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Gregory Jein

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Greg Jein
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Gregory Jein

Birth name: Gregory B. Jein
Gender: Male
Date of birth: 31 October 1945
Place of birth: Los Angeles County, California, USA
Awards for Trek: 1 Emmy Award nomination
Roles: Model Maker
TNG Behind the Scenes card 26.jpg

...honored by Skybox with an individual trading card

...honored by Skybox with an individual trading card

Gregory "Greg" B. Jein (born 31 October 1945; age 69) is a multiple Academy Award nominated science fiction model-maker and artist whose work includes studio models, props, and other artwork, such as landscape miniatures, that have appeared throughout the Star Trek franchise. He spent much of his time as an independent contractor operating his own model shop, "Gregory Jein Inc."

Jein was honored by SkyBox International with an individual card entry, no. 26, in their 1993 specialty Star Trek: The Next Generation - Behind the Scenes trading card set.

Phase II, The Motion Picture and "Encounter at Farpoint"Edit

Greg Jein, an avid lifelong Star Trek: The Original Series fan, traces his professional connections to Star Trek as far back as the last quarter of 1977, when Magicam subcontracted him to construct the first Star Trek: Phase II variant of the D7-class studio model. [X]wbm

Though his build has eventually been passed over for a larger version, he was nearly two years later asked by Douglas Trumbull to construct several miniatures for Spock's spacewalk inside V'ger for, what had become, Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Initially thought to be a short assignment, Trumbull again approached Jein in late July 1979, three weeks into his initial assignment, when the realization struck that no work had been done yet on the interior V'ger studio models. Officially brought in by Entertainment Effects Group, since that company's mother company Future General Corporation was responsible for filming the interior footage of V'Ger, Jein was given a mere three-four weeks to construct the various interior sections of V'Ger. Greg Jein had to mobilize a large group of friends and acquaintances to get the work done in time. "We called people all over town. There were probably close to twenty or thirty of us working on it, on and off. At least four weekends we didn't go home at all. When it finally came out, we were still two or three days late.", he recalled. Bringing along a team that included novices Lisa Morton, Don Pennington, and Bill George of later Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) fame as pupils, they were still working on one end of the models, while filming had started on the other end. (Cinefex, issue 2, pp. 42-45)

In 1987, ILM had him work as pattern or master lead modeler on the construction of the two and six-foot studio models of the USS Enterprise-D for the pilot episode "Encounter at Farpoint" of the new Star Trek: The Next Generation television series, reuniting him with his former pupil George. Apart from these, Jein was also largely responsible for the builds of the spaceborne entity model and the Farpoint station maquette.

Forming Gregory Jein, Inc. Edit

When Greg Jein was brought in for the second time on the Motion Picture he needed to cover legal liabilities for the staff he had brought with him, and to this end he formed on 31 July 1979 his own company, Gregory Jein, Inc. (at the time located at 3770 Cherrywood Ave, Los Angeles), which went dormant after he was finished on the movie and a subsequent project, continuing to work on personal title as he had done before. [1] Upon completion of the work on "Encounter at Farpoint", he left ILM, revitalized his company with his workshop now located at Glencoe Avenue in Marina Del Rey, California and started working as an independent contractor company for the Star Trek franchise. (Cinefantastique, Vol 23 #2/3, p. 95) The build of the D'Kora-class studio model for the series fourth episode, "The Last Outpost", was the company's first Next Generation commission. Among his most notable achievements during this time were the four-foot USS Enterprise-D, which he built for later seasons of The Next Generation, and the recreated USS Enterprise and Deep Space Station K-7 models built for DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations", Jein receiving his only Star Trek Emmy Award nomination for his visual effects work on that episode in 1997.

Gregory Jein, Inc. was the primary supplier of studio models for the The Next Generations series during its entire run and has produced the vast majority of the models for that series. Only during the second half of 1989 was the company not available to the television franchise, as the services of the company were exclusively reserved first by Associates and Ferren for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (with newcomer John Eaves, with whom Jein would struck up an enduring friendship), and subsequently by Paramount Pictures for the production of The Hunt for Red October (with Ron Gress and Alan McFarland). For both productions the company was subcontracted by the respective lead model making companies, Jein and his co-workers being lumped together under one credit only, "Gregory Jein, Inc.", for the first one (according to Eaves, Jein was less than cordially treated during the production [2]), and as Boss Film Studios in the latter case. During that period the slack was taken up by Starlight Effects and Tony Meininger. For The Final Frontier, Jein and his company also constructed, besides filming models, a range of hand-held props, the most notable being the more militaristic looking 2293 Type 2 phaser, designed by William Shatner and Nilo Rodis. (The Making of the Trek Films, 3rd ed., p. 126) The only two other model builders called in on other occasions during those years, Science Fiction Modelmaking Associates and Jein's former pupil Bill George, were contracted to ease the workload on Gregory Jein, Inc. when demands for specific episodes were particularly tasking for the company. It was hot on the heels of the company's tenure for Red October, that the four-foot Enterprise-D model was constructed, late December 1989, during the holiday season. [X]wbm

During The Next Generation years, Jein and his company were also called in to provide Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country with an additional range of hand-held props as well as replacing a number of Type 2 phaser he had done for the previous movie outing, but had been stolen by then. (The Making of the Trek Films, 3rd ed., p. 126) Aside from this, the company also constructed in the early 1990s, Star Trek-based display models for the Planet Hollywood restaurant-franchise [3], most notably that of the four-foot USS Enterprise-D, using the actual molds of the studio model (with the first one turning up in the New York City restaurant, which was the first to open [X]wbm), and reference models to fill in historical gaps in official Star Trek lore for representation in Michael Okuda's 1993 official reference book, Star Trek Chronology. [X]wbm

Gregory Jein, Inc. was superseded as primary studio model vendor for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager by Meininger's Brazil-Fabrication & Design, though his company stepped in as Brazil's contributions started to wane after the fourth season of Deep Space Nine, resuming the provision of services for the franchise on an occasional basis, the "Trials and Tribble-ations" models, and the half-scale USS Excelsior model for "Flashback", the most notable ones. Another contribution was the crash site maquette of the USS Olympia in "The Sound of Her Voice". [X]wbm

The company is no longer in existence, dissolved by Jein [4], and has no further officially recorded credits to its name, after the pilot episode of Deep Space Nine, "Emissary". Jein continued to ply his trade as an individual independent contractor on personal title, just as he started out as. In 1998, for example, he worked on personal title for the model shop of Blue Sky/VIFX on the production of Star Trek: Insurrection.

Staff Edit

While operating Gregory Jein, Inc., his staff during the company's Star Trek years at one time or another included, among others:

As was the case with several of the staff he brought with him on The Motion Picture, Jein's company served as a breeding ground for future visual effects talents. Riggs, Stuhl and Schneider started out in the motion picture industry at Jein's, whereas Eaves and Kaufman were given the opportunity to further hone their budding talents.

Star Trek model workEdit

Models credited in full or in part to Jein and/or his company include the following:
(This list is currently incomplete.)

Commercial availabilityEdit

At one point in time some of Jein's work was commercially available to the public. On 22 May 1997, Viacom, the parent company of Paramount Pictures, opened the Viacom Entertainment Store in Chicago, an attempt to emulate the merchandise store formula like the Disney Store and Warner Bros. Studio Store. Part of its merchandise was a limited production run of twelve each of Jein models for Star Trek, cast by Jein's company from the same molds as the original studio versions. The models chosen were the four-foot Galaxy-class, the D'deridex-class, the second (smaller) Excelsior-class, the Vor'cha-class, the D7-class, and the "Trials and Tribble-ations" version of the Constitution-class. They were sold in the US$5,000-$10,000 price range apiece, and came with certificates of authenticity, signed by Jein (the Constitution-class certificate also signed by original designer Matt Jefferies). These commercial models were however more crudely detailed and sported no internal lighting. The store was not a success and closed down in 1998. That was the only time Jein originals were commercially available. [X]wbm Pieces that by that time went unsold ended up in Planet Hollywood restaurants or the shop at Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas. [10]

CameoEdit

Jein provided photographs of himself in a baseball jersey to be used in a prop piece of artwork: Benjamin Sisko's baseball card depicting Buck Bokai. Keone Young was later chosen to perform the role in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "If Wishes Were Horses". Many DS9 crew members were astonished by the physical similarity between the two men, although the producers maintained that this was a coincidence, and that they had simply cast the performer with the best acting ability. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 54)

Being a fanEdit

As a fan, he provided art work in 1968 for the fanzine Inside Star Trek, among others the cover of issue two, continuing to do so for the fanzine T-Negative and the book Avon's 8, a fan-produced anthology of the British science fiction series Blake's 7, of which Jein was also a big fan. [11]

An influential piece of fan work was, when he wrote up an analysis of starship registries for the April 1973 issue of T-Negative, "The Case of Jonathan Doe Starship", in which he matched known and assumed names of starships to the, otherwise unrelated list of registry numbers seen in Commodore Stone's office in the Original Series first season episode "Court Martial". He also established that the Constitution-class designation had become in vogue, at least behind-the-scenes, replacing the somewhat nondescript Starship-class designation, though actual canon references only became apparent years later in the live-action franchise. [12] This list of starships with registry numbers became popular among fans, and eventually FASA role-playing game incorporated it into their sourcebooks. Michael Okuda, a fellow Original Series fan, adopted the list as a well-meant courtesy from one fan to another, for the official Chronology/Encyclopedia of 1993/4, and for which Jein, incidentally, had built the above mentioned reference models. Many of the registries became canon with the remastering of the Original Series in 2006, when Okuda, serving as visual effects supervisor for the upgrade, married, where applicable, most of Jein's numbers to their respective ships. One of his registry numbers, that of the USS Defiant (NCC-1764), had already appeared previously on-screen in the 2005 two-part season four episode, "In a Mirror, Darkly" of Star Trek: Enterprise.

Aside from this, Greg Jein has always been an avid movie memorabilia collector, and it was through his attendances at conventions in the 1970s, and subsequent acquaintances, that model makers like Lisa Morton, Don Pennington an Bill George got their first shots in the motion picture industry, as the first has attested to. (Sense of Scale) An avid live-long fan of The Original Series, Jein owns, aside from all the series' script treatment versions [13], several props and studio models from that series, including the original Galileo shuttle model, he was gifted upon its discovery in the studio in 1987, as well as the Botany Bay model, both of which he had loaned out for display to the last "Equicon Science Fiction Convention" of 1-3 April 1988, held in Los Angeles [X]wbm, and subsequently to the NASM's 1992-1993 Star Trek Smithsonian Exhibit and its 1993-1994 follow-up exhibition at the Hayden Planetarium, New York City. [14] Jein also provided several screen-used Original Series captain's chair's buttons, given to him by Original Series Visual Effects Supervisor Jim Rugg, for the recreation of the partial Original Series bridge, featured in the Next Generation's sixth season episode "Relics". (Cinefantastique, Vol. 24, issue 3/4, p. 26)

In 2007, Jein served as technical adviser on James Cawley's fan-made internet series Star Trek: New Voyages (since rechristened Phase II) episode "World Enough and Time", which featured, Jeffery Quinn, George Takei, Grace Lee Whitney, Majel Barrett Roddenberry, and John Carrigan.

Career outside Star TrekEdit

Other projects he worked for included among others the motion picture productions, not few of them considered science-fiction classics, Dark Star (1974), Flesh Gordon (1974), Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977, uncredited), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977, working as sub-contractor for Douglas Trumbull's Future General Corporation), 1941 (1979), Fukkatsu no hi (1980), War of the Worlds (1988), The Scorpion King (2002), Serenity (2005), Avatar (2009), The Adventures of Tintin (2011), and more recently John Carter (2012). Another project he worked on was The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension (1984, 2002 with several Trek alumni including Denise Okuda, Christopher Lloyd, Mark Stetson, and Robert Ito, among others).

Television movies and series, he worked upon included among others, V (1983) and V (The Final Battle)

Jein was nominated for the Best Visual Effects Academy Award in 1977 and 1979 for his work on Close Encounters of the Third Kind and 1941, respectively. Jein also received no less than three consecutive nominations for the ADG Excellence in Production Design Awards, for Avatar (2010), Alice in Wonderland (2011), The Adventures of Tintin (2012), winning the first one. He was also nominated for an Emmy for his effects work on the HBO mini-series, Angels in America.

Greg Jein is prominently featured in the 2011 documentary Sense of Scale, in which several model makers discuss their craft, with Jein discussing, among others, his contributions to The Motion Picture and "Trials and Tribble-ations", and which also features Ron Gress, his former co-workers Lisa Morton, Scott Schneider and Bruce MacRae, Pat McClung and Gene Rizzardi.

Emmy Award nomination Edit

For his work on Star Trek, Jein received the following Emmy Award nomination as Model Maker in the category Outstanding Achievement in Special Visual Effects:

Star Trek interviews Edit

A reticent, modest and private man, interviews with Greg Jein, be it on screen or in writing, are relatively rare.

Bibliography Edit

  • Inside Star Trek, issue 2, August 1968, – Cover illustrator
  • T-Negative
    • issue 3, September 1969 – Cover illustrator
    • issue 4, December 1969 – Cover illustrator
    • issue 5, February 1979 – Cover illustrator
    • issue 6, April 1970 – Backcover illustrator
    • issue 8, August 1970 – Co-illustrator
    • issue 12, October 1971 – Co-illustrator
    • issue 13, December 1971 – Co-illustrator
    • issue 15, May 1972 – Co-illustrator
    • issue 19, February 1973 – Co-illustrator
    • issue 23, July 1974 – Co-illustrator
    • issue 27, April 1973, "The Case of Jonathan Doe Starship", pp. 3-5. – Author
  • Christie's 40 Years of Star Trek: The Collection auction catalog, 2006 – Foreword

Appendices Edit

Further reading Edit

External links Edit

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