Welcome! As part of its ongoing mission to document the Art and Production History of Star Trek, this site will present technical articles on Star Trek prop and costume authentication - focusing on The Original Series - with detailed photos and episode screenshots to complement the information presented; as well as feature pictorials to showcase Star Trek memorabilia in private & public collections, present rare Behind The Scenes TOS imagery & discuss other topics.
Gerald Gurian is a 35+ year collector of screen used Star Trek memorabilia and a passionate fan of TOS
     
- Star Trek TOS At Auction Part I - Gurian Collection Highlights - Greg Jein TOS Hero Type II Phaser
-Authenticating a TOS Communicator -6 Myths About Star Trek Prop Design -Star Trek 3rd Season Command Tunic
- Design Features of TOS Tricorders -Star Trek Props At National Air & Space - TOS Leatherette Tricorder
- TOS Federation Sciences Dress -Desilu Studio TOS Prop Fabrication - Unreleased Allen/Gurian Prop Photos
- The Beautiful Women of TOS Part I -TOS U.S.S. Enterprise 11' Filming Model - Captain Kirk's Chair from TOS
- Spock Ears -TOS Control Panels & Displays - Mr. Spock's Science Station
- TOS Soundstage at Desilu -TOS Shatner Romulan Pants - The Beautiful Women of TOS Pt. II
- TOS Galileo Shuttlecraft -Greg Jein TOS Cage Laser Pistol - TOS 3rd Season Midgrade Type II Phaser
- Dr. McCoy's Sickbay on TOS -TOS Balok Puppet Head - Captain Kirk "Mirror, Mirror" Tunic
- Greg Jein TOS Hero Tricorder -1992 Smithsonian TOS Cast Video - TOS 1st Season Command Tunic
- TOS "Where No Man" Silver Contact Lenses -TOS Special Effects: The Transporter - The Art of Matt Jefferies
- TOS "Space Seed" Gold Mesh Jumpsuit -Gorn Costume from "Arena" - Rare TOS Behind-the-Scenes Videos
- TOS Stunt Type II Phaser -1993 Bill Theiss Estate Auction - TOS Shatner Command Dress Tunic
- TOS Elasian Royal Guard Tunic -TOS Finnegan Silver "Shore Leave" Tunic - TOS Science Officer Tunic "The Cage"
- TOS Shatner Early 1st Season Command Tunic -William Shatner TOS Tunics At Auction - TOS Shatner Late 1st Season Command Tunic

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Special Report by Gerald Gurian: A Behind-The-Scenes Look at the Rare Images of Marc Cushman's "These Are The Voyages: TOS - Season One" and Beyond


It has been an honor for me to assist my friends Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn with the photo-editing chores for their critically acclaimed book series "These Are The Voyages: TOS ", with the Season One revised edition now in print and the Season Two companion volume coming late next month or early March. Most of the photos presented in the book series are taken from my personal collection of rare Star Trek imagery, and so I thought that the readers of this site would enjoy a more detailed look at my collection and some of the restoration work necessary to make the photos appear more presentable.

Many of the rarest TOS images - the clapperboard shots, do not come to us as a result of still photography but are a product of the unused footage shot by the motion picture cameras that were filming the actors performing their scenes for the episodes.

While Star Trek: The Original Series was still in production, Gene Roddenberry formed a memorabilia merchandising company called Lincoln Enterprises that sold items such as scripts, postcards, IDIC jewelry, flight deck certificates, tribbles and other collectibles to fans of the show. Among the most distinctive items offered were packets of film clip frames; which contained pieces of the "trims" and "outtakes" (the unused pieces of printed footage) that were left over after the film editors assembled the desirable footage into the finished master versions of the Star Trek episodes. Lincoln Enterprises sold different packets of film clips that were sorted based on principal character or other themes. Fans could buy a set containing just footage of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura or a set featuring aliens, etc. Typically 2 to 3 near identical images were present on each strip of film that varied in length between 1.5" to 2.5". A sample film clip from my collection is shown below - it is a rare behind-the-scenes shot from the 2nd season episode "Who Mourns for Adonais?" (First airdate: Sept. 22, 1967).  (Note that you can click on any of the images below to see enlarged versions of them.) ...


These film clips were advertised in Lincoln's catalogs as being "from the first print "daily" ORIGINALS from the very film that runs through the cameras while they film the show", but technically, that is an incorrect description. The film running through the motion picture cameras would produce a master negative; and these clips are of course positive images - they come from copies that were generated from the master for use by the editing room technicians - and were truly used in the creation of the episodes and collected "from the cutting room floor"!!! Technically, they could not also be called the "dailies" either - since those were the first copies of the filming effort that were generated quickly for viewing by the producers and were always in black and white format - not color. Below is a copy of my Lincoln Enterprises Catalog # 3 that was issued in 1970 ...


And below is the actual ad in the catalog for the Film Clip Frames ...


As a youth in the early '70s, I obtained about 700 to 800 of these clips directly from Lincoln, and have steadily grown my collection ever since. As you can see in the catalog, a packet of 8 clips sold for just $1 - or roughly 12 cents per clip.

At present, I own a collection of several thousand individual film cells - but I have deliberately sought out some of the rarest images. For instance, a few years ago I was fortunate to be able to hand-pick several hundred rare images from a rediscovered archive that the folks at Roddenberry.com unearthed which had never been sold by Lincoln.

The vast majority of the Lincoln clips contain ordinary images that appear to be taken from the various scenes that we are familiar with watching as part of the episodes - perhaps they are from an unused take in which an actor failed to say a line correctly or the producer thought should be re-filmed for better effect, and sometimes the actors appear at a slightly different camera angle than we are accustomed to in the final version. However, perhaps every 1 in 100 Lincoln clips contained a rare clapperboard or behind the scenes shot. I have an entire binder in my collection dedicated to just clapperboards. Below is a sampling of pages from it ...





Even slightly rarer than clapperboard shots are images of the Enterprise and the other starship filming miniatures used in the series. These were frequently distributed by Lincoln as tiny clips with just a single image visible on the film cell - not 2 or 3 identical images.

Below is a sampling of some of my Enterprise film clips. I own some of the smaller size Lincoln clips and dupes ...



 as well as some longer strips showing the 11 foot miniature being filmed at the special effects houses hired by Desilu. For example, below is a nice shot of the Enterprise on the stage at Film Effects of Hollywood for the production of the 1st season episode "Space Seed" (first airdate: Feb. 16, 1967) ...

 
and here are a couple of nice views of "the finest starship in the fleet" being filmed on the Howard Anderson Company stage ...
 


I have also segregated out from my general population of film clips those that contain clearly behind-the-scenes imagery but do not feature a clapperboard. These images might show someone from the production crew in the field of view of the camera, or contain a matte painting or a setup shot for a special effects sequence.
 
A sampling of some of my images that fall into this category is shown below ...



I am also honored to be the owner of hundreds of rare film cells that originally formed the collection of TOS Art Director and Production Designer Walter "Matt" Jefferies - perhaps the one individual most responsible for the look and feel of the various starship sets and the appearance of the alien worlds seen in the original Star Trek series. Mr. Jefferies is the creator of the U.S.S. Enterprise starship design, the Klingon battle cruiser design, the interior of the Galileo shuttlecraft, the entire U.S.S. Enterprise bridge layout, and the phaser hand prop - to name just a few.

I believe that he formed his collection, seen below, while TOS was being filmed to act as his personal Continuity/Reference album for the various sets and alien worlds that he designed. While this collection does contain more clapperboard shots, there is a pronounced emphasis on grand views of an entire set and frequently the images portray a greater field of vision than was shown in the finished "cropped" view that was incorporated into the broadcast episode.

 

All of these film clips were hand-picked by Matt Jefferies and many contain long pieces of film - of greater size than those typically distributed by Lincoln Enterprises.

Below is a sampling of pages from this portion of my collection. One can see that most of the pages contain written inscriptions in Mr. Jefferies hand describing the imagery. Here is a page from the 2nd season episode "The Omega Glory" (first airdate: Mar. 1, 1968). Matt has written the number 54 on his note and circled it as this was the 54th episode of Star Trek that was produced ...


and here is a page from production number 55, the last episode of the 2nd season "Assignment: Earth" (first airdate: Mar. 29, 1968) ...
 

Here is a page from the 3rd season episode, production number 59, "The Enterprise Incident" (first airdate: Sept. 27, 1968) ...


At the start of the production of TOS, Matt Jefferies appears to have inscribed some particulars about the imagery directly onto the film strips themselves.

For example, a strip from production number 12, the first season episode "Miri" (first airdate: Oct. 27, 1966) ...

 

and here's a strip from production number 26, the first season episode "The Devil In The Dark" (first airdate: Mar. 9, 1967) ...

 

Some of the most exotic finds within the Jefferies collection include several dozen oversized 2.5" x 2.5" as well as 4" x 5" film photos / transparencies from the production of TOS.

Here are some rare views from the filming of the first TOS pilot, "The Cage".

This exciting image shows the construction of the set that represents the surface of the planet Talos IV ...


and a behind the scenes shot of the Enterprise bridge commanded by Jeff Hunter as Captain Pike ...
 

Here is a rare 4" x 5" film showing the Briefing Room set with some of the soundstage structure above the ceiling of the Briefing Room visible ...
 

and a revealing behind the scenes view of Captain Pike's holding cell in the underground labyrinth on Talos IV...

 

In addition to my collection of film clips and transparencies, I have also collected rare TOS imagery in the form of printed photos.

Here is a sampling of some of the clapperboard images that I have purchased ...
 

And here is a sampling of some of the vintage TOS publicity photos in my collection (some are accompanied by their original Desilu press release) ...
 

I will not present any photos of the vintage books, magazines, auction catalogs etc. that are also the occasional source of rare TOS imagery - but I can't resist presenting this view of my collection of a vintage fanzine set called "Inside Star Trek" published in 1968 and 1969 while the show was being filmed. This publication also served as the official newsletter of the show ...
 

I have also been very fortunate to acquire some complete film reels from The Original Series. Shown below is a vintage reel containing "The Menagerie Pts. 1 and 2" and on top of it in the photo is one of the rare bloopers reels gifted to members of the production crew in late '60s. This bloopers reel consists entirely of rare behind-the-scenes imagery, and I suspect that it, entirely by itself, could be considered the equivalent of thousands of tiny film clips. So far, I have had to utilize it very infrequently during the course of the book project ...


So there we have it - an introductory look at some of the elements that make up my Original Series rare image collection.  I hope that this does not sound like excessive pride in ownership, but I do believe that my collection represents one of the finest groupings of rare TOS photos in my entire condominium complex.

Now, virtually all of the images included in "These Are The Voyages" have to go through some degree of photo restoration in a photo editing software. In the past 8 months for the first two volumes of the book series, I have literally spent many hundreds of hours engaged in this activity. I am somewhat proficient with the software Corel Paintshop Pro X4 - which I have utilized constantly over the years to fine tune all the imagery that appears on this website.

Here are just a few examples from the hundreds of photo restorations that I performed for this book project ...

This is how the original scan appeared of the Enterprise and Botany Bay filming miniatures on the stage at Film Effects of Hollywood for the production of "Space Seed" - the image seen in the long strip of film shown earlier in this article. Notice all the tiny white specks, black spots and blemishes that are spoiling the image throughout. (You can better assess the poor condition of this image if you click on the photo below to see an enlarged version of it.)  ...


Here is a partially restored color version. Far from perfect, but remember that the goal was to provide a usable black and white copy.
 

 And the final BW version ...


By the way, when I went about transforming a color image into black and white; it wasn't just a matter of choosing a "Convert" function in my photo editing software.  It can sometimes be a labor intensive task, as there are many subtle settings that can be manipulated to significantly influence the appearance of the photo - such as brightness, contrast, highlights, midtones, shadows, sharpness and the amount of background noise which might need to be compensated for, and so on, and so on.  Tiny blemishes that did not seem distracting at all in the color version can appear much more pronounced and disconcerting (in need of attention) in the black and white photo.  One can easily lose track of time while tweaking all of these controls.

Another typical Lincoln film cell scan as it originally appeared, this time from the 1st season episode "This Side of Paradise" (first airdate: Mar. 2, 1967). This is certainly not the worst looking scan encountered, as sometimes there are much longer scratches on the film in need of repair. But again, this one possesses many smaller blemishes ...
 

The partially restored color version ...


And the final BW version ...

 
Here is a particularly poor resolution BW image that appeared in Book 1 which was taken from one of the vintage "Inside Star Trek" fanzines seen in an above photo (it was in Issue No. 4, from October 1968). This picture is an extremely rare shot of TOS Prop Master Irving Feinberg and so was considered a highly desirable image for "These Are The Voyages". The original scan ...
 

And the final BW version. Again, not spectacular by any means, but presentable if not enlarged greatly (or shown as a smaller sized image on a printed book page) ...


Below is a similarly low resolution 1968 fanzine photo for the Book 2 coverage of the episode "Patterns of Force" (first airdate: Feb. 16, 1968) ...


And its final BW version ...


Here are a couple of examples of some of the images for Book 2 that were in need of more extensive repairs.  A particularly weathered behind-the-scenes photo from the memorable episode "Catspaw" (first airdate: Oct. 27, 1967).  Just click on the image below to see an enlargement which better presents all the numerous tiny scratches and specks that literally fill the entire field of vision ...


And its final BW version ...


And lastly, a significantly damaged clapperboard film clip from the 2nd season episode "Obsession" (first airdate:  Dec. 15, 1967).   This is how the original scan appeared ...


It's partially restored color version ...


And its final BW version ...
 

Many people might not realize that all of the rare images in "These Are The Voyages", because they were never shown as part of an actual '60s TOS television broadcast - were never copyrighted by CBS/Paramount. CBS only has proprietary rights to the footage contained in the broadcast episodes themselves and, in order to have preserved any rights to the rare behind the scenes/clapperboard shots, would have had to literally register each image individually back then according to the copyright laws. Of course, the studio never bothered to expend the time and energy to do so, since no one could have anticipated that unused footage from the show would have any future worth. Who in the world would long remember a supposedly low ratings sci-fi television series that was cancelled after just three seasons? So all of these rare photos have actually fallen into the public domain (according to the Copyright Act of 1976) and may be freely used accordingly.

And now, an embarrassing admission! I hate to say this but I am NOT the most passionate Original Series fan in my household! That title would belong to my trusty "pointy eared Science Officer" Minka ...
 

I have attempted to convince Marc Cushman that the above image is in fact a rare TOS photo which needs to be included in the book series, or that perhaps it would look nicer on the back cover of the books in place of his own image, but so far he has unwaveringly resisted! (Since Marc has met Minka in person, I'm not extremely confident that he can be convinced the photo dates from the '60s.)

I hope that you have enjoyed this behind the scenes peek into the rare images of "These Are The Voyages: TOS".

Of course, only a small sampling of imagery is contained in this article.  To see the complete presentation of rare photos, you would have to consult the books themselves!

Kindest Regards,
Gerald