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STAR TREK

Production Information
Also built at Dodger Stadium was a very different, and equally alien, environment: the suspended-in-air drill platform, which serves as Enterprise's first big mission as the crew makes a daring "space jump” into a fiercely hostile situation.

To recreate this deep space mining platform and one of the story's central set pieces, Chambliss built his set literally up in the air, towering 16 feet above the ground, and covered it with a rubberized surface that would allow the actors and stunt men to fall and tumble without harm. Here too, huge wind machines were employed to simulate the platform's volatile atmosphere, and the cast was swathed in harnesses and wires that allowed them to safely parachute onto and fight on the platform without tumbling into the abyss.

"The difficult thing was making it look like the people are actually parachuting down, rocketing head-first and then snapping into position as if a parachute had pulled you up,” says Burt Dalton.

Later, Roger Guyett's visual effects team would expand the scenes with CG. "It all came together in a very exciting way,” he says.

Adds Jeffrey Chernov: "The space jump was one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle we had to solve: How do you do it realistically and safely? We had to baby-step our way through it because it was completely new territory. Shooting both Delta Vega and the drill platform at Dodger Stadium was a bit insane. If we'd put it in the hands of someone who wasn't a master multi-tasker, it would have been a disaster. But it was right up J.J.'s alley. He loved it and thrived on it.”

Meanwhile, to stand in for the planet Vulcan itself, which is part of another major set piece, the production headed to nearby Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park in Agua Dulce, where unique geological formations have already become part of Trek legend, having been used in the 1960s to shoot such episodes as "Shore Leave,” "Arena,” "The Alternative Factor” and "Friday's Child.”

"Vasquez Rocks is such a cool place with this whole television history, so it felt right to shoot there,” says Chambliss. "It has this big, jutting rock formation that provided the opening for the interior tunnel that leads to the Vulcan Shelter, which we then built on a stage at Paramount. We adhered to the lore by keeping Vulcan devoid of water.”

One of the most beloved, but rarely seen, locales within the U.S.S. Enterprise is the Engine Room, where the chief engineer works his magic to keep the ship aloft, no matter what kind of attack the ship comes under. In "Star Trek,” a young Scotty finds his first introduction to the Enterprise is an adventure in itself, as he is accidentally beamed into the very innards of a cooling pipe.

To shoot Scotty's wild ride through the inner Enterprise, the production team made a new home in another highly unexpected place: a Budweiser beer plant in Van Nuys, California. Within the plant, the giant tanks and stainless steel tubing made for the perfect simulation of the pristine guts of a working starship. "We were searching for a place with tremendous scale and a place that would contrast with the Kelvin's engine room, which was shot in a grungy Long Beach power plant built in the ‘30s,” says Chambliss. "When our brilliant supervising location manager Becky Brake came back with photographs of the Budweiser plant with these huge, sparkling, stainless steel tank rooms, we knew it would be perfect. The scale of the place was simply phenomenal.”

Adds Mindel: "With its huge spaces, the plant was able to give us the dimension and depth J.J. had envisioned for the interior spaces of the Enterprise. The patina of the walls and the tanks was just perfect. You could never replicate that on a sound stage.”

Inside the plant, the weather was a chilly 41 degrees, so everyone had to wear parkas, bu

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