"Star Trek" behind the scenes to screen. Playing the Long Face Bar Alien

Makeup designer Barney Burman was under a deadline to finish the prosthetics of The Long Face Bar Alien, but he needed to know who was going to play the part so he could sculpt the character off the actors lifecast head mold. Barney and I had never worked together, but we spoke on the phone in 2006 about  playing a character in a film he was doing called The Lost Tribe .

This got the ball rolling and production called, but they were not completely sold on me as of yet. Director J.J. Abrams  made it a point to see everyone on tape through a cold reading casting session. A few days after I read, I got the call that I had the role and it was a race to the finish line from this point on. Barney Burman, owner of Proteus Fx needed my life cast to start work on my character. There was no time for him to make one. Fortunately there was a recent one made of me at Stan Winston Studios for a commercial I did as  BIGFOOT.
Shane Mahan at Stan Winston Studios was gracious enough to make a duplicate copy of my head mold, and I made sure I rushed it over to Barney at Proteus Fx as soon as I got it. With my lifecast in the hands of Barney and a contract in my hands, I finally could step back and relax. J.J. Abrams is a huge fan of practical makeup, and he was a stickler for making sure that the makeup was perfect and free from noticeable edges. He wanted these aliens to look like they stepped off another planet and were being borrowed for the film. I did several makeup tests in different lighting, prior to me shooting my actual scene in the film. This is where I got the great pleasure to meet Mr. Abrams. What an amazing guy he is! He is not only a genius film maker, but he is also a genuinely good human being. He would get up in my face and stare intently at the makeup Barney applied and say "Is that spot going to be there?" "What's this line"? "How about this edge?" He was so particular, (in a nice way), that it made Barney have to come up with the most intricate makeup for the film. Finally, my first day on the set of Star Trek. We shot the bar scene at the American Legion Post in Hollywood. Originally my character's name was Brian, but since they never referred to me as Brian, they changed it to the most obvious. I arrive on set and my 4 hours in the makeup chair begins.  
        Dave Dupuis and Douglas Tait
On every film I have been in, they are very scared that something will leak but Star Trek sure takes the cake for the most secretive of them all. The actors were not given a script, they were given there lines on the day they shot there scenes. On the first day I arrived, the signs for parking read Walter Lantz Productions. People from the crew were passing it because they weren't told in advance. To top it all off, they put a trash bag over my head and whisked me to set in a golf cart with a tent over it. It was pretty darn hilarious, but I understood. Trekkies sure take there Star Trek serious. I can respect that!

   Douglas Tait and Barney Burman

Arriving on set the first day was an awesome feeling. I remember people were staring at me, and as soon as I would make eye contact with them they would look away. The makeup looked so realistic that the extras were not sure if I was for real or if I was in makeup. That is a good sign of a good makeup. I had the great opportunity of spending several days with Chris Pine (Cpt. Kirk) and Zoe Saldano (Lt. Uhura) Both of them were so nice and we had a great time together. Unfortunately they have no idea what I really look like. They got to know me as 

   Joel Harlow, Mindy Hall, Barney Burman
I think what made the whole experience even better for me was that Joel HarlowMindy Hall, and Barney Burman, won the Academy Award for best makeup for Star Trek. My character stuck out in the film, so it garnered me some good attention with magazine articles, conventions, and name recognition among the fans. 

                       Douglas Tait 
Barney Burman made a life size version of The Long Face Bar Alien, which stands in J.J. Abrams Bad Robot Film office. To the left is myself with the Star Trek Oscar, and my character.

     J.J. Abrams,  Douglas Tait
 I have crossed paths with J.J. Abrams twice now. The picture to the left is of us at the Land Of The Lost premiere. I played a Sleestak in the film. On the Star Trek DVD commentary he mentions bumping in to me at a party. The Star Trek Sequel is scheduled to be released in 2013. All of the main cast is attached to come back. Unfortunately my scene was cut from the sequel and The Long Face Alien will not be returning.
Must Bring Long Face Back!

  Zoe Saldano,  Douglas Tait, Chris Pine

         The Long Face Bar Alien Scene

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