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Martin Brenneis

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
Marty Brenneis
Marty Brenneis.jpg

Martin Brenneis

Birth name: Martin Brenneis
Gender: Male
Roles: Model Maker
USS Reliant ILM team.jpg

Marty Brenneis (center, blue shirt) and the ILM model team

Marty Brenneis (center, blue shirt) and the ILM model team

Martin "Marty" Brenneis was an employee of Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) who worked under Steve Gawley during the production of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. He was largely responsible for the internal electronics used in the construction of the studio model for the USS Reliant. But the Reliant was not the only model, whose internal electronics he was responsible for. Even more important were the internal electronics of the eight-foot Enterprise filming model, he helped to reinstate after its use in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Left very much to his own devices after the original builders of the model declined to help ILM with the internal lighting (having been passed over for the visual effects works in favor of ILM), Brenneis recalled, "The lighting in it was obviously done by a model maker who knew nothing about electricity. I and a couple of the model makers had to do some rewiring to least make it safe! It was too much work to completely rewire it, but we patched the bits that really were hazardous so that we could use it. Another complication was that all the lights were sealed inside the ship, so if even one was damaged the entire model would have to be taken apart." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 3, Issue 3, p. 20)

Career outside Star TrekEdit

Though having spent most of his career at ILM, The Wrath of Khan turned out to be his only contribution to the Star Trek franchise, having worked on other projects at ILM that ran concurrently when the company was contracted to do other Star Trek productions. He actually started his career at ILM in the early 1980s as an electronics engineer and has worked as such in one or another capacity on the ILM productions, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark and Dragonslayer (1981), Poltergeist and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial(1982), Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi; (1983), Cocoon and Enemy Mine (1985), *batteries not included and Leonard Part 6 (1987), Back to the Future Part II (1987), The Hunt for Red October and Ghost (1990), The Meteor Man, So I Married an Axe Murderer and Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Golden Gate (1994), The Indian in the Cupboard (1995), the television productions Nash Bridges, Grand Avenue and the movie Scream (1996), Metro, A Smile Like Yours, and Flubber (1997), Hurlyburly (1998) and productions like 40 Days and 40 Nights (2002), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Mission: Impossible III, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Poseidon (2006), before ILM split of its physical visual effects department for it to become the independent company Kerner Optical

As an electronics specialist on physical effects production assets, like studio models, Brenneis followed long time ILM colleagues such as Robert Hill, Patricia Rose Duignan, Sean Casey, and Steve Gawley into employment at the newly formed company. At Kerner, Martin Brenneis continued to ply his trade for productions such as Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007), Terminator Salvation and the science fiction blockbuster Avatar (2009), The Last Airbender (2010) and Big Miracle (2012), Brenneis' last recorded credit before Kerner itself went out of business in 2012.

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