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Old 07-23-2003, 04:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Matt Jefferies, Enterprise Designer, Dies at 82

The guy who designed the Constitution class (Kirk's enterprise) and the majority of original trek ships died.



From Star Trek.com

07.21.03 Matt Jefferies, Enterprise Designer, Dies at 82



"Matt was a gentle soul. He has put his stamp on everything we have done since his brilliant, classic Enterprise."
–Herman Zimmerman
Production Designer, Enterprise



"Matt Jefferies' quiet modesty belied the genius of his work, which set the path for all of us who are lucky enough to follow in his very large footsteps. Today, nearly four decades later, Matt's original Enterprise still stands as a design classic. We will miss him greatly."
–Michael Okuda
Scenic Art Supervisor/Technical Consultant, Enterprise

Walter "Matt" Jefferies, the art director who designed the original U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 for Gene Roddenberry in the 1960's, passed away early this morning. He was 82. Exact cause of death is not known at this time, but Jefferies had been battling cancer, and had recently been given the all-clear by doctors.

His mark on the world is indelible; if ever a single image of a vessel can claim instant recognition throughout the world, it is the Starship Enterprise.

Obsessed with flight, Matt was a pilot who loved nothing more than the freedom that flight afforded oneself. To be in the air was his raison d'ętre and it fed his imagination which informed his later design work. In recent years, ill health and poor vision meant he was no longer able to partake in his favorite activity.

...

It was just a month ago that Jefferies' friends and family held a special surprise tribute for Jefferies on the Paramount lot (related story).

Three years ago almost to the day, Jefferies received special recognition at the FantastiCon science fiction awards dinner (related story). Good friend Penny Juday, art department coordinator for several Star Trek movies, presented his award by saying, "Perhaps not since the Wright Brothers has a flight so captured the imagination of the people." Jefferies, always humbled and rather embarrassed by any attention he gets, accepted by saying, "I find it very difficult to comprehend, honestly, how design work that I did oh-so-many years ago has been accepted and continues to be accepted ... and I'm kinda choked up."

Senior Illustrator Doug Drexler was another staff member hugely influenced by Matt's work:

"Matt was my initial inspiration to become be an artist in Hollywood.

"He inspired me to work hard and not be afraid to dream the big dream. Could I ever have imagined that I would know Matt? Certainly. That part is not so amazing. What is truly amazing is to find that your hero is so much more than you ever expected. It's one of those delightful rarities of life cynics would have you believe never happens, but guess what? It does happen and it happened in the form of this wonderful, warm and generous human being.

"We miss you, Matt ... it hurts ... big time. But you know something? In reality you're right here ... in the art department ... every day ... in every pen, pencil, pixel and heartbeat. So from here on we live a little more ambitiously, a little more passionately and a little more lovingly in your name. Chocks away, flyboy!"

Jefferies is survived by his wife Mary Ann. We will continue to update this story with more information as it becomes available.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

What I found funny was that a month ago Star Trek.com had an article about Jefferies saying "...announced that Jefferies has recovered from recent health problems. That was evident today, as he was quite energetic, albeit slightly embarrassed by the attention. " link for that article

Thoughts?

Last edited by Cynthetiq; 07-23-2003 at 06:21 AM..
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Old 07-23-2003, 05:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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anyone give a shit?
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Old 07-23-2003, 06:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow... interesting bio... I think that you would get a better responses if you posted a better title than Somebody Died.

I didn't give much thought ever to who designed the Enterprise...took it quite for granted.
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Old 07-23-2003, 08:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The tubes that Scotty would climb up and stand in to fix the engines are referred to as "Jefferies Tubes".

-Mikey
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Old 07-23-2003, 08:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It is nice that he got recognition for his work.
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Old 07-23-2003, 03:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by algore
anyone give a shit?
Just barely.

Old guy died - designed something cool 35 years ago. Sorry he died...but "We will continue to update this story with more information as it becomes available"???!! What more information becomes available when an average-Joe senior citizen dies of cancer? It's not like a head of state was assassinated or something... jeebus
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Old 07-23-2003, 06:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Donkeypuncher
Just barely.

Old guy died - designed something cool 35 years ago. Sorry he died...but "We will continue to update this story with more information as it becomes available"???!! What more information becomes available when an average-Joe senior citizen dies of cancer? It's not like a head of state was assassinated or something... jeebus
Well, I care.

Being a bit of a Trekie and all.

And if you know anything about Nasa in its glory days you would know that Star Trek had a profound influence on the builders of the space programme in the united states.

To me, the most noble thing that the american gov't has ever done is the space programme.

From an entertainment point of view, every movie that ever featured a space ship before star trek always had some sort of smoking rocket out the back of it.

NCC1701 was the first space ship in the movies that didn't have some sort of smoking rocket. Virtually every space movie since has copied that ideal.

The man influenced alot of guys at Nasa in the real world and influenced hundreds of movies since star trek.

I'd say that's a worthy accomplishment.

Right up there with Chuck Jones in my eyes.

Last edited by james t kirk; 07-24-2003 at 05:54 AM..
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Old 07-23-2003, 07:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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may we have a moment of silence to honor the passing of a great man...
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Old 07-23-2003, 11:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by james t kirk
And if you know anything about Nasa in its glory days you would know that Star Trek had a profound ifluence on the builders of the space programme in the united states.
Wow, the weed they grow up there must be some good stuff.
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Old 07-24-2003, 12:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Donkeypuncher
Wow, the weed they grow up there must be some good stuff.
DP,

If you knew anything about what or who you were dissing, you would also know that the United States Navy sent a team to Paramount studios to study the Enterprise "Bridge" set to get ideas for designing real naval bridges, since the Enterprise bridge was revolutionary in design.
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Old 07-24-2003, 05:53 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Donkeypuncher
Wow, the weed they grow up there must be some good stuff.
Read William Shatners Book, "Star Trek Memories"

The first chapter Shatner describes how a few years after the series was cancelled he visited Nasa and gave a speach to the engineers and technicians there.

He got a standing ovation.

Scores of Nasa engineers came to him and told him how much star trek had influenced them, the space program, and how it had helped a nation begin to think about space more so than anything else.

Life imitates art in this case mon ami.



People who like star trek tend to be dreamers, but sometimes progress depends on dreamers.

Last edited by james t kirk; 07-24-2003 at 05:56 AM..
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Old 07-24-2003, 06:42 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Not to be callous, but I can't believe no one has made a "He's dead Jim" joke yet.

That being said, I've heard about how influenced NASA engineers were by Start Trek. Seeing what they've accomplished, I can understand the sadness at Mr. Jefferies passing.
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Old 07-24-2003, 08:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Engineers, by and large, are science fiction fans. Of course those people are going to be sensitive to this guy's passing. Of course they admired his work and I'm not knocking that at all. Maybe they even got into their line of work because of a love of space that came from childhood dreaming spurred on by watching television sci-fi shows, but by the time those kids were old enough to thank Mr. Jefferies, we had already been in space for some time and dreaming of it for an even longer period. He didn't "influence" a damned thing in real-world NASA terms.

NASA, in its "glory days" as it was put, came far before the show was ever on the air. The lifting body program at Ames got under way in 1957, 11 years before the show ever freakin' aired. Dale Reed was designing things for NACA (and later, NASA) and dreaming of the stars when Roddenberry was making westerns on tv. Bruce Peterson, Chuck Yeager and Milt Thompson were pushing the envelope of Dale's designs before anyone ever uttered "Captain Kirk" and those guys were the real "space cowboys."

An old guy died of cancer. It's sad, but thousands of other old guys died of cancer that day, too. This guy's a deity because he designed some props for a tv show? Please...

Put your toy phasers down and back away slowly.
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Last edited by Donkeypuncher; 07-24-2003 at 10:19 AM..
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Old 07-24-2003, 11:21 AM   #14 (permalink)
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cool job, not many people get to design a space ship
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