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Way back in the 1960s, Bjo Trimble scoped me out as a possible illustrator for THE STAR TREK CONCORDANCE, the first fan encyclopedia based on the show. I was sixteen. She sent me an envelope filled with clippings from the cutting room floor at Desilu, a treasure trove of edits, in-betweens during set-ups, tests for special effects and actor lighting--to use as references for illustrations. I supplied a number of illos for the project--mostly spaceship and exterior scenes. Among my first publications!
Along the way, decades later, I scanned many of the clips and found a number of real gems--including these two special effects set-up shots.
The most complex frame shows the large-scale Enterprise model being posed against a blue-screen for a combo shot with the Botany Bay (Khan’s ship from “Space Seed”), while a SFX grip/technician in a maroon sweater (as yet unidentified) holds up a clapper board.
The second frame shows a test glass shot (I presume) of the gigantic spaceship from “The Corbomite Maneuver.” In the lower left hand corner you’ll see a special effects ‘ghost,’ a reflection of a gentleman in a Fedora. My guess is this is Linwood G. Dunn himself, a highly experienced and talented cinematographer and SFX artist who in 1946 founded Film Effects of Hollywood, and before that, worked at RKO on such pioneering masterpieces as KING KONG and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME. (He also filmed the RKO radio tower intro.) Film Effects did most of the large-scale spaceship work for the original STAR TREK television series. It’s fun to think of Mr. Dunn guiding his team through the set-ups, and checking them out personally!
All clips/photos from STAR TREK are copyright Desilu/Paramount.
Color correction by Greg Bear.