Baycon '91 (really AnimeCon '91)

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Alan Takahashi

Sep 17, 1991, 6:29:09 PM9/17/91

[Notes from the Chronicler:

* As posted earlier, this posting is a little late, because of an
illness, and the lack of a slide show at Baycon '91. Since there
*was* a slide show at AnimeCon '91, and I'm feeling better,
it's coming out now.

* The first section actually didn't come from AnimeCon, but from
a panel I attended at Timecon. Kim Bailey is the owner of SFPX
which is a special effects house that has done some work for
STTNG (among others).

* As usual, there are items of interest to readers of rec.arts.startrek
and rec.arts.anime, so this posting is being crossposted to both.
If you followup to this posting, *please* edit the Newsgroups
line unless you feel that your followup applies to both newsgroups.

* Since people ask: permission to relay this posting to other BBS's
in an electronic format is granted, provided you let me know that
you've done so. An E-mail message will do.

* Again, as usual, items that have been mentioned in previous Baycons
will generally not be repeated here. If you wish to look at them,
the previous postings can be found in the STTNG Program Guide
which was put together by Mike "Vidiot" Brown. (Thanks, Mike!)

Thanks to Carol Smith for helping and correcting and all that other
good stuff.

-- Alan]

-- Now, to the good stuff!!! --

PANEL: Kim Bailey of SFPX (Timecon 1991)
- From "Q Who" (2nd season): the shot of the Enterprise seen as the
Borg were slicing the "core" sample out, the model was an exercise
in forced perspective. From the angle of the camera, the saucer
section appears to go on forever (which is the intended effect).
If you saw the model from the top, however, you saw a grossly
distorted piece of the saucer section, with the areas closest
to the camera being small, and the areas farthest being small.
Made the "NCC-1701D" logo look a little...*ahem*...strange.

To illustrate, here is a view from the top. I do not claim to
accurately reproduce *anything* via this Ascii drawing (it *is*
only an illustration, after all :-)):

/ \
/ \ <------- Model
/ \
| |
-- --
| | <------- Camera

- Among the fine detail work done on the core section, there are
portions of a ship's cabin, including tables, chairs, walls,
and.........a "space toilet". I don't know if it's visible
on the shot, however. I do assume that, like Data, it is
"fully functional". :-) :-)

- Again from "Q Who": the Borg ship was constructed with the
damaged sections built in. For shots where the Borg ship
was to be shown in its undamaged state, there were additional
pieces of the model which could be inserted into place over
the damaged sections, and thus, hide them.

Each damaged section had magnets which were the same color as
the background. Brass rings were added and hidden around the
magnets to act as guides, so that the undamaged sections could
be held securely, and would always be placed in the same position
when installed.

This prevents the undamaged pieces from "jumping" as we went from
shot to shot on the Borg ship.

- The Borg ship from "Q Who" is a large (8x8 feet/side if I recall
correctly) model. Since the base cube is 6x6 feet/side, there
is an incredible amount of models, tubes and other stuff that went
into this cube. Among other things, toy soldiers, R2-D2s, parts
from airplanes, and other miscellaneous tubing went into this

The logo for the company (SFPX) also appears about 8 times in
various places on the model...

- Nearly all of STTNG's graphics displays were designed on Macintoshes.
Not only that, but the "living" displays on the show were also
being generated by Macintoshes.

- Picard's workstation in the Ready Room is just a plastic-molded
model. The display screen has been replaced with a Blue Screen,
so that any action that needs to be shown can be overlayed later.

Most of these workstations don't have the Blue Screen because their
displays are not normally shown. Instead, they have some static
graphic on the display.

PANEL: Carl Macek of Streamline Pictures

- A little history: When the "Robotech" package was being put
together, there were few anime series that had been translated
and released in the USA. Since the package would be distributed
and syndicated by a network, it had to correspond to the CBS
Broadcasting Standards (I might have the network wrong here).

This is a book which is larger than most metropolitan phone books.
The strategy adopted was to only remove things that were
*explicitly* listed as objectionable. (i.e. if there was nothing
explicitly stating that blowing someone's chest apart was to
be removed, it stayed in :-)). The result was "Robotech" as we
saw it.

(Of course, the series STILL got complaints that it was too
violent/explicit/whatever. The result was that most stations
showing it did so only once...)

- Re: Using the voice actors from Intersound. The philosophy here
was "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". It was very difficult
to find voice actors who could actually ACT with their voices.
Once Carl found some, he stayed with them.

(Note that, due to the criticism of using the same actors,
Streamline experimented with using different voice actors
on one of their features...wish I could remember which
one... :-))

- Streamline has the rights to the first 13 episodes of "Nadia: The
Secret of Blue Water", as well as "Zillion". The plan is to
release "Nadia" on videotape, and try to get the rest for TV. To
avoid the aforementioned Standards, "Nadia" will probably be
shown on cable TV.

Carl *did* mention that he wanted to use voice actors with the
appropriate accents (e.g. French for Jean) for a more authentic
feel. Quote: "You CAN'T do a French accent in Japanese!".

PANEL: Rick Sternbach (The STTNG Slide Show)

- Welcome to the new season of "Tracey Ullman - The Next Generation"!
Whoops. Well, this title block was the first slide shown --
complete with TNG font and style.

This was because the "Tracey Ullman Show" got more Emmy nominations
than STTNG...

- Doesn't it seem that the Bridge on the Enterprise is replaced
alot? Rick noted that every time the Enterprise returns
'to base' (i.e. 'home' between seasons for TNG and between movies
for TOS), the Bridge is redesigned. Tweak tweak tweak... :-)

- Remember the Stargazer model in Picard's office? The model (and
presumably the actual ship) are painted yellow. This was done
so that it would better show any stress patterns during warp

- The Captain's fish is named Livingston. I've said that before, but
never identified his namesake. Livingston was named after one of
the 1st season director/producers.

(And going through the handy STTNG Program Guide I find:
Line Producer...........................David Livingston
also noted as one of the "Unit Production Managers" in Appendix D.)

- The computer panels on the walls of the Bridge are covered with
"ultra-suede". No, I don't know what that is...

- The "horseshoe" rail on the bridge is actually made of wood. Yes,
I know it LOOKS like wood, but it isn't the result of staining.
Staining the horseshoe couldn't bring out the grain enough to be
picked up by the cameras, so the horseshoe had to be PAINTED to
look like wood.

- From "Lonely Among Us", the shot where Picard/alien is zapping
everyone on the bridge. This slide was taken before post-production,
so the special effect lightning was missing. Caption reads:
"Picard discovers to his horror that his fly is open..."

- STTNG is filmed on a soundstage, so it's layed out like a stage.
That means there are catwalks and platforms built ABOVE the sets
and corridors. Wonder what kinds of practical jokes one could
play from those places... :-)

- Next time you see the Engine Core for the Enterprise, take a
closer look. Bits of it may look at bit familiar. That's
because the top and bottom of the Core consists of two
turbolift caps...

- Mike Okuda is responsible for creating the graphic displays seen
on STTNG. He is also responsible"striping" everything
in sight. This includes the walls, fixtures, furniture, consoles,
doors, people...

Well, maybe not the people... :-)

- For the fashion watchers out there; there is a new Art Technique
out there. We see it every week on STTNG. It's known as
"Trek Deco"...

Do you think that "striping" is an integral part of Trek Deco? :-)

- Going into the bowels of the ship, you will eventually find a
door marked DROID MAINTENANCE...

- Thus far, STTNG has shown us Shuttle Bays Two and Three. We have
never seen the main bay: Shuttle Bay One. That's because Shuttle
Bay One is the size of a football field, and would cost too much
to construct. Writers are under orders to use the smaller
shuttle bays where possible, when writing their stories...

- The slide show was at AnimeCon, this year, so the reaction to Kei
and Yuri in various pre-production drawings brought alot of
laughter and applause. As did the various renderings of the
Dirty Pair, Lovely Angels, Tonari no Totoro, Tomobiki
Classroom Simulations and others which I was too far away to read.
Interesting being in a crowd where EVERYONE knew who the
"Dirty Pair" was... :-)

Note that many of the in-jokes were written in Japanese, so they
might be taken for YAAS (Yet Another Alien Script). It's amazing
how many people in this audience could *read* this stuff!! :-)

As with the 3rd Season, the 4th Season kept the guys in the Art
Department very busy, so there was little opportunity to insert
new in-jokes. In-jokes from the previous seasons will not be
reiterated here as they have been covered in previous Baycon
postings, and I didn't notice any new ones in the slide show...

(As for Kei and Yuri on the pre-production drawings, the reaction
from the producers was "C'mon guys, cut it out!"... :-))

- The FINAL answer to the "Yamato" question!! Rick said that the
writers independently came up with the ship name for the
U.S.S. Yamato. Rick was as surprised as anyone when he found

(No, I don't think the writers were aware of the anime connection
when they came up with the name...)

- Shuttle Pod Onizuka has acquired an additional nameplate across the
front. Now, Picard can be secure in knowing that he is driving
a "Pontiac-D"... :-)

Perhaps there is a hidden meaning as the Shuttle Pods are also
mounted on wheels? Maybe not...

- Before constructing 10-forward, a foam-core model of the set was
made which was amazingly close to what eventually became 10-forward.
For scale, a paper cutout of Tasha Yar was placed in the middle
of the "set"...

Quote: "Hey guys, look who was here in a former life!!"

- From "The Neutral Zone", one of the life support canisters had a
famous personality in it..."Rick Sternbach"...

- From "Samaritan Snare", when Picard and Wesley arrive at the
Starbase, there is a directory listing departments and personnel.
Filming was stopped for a while when this directory was installed
while *everyone* looked to see where they appeared. Yes, this
Starbase was staffed by the crew of STTNG.

It is not known if Kei or Yuri were among the personnel... :-)

Quote: "Awww, how come I'm ONLY an ensign?"

- Dr. Crusher carries around a lot of medical instruments. To make
this manageable, she keeps them in a medical kit. In a former
life, the medical kit was a Lego box...

- The duties of a Starfleet Officer requires that he/she be able to
perform a great number of varied tasks. In order to do this, an
array of specialized tools is required. One of the slides showed
samples of various tools which could be used...

One of them was a Swiss Army Knife - complete with a tricorder,
phaser and others. (Well, who really NEEDS a can opener
anyway... :-))

- From "Sins of the Father", a prototype of one of the Klingon
weapons was shown. The working title was: "Terrible Horrible
Nasty Awful Weapon". It was rejected for being TOO nasty...

- From "The Wounded", the Cardassian ships were designed with an
Egyption theme in mind. They come complete with a sacrificial
temple on top, and pyramid running lights along the side...

- The new Klingon ships have a detachable disrupter pod, and a
flying bridge. Useful in case of a quick getaway...

- We got a preview of the new STTNG Technical Manual. Among
other things, there is a diagram on how to land the Saucer
Section after separation. This, of course, is a HIGHLY RISKY
move, and not to be casually implemented. (The method was
based partially on results from the Roger's Commission report
on the Challenger tragedy...)

The Technical Manual looks to be an extremely detailed, and well
done publication and well worth buying. All text layout, and
diagramming was done on a Macintosh (Microsoft Word 4.0 Adobe
Illustrator, and Director were some of the software packages

Written by Rick Sternbach and Mike Okuda. To be published
in October...

- The ship's Computer Core looks like a building...and it is!
It's based on the RCA building in LA...

- From "The Naked Now", we saw our second starship in STTNG: the
U.S.S. Tsiolkovsky. As we've seen, all starships have a dedication
plaque on the Bridge. The one for the Tsiolkovsky has been
donated to the Russian city where the *real* Tsiolkovsky was born.

From the dedication plaque: "Earth is the cradle of the mind, but
one cannot remain in the cradle forever."

- Speaking of dedication plaques, the one for the Horatio shows that
it was built by Yoyodyne, and the dedication reads: "Damn the
torpedoes, full speed ahead!".

- From "Skin of Evil", the graph showing the energy level of Armus
is labeled: "Mean Field Intensity". This was a commentary on
how mean the oil slick was... :-)

- We all know that Captain Jean-Luc Picard graduated from Starfleet
Academy. Well, now we've seen his diploma. It's signed by
Patrick Stewart. Congratulations, Jean-Luc Picard! :-)

- From "We'll Always Have Paris", the Cafe de Artiste had a couple
of strange items on the menu. Try these meals: Croissant Dilithium,
Targ Klingon ala mode, Tribble <something> Blanket, and
John Cougar Mellencamp. Mmmmm, yum yum. :-)

- There are actually a total of 6 Galaxy Class Starships. The first
was the Galaxy, second was the Yamato (destroyed), third was the
Enterprise (still goin' strong!), one to appear sometime during
Season 5, and two more for the writers to use later.

Shhhhhh, this is a secret!! There is actually a 7th ship which
hasn't been assembled, and is hidden in pieces at some remote
outpost. This ship was kept in reserve because of the Borg
threat, and will be used in an emergency.



Alan Takahashi ! hplabs amdahl
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Edited by Jim "The Big Dweeb" Griffith - the official scapegoat for r.a.s.i.
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