DeMeritt, Michael

Star Trek: Voyager
Episode: VOY 101 - Caretaker, Part I

Michael DeMeritt started his eleven year relationship with Star Trek when he was hired as the 2nd 2nd Assistant Director on the pilot for Star Trek: Voyager. 2nd 2nd AD's are responsible for being the first folks on the stage or location, connecting make-up and hair personnel with actors. They aid the 1st AD on set with direction for background players and communicating to off-set crew. On L.A. Law, Michael would have to come in as early as 5:00 a.m. for an elaborate hair style to be shot around 7:00 a.m. On the Voyager pilot Michael was exposed to the difficulties of prosthetic make-up. He had the earliest call time he had ever faced, 12:42am! That's what it took to get 30 Ocampas ready to shoot at 7:00 a.m.


Michael worked his way up the Star Trek ladder to Key Second AD by the third season of Voyager. Key 2nd AD's work on the execution of the 1st AD's production schedule. They create call sheets and call all the people with all the information they need to be ready for the next day. This time Michael came in with the regular crew, but would stay to the bitter end, until every truck was loaded, and every person called if the times for the next day changed. He began to work on the second units, mostly under the direction of Dan Curry, learning the duties of the First AD.


At the end of Voyager's 6th season, Michael had the opportunity to First AD his first episode of television. First AD's work with directors, producers, writers, actors and department heads to schedule and budget a show. On Star Trek this was a seven day cycle known as "prep." Then they execute the plan they have made, the shooting schedule, by overseeing the day-to-day shooting of the episode on the set. First AD's help the director achieve his or her vision while keeping the director aware of time and budget constraints. They make the plans and adjust them on the fly when the plan fails. This is called "Chaos Management" and good 1st AD's are masters at it!


By the time Enterprise began, Michael was serving as a First AD half the season and the Key 2nd AD the other, bouncing back and forth. During Enterprise' second season Michael became a First AD full time. Michael has also been featured at sc-fi and writer conventions, talking about the process of making a science fiction series. He has written a comic book for DC's Star Trek: The Next Generation line called "Pandora's Prodigy," and has a book of poetry scheduled for a November 2005 release, tilted "Poetry and Prose from the Director's Ass." (Note the period after Ass. — it's mostly light poems about working in Hollywood.) In the fall of 2005, the third season DVD of Star Trek: Enterprise will feature a commentary track by Michael on the "North Star" episode.