
This wild idea, more than anything else, gave me the impetus to create this vid\mag\column.
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary... what could I do to make this column special? Then it hit me like a ton of neutronium! Oh you beautiful Galaxy! There were a hundred shots already set up for Ships of the Line that were dying to be animated! So I grabbed a bunch of my own pages, talked to Tobias Richter, called Mark Rademaker, shot up a flare to Rob Wilde... and in less than a week we had something special! Check your inertial dampers, fasten your seat belts, and be sure you've got your extra heavy reinforced Depends on because this is gold, Jerry! See the launch of the refit NX and Matt Jefferies' iconic ringship taking flight! "SOTL: Active Duty" is the kick in the PTC you have been yearning for!
Hey, that was fun! I hope you got a kick out of the Drex Files Video Addendum! Fire a green flare if you'd like to see more, and in the meantime, I'll be fighting killer robots!
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