Meyer and his friend Denny Martin Flinn wrote the screenplay by the nascent means of e-mail ; Meyer lived in Europe while Flinn was based in Los Angeles. The pair worked out a system where Flinn would write all day and then send the draft to Meyer, who would read and make revisions.
The script constantly changed because of demands made not only by the core cast, but also the supporting players. In the opening, each of the crew was to be rounded up out of unhappy retirement for one final mission. Flinn recalled that "the scenes demonstrated who [the characters] were and what they did when they weren't on the Enterprise.
McCoy is drunk at a posh medical dinner; Scott is teaching Engineering while the Bird of Prey from The Voyage Home is pulled from San Francisco Bay; Uhura hosts a call-in radio show and is glad to escape; and Chekov is playing chess at a club.
The script was finished by Octoberfive months after Nimoy was approached to write the story. Several months were spent working out the budget; because of the disappointing box office returns of The Final FrontierParamount wanted to keep the sixth film's budget approximately the same as the previous installment, although the script called for space battles and new aliens.
Meyer estimated that almost two months were spent fighting with the studio about the budget. While not expensive for a Hollywood production, this would have presented a risk due to Star Trek films' niche audience and lower international appeal. Star Trek' s creator, Gene Roddenberrywho wielded significant influence despite his ill health, hated the script.
As with Meyer's previous Star Trek film The Wrath of Khanthe script had strong military overtones, with a naval theme present throughout. Far from being idealized, the characters were shown as bigoted and flawed. In contrast to Roddenberry's vision of the future, Meyer thought there was no evidence that bigotry would disappear by the 23rd century.
She was not Gene's. If he doesn't like what I plan on doing with her, maybe he should give back the money he's made off my films. Maybe then I'll care what he has to say. Roddenberry would voice his disapproval of elements of the script line by line, and he and Meyer would square off about them while Winter took notes. Overall, the tone of the meeting was conciliatory, but the producers ultimately ignored many of Roddenberry's concerns.
Cinematographer Hiro Narita 's previous work had been on effects films such as The Rocketeerwhere he had time and money to make a lavish period fantasy; with The Undiscovered Countryhe was constantly under time and budgetary pressures. Visual effects supervisor Scott Farrar said that Narita did a "good job of keeping [the set] dark.
When you get into a stage situation of aluminum walls and shiny metal, it can be a problem. But by keeping the light down, you see a little less and it becomes more textural. Hiro was very keen to avoid that over-bright stage look.
The set used for Spock's quarters was the same as the one for Kirk's, but with the addition of a central column. The galley was the set used for Deanna Troi 's office, the dining hall was a redress of the USS Enterprise-D 's Observation lounge, and the Federation president's office was a redesign of the Ten-Forward lounge, the exterior doors to which accidentally retained their Enterprise -D markings. Meyer had never been happy with the brightly lit corridors and feel of the Enterprisea dissatisfaction that extended to his work on The Wrath of Khan.
The corridors were reduced in width and included angled bulkhead dividers, with exposed conduits added to the ceiling to convey a claustrophobic feel reminiscent of the submarine film The Hunt for Red October. For that reason I decided to keep the look of the Enterprise pretty clean, but with a little more contrasty lighting," Narita said. The director was insistent that panel labels contain descriptive instructions that might be found on a starship, rather than made-up gibberish, greekingor gag text.
Designer Michael Okuda had finished a schematic of the Enterprise ' s decks when Nimoy pointed out he had misspelled "reclamation"; while Okuda was fairly certain no one else would notice the single spelling error on the print, he had to fix it. Although the original series mentioned a galley in the episode " Charlie X ", only machines able to synthesize food had been shown before. Paramount made a decision early on to use existing ship models for filming, meaning the old models—some more than a decade old—had to be refurbished, adapted, and reused.
As some ships had not been examined for some time, electrical problems had developed. Despite representing a new vessel, the Enterprise -A was the same model that had been used since Poorly regarded by earlier effects artists because of its complicated wiring and bulk,  the Enterprise ' s hairline cracks were puttied and sanded down, and the internal circuitry was redone. The new model's running lights were matched to similar intensities, saving the effects artists time because the lights would look correct with only a single pass, instead of three passes required previously for the sensor dome, running lights, and window lights.
One unfortunate byproduct of the fixes was the loss of the model's distinctive pearlescent finish. The elaborate sheen was never visible on screen lighting schemes prevented reflections while filming so the ship could be properly inserted into effects shots and so when the model was repainted with conventional techniques the effect was lost.
To suggest singes, the model had been painted with black-tinged rubber cement, with the expectation that this application would rub off. The cement instead sat on the model and baked itself to the model surface, and had to be scrubbed off. Greg Jeinbest known as the builder of the alien mothership from Close Encounters of the Third Kindwas called on to build props for the film.
Jein was a longtime Star Trek fan who had constructed the props for The Final Frontierbut was forced to remake props that had since mysteriously disappeared. Elements from The Final Frontier were modified and reused; a medical implement from the film became Chekov's blood tester, and the assault phasers first seen in Forgiven (Original Mix) Final Frontier became standard issue.
Two copies were strong enough to support David Warner's weight; another two were designed to be light enough to be hung from wires for the zero gravity scenes. Since the Klingon phasers were redesigned for the third film, the original holsters no longer fit the weaponry; as a result, no Klingons had ever been seen drawing a phaser.
Meyer was adamant about having the actors be able to unholster their weapons, so the existing pistols had to be redesigned. The Klingon sniper rifle was broken into sections, with parts modeled from real weapons. The Klingons received the first major revision in design since their appearance in The Motion Picture.
Dodie Shepard designed new red and black uniforms for Chancellor Gorkon and his staff, as it was judged that it would be unseemly for the chancellor to wear common warrior garb. Another concern was that there was not enough of designer Robert Fletcher's The Motion Picture uniforms for all the Klingons in the film.
Transforming an actor into a Klingon took three and a half hours. Hairstylist Jan Alexander designed braids and jewelry that suggested a tribal people with a long and treasured heritage. The main reason for the diversity of Klingon designs, hairstyles, and appliances stemmed from the fact that there were more Klingons featured than in all the previous films combined.
Eighteen unique designs were used for the main characters, with another thirty "A" makeups, forty "B" foam latex makeups, and fifty polyurethane plastic masks for background extras.
The designs for the foreheads came from Snell's own ideas and co-workers, but the actors were also allowed input into their character's appearances.
Christopher Plummer requested his character's forehead have more subdued spinal ridges than Klingons in previous films, to look unique and to humanize his character. During makeup tests, Snell was about to apply Plummer's wig when the actor muttered that he wanted no wig, with Chang's small amount of hair swept back into a warrior's topknot. Snell worked through several nights to redesign the back of Chang's head and add more detail.
Gorkon's appearance was of special concern to Meyer, who had two specific role models: Ahab and Abraham Lincoln. He wanted there to be uncertainty about Gorkon's true intentions. Did he want peace, or was there something sinister in his mind? From his appearance, it was impossible to tell if he was friend or foe. Subliminally, there were aspects of both.
Along with Klingon cosmetics, makeup supervisor Michael J. Mills was kept busy preparing the large number of other aliens called for in the script. Because the alien creatures played such an important role in the film, there was a concerted push to provide enough money to the makeup department to make sure the complex work was finished.
According to Mills, "[if] we could prove to [Ralph Winter] that we needed something to get the shot done, then we'd have it. The large, hulking form the shapeshifter Martia assumes while on the surface of Rura Penthe was dubbed "The Brute" by the production team. The creature's Yeti-like appearance was based Forgiven (Original Mix) a Smithsonian cover of a marmoset. Also created for the Rura Penthe shoot was a frozen Klingon with a horrified expression.
Makeup artist Ed French found a spare Klingon headpiece in Richard Snell's possession and attached it to his own head. The designers used striking colors and new techniques for some of the aliens; ultraviolet pigments were used to create a particularly hostile alien that fights Kirk in Rura Penthe.
As it was intended to be Nimoy's last portrayal of Spock, the actor was adamant that his appearance be faithful to the original s Fred Phillips and Charlie Schram design of the character.
Mills consulted photos from the original television series as reference, and created five ear sculptings before Nimoy was satisfied. The result was tall ears with the tips pointing forward—considerably different from Richard Snell's swept-back look Forgiven (Original Mix) The Voyage Home. The character of Valeris was designed to be more ivory-hued than Spock's yellow tone, with sleeker eyebrows and a severe haircut favored by Meyer.
Principal photography took place between April 16 and September 27, using a mix of fixed sets and on-location footage. The production suffered from a lack of available set space because of shortages; the Starfleet Headquarters set was actually built a few blocks away from Paramount Pictures at the Hollywood Presbyterian Church.
Because of budget cuts, plans for filming were constantly revised and reduced, but sometimes this proved to be an asset rather than a hindrance. Meyer would often say that "art thrives on restrictions", and Zimmerman agreed, saying that the design and filming created a rich environment that supported and enhanced the action.
The dinner scene was shot in a revamped version of the Enterprise -D's observation lounge. Along the wall are portraits of historical figures including Abraham Lincoln, Spock's father Sarek Mark Lenardand an unnamed Andorian ambassador. None of the actors wanted to eat the unappetizing dishes especially after they grew ripe under hot studio lights and it became a running joke among the crew during filming to make them sample their food.
For Shatner, the incentive was enough that he became the only cast member to consume purple-dyed squid. The shoot lasted several days because of what Plummer called the "horror" of filming the dinner. The Klingon courtroom where Kirk and McCoy are sentenced was designed like an arena, with high walls and a central platform for the accused.
Originally planned for construction on the largest soundstage, cutbacks in location footage for Rura Penthe forced a smaller set to be constructed. The illusion of endless rows of Klingons was created by brightly lighting the accused in the center of the room with a bright blue light, then letting the rest of the set fall into shadow.
Inspired by a scene in Ben-Hurmatte supervisor Craig Barron used two hundred commercially available Worf dolls sent by Ralph Winter. Angry Klingons were created by rocking the dolls back and forth with motors, waving sticks lit by twelve-volt light bulbs dyed red.
The resulting courtroom miniature was ten feet long. Flinn conceived the penal colony Rura Penthe as on an arid, undeveloped world with odorous aliens; Meyer suggested that it be turned into an ice world instead.
The exterior shots of Martia, Kirk, and McCoy traveling across the frozen wastes were filmed on top of a glacier in Alaska, forty minutes east of Anchorage. Because of budget and time constraints, the second unit was tasked with getting the footage. The stuntmen, dressed in woolen costumes, were in danger of catching pneumonia.
Batteries drained after minutes of filming in the cold, and the lack of snow was compensated by dropping fake precipitation into the scene by helicopter. Scenes featuring the main characters at Rura Penthe were filmed on a soundstage. Massive fans blew dusty Forgiven (Original Mix) snow that, according to Shatner, got into "every orifice", as well as into the camera. Creating a fake blizzard was challenging; two types of plastic snow were mixed together to provide flakes and powdery accumulation.
Camera magazines were changed off the stage so that there was no chance the snow could get into the film; crewmembers found the snow in their socks for weeks afterwards. The underground prison was shot in real caves left by mining at Griffith Park in the Bronson Canyonpreviously used as the Batcave and in the s Flash Gordon serial.
Shots of the interior of the mine were captured at night so it appeared like the setting was underground. Since Narita and his crew weren't allowed to drill holes for lights in mine shafts, illumination had to come from practical lights that appeared to be part of the set. The battle above Khitomer was one of the last sequences to be shot, which proved fortuitous as the bridge of the Enterprise was damaged by the simulated sparks and explosions.
The officer's mess set was blown up for a sequence where the Enterprise ' s hull is compromised by a torpedo. When the set was rebuilt for use on The Next Generationthe forward wall was rebuilt and redesigned. While the Khitomer conference interior and exteriors were filmed at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute in California, the window from which Colonel West prepares to assassinate the president was a separate set built at Paramount.
Footage from Brandeis, matte paintings, and the backlot were combined to create an open outdoor view. The division of labor for shooting the starship models was decided early on by effects cameramen Peter Daulton and Pat Sweeney. There was an equal amount of work if one crew did all the Enterprise shots and another did the Bird of Prey, Klingon cruiser and Excelsior shots, so the cameramen flipped to decide who worked on which models.
Old and new techniques were applied to shooting the models. To make sure the vessels were seamlessly inserted into star fields in post-production, the crew filmed second passes in overexposed yellow light, which reduced light spillage onto the bluescreen backdrop. The yellow overcast was removed by filtration in the optical process, with the result being a clean edge around the ships. Using a technique pioneered on Back to the Future Part IIanother shot with a different lighting scheme was filmed.
By combining separate key light and fill light passes, optical effects could generate any amount of contrast they wanted without causing spillage. Because Paramount continued to add new shots to the busy schedule and tight budget, some elements were flipped for reuse, including the star fields and a shot of the Bird of Prey firing. The approach to Spacedock was filmed from below the station model, which Bill George found visually interesting and appropriate.
He felt that the tracking of a shuttle from the planet evoked A Space Odyssey. The shuttle used in the scene was the only new model created for the film. It measured twelve inches and was fabricated in less than a week. The shot of the Enterprise leaving Spacedock was difficult to produce because the interior dock miniature had disappeared.
Stock footage from The Voyage Home was used for one shot to compensate. Since the only other shot needed was the Enterprise ' s point of view leaving Spacedock through the doors, it was the only section recreated for the film. The last scene in the film was arranged for the last day of filming. Initially, the language was supposed to be more somber and classical, but Meyer made some last minute changes. Flinn said that Meyer "was in an optimistic mood", and the director suggested that Kirk quote Peter Pan for the last lines:  "Second star to the right, and straight on till morning.
We raised a glass of champagne, but everybody was actually a little antsy. These discussions began before the film was greenlit. ILM's initial cost estimates were over Paramount's budget, so to save money the filmmakers redesigned some shots and outsourced some to other companies. Despite the overall count of effects shots being dropped from over to 51, the project was still large, and required virtually the entire ILM staff to complete.
Cheap animatics provided Meyer with placeholders to cut into the film and avoid costly surprises. ILM's computer graphics division was responsible for creating three sequences, including the explosion of Praxis.
Farrar settled on the preliminary look of the wave, and graphics supervisor Jay Riddle used Adobe Photoshop on a Macintosh to establish the final color scheme. Initially the team thought they would be able to use the same methods to create the wave that hits the Excelsiorbut found that it did not convey the scale of the wave—in Riddle's words, "this thing had to look really enormous.
Textures that changed every frame were added to the main wave body and over the top of it to give the impression of great speed. Meyer came upon the idea of having assassins in special boots kill a weightless Gorkon after searching for a novel way to "blow away" the character in space that had not been seen before. Responsibility for shooting the live action footage fell to the second unit under Jaffe's direction. While the sequence read well on paper, there was not enough time or money to do the effects "the right way"—for example, shooting the actors on a bluescreen and then inserting them into the Klingon corridors.
Jaffe noted that the low-tech method of suspending actors by wires helped the final effect, because as photographed by John Fante, few wires had to be removed digitally in post-production;  sets were constructed so that the harsh lighting obscured wires, and entire sets were constructed on their sides so that by pulling actors up and down on the rotated sets, the characters appeared to float sideways.
These sets were on gimbals so that the movement of the actors and sets created a floating effect. The shot of two Klingons killed and thrown back down a corridor by phaser blasts was simulated by positioning the camera at the bottom of a corridor set.
The set was placed on its end in the tallest soundstage at Paramount, so that the camera looked up towards the ceiling. In this position, the wires were hidden by the actors as they ascended the corridor. The blood that spurts out of the Klingon's wounds was created using computer generated imagery; the animators had to make sure that the blood floated in a convincing manner while still looking interesting and not too gory. Initially, the blood was to be colored green, but the filmmakers realized that McCoy had referred to Spock as green-blooded.
Some loved the new show, while others really did not. To be sure. Many people thought it was a beautiful performance. Harmonious is a technological marvel! An absolutely stunning mix of fireworks, video, lights and music. A simply amazing and beautiful show. The Coco segment was definitely the highlight for us! The show is built around three large barges that have been setup inside World Showcase Lagoon for months.
When they first arrived many called them an eye sore, because they are permanently in positionmaking them large black edifices that do nothing most of the day. However, now all is forgiven, because seeing them in action is worth it. September 30, Unfortunately, not everybody loved the show quite that much.
Others found the show to have no coherent story. Considering how important story is to Disney in all things, Harmonious seemed to be simply a collection of Disney songs vaguely strung together.
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