From the Files: What It Takes to Film a Star Trek Episode

This is the third of several articles “from the files” – these were published in January of 2009 as part of the “Production Club Newsletter”. There is some great information in them and some personal sharing/visiting with some of our wonderful, gifted crew and “family members” that deserves to be shared.

So you wondered what that $25 donation toward the costs to shoot an episode was spent on? Here’s a little insight into some of the things that were “consumed” during our October Shoot for “The Child” in 2008


~ Forty times the normal monthly electricity

~ Eight times the normal monthly water

~ 1/4 tank of oil fuel heat

Powdering down Mr. Scott

~ 375 makeup sponge applicators

~ 75 eye makeup applicators

~ 23 stipple sponges

~ 15 pairs of Vulcan ears

~ 4 pairs of false eyelashes

~ 8 ounces of fresh scab

~ 14 ounces of blood

~ 900 baby wipes

~ 9 dozen bar towels

~ 20 reams of paper

~ 100 brass fasteners

~ 85 yards of cloth

~ 12 yards of Velcro

~ 8 invisible zippers

~ 2 yards of rank braid

~ 200 aspirin/acetominophen/naproxen sodium/imitrex

~ 300 gallons of drinking water

~ 500 gallons of soda

~ 140 rolls of toilet paper

~ 1500 paper plates

~ 700 hot cups

~ 1000 cold cups

~ 2000 napkins

~ 1500 plastic utensils

~ 30 lbs. of coffee

~ 10 gal. of liquid creamer

~ 1000 packets sweet & low

~ 1000 packets sugar

~ 750 packets Splenda

~ 168 bagels

~ 192 ounces of cream cheese

~ 500 tea bags

~ 65 pizzas

~38 “James Cawley Specials” at Gene’s Drive-In

~ 80 lbs. of chocolate and candy

~ 100 packages of cookies

~ 15 boxes Kleenex

~ 15 reams of copy paper

~ 4 toners

~ 90 large garbage bags

~ 45 small garbage bags

~ 25 gallons of carpet cleaning solution

~ $10 for plumbing for bathroom sink

~ 6 2 x 4’s

~ 1 gallon bondo

~ 14 gallons of paint

~ 20 Paint brushes

~ 22 paint rollers

~ 6 rolls of painters tape

~ 15 rolls of gaffers tape

~ 3 lbs screws and nails

~ $150 worth of assorted hardware

~ $195 of wood to build 12 apple boxes and camera dolly

~ $30 of PVC to support lighting defuser over the bridge set

~ $500 of lighting gels

~ electrical wiring

~ 10 bulbs for studio lights

~ 8 florescent bulbs

~ one 10 foot industrial strength ladder

~ 6 removable computer hard drives

~ bandwidth for post production and media site

~ electricity for media servers

~ servers for redundancy and storage

~ 11,200 hours of lost sleep


Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • Brian Covaujlt says:

    So, what is a “James Cawley special” from Gene’s drive-in?

    • Patty Wright says:

      LOL…if I provide the information will we need to enroll you in the CIA secrecy program? It WAS “two plain hot dogs, a cup of ice, an orange soda”. Saying “I am here for James” was far easier for people than remembering what to order. Like all restaurants in town, they get to know us because of the incredible increase in business our shoots give them. Now, however, the “JC Special” is just “a cup of ice and an orange soda”…cause they changed the hot dogs they use 😉

  • Peter says:

    …and a partridge in a pear tree!

  • scifib5st says:

    Thanks Patty, I am ready for my swearing in pledge for the JC Trekers…
    And thanks for posting this list Yes it is nice to know where the money goes.
    Just for genneral info, how far is the Pizza place, and what is the most requested pizza, is there a JC special???

  • Patty Wright says:

    LOL… there is a “JC Special” at pizza joints across the country and around the world. In fact, if I come home from NY without pizza my son James gets really, really pissed. “You went to NY and came home without “Elvis Pizza”?! Why the heck did you even go there for then!!!”

  • Patty Wright says:

    The pizza place (George’s) in the same town as the studio is about 1/4 mile up the hill. They often deliver…without us asking for them to! The owner just shows up with 25 pizzas, salad and soda..and then the next night with a full spaghetti dinner for the crew. She’s a jewel…and known for calling me to remind me how late it is (8:30 Patty… we close at 9. Is anyone hungry before we shut it down?) She got credit for Craft Service in a couple of our episodes she gave so much free food and did the wrap party, without being asked to. We also frequent a pizza place in Ti (House of Pizza), which is also great to us…though my phone calls to them do often result in a frightened “I recognize your voice, Patty…how many people are on their way here? 30?!?! We have 20 chairs!”

  • Brian Covaujlt says:

    So, THAT”S a James Cawley special. Thanks for all of the replies here, Patty!

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