Emmy Award-winner Mike Minor is another of the incredible Star Trek artists who is not well-known but deserves to be! He was born on September 25, 1940 and one of his first Hollywood jobs was working as an artist on Star Trek: TOS beginning in 1968. He was responsible for designing the Tholian Web from the episode of the same name and the Melkotian from "Spectre of the Gun." Minor also created many of the wall paintings and diagrams seen on the USS Enterprise. He went on to work on fan favourites like The Beastmaster and The Man Who Saw Tomorrow and won his Emmy for visual effects on The Winds of War.
Mike Minor in 1979 (note the Trek art above him)
Years later, when Gene Roddenberry began developing Star Trek: Phase II, he hired Minor as a conceptual designer. Minor contributed to the overall design of the new USS Enterprise and also to many of the interior sets including the Bridge, Sickbay and Engineering. Many of his designs remained intact when Phase II became Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Moreover, many of his designs influenced those who designed Starfleet sets for the next 30 years. It is for Star Trek: TMP that Minor contributed to Vulcan design.
Minor worked on designing the planet Vulcan for the scene where Spock addresses the Vulcan Masters. Recently, Rick Sternbach sold four original pieces of Minor's art for this sequence on eBay. This is the first time they have been seen by the general public because they have been in his private collection since Minor gifted them to him in 1979.
Most of this sequence was shot in a large outdoor tank at Paramount. It's clear from this illustrations just how much influence Minor had on the design of this set.
Sternbach remembers that "...
The completed shot is different from what Minor originally proposed but his influence is obvious. Here are two different versions from different editions of the film.
That red head that appears so mammoth on screen was actually a miniature about 8 inches across. It was made of resin and recently sold at the Profiles in History Hollywood Auction 40.
Rick Sternbach worked with Mike Minor and Bob Burns on Burns' 1979 Halloween Alien Extravaganza. Sternbach remembers "
Mike Minor concept art for V'Ger
Mike Minor concept art for Main Engineering
Mike Minor concept art for a Spacedock
I would like to thank Bob Burns and Rick Sternbach for sharing their recollections of Mike Minor with me and for opening up their collections to share his art with us all.