Finale director shares videos and images from the set
Since the finale, director Olatunde Osunsanmi has been releasing videos and behind-the-scenes images on his Twitter and Instagram. Some of the highlights are below. This first one shows the setup for the opening crane shot which revealed the bridge of the USS Enterprise.
The episode was notable for the amounts of pyrotechnics used throughout. In another video, Osunsanmi shows how loud the sparkers were on set.
@SonequaMG and @ethangpeck in the Shuttle Bay just before they launch into battle. Those sparkers are loud, and distracting, takes a lot of focus to act through them. #StarTrekDiscovery #Season2finale #SuchSweetSorrow pic.twitter.com/8wrPv01FYC
— Olatunde Osunsanmi (@CenterWillHold) April 20, 2019
The director also shared some nice images from the set, including one of Anson Mount as he prepared to give his final speech.
The official Discovery Instagram account posted a slideshow of more images from the finale.
Visual effects supervisor talks homages in finale
Visual effects supervisor Jason Zimmerman talked to SciFi Bulletin about the close to six hundred effects shots created for the finale. He noted that they went out of their way to ensure that the USS Enterprise and USS Discovery were differentiated:
Were there elements you could bring across between Discovery and Enterprise, or did you have to treat them as two separate ships?
We treat each ship individually just because the design is so different. Enterprise being Enterprise, that is such an iconic ship you really have to spend your time and make sure every effect that you do on that ship does what it’s meant to do, based on canon, on what people are expecting. There was nothing we really ported over; we tried as hard as we could to make sure that everything had a unique look for the Enterprise vs. the Discovery.
He was asked about one in particular that felt like an homage to Treks of the past:
The final shot that we see of Discovery that we see disappearing into season 3 feels very much like the wormhole effect from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Was that a conscious look back?
I think with all these, we look back at all the previous Trek shows because they lay the groundwork for the Star Trek universe. The idea for that came, actually, I believe from Alex in concert with Tunde talking about it; if I’m not mistaken, when I heard about it, it was when I walked onto set during the finale. Tunde came up and said “We’re going to put streaks on everybody, that’s what Alex says.” Alex came up with the idea and fortunately it was something we were able to make it work.
Visual effects artist Timothy Peel revealed on Twitter that one element shared with Federation ships is how the edges of all screens have a red glow during red alert to “add to the drama” while still being functional.
#StarTrekDiscovery During RED ALERT on all of the Federation ship bridges I wrapped the edges of the screens in a red glow. I thought it would add to the drama of the lighting while still being functional. pic.twitter.com/CQngw5XpOg
— Timothy Peel (@timothypeel1) April 21, 2019
How sound design made the Enterprise sound like the Enterprise
Discovery’s supervising sound editor Matthew Taylor and lead sound designer Tim Farrell spoke extensively to A Sound Effect about their work on the second season. They also talked about how giving the Enterprise a unique sound:
How does the Discovery sound different from the Enterprise?
TF: For the Enterprise, the show runners were all about retro. We spent a lot of time going back through the original Star Trek material searching for the beeps and boops on the Enterprise. Mike did a fantastic job of reorganizing every single beep, tick, and clack from the original Enterprise, and used those to re-create the sound of the Enterprise’s bridge. Then, we put in a few more modern beeps and boops as well. Our goal was to pay as much homage to that as we could in this series.
The show originally started off on the Shenzhou, and then we went to Discovery. The Shenzhou is an older ship and so we had to create an older sound for that. When we go to Discovery, everything sounds more sleek and modern.
So it was fun to work on the Enterprise because we had all of these old sounds that everyone knows, loves, and appreciates. We wanted to honor and respect that and feature it is much as possible.
MT: Now that we are operating in canon territory, there isn’t much license to not honor that.
TF: When the Enterprise warps, we put in the classic sound but it’s like this white-noisy, hissy sweep. We couldn’t just play that because it didn’t work. It didn’t fit in with the other cool sounds in the series.
MT: It didn’t fit the aesthetic that Alex Kurtzman wants us to achieve. It’s a great iconic sound and it’s in there, but we’ve updated it.
TF: We have it whine up, and warp away. As it’s warping away, you get that hissy sweep as it disappears. So that’s how we incorporated it into our current palette of sounds.
The long road to making the Red Angel suits
Costume designer Gersha Phillips has also been posting behind-the-scenes details on how her team created the Red Angel suits for the show. Gersha shared a video giving a close look at the Red Angel suit worn by Michael Burnham in the season two finale.
In another post, she revealed it took nine months to create the suits.
View this post on Instagram
Making of the Red Angel suit for Michael Burnham: The Red Angel suit took roughly nine months before going to camera. We started last April and went through multiple revisions with fabrics, textile design, the fit, colour, and the shell components. The fit of the Red Angel #Burnham suit was inspired by #scarlettjohansson’s costume in the film, Ghost in the Shell (s/o @flofoxworthy @wetaworkshop). I absolutely LOVED what they did, and I wanted our Red Angel suit to look just as streamlined on miss @therealsonequa. We developed our own fabric design by #3D #screenprinting three different layers; two of them being two different scale of a #circuitboard pattern (e.g. third photo). Inspired by Burnham’s mother’s suit (which we were developing simultaneously), we injected new technological elements to make Burnham’s look more futuristic. @marsattacks17 came up with the idea to match Burnham’s suit to the #discovery uniforms and it was quite the process to perfect it to the exact colour that we wanted. For example, in one of the earlier designs we had the thigh plates in lot lighter coloured metal but after undergoing through camera test, we toned it down as it was standing out quite a bit. There is far more to how we got to our finished product which none of this could have been possible without my brilliant costume team @st_discovery_costumes, @tamdev, @marsattacks17, @walterklassenfx, #ryandening. Thank you all so much for being on this journey with me ???G. . . . . . #startrekdiscovery #startrek #startrek2 #costume #costumedesign #costumedept #gershaphillips #netflix #cbs #bts #behindthescenes #fabric #fabricdesign #textiles #textiledesign #custom #custommade #discoteam
A post shared by Gersha Phillips (@gershaphillips) on Apr 23, 2019 at 9:42am PDT
She also posted an image of her team to show off just how many people it took to put it together.
Gersha partnered with prop makers Walter Klassen FX, who shared some images of the suits on Instagram, revealing there were actually three versions: a clean version of Gabrielle’s suit for filming the past, a weathered version of the same suit for filming the present, and then the new variation the Discovery crew made for Michael (nicknamed “Grey Angel”).
They also revealed even more variations including wearable, non-wearable, and battle-damaged versions.
Closeup on the makeup
Also sharing some insights was makeup designer James MacKinnon, starting with a slideshow of work for Mary Chieffo as L’Rell.
And artist Erick deLavega also shared a closer look at the heads of Linus the Saurian and Osnullus.
Spock actor Ethan Peck posted a fun photo of Vulcan ears.
Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on Space and streams on CraveTV. It is available on Netflix everywhere else.
Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.