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Joseph R. Jennings

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Joe Jennings - Khan DVD

Joe Jennings

Joseph R. Jennings (sometimes credited as Joe Jennings) was an art director on Star Trek: The Motion Picture. He was co-designer of the refit USS Enterprise for the film, after he was brought in on recommendation of Matt Jefferies, along with Michael Minor, Andrew Probert, Douglas Trumbull and Harold Michelson. Prior to this assignment he was Jefferies' assistant on the second season of Star Trek: The Original Series, where he befriended Jefferies. (Star Trek Phase II: The Lost Series, p.26) He was also the Production Designer for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, partially responsible for the design of the Template:ShipClass studio model.

Jennings was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Art Direction-Set Direction for his work on The Motion Picture, along with production designer Michelson, fellow art directors Leon Harris and John Vallone, and set decorator Linda DeScenna. Jennings also received Emmy Award nominations for his work on the mini-series Roots (1977, starring LeVar Burton, Thalmus Rasulala, John Schuck, Madge Sinclair, and Ben Vereen) and Shogun (1980, featuring John Rhys-Davies and W. Morgan Sheppard and narrated by Orson Welles; with cinematography by Andrew Laszlo). He shared the latter nomination with set decorator Tom Pedigo.

He was less than pleased with Nicholas Meyer's ideas to make Star Trek more militaristic in Star Trek II, and thought the torpedo bays were simply ridiculous – as they should be fired directly from storage. In an interview on the Star Trek II Director's Edition DVD, he says that seeing the ensigns with hooks pulling the grating off the torpedo conveyor before launching it drove him crazy, since any real ship that took that long to load weapons would probably be destroyed in about ten seconds.

Jennings' additional art direction credits include the television shows Gunsmoke and Project U.F.O. and such films as Kansas City Bomber (1972, featuring Georgia Schmidt) and Gone with the West (1975, starring Robert Walker, with makeup by Fred B. Phillips). He was also production designer on the films Yellowbeard (1983, starring Kenneth Mars) and Johnny Dangerously (1984, starring Joe Piscopo and Ray Walston) and the 1986 mini-series North and South, Book II (starring Kirstie Alley, Mary Crosby, Jonathan Frakes, Jim Metzler, Leon Rippy, William Schallert, Jean Simmons, Kurtwood Smith, David Ogden Stiers, and Anthony Zerbe, with costumes by Robert Fletcher).

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