Sunfell's Earth Walk
Reality-Based Brain Food for Gourmet Geeks
More Image musings 
13th-Mar-2010 09:56 am
Look at this handsome mug:

This is Zachary Quinto's Spock, as we saw him in the movie. But this was not the first 'version' of Spock that people saw before the movie came out.

This one was:

This was the image of Spock that was released prior to the movie- and is still the default image in many places. Folks like me who were familiar with the way Spock was supposed to look like, and who saw this image were horrified.

They'd gotten him wrong- and worse, they'd turned him into a porcelain ghost of himself. Those who were familiar with Quinto's facial landmarks even noted that the small scar from an eyebrow piercing was absent. But his face, while beautiful, was a mask. We started wondering what other things this new team had gotten wrong about the movie. Until the trailers were released a couple of months later, the storm of negative speculation was audible. Those trailers showed a more realistic and normal looking Spock, which was a great relief.

But something had puzzled a lot of us- it was clear that those eyebrows on 'porcelain Spock' were not his- they were clearly 'applied', and judging by the masklike appearance of his forehead, his own eyebrows were probably glued- literally covered by a layer of glue and makeup to make them disappear. (There are tutorials on YouTube on how to do this- it's very common in drag-shows.) Now, Zach has massive eyebrows, so this was not going to be an easy feat to accomplish.

Finally, the answer turned up in the wash of Internet ephemera- the 'proof' of both the gluing and the airbrushing:

You can clearly see that this is an un-retouched image. The glue hiding Zach's own eyebrows is clearly visible- you can see some ridging on his inner left eyelid. The application of the Vulcan eyebrows is uneven and wrongly curved, the facial makeup heavy, and the light harsh, and it's clear he's wearing a wig. Quite a contrast between this, and the final product.

We all know that they got Spock 'right' in the movie. But the journey to that end character was obviously an interesting one. I would love to hear the story behind this "Empire Magazine" photo-shoot. Was this a very early version of Spock? Or one done after the movie, where Quinto refused to sacrifice his eyebrows again? It's clear that the shaving is a must- gluing down his own brows would not permit him the facial motion that the character needs. That was why his face looked so mask-like- he could not move his eyebrows without cracking the glue.

All in all, a fascinating journey for a fascinating character.
13th-Mar-2010 04:02 pm (UTC)
I disagree about them getting Spock "right". He's not even a little bit green, and he should be.
13th-Mar-2010 04:12 pm (UTC)
One of my readers, Rocketscientist, posted a picture of what Spock really should look like, according to the parameters established for his character in the old series. The photo showed his larger eyes, nictating membranes, obvious veining in his ears, and the greenish tint to his lips and inner eyes.

She also speculated that Vulcans would probably be more like Tuvok in coloring than Spock, if their planet was as sun-blasted as has been portrayed.

It was a fascinating post.
13th-Mar-2010 04:26 pm (UTC)
Where is? I looked through her LJ tags but could not find it.

Yes, that's the Spock I wanted to see: he should look, just a little bit, NOT HUMAN. That's *really* important, and it's one of the (many) ST things JJ did *not* grok.
13th-Mar-2010 04:57 pm (UTC)
omg ♥! That's my guy!
13th-Mar-2010 05:27 pm (UTC)
Isn't that an amazing picture?
14th-Mar-2010 02:16 pm (UTC) - In which I butt in...
^__^ It's always flattering to be recced! Just wanted to say that it's a painting though, not a photo.

That unretouched pic you have must have been from a makeup trail because I watched an interview with him where he showed the camera his shaved eyebrows. So what they did was shave all but the inner edges of his brows and then they applied the false ones to the outside.
(Deleted comment)
14th-Mar-2010 02:27 pm (UTC)
Hi! It's ok to comment about opposing theories or even to correct me! I'm not a termagant! :D

You are right in fact, except that I was trying to work within what's established canon from TOS. According to TOS, Vulcan's sun is "brighter" and "more intense" and "hotter" than earth's. It is also supposed to be reddish, indicating that the writers knew fuck all about physics it had to have either been a supper giant or that Vulcan was very, very close in proximity. None of which QUITE works but it's as close as I could get. I was lucky enough to have two astronomers willing to work with me in coming up with a solution.

Plus there's the canon reference to Vulcan's thinner atmosphere, and if the star was a red giant, which do indeed emit hugely in the ultra violet (or so I'm told), then it seemed to make sense that greater UV protection would be pretty intrinsic to Vulcan physiology. UNLESS Vulcans did not evolve on that planet - something that has been tossed around and might end up becoming canon - in which case all bets are off.

LOL Thing is, the actual 40 Eridani is pretty Sol-like. Who knew?
13th-Mar-2010 04:06 pm (UTC)
That last picture is just amazingly beautiful, the way the light strikes his cheekbones. Thank you for sharing it, I hadn't seen it before.

I hated the ultra-airbrushed versions of him and Kirk. They removed any trace of the scars from Chris Pine's chin and made him look like a Ken doll. Hideousness.
13th-Mar-2010 04:15 pm (UTC)
Yeah- I hated those photos, too. Both actors have interesting scars and flaws on their faces, and in some close-ups, you can see where Zach had an eyebrow piercing- both scars are clearly visible.

I remember someone complaining that both characters looked 'scruffy', but considering what Kirk went through, his scruffiness was warranted. And you can probably hear Zach's beard growing- keeping him 'scruff-free' was probably a futile effort.
13th-Mar-2010 07:13 pm (UTC)
I wonder if someone took a makeup test photo (which is what that looks like) and shopped it to death?
13th-Mar-2010 07:59 pm (UTC)
That was my immediate thought.

My guess is that the bright plastic pics were more in line with the brightnes the art director of whichever rag first ran with them wanted, and everyone else followed for a while.
14th-Mar-2010 03:59 pm (UTC)
They also have an odd echo of the 1960's-70's Trek visual style, which was a lot brighter and flatter than the style that's evolved since ..
14th-Mar-2010 03:58 pm (UTC)
Considering the degree to which Leonard Nimoy defined and fleshed out the character, and the fact that Zach Quinto is the only other actor ever to play an adult Spock, I still think this was an extraordinary bit of casting, especially given how close the match really was, visually, between Quinto's Spock in the movie, and Nimoy's early Spock in "The Cage".

I have to admit, I like Quinto's Spock more than Nimoy's first efforts at the character, although he had a lot of Nimoy's work to build on and Nimoy did flesh Spock out fairly rapidly within the first season of TOS.

And that's about the point where I got distracted by r0ck3tsci3ntist's depiction. (And if the Trek franchise didn't have so much canon baggage to drag around, that would be a worthwhile retcon. After Avatar, it's hard to deny that that could, in fact, now be done.)
15th-Mar-2010 06:06 pm (UTC)
That second photo? Looks like it's Spock's high school/ Starfleet graduation photo... That same bad lighting, blank look, and the features as yet unformed by Time and its experiences carving themselves into it. The first pic up there is Spock after he's had time to develop and get settled into his skin. He's more experienced in Life, there.
Make sense?
16th-Mar-2010 02:03 am (UTC)
I am really looking forward to the next movie(s). It will be interesting to see how Quinto and company flesh out their characters, and how the story arc develops.

It's almost too bad that he's priced out of a new network series now- I would love to see how and where he'd take his interpretation of Spock.
16th-Mar-2010 04:37 pm (UTC)
Have they got a release date/ year for that next film?
16th-Mar-2010 05:24 pm (UTC)
June 28, 2012 is the date that JJ Abrams announced. Zach also gave that date. So, we'll see.
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