By Matt McDaniel | Movie Talk – 11 hours ago
One of the ways J.J. Abrams' reboot of "Star Trek" in 2009 differentiated itself from the previous TV and movie incarnations was its massive scale. Everything in the movie was bigger than we'd seen before: the action, the special effects, and even the interior of the Enterprise itself.
So how did they create the inside of an enormous spaceship? Why, with beer, of course.
For scenes in the engine room of the Enterprise, Abrams wanted a gigantic, open space that looked entirely different from the smaller soundstage sets that had traditionally been used in "Star Trek." So the crew traveled just north of Los Angeles to the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Van Nuys, California, where they produce Budweiser and other labels of beer. The plant has a total floor area of 1.7 million square feet, bigger than any soundstage in the world.
"J.J. wanted the engine room to be impressive, almost like the guts of the Titanic," said Simon Pegg (Scotty in the film) on the "Star Trek" Blu-ray. "The Enterprise is massive; it's a big, big, big ship, so the drive for it has to be a significant piece of engineering." Different sections of the location stood in for a variety of decks on the ship. But since it was a real, working plant, it didn't have all the luxuries of a Hollywood backlot. The area with the giant tanks where Uhura is first stationed was refrigerated to near freezing temperatures, while the powerhouse where Scotty gets stuck inside a water tube was miserably hot and so loud the crew had to wear ear protection.