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Tag Archive: Michael Kaplan


Saturday entertainment memorabilia collectors and diehard Star Trek fans lined up in person, and bid via telephone and online as auction house Prop Store auctioned off 400 lots of screen-used props and costumes for Paramount Pictures at Prop Store’s new location in Valencia, California.  The auction included many key items used in the production of the 2009 J.J. Abrams Star Trek reboot film as well as the 2013 sequel Star Trek Into Darkness.  Paramount retained many more items than were auctioned off, but this was the third–and the largest–public auction of items from what the franchise refers to as the “Kelvin timeline.”  The Kelvin timeline resulted after the failure of Leonard Nimoy’s Mr. Spock to prevent the destruction of the planet Romulus and the subsequent journey by the Romulan Nero back in time as revenge to destroy both the USS Kelvin, the ship where Captain Kirk’s father served, and subsequently the planet Vulcan.  The Kelvin timeline includes the third film of the new series, Star Trek Beyond, but no items from that film were included in Saturday’s auction.

If high hammer prices are any indication of popularity, Star Trek shows no signs of slowing down.  Most lots exceeded their auction estimates, and lots for key characters far surpassed those estimates.  As you might expect, costumes from Chris Pine’s Captain James T. Kirk, Zachary Quinto’s Mr. Spock, and Benedict Cumberbatch’s Khan led the way.  Several Kirk costumes were at auction–examples of his standard gold tunic Starfleet uniform sold in lots of varying descriptions and completeness for $30,500, $14,640, and $8,540 (prices listed here include the added buyer’s premium fee charged to all buyers).  Even a costume for a Kirk double actor (an actor who stood in for Pine during stage preparation) fetched $3,965 and a similar unlabeled captain costume sold for $6,710.  Yet another Kirk uniform–a gray dress uniform for a double actor–sold for $12,200, and one of his Kronos (Qo’noS) disguises sold for $8,540.  But the best-selling lot was a costume worn by Quinto as Spock that also included phaser, holster belt, and communicator props–that lot sold for $33,550.  Benedict Cumberbatch’s Khan costumes were all big sellers, selling for $18,300, $9,150, $9,150, $8,540, $8,540, $6,710, $6,100, and $5,795, making him roughly tied with Kirk as the most popular of the characters with items represented at this auction.  Other key characters represented included a Uhura Starfleet uniform for actress Zoe Saldana that sold for $17,080, a Dr. McCoy “Bones” uniform for actor Karl Urban that sold for $9,760, and similar costumes that sold at the same price for Simon Pegg’s Scotty and John Cho’s Sulu.  No costumes were auctioned that were used by the late Anton Yelchin’s Chekov.  The auction also included several recognizable production-made and screen-used Starfleet props.  A rare Starfleet rifle sold for $15,860, and Kelvin timeline chrome Starfleet phasers sold for $3,355 to $11,590.  Only a handful of Starfleet background/stunt communicators were available, selling for $1,342 to $2,745.  Static/stunt tricorders sold for $2,318 to $3,355.

Well-known Star Trek aliens also invaded the Prop Store auction.  Klingon uniforms from a deleted scene in the 2009 Star Trek that were re-used in Star Trek Into Darkness were auctioned off (selling between $600 and $1,110), plus new Klingon costumes from the sequel, some of which included helmets and light-up “working” phasers and rifles (selling for between $1,952 and $9,760).  Four Vulcan uniforms sold, including one in the same style as that worn by Leonard Nimoy as Spock in one of his last performances as the character (these sold for $549 to $1,098).  And nine Romulan costumes sold, including some labeled for Eric Bana’s character, the villain Nero (selling for as low as $732 to a lot of two costumes for $1,342).

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TheArtOfSWTFA

Review by C.J. Bunce

Not just another visual guide to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a new art book from Abrams looks behind the creative process in making a major motion picture.  The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is unusual in that it doesn’t rely on film stills or the typical art design imagery you might find in a making-of movie work.  It is closer to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles–Art & Design reviewed previously at borg.com here than say Star Trek: The Art of the Film, discussed here, in that it is an exhaustive account of the trials and discarded concepts that come along with creating a new story for an established franchise.

Also, like the Hobbit Chronicles book series, Lucasfilm chose to use one of its own to chronicle the pre-production of the film.  Author Phil Szostak, who has a long history with the art department at Lucasfilm, was embedded in the art department of The Force Awakens crew as a conceptual researcher and archivist from December 2012 through the end of the making of the film.

Luke or Finn

The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens provides many possible paths that might have been taken in creating the look and feel of Episode VII.  The most surprising may be that Rey and Finn were going to be called Kira and Sam for nearly the entire production process.  Many members of the press have used imagery from this book to assert that somehow scenes were deleted from the final cut or that the concepts and ideas in the book reflect the original plan, but that’s really not the case.  The ideas thrown around in the planning stages are the same types of ideas used in any production–some ideas are good and are used, others don’t make the cut for any number of reasons.  This is illustrated well in the pre-production for Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium, as seen in Elysium: The Art of the Film, reviewed here.  Many good ideas just get left behind for the needs of the plot and the timing of the film.

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Insurrection Sanja Hays design

If you’re a fan of Star Trek costumes like we are, you may be familiar with Sanja Milkovich Hays, the costume designer on the ninth film in the Star Trek franchise, Star Trek Insurrection.  Hays is responsible for some of the best Star Trek costumes created for the movies that featured the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast.  Her agent released this weekend that she has been tapped to be costume designer for the next film in the Star Trek franchise, unofficially referred to as Star Trek III. 

Hays created the stylish civilian wear for the principal cast, with her designs for Worf and Data particular standout pieces for the characters.  She designed the look of the villains for Insurrection from a fabric she developed from cellulose, including F. Murray Abraham’s Ru’afo and the Son’a, as well as the beautiful copper latexwear for the female Ellora, the purple outfitted Tarlac and blue male Ellora.  For the Ba’ku villagers, she used natural fibers in her costumes that included hundreds of extras.

Check out her Insurrection designs in Terry J. Erdmann’s The Secrets of Star Trek Insurrection here at Amazon.com.

Star Trek maroons

Could these Horatio Hornblower-inspired designs for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan be making a comeback in 2016’s Star Trek III?

Hays has created costumes for many other genre films, too.  Could they indicate what may be coming in Star Trek III?

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Nero from Star Trek 2009

Between the prequel comic book Star Trek: Countdown and the deleted scenes on the Blu-ray for 2009’s Star Trek reboot, we learned a lot of great backstory.  One tidbit was the explanation for the Romulans (Nero and his crew) wearing cloven-toed boots.  Prior to encountering the USS Kelvin, which resulted in the early birth of James T. Kirk in space instead of Iowa and the death of his father, Nero and crew were imprisoned by a band of Klingons.  Presumably as part of their escape they took their captors’ clothes, hence the cloven-toed boots–the familiar footwear of Klingons since Star Trek: The Motion Picture through Star Trek: The Next Generation and beyond.

Nero pants and boots

Nero style “neoninja” Tabi boots and pants from Star Trek 2009.

When costumer Michael Kaplan was sourcing his Romulan (formerly Klingon) garb for the film, he ended up using some unique and stylish creations from the folks behind Ayyawear and Verillas, and for a brief time after the film you could buy the same creations from their original source at Romwear.com.  Romwear.com no longer exists, but you can still buy the cloven-toed Tabi boots from Ayyawear and Verillas in several different styles.

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star-wars-episode-vii ad hoc banner

Lucasfilm announced big news this week: the top level slate of creative talent behind the first film of the next Star Wars trilogy.  Moving away from screenwriter Michael Arndt, Lucasfilm handed over writing duties to Lawrence Kasdan and director J.J. Abrams.  Kasdan had served as consultant during the pre-production phase, and they couldn’t have selected a better choice than the screenplay writer for Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and Silverado (not to mention Body Heat, The Big Chill, and The Accidental Tourist) to bring his experience writing great movies to this project.

It’s a mix of young and old, with the established Kasdan working with relative newcomer J.J. Abrams, whose credits include the last two Star Trek films, along with top duties on Super 8, Mission: Impossible III, Fringe, and Lost.  Yes, he’s young, but he’s no slouch.

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Star Trek Into Darkness Copyright Paramount Spock heat suit

For those not hiding from spoilers, the new photos released late this past week don’t offer much new from what we have seen in the teaser and trailers.  But they do give us a chance to check out in better detail J.J. Abrams and Michael Kaplan’s uniform choices and a glimpse at prop details for next summer’s 12th Paramount big-screen Star Trek franchise effort, Star Trek Into Darkness. 

Paramount released a total of 12 stills for marketing the new movie to the public, one with Zachary Quinto as Spock with a new spacesuit (above)–a combination of the original space suits from the original Star Trek TV series, the vertical helmet style from the Next Generation movies and Star Trek Voyager, and the protective mini-space shuttle-type tiles worn in a deleted scene by Captain Kirk in Star Trek Generations and re-used by B’Elanna Torres in Star Trek Voyager.  It’s a nicely designed suit–giving the wearer good visual scope with good attempts at showing the protective nature of the outfit.

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