(written from a Production point of view)
|Birth name:||Gregory B. Jein|
|Date of birth:||31 October 1945|
|Place of birth:||Los Angeles County, California|
|Awards for Trek:||1 Emmy nomination|
|Jein with his model of the Dyson sphere from "Relics".|
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."
The Motion Picture and "Encounter at Farpoint"
Greg Jein, an avid life-long Star Trek: The Original Series fan, traces his professional connections to Star Trek as far back as 1978, when Magicam subcontracted him to construct the first Star Trek: Phase II variant of the D7-class studio model.wbm Though his build has eventually been passed over for a larger version, he was less than a year later asked by Apogee, Inc. to build interior and exterior sections of V'Ger for, what had become Star Trek: The Motion Picture, bringing along novice Bill George of later Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) fame as a pupil.
In 1987, ILM had him work 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.
Forming Gregory Jein, Inc.
Later that year he left ILM and formed on 31 July 1987 his own company, Gregory Jein, Inc. , with his workshop located at Glencoe Avenue 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) The build of the D'Kora-class studio model for the series fourth episode, "The Last Outpost", was the company's first Star Trek 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 ), 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 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. 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)
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". wbm
The company appears to be no longer in existence, as it has no further officially recorded 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.
While operating Gregory Jein, Inc., his staff during the company's Star Trek years at one time or another included, among others:
- Larry Albright (1996, subcontractor)
- Eduardo Batres
- John Eaves (1989)
- Gunnar Ferdinandsen
- Mike Harsh
- Jason Kaufman (1991-1994, 1998)
- Bruce MacRae (1989-1993)
- David Merriman, Jr. (1989-1990, subcontractor)
- Warren Riggs
- Scott Schneider (1987-1988, 1991)
- Richard Slifka
- Greg Stuhl
- Dana White (1989-1990)
Star Trek model work
Models credited in full or part to Jein or his company include the following:
(This list is currently incomplete.)
- Star Trek films
- Star Trek: Phase II
- D7-class model - first three-foot (unused) variant
- Star Trek: The Motion Picture
- V'Ger - interior and exterior sections
- Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
- Star Trek: Insurrection
- Star Trek: Phase II
- Star Trek: The Next Generation
- TNG Season 1
- TNG Season 3
- TNG Season 4
- TNG Season 6
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
- Star Trek: Voyager
- Reference models
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 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 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. 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. 
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
An influential piece of fan work was, when he wrote up 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".  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.
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).
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 Scott Schneider and Bruce MacRae, Pat McClung and Gene Rizzardi.
Emmy Award nomination
- 1997 Emmy Award nomination for the episode "Trials and Tribble-ations" in the category Outstanding Individual Achievement in Special Visual Effects, shared with Kevin P. Bouchez, Adam Howard, Laurie Resnick, Judy Elkins, Steve Fong, Don Lee, Davy T. Nethercutt, Adrian Hurley, Paul Maples, and Gary Hutzel
Star Trek interviews
A reticent, modest and private man, interviews with Greg Jein, be it on screen or in writing, are relatively rare.
- "Greg Jein; Miniature Giant", Brad Munson, Cinefex, issue 2, August 1980, pp. 24-49
- "Building the U.S.S. Enterprise", David Ian Salter, Cinefantastique, Vol 23 #2/3, 1992, p. 95
- Movie Magic (TV series), Season 1, Episode 11: Models and Miniatures: A Model of Perfection (1994)
- "Greg Jein Model Citizen", Larry Nemecek, Star Trek: Communicator issue 115, February/March 1998, pp. 56-57
- TNG Season 3 DVD–special feature "Departmental Briefing Year Three" ("Greg Jein: Modelmaker"), interviewed on 5 October 2001
- TNG Season 4 DVD–special feature "Select Historical Data" ("A New Ship Debuts"), interviewed on 5 October 2001
- 2007 Interview with Gregory Jein at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- Sense of Scale (2012)
- TNG Season 1 Blu-ray special feature, "Stardate Revisited, Part 3: The Continuing Mission" (2012)