We always ended up against a blank wall. According to writer David Hughes, script changes were happening so rapidly that times were being written on revisions as well as signatures and dates.
Ideas were being typed and then struck out, conceived and then aborted, on an hourly basis. Roddenberry had said in the past that he wanted to make a movie akin to A Space Odyssey. As a result, the task was handed to a company called Robert Abel and Associates, which had previously worked with Wise on The Andromeda Strain.
As a result, Trumbull found himself at the centre of a massive panic at Paramount. Yet here they were, with the movie just months away, and not a single effects shot had been completed. Trumbull was therefore faced with the unenviable task of coming up with dozens of effects shots for The Motion Picture in a a mere six months - more effects shots than Star Wars and Close Encounters combined, by his reckoning. If you want a true flavour of how troubled the production on The Motion Picture was, turn back to issue 30 of the American magazine, Starlog.
Writer David Houston found director Robert Wise sitting in his office, evidently tired from the experience of shepherding Star Trek to the big screen. At that stage, with the release date three months away, Wise suggested that delivering the film on time still hung in the balance. Any number of our people fell through it. Finally put up a board to keep score: which departments fell through the most - electricians, actors, artists? One electrician, Tiny, fell and sustained a very serious shock.
A grip launched himself to knock Tiny loose from the cable he was holding. Abel had been replaced by Trumbull, a genius with a proven track record in producing stunning effects, but also a reputation for allowing his perfectionism to cause delays. Could the executive assigned to keeping an eye on his progress really keep the film on schedule?
Worse still were the rumours from Hollywood circles that The Motion Picture was a long, confused mess. The studio is going to have to run like hell just to break even. For Jeffrey Katzenberg, who was tasked with the seemingly hopeless job of keeping the expenditure down proved exhausting - and very nearly career-ending. Never in the history of motion pictures has there been a film that came closer to not making it to the theatres on its release date.
Yet after all the effort that went into making it, the decidedly middling critical reception the film received must have stung its makers at least a little. Instead, he writes with the seemingly genuine tone of a movie-goer wanting to see something inventive and bold, but instead got a tentative sci-fi film that seemed to revel in its admittedly beautiful cruising spaceships. CC PG. Once you select Rent you'll have 14 days to start watching the movie and 24 hours to finish it. Can't play on this device. Check system requirements.
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Mobile device. Xbox Description See the original theatrical version of the film as it was initially released in theaters. Cast and crew. Robert Wise Director. William Shatner Admiral James T. Leonard Nimoy Mr. DeForest Kelley Dr. Leonard 'Bones' McCoy. James Doohan Cmdr. Montgomery 'Scotty' Scott. Walter Koenig Chekov. Nichelle Nichols Uhura. George Takei Sulu.
Majel Barrett Dr. Christine Chapel. The villain in The Motion Picture is one such abstraction: A demi-god vapor-planet of unknown origin and unknowable purpose. It is the first thing we see in the movie, and we never really see it at all.
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In the first scene of The Motion Picture , three Klingon ships approach the cloud. In , a Star Trek fan would have recognized the design of the Klingon ships. But things would have also looked different, to that diehard Trek fan. The camera follows the ships move across the stars — the kind of special effect that was practically impossible when Star Trek was on TV.
The Klingons are different, too: more alien, with makeup and forehead prosthetics. And things sound better, too. The Motion Picture opens with the new Star Trek theme by Jerry Goldsmith, one of the greatest and most instantly recognizable musical cues in the last four decades. It runs along another outdated idea: That movies are fundamentally better than television.
Almost four decades on, TV is more like movies, and movies are more like TV. Your ten-year-old nephew makes motion pictures. Your ten-year-old nephew films from better angles than Robert Wise. Wise directed The Motion Picture. The lists overlap. Trumbull was a special-effects guy, worked on some of the most famous sequences in A Space Odyssey , was just finishing Close Encounters of the Third Kind , would soon craft the neon gritworlds of Blade Runner.
An impressive run, and one that maybe Trumbull himself only appreciates as a complimentary prize from fate. Trumbull only agreed to do The Motion Picture out of spite.
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Paramount was in a jam; he was on contract to them; they needed him; he wanted nothing to do with Paramount ever again. He worked his team hard — in his own telling, Trumbull wound up in the hospital for two weeks, exhausted. Much of it looks unreal, like this early shot of Planet Vulcan, rendered across matte paintings and smoke effects and the tease of rockform gargantuans. Who knows how this played in , so soon after Star Wars imagined alien planets as real on-location set-ups in Tunisia and Guatemala. Later, Spock puts on a spacesuit and goes on his own private journey through what you can only safely describe as a cosmic vaginal endoscape.
But Spock is tantalized. A higher state of consciousness, maybe? An unearthly glow encompasses him, erasing his face from our sight.
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He reaches out his hands — to mindmeld, to know. The mindmeld blasts Spock backwards. The effect is, no other way of saying this, orgasmic. In the stars, it found more computers, which gave it inconceivable power. It has seen everything now — and, in achieving total cosmic awareness, it has also achieved sentience. It lives: So what? Or togetherness. Or the awareness of other life. Or the knowledge that we live only so that we can create other things that live. The climactic image of them — receiving enlightenment? How do you put such a vague but universal experience onscreen?
How do you conjure up the fear that there is no purpose? Maybe you need a new language, something beyond words.
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Cinema, or whatever cinema used to be. Decades later, Wise worked on a special cut of The Motion Picture. It was released with added digital effects — not the first time a major moment in Trek history happened because of Star Wars , not the last time a terrible moment in Trek history happened because of Star Wars.
You wonder what it must have been like, to see that on a big screen.