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Gregory Jein

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
Greg Jein

Gregory Jein

Birth name: Gregory B. Jein
Gender: Male
Awards for Trek: 1 Emmy nomination
Roles: Model Maker

Jein with his model of the Dyson sphere from "Relics".

Jein with his model of the Dyson sphere from "Relics".

Gregory "Greg" B. Jein is a science fiction model-maker and artist whose work includes studio models, props, and other artwork, such as landscape miniatures, that 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 traces his professional connections to Star Trek as far back as 1979, when Apogee, Inc. asked him to build the exterior sets of V'Ger for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. In 1987, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) had him work on the construction of the two and six-foot studio models of the USS Enterprise-D.

Forming Gregory Jein, Inc.

Later that year he left ILM and formed on 31 July 1979 his own company, Gregory Jein, Inc. [1], with his workshop located in Marina Del Rey, California, and he started working as an independent contractor company for the Star Trek franchise. (Cinefantastique, Vol 23 #2/3, p. 95) Among his most notable achievements during this time were the four-foot USS Enterprise-D, which he built for later seasons of Star Trek: 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 Corporation in the latter case. During that period the slack was taken up by Starlight Effects and Tony Meininger. The only two other model builders called in on other occasions during those years, Science Fiction Modelmaking Associates and Bill George, were contracted to ease the workload on Gregory Jein, Inc. when demands for specific episodes were particularly tasking for the company.

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 the company continued to provide services for the franchise on an occasional basis, most notably the "Trials and Tribble-ations" models.

The company appears to be no longer in existence, as it has no further official credits to its name, after DS9: "Emissary", Jein apparently plying his trade as an 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

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

Star Trek model work

Greg Jein with D'deridex studio model

Jein working on the D'deridex-class studio model

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

Commercial availability

At one 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 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 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 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. [3]

Cameo

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)

Beginnings as a fan

As a fan, he wrote an analysis of starship registries for the April 1973 T-Negative fanzine, "The Case of Jonathan Doe Starship", in which he matched known and assumed names of starships to the registry numbers seen in TOS: "Court Martial". [4] This list of starships with registry numbers became popular among fans, and eventually FASA role-playing game incorporated it into their sourcebooks. The list was adopted by Michael Okuda for the official Star Trek Encyclopedia in 1994. Many of the registries became canon with the remastering of Star Trek: The Original Series in 2006: for the upgrade, Okuda applied most of Jein's numbers to their respective ships. Another of the registry numbers appeared on-screen on the USS Defiant (NCC-1764) in ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly".

Continued fan-production work

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

Jein is a long time fan of TOS, and he owns several props from the series, including the original studio model of the Template:ShipClass.

Other projects

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 featured in the 2011 documentary Sense of Scale, in which several model makers discuss their craft, and which also features Ron Gress, Pat McClung and Gene Rizzardi.

Emmy Award nomination

Star Trek interviews

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

Further reading

Footnotes

  1. Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion 2nd ed., p. 60
  2. Star Trek Encyclopedia 2nd ed., p. 150
  3. Star Trek Encyclopedia 2nd ed., p. 10
  4. Ex Astris Scientia
  5. Star Trek Encyclopedia 2nd ed., p. 317
  6. Ex Astris Scientia
  7. Star Trek Encyclopedia 2nd ed., p. 243
  8. Drex Files
  9. Star Trek Encyclopedia 1st ed., p. 64

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