Archive for the '“dennis madalone”' Category

Red Alert! New – Star Trek Posts at Seb’s Raw Takes!

April 7, 2007

UFP LogoWelcome to Volume 1 of my Star Trek Compendium: Join me, Sebastian Prooth of Seb’s Raw Takes on a guided tour of my latest Star Trek blog entries and exclusive DVD commentaries you can download here for free! Please check below the main body of this post for my personal, recommended Star Trek links. If you haven’t already guessed from the content here, I am a Star Trek fan but I am more interested in learning from the production so that I can apply it as a writer / producer one of these days.

Make sure you bookmark Seb’s Raw Takes because there will be more interviews with Star Trek actors and production personnel very soon! Look forward to seeing Robert Picardo, the Emergency Medical Holographic Doctor from Star Trek Voyager interviewed here within the next month!

Interviews with the Star Trek Family

Robert Picardo – Emergency Medical Hologram – “The Doctor” on Voyager

Dennis Madalone – Stunt Coordinator on Star Trek TNG, DS9 and Voyager

Dan Curry – Visual Effects Supervisor/Producer Star Trek TNG, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise

Eric Stillwell – Production Associate Star Trek TNG, Right Hand Man to Executive Producer Michael Piller

Rick Sternbach – Senior Illustrator on Star Trek TNG, DS9, and Voyager

Ronald B. Moore – Visual Effects Supervisor Star Trek TNG, Voyager, Generations and Enterprise

Andre Bormanis – Science Consultant Star Trek TNG and DS9, Co-Producer on Enterprise, Star Trek Writer, Author

EXCLUSIVE DVD Commentaries

Those of you who are new-comers to Seb’s Raw Takes might not know that I have produced 4 exclusive, full length, DVD commentaries for the Star Trek Movies following the TNG cast. The links to the posts with the downloadable commentaries are below.

Star Trek VII – Generations

Star Trek VIII – First Contact

Star Trek IX – Insurrection

Star Trek X – Nemesis

Michael Piller Releases (The late, Michael Piller was Executive Producer and co-creator of Star Trek Voyager, Writer of Star Trek Insurrection and among other episodes was writer of the Borg favourite “The Best of Both Worlds”

Tribute to Star Trek Producer and Writer and my personal hero, Michael Piller

Download a Complete Chapter of Michael Piller’s unpublished book about the making of Star Trek Insurrection

Other Star Trek Writings and Links

Star Trek 40th Birthday Blog

Star Trek TNG Stage 9 Interlopers

First Contact with a genuine Star Trek TNG Script

Star Trek Only Chooses The Best! – My Thoughts about Star Trek XI

My Profile on the Star Trek Wiki – Memory-Alpha

Interviewed by Rico of the Treks in Sci Fi Podcast Show #112 – Download Mp3

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the interviewees for generously sharing their time with us, the Star Trek Community. I would also like to acknowledge Artie Wayne for the concept of these compendium blog posts. If there are any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me.

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Star Trek TNG Production Associate, Eric Stillwell, Speaks to SebRT.com

March 2, 2007

Eric Stillwell A few days ago I managed to catch up with another Star Trek / Paramount Pictures employee, Eric Stillwell. My meeting Eric on the internet was initiated by my recent interest in the life and work of Michael Piller. Piller was the head writer on Star Trek TNG from the 3rd season, co-created both Deep Space Nine and Voyager and then went on to write the 9th Star Trek film Star Trek Insurrection. Eric Stillwell was fortunate enough to work with Michael for many years and last night I found myself talking with him over instant message. The conversation graduated to telephone after two hours and for the remainder of my day, approx 5 hours Eric and I spoke about Star Trek while I periodically filled in answers to the questions I had quickly thrown together for an impromptu interview.

My conversation with Eric Stillwell was a very productive one a few major things are going to be taking place because of our discussion. I am keeping the information about what is going to happen close to my vest at the moment but I will say that I have asked Eric to guest write here on SebRT.com in the near future. The following is the interview, which in reality was massive and if I had written everything Eric and I talked about it would be about 25 pages.

SebRT.com Welcomes Eric Stillwell, Star Trek TNG Script Coordinator and the Assistant to the late Michael Piller.

You worked for Star Trek like a lot of SebRT guests. What exactly did you do?

I started off as the production assistant on Star Trek The Next Generation in ‘87 and I did that for two years. Then I was promoted to script coordinator and worked on TNG until ‘93. After I finished with Star Trek the TV show I went to produce Star Trek conventions and in 1996 I returned to Paramount Pictures and worked for Michael Piller. At that time he was Executive Producer on Star Trek Voyager and I spent time as a production associate and his assistant. He stepped down and left the studio in 1999 to work on other projects and I went with him (as vice-president of Operations for Piller Squared) to do that. He created the Dead Zone TV series and I was an associate producer on that and then he and his son created Wildfire and I was an associate producer on that. As the vice president of operations for Piller Squared I was in charge of a lot of aspects of the company.

I read you are a genuine Trekkie yourself, if I wanted vaporize my neighbor’s dog, what setting would I set this phaser to?

[laughs]I don’t have to know all that stuff to be a Trekkie!! But if you do that you have to go have a meeting with Counsellor Troi.

You worked with the late and great, Michael Piller. In the past I have published how I would like to have known him. What was he like?

Michael was a complicated personality. It took me a long time to get to know him genuinely. On the outside sometimes he can seem abrupt and I don’t want to sound like I am saying he was terrible. He hated cocktail parties…it was easier for him to have a discussion with a potted plant. He was actually quite charming in person. It was all in his writings. Michael could write a scene that could be completely innocuous, but underneath it was about the humanity of things. If you watch the Best of Both Worlds, the personal problems of Riker being offered his own command are taken from Michael’s own life experiences of the time. He knew that the humanity was important, and the characters even though he technical stuff in Star Trek is important.

It seems like you and I might have met when I was 7 years old in my home town of South Bend, Indiana at a trek convention. What was your involvement with the conventions?

At that time frame I did some conventions in South Bend. I was the MC of the event and introduce all the guests and handle all the celebrity appearances and handle all that stuff so it very likely.

What are your thoughts about the upcoming “prequel” of Star Trek TOS in the form of Star Trek XI?

I think prequels are a questionable approach to doing Star Trek because I don’t even think it was a viable option for Enterprise regardless of how good the production was. I think JJ Abrams is terrific.

Your work after you left Star Trek has been very successful and you even have your name on a Star Trek novel – Do you have any more plans to work with anything Star Trek related?

I don’t have plans to but you never know what the future holds. Somehow I think my career path is heading towards politics. Star Trek influences my political views on things and it’s all mixed together in weird ways. The whole 34th rule novel is inspired by George Takei’s life in the internment camp. There’s always possibilities.

Most recently you have been working on Children’s television, how does that compare to working on the biggest television franchise of all time?

For me its like the difference between being a small fish in the big ocean and being a big fish in a small pond. I got to be the head writer and a producer on the Children’s show. I was not just the 47th person down the production list.

What is the work (out of your entire career) that you have found most rewarding and you are most proud of?

Co-Writing Yesterday’s Enterprise was certainly the highlight of my Hollywood career. I did something creative and it got realized in front of my eyes. Getting to work with Whoopie Goldberg was great as well.

Eric Stillwell and Gene RoddenberryDo you have any pieces of Trek in your possession such as a prop or set piece to remember the show by?

Most of the things I received were “crew gifts” including stuff from your friend Dennis Madalone. I have a picture of me with Gene Roddenberry on the bridge set that Gene autographed that is really special to me.

Star Trek Insurrection’s story was not a typical Star Trek story and many felt it was not loyal to what trek had established. 9 years on, what did you think of the story when you were script coordinating on that picture?

The final project was not what Michael originally intended. Patrick Stewart made a lot of changes to the script that fundamentally changed the script as far as I am concerned. Originally the bad guys in the story were Romulans.

What are you working on at the moment? Got any exciting plans to share with SebRT readers and the internet at large?

I’ve been trying to revise my political blogging career because I’m currently unemployed and looking for work. So looking for something in the political realm. I’m going to Italy on vacation for a Star Trek Convention –not running for President.

Thank you very much for your time Eric and you are most welcome to come back sometime!

Thanks, I enjoyed it! (after 5 hours on the phone)

************

If you would like to ask Eric any of your own questions or contact any of the interviewees here at SebRT.coom you can email “questions@sebrt.com”

After Hours on Stage 9 at Paramount in 1988. Star Trek TNG Interlopers!

February 3, 2007

This video can not be played here, click on the player to be taken to YouTube to watch. Make sure you remember to come back here to comment as they have been disabled on YouTube!

Riker and T’Jon in SymbiosisI was doing some late night YouTube watching and while on a simple search for “Star Trek Behind the Scenes” I came across this little set of videos. It seems that 2 rather unintelligent lifeforms broke into the Stage 9 set of Paramount Pictures after hours during the time of Season 1 of Star Trek: The Next Generation. A Paramount worker must have decided to upload the videos to the Internet after nearly 20 years in storage!

Not only did these lack-wits break into the set and parade around like they owned the place they were caused set pieces to fall down and turned on all the lighted consoles that make the Star Trek computers look so futuristic. The problem with the whole enterprise, if you will forgive the bad alliteration, is while trying to film a “behind the scenes” look at the Star Trek set the guy who was in front of the camera most of the time had nothing much to say that was true or in any way worth hearing.

During their invasion of Stage 9 one of the men tried out a bio bed in the sickbay set. Laying on the bed after he had determined it was not going to hold him only made it funnier when the whole setup fell. The idiots did however manage to get lights working on the set and prove once and for all that some of the computer panels were in fact touch sensitive. Another hilarious bit in these 4 videos are the times when the main “character” puts on his glasses to see better. What a twerp! The guy defiantly has anger management issues as he seems to be constantly on the verge of yelling at his co-hort. Maybe they were just totally scared shitless as the set might have been about to open up again for early morning prep at any moment.

As a fan of Star Trek and a technical fan at that, I know what the warp core does etc so when this man who dressed himself in what appears to be a uniform like that of Commander Riker, tried to explain what he is standing infront of, be it the warp core or a window in the old “Conference / Crew Quarters” set used during the first season he just gets everything totally wrong, take my word for it. He did grab a LCARS panel and seemed to correctly identify it as the graphic used when Lt. Yar died.

His sidekick, unintelligent lifeform number 2, is completely unversed in the operation of the camera and has never even heard of a steady shot judging by the way the camera shakes for the entire set of 4 videos. Notable props and set pieces in these videos include: Transporter Room Console, Lt Cmdr Remmick (Dead) from the episode Conspiracy, a prop alien creature from Conspiracy, the Bio Bed used for really sick or dying people with the big swing arm, Cargo Bay type doors, and the best part of all, the Enterprise that is usually such a tidy place is a total dump!

According to the blurb on YouTube, when the idiots were chased from the stage they dropped their camera, this can be seen in the last few moments of Video 4. I am not sure what happened to these guys or if they were ever caught but there certainly is plenty of video evidence to prove their crime. Pitty they never had a chance to edit it! Even though a tour of the Star Trek sets is a trekkie’s wet dream, this particular tour was not one I would ever want to go on. I sure would like to know how they got in there in the first place!

The video above is the first in their series of 4. The following links start at video two and link you to the rest of the escapade. I am going to call my friend Dennis Madalone who was the stunt co-ordinator on TNG and ask him if he remembers this one! Thought Trekkies everywhere would get a kick out of this! Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHZOH-1domQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9tu4iPx1gI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTwSihLYI0w