(written from a Production point of view)
Bruce MacRae is a modelmaker living in the Los Angeles area, specialized in building props and miniatures for motion pictures and television since 1974. In 1979 he was employed by Brick Price Movie Miniatures as a freelancer for the duration of five weeks to help out with the construction and painting of the handheld props for Star Trek: The Motion Picture while also helping out with the painting of some of the studio models.
While in the employ of Brick Price Movie Miniatures, MacRae got involved in an incident with comic overtures, as his boss at the time, Brick Price, gleefully recalled,
"There was so much to do that we were always putting in long hours, and under the pressure there was a tendency to go a bit crazy. Bruce MacRae was finishing up a phaser at about 4 am one night and wanted to spray it down with a coat of Clear-Cote. So I told him to take it outside and into the middle of the street so he wouldn't get paint on the parked cars and the fumes wouldn't be in the shop. So getting into the spirit of it all he slipped on his German helmet (don't all prop-makers keep German helmets around?) and his protective goggles, and went running out the door with his white shop coat for protection. So there he is–standing out in the middle of the street at 4 am singing German beer-drinking songs and waving this twinkling phaser around. Bruce says he never heard them or saw them, but these cops came up behind him and in a quiet voice said, "Come here, mein Herr!". A very frightened Bruce MacRae shot his hands into the air and screamed, "Don't shoot!". Eventually he managed to convince the officers that he was painting a prop gun, was working late and the shop was open. I was startled, though, to see two cops walk in the front door with a somewhat shaken Bruce asking, "Is there anyone here who wants to take responsibility for this person that we found outside?" We all laughed and took a moment to show the cops around the shop. Finally the cops admitted that, "We knew when we saw this guy in the street wearing the helmet and waving a phaser gun that he was either in the movie industry or nuts....". (Starlog, issue 47, pp.57-58)
None the worse for wear, MacRae was employed at Gregory Jein, Inc. from 1989 through early 1993, and, as far as Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine went, had the following contributions to his name:
- D'deridex-class (2nd model) – detail construction and painting (TNG: "The Defector")
- Galaxy-class four-foot model – co-constructor and painting (Team of 4, TNG: "The Defector")
- K't'inga-class (2nd model) – detail construction and painting (TNG: "Unification I")
- SS Vico – detail construction and painting (TNG: "Hero Worship")
- Bajoran assault vessel – detail construction and painting (DS9: "Past Prologue")
- Apollo-class – refurbishment as Tosk's ship (DS9: "Captive Pursuit")
- Cryonics satellite – refurbishment as Relay Station 47, detail construction and painting (TNG: "Aquiel")
- Remmler Array – detail construction and painting (TNG: "Starship Mine")
Career outside Star TrekEdit
Besides his work on Star Trek, MacRae has also worked, mostly in the employ of Boss Film Studios, as model maker on the science fiction film Lifepod (1981), the action thriller Die Hard (1988, with Ron Gress), the thriller The Hunt for Red October (1990, with John Eaves and while employed by Gregory Jein, Inc.), the science fiction thriller Solar Crisis (1991), Dracula for Sony Pictures, the horror sequel Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare 6 for DreamQuest (1991), the science fiction film Timescape (1992), the thriller Turbulence (1997), the action film Air Force One (1997), Titanic for Digital Domain, the science fiction blockbuster Starship Troopers (1997), the thriller Desperate Measures (1998), the science fiction remake Godzilla (1998), and the action sequel Live Free or Die Hard 4 (2007).
MacRae was featured in the 2011 documentary Sense of Scale (mentioning his involvement with The Motion Picture), in which several fellow model makers discussed their craft, and which also featured Ron Gress, Greg Jein, Pat McClung and Gene Rizzardi.