Bargain Costs for a Functional Star Trek Bridge Set

Star Trek Axanar is fan film that put the fear of competence into CBS and Paramount. They raised about $100,000 and made the short film “Prelude to Axanar”.

Axanar raised $638000 through Kickstarter to a 90 minute long movie. However, they were stopped by a lawsuit from Paramount and CBS. The lawsuit judgement only allows them to make two 15 minute short films.

The small production is being very efficient at getting the most value for their tiny budget.

Bringing Console Stations to Life on a Star Trek Bridge Set

Axanar production is bringing the console station of the bridge set to life using $5 Raspberry Pi computers. The scrappy production bought computers for $5 each on Black Friday special. The computers play video animations onto LED monitors.

This is part of the process of making a functional original series bridge. They use thirty-five $5 computers and a few more higher-end systems.

This bridge is made by professional set designers with a low budget will look real without any post-production effects.

Not Enough Power is a Real Life Problem

They were concerned with power-consumption of their bridge. They did not want to overload the electrical system at their studio. They are using LED lights, LED monitors and low-power Raspberry Pis.

The set will be rented by other Star Trek fan film productions.

It appears that it would cost less than $250,000 to have a working Star Trek the original series bridge made. It could have lighting, actuation and sound effects.

However, if you do more of the work to build it you could save on costs. I belive high-end computer controlled cutting machines and other equipment would be helpful in reaching a goal of lower cost construction.

The set designers are using certain higher level woodworking skills. An alternative would be to get access to a larger computer controlled cutting machines.

More DIY could make it possible to bring the cost down to $50,000 to 100,000. This might also be the price-range if some created a Star Trek bridge set kit system to support the motivated and affluent Trekkie.

There were Techshop in the USA which provided access to high computer controlled cutting machines with a monthly membership. Unfortunately, Techshop went out of business in the US. International locations stayed open. There are many hackerspaces and makerspaces which are still operating and provide similar facilities.

It would probably be cheap to have switches that trigger a console “explosion”. The top of console station pop open, spark and release smoke.

Adam Savage Built a Working Captain’s Chair

How much would pay to put a Star Trek bridge in a large spare room?

Quality Costumes and Phaser Props Are Available for the Committed

17 thoughts on “Bargain Costs for a Functional Star Trek Bridge Set”

  1. So, instead of something good like Axanar we get Star Trek Discovery. Way to kill a franchise CBS. So far the SJW brigade have taken down Star Trek, Star Wars and Doctor Who. Who is next?

  2. First post did not work, I think.

    How much would I pay? Nothing.
    Wish is some people would make totally new series movies, TV show — with class. Not like crude potty-mouth Orville with B actors. Soon, we may not even need living actors or sets. 🙂 Just creative people to think of ideas and plots. Maybe too hard for Americans to do and must go to India or China 😉 joke. Lots of good SF books and series out. Surprise not more “green screen” used, too.

  3. Wish someone would make new movie, new series, with new charachters and plots. No, potty-mouth, crude humor Orville does not count. Of course, within decade we may not need living actors or sets. But still we need creative people – lots of creative people.

    Wonder if China or India could do these things?

  4. Yes. This has also irritated me. Why on Earth would consoles blow up? And, even if you had some short circuits, with all the ships made and hundreds of years, why couldn’t they be made so they do not injure anyone? They don’t have circuit breakers in the future?

    It is sort of like making a Western and the saddles always mysteriously fall off the horses while people are riding them.

    Oh, and then there is all the ridiculous stuff that falls from the ceiling.

    Prying or lifting stuff off people when you could just turn off or turn down the gravity plating to free them?

    And the ship is run by a computer. It can’t see that something is going to fall on someone and turn off the gravity before the momentum builds up and the object clobbers them?

    They have no money, so how do you buy stuff when you visit somewhere? Who decides what you can spend? The economic system just does not make any sense. What do people have to do to get a personal runabout, or larger spacecraft? Groups of wacky people are always given ships to start colonies somewhere or conduct some improperly monitored scientific nonsense. So who is giving the wacky people spacecraft?

    Contradictory explanations about how the holodeck works?

    But my #1 complaint is that they have broad beam stun and almost never use it…they just shoot back and forth like idiots.

    Adam Savage needs to have various firecrackers and smoking nonsense in his chair if he really wants it to be authentic.

  5. My first problem with Next Gen was that you now *stand* at the bridge workstations.

    Prior Starfleet experience would demand not only seats, but seat belts (We briefly saw a thigh restraint for the captain’s chair in ST: The Motion Picture, but never again).

  6. Making movies/tv is expensive for a number of reasons. Sets are part of that equation but even a simple drama film without effects or a complex set build is expensive. Filmmakers setting out to make a feature length drama can easily expect to spend $100,000 on the low end for the production. You can make one for a lot cheaper to be sure but it gets harder to create a quality film the cheaper you go. What you are paying for is rentals for lighting, locations, lots of extraneous equipment, cameras, trucks to transport it all, electrical generators if necessary, and hiring a number of professionals behind the camera to work for you which is extremely important. Actors you can often get for free, even established pro actors. You have to feed people during long shooting days which is not cheap. Also post production is extremely expensive. Then there’s advertising, marketing, and festival costs if you are going all in. Its admirable what the enthusiast community can do with these fan films but they are relying on free labor from industry people and lots of other contributions. An enterprising(pun intended) sound stage owner might find it profitable to create a Star Trek bridge set that could be broken down when not in use but they might get sued. They’d have to avoid advertising it as Star Trek.

  7. it’s only taken well over $1.5 million, a lawsuit for copyright infringement, a 2,181.2 mile move from LA to Notlanta leaving behind a $650k retrofitted studio that was a waste of donor money, various upsets from people who worked on this project, alienation of key people like Tony Todd and Christian Gossett , non fulfilment of perks from 2014, donors branded haters and liars because they asked questions…

    But yay Axanar bahahahahahahahahaha

  8. 1) It was a settlement. Not a court judgment. There’s no such thing as a “lawsuit judgment”.
    2) You’re missing donations from Indiegogo – Axanar raised over a mil.
    3) And $600k of that moolah went to rent on a warehouse in Valencia, CA where the guy behind Axanar wanted to create a for-profit biz. On an IP he doesn’t own. With $$ donated for a film, not a warehouse and not a studio.
    4) And Axanar was defended pro bono, so hourly fees were waived. While they did pay court costs, those were likely less than $400k. So, where’s the rest of the $$?
    5) And backers don’t even have perks — from years ago.
    6) But tell me more about their competence. “Fear of competence”? Your bias is showing. Take away the pew-pew and Axanar is a lot of talking heads. Love its production values but the story is thin hero worship at best.
    7) Axanar is also a lot of the work of people no longer with the production. Tony Todd and Director Christian Gossett are both gone. Richard Hatch, sadly, is deceased.
    8) The settlement allows Axanar to make a pair of 15-minute shorts, which is precisely what any other fan filmmaker can make under the CBS Star Trek fan film guidelines.

    I realize a lot of these points are outside the scope of your blog, and I respect that. But these are the basic facts behind the matter.

    Oh and one more thing. Renting the bridge set out to other fan film production is also profiting off another’s IP, which is why Axanar was sued in the first place. Not “fear of competence”.

  9. I always wished that whenever the inertial dampeners failed, people wouldn’t just be flung over a console like they were in a bicycle accident but rather slammed all the way into the viewscreen and look like red paste smashed all over it, like a bug on a windshield.

    THAT would have been more realistic.

  10. I always wondered why there were chemical explosives built into the consoles in Star Trek. The most lame special effect imaginable and not fitting for sci-fi.

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