For the science station, two consoles were rigged for hydraulic operation so that they could be rolled into the walls when not in use, but the system was disconnected when the crew discovered it would be easier to move them by hand.

Aside from control interfaces, the bridge set was populated with monitors looping animations. Each oval monitor was a rear-projection screen on which super 8 mm and 16 mm film sequences looped for each special effect.

The production acquired 42 films for this purpose from an Arlington, Virginia-based company, Stowmar Enterprises. Stowmar's footage was exhausted only a few weeks into filming, and it became clear that new monitor films would be needed faster than an outside supplier could deliver them.


Cole, Minor, and another production designer, Rick Sternbach, worked together with Povill to devise faster ways of shooting new footage. Cole and Povill rented an oscilloscope for a day and filmed its distortions.

Other loops came from Long Beach Hospital, the University of California at San Diego, and experimental computer labs in New Mexico. In all, over two hundred pieces of monitor footage were created and catalogued into a seven-page listing.

The Enterprise engine room was redesigned while keeping consistent with the theory that the interior appearance had to match the corresponding area visible in exterior views of the starship. Michelson wanted the engine room to seem vast, a difficult effect to achieve on a small sound stage.


To create the illusion of depth and long visible distances, the art department staff worked on designs that would utilize forced perspective; set designer Lewis Splittgerber considered the engine room the most difficult set to realize.

On film the engine room appeared hundreds of feet long, but the set was actually only 40 feet (12 m) in length. To achieve the proper look, the floor slanted upward and narrowed, while very small actors of three, four, and five feet in height were used as extras to give the appearance of being far from the camera.

For "down shots" of the engineering complex, floor paintings extended the length of the warp core several stories. J.C. Backings Company created these paintings; similar backings were used to extend the length of ship hallways and the rec room set.


Redesigning the Enterprise corridors was also Michelson's responsibility. Originally the corridors were of straight plywood construction reminiscent of the original series, which Roddenberry referred to as "Des Moines Holiday Inn Style".

To move away from this hotel look, Michelson created a new bent and angular design. Roddenberry and Wise agreed with Michelson that in three hundred years, lighting did not need to be overhead, so they had the lighting radiate upward from the floor.

Different lighting schemes were used to simulate different decks of the ship with the same length of corridor. Aluminum panels on the walls outside Kirk's and Ilia's quarters were covered with an orange ultrasuede to represent the living area of the ship.


The transporter had originally been developed for the television series as a matter of convenience; it would have been prohibitively expensive to show the Enterprise land on every new planet. For the redesign Michelson felt that the transporter should look and feel more powerful.

He added a sealed control room that would protect operators from the powerful forces at work. The space between the transporter platform and the operators was filled with complex machinery, and cinematographer Richard Kline added eerie lighting to the set to create atmosphere.

After the redesign of the Enterprise sets was complete, Michelson turned his attention to creating the original sets needed for the film. The recreation deck occupied an entire soundstage, dwarfing the small room built for the planned television series; this was the largest interior in the film.


The set was 24 feet (7.3 m) high, decorated with 107 pieces of custom-designed furniture, and packed with 300 people for filming. Below a large viewing screen on one end of the set was a series of art panels containing illustrations of previous ships bearing the name Enterprise.

One of the ships was NASA's own Enterprise, added per Roddenberry's request: Some fans have suggested that our new Enterprise should carry a plaque somewhere which commemorates the fact it was named after the first space shuttle launched from Earth in 1970s.

This is an intriguing idea. It also has publicity advantages if properly released at the right time. It won't hurt NASA's feelings either. I'll leave it to you where you want it on the vessel.


Another large construction task was the V'ger set, referred to by the production staff as "the Coliseum" or "the microwave wok". The set was designed and fabricated in four and a half weeks, and was filmable from all angles; parts of the set were designed to pull away for better camera access at the center.

Throughout production Star Trek used eleven of Paramount's thirty-two sound stages, more than any other film done there at the time. To save money, construction coordinator Gene Kelley struck sets with his own crew immediately after filming, lest Paramount charge the production to have the sets dismantled.

The final cost for constructing the sets ran at approximately $1.99 million, not counting additional costs for Phase II fabrication.




Excerpts and References:
wikipedia.org, imdb.com





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Detailed Plot & Screenshots


Kirk is now in a space suit and has exited the ship. The aperture in front of the Enterprise opens, and Spock's unconscious body floats toward him. Later, Dr. Chapel and Dr. McCoy are examining Spock in sickbay. Dr. McCoy performs scans and determines that Spock endured massive neurological trauma from the mind-meld.


Spock tells Kirk he should have known and Kirk asks if he was right about V'Ger. Spock calls it a conscious, living entity. Kirk explains that V'Ger considers the Enterprise a living machine and it's why "Ilia" refers to the ship as an entity and the crew as an infestation.


Spock describes V'Ger's homeworld as a planet populated by living machines with unbelievable technology. But with all that logic and knowledge, V'Ger is barren, with no mystery or meaning. He momentarily lapses into sleep but Kirk rouses him awake to ask what Spock should have known. Spock grasps Kirk's hand and tells him "This simple feeling is beyond V'Ger's comprehension. No meaning, no hope. And Jim, no answers. It's asking questions. 'Is this all that I am? Is there nothing more?'"


Uhura chimes in and tells Kirk that they are getting a faint signal from Starfleet. The intruder has been on their monitors for a while and the cloud is rapidly dissipating as it approaches. Sulu also comments that the intruder has slowed to sub-warp speed and is three minutes from Earth orbit. Kirk acknowledges and he, McCoy and Spock go up to the bridge.


Starfleet sends the Enterprise a tactical report on the intruders position. Uhura tells Kirk that V'Ger is transmitting a signal. Decker and "Ilia" come up to the bridge, and she says that V'Ger is signaling the Creator. Spock determines that the transmission is a radio signal. Decker tells Kirk that V'Ger expects an answer, but Kirk doesn't know the question.


Then "Ilia" says that the Creator has not responded. An energy bolt is released from V'Ger and positions itself above Earth. Chekov reports that all planetary defense systems have just gone inoperative. Several more bolts are released, and they all split apart to form smaller ones and they assume equidistant positions around the planet.


McCoy notices that the bolts are the same ones that hit the ship earlier, and Spock says that these are hundreds of times more powerful, and from those positions, they can destroy all life on Earth. "Why?" Kirk asks "Ilia." She says that the carbon unit infestation will be removed from the Creator's planet as they are interfering with the Creator's ability to respond and accuses the crew of infesting the Enterprise and interfering in the same manner.


Kirk tells "Ilia" that carbon units are a natural function of the Creator's planet and they are living things, not infestations. However "Ilia" says they are not true life forms like the Creator. McCoy realizes V'Ger must think its creator is a machine.


Spock compares V'Ger to a child, and suggests they treat it like one. McCoy retorts that this child is about to wipe out every living thing on Earth. To get "Ilia's" attention, Kirk says that the carbon units know why the Creator hasn't responded. The Ilia probe demands that the Creator "disclose the information."


Kirk won't do it until V'Ger withdraws all the orbiting devices. In response to this, V'Ger cuts off the ship's communications with Starfleet. She tells him again to disclose the information. He refuses, and a plasma energy attack shakes the ship. McCoy tells Spock that the child is having a "tantrum."


Kirk tells the probe that if V'Ger destroys the Enterprise, then the information it needs will also be destroyed. Ilia says that it is illogical to withhold the required information, and asks him why he won't disclose it. Kirk explains it is because V'Ger is going to destroy all life on Earth.


"Ilia" says that they have oppressed the Creator, and Kirk makes it clear he will not disclose anything. V'Ger needs the information, says "Ilia." Kirk says that V'Ger will have to withdraw all the orbiting devices. "Ilia" says that V'Ger will comply, if the carbon units give the information.


Spock tells Kirk that V'Ger must have a central brain complex. Kirk theorizes that the orbiting devices are controlled from there. Kirk tells "Ilia" that the information cant be disclosed to V'Ger's probe, but only to V'Ger itself. "Ilia" stares at the viewscreen, and, in response, the aperture opens and drags the ship forward with a tractor beam into the next chamber.


Chekov tells Kirk that the energy bolts will reach their final positions and activate in 27 minutes. Kirk calls to Scotty on the intercom and tells him to stand by to execute Starfleet Order 2005; the self-destruct command. A female crewmember asks Scotty why Kirk ordered self-destruct, and Scotty tells her that Kirk hopes that when they explode, so will the intruder.


The countdown is now down to 18 minutes. DiFalco reports that they have traveled 17 kilometers inside the vessel. Kirk goes over to Spock's station, and sees that Spock has been crying. "Not for us," Kirk realizes. Spock tells him he is crying for V'Ger, and that he weeps for V'Ger as he would for a brother.



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