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The Future of Star Trek


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#1 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 02:30 PM

Speaking solely as a Star Trek fan, I have to say I'm really disappointed with the direction the franchise has taken.  And I was feeling this way long before J.J. Abrams gave it a reboot.  I actually liked his first Star Trek (2009) and thought it would help any future Star Trek films to get back on track towards Gene Roddenberry's original concepts.  But when I saw the revisionist Khan-timeline in Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013) - something you just don't do! - I saw that I was wrong.  Sadly, the Star Trek films have become like any other adventure/sci-fi franchise - filled with stunning visual effects and very little depth.  The Star Trek Beyond trailer seems to epitomize this.  And as I write this, I'm watching an episode of The Next Generation titled, "The Chase" - a solid episode that featured all of the best things about the series - excellent performances, science & culture, story-driven effects - with every aspect of the episode pointing to Gene Roddenberry's ideals (and this was aired 2 years after his death.)

 

Comments?...

 

Sorry, but my inner Trekkie was screaming to get out... 


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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 02:53 PM

What you said, pretty much. 2009 was fine, but the others are just action movies.


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#3 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 03:44 PM

Well Bill... ST BEYOND was sure fun to shoot!  I hope it satisfies someone! Thanks for posting the first view.

 

G


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#4 Jay Young

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 03:51 PM

I have a framed cinema poster of Star Trek Generations on my wall.  I looked at the just last night and thought... 11.18.94... was that REALLY 20 years ago?

That's a pretty exciting action film, mind you its no ST6, but still, some of those effects are pretty cool.

 

I also have to agree, 2009 star trek was very nice.  The others are just... meh.


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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 04:48 PM

Greg, I think this is clear, but it's worth stating - the technical work that's done on these upscale shows is, of course, second to none. Such are the fruits of being able to specialise, do the ten thousand hours, and become a real expert at a specific task, and then to hire a whole crew who have each done that in their specific fields. I've repeatedly bemoaned the fact that it isn't really done anywhere but Hollywood, or regional offshoots thereof.

 

P


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#6 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 04:55 PM

Greg, I think this is clear, but it's worth stating - the technical work that's done on these upscale shows is, of course, second to none. Such are the fruits of being able to specialise, do the ten thousand hours, and become a real expert at a specific task, and then to hire a whole crew who have each done that in their specific fields. I've repeatedly bemoaned the fact that it isn't really done anywhere but Hollywood, or regional offshoots thereof.
 
P


I totally agree with you Phil. But I must say, we had a terrific international crew while in Dubai. At least 7 nationalities represented in the camera department alone!

G
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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 05:25 PM

It's well built-- much like the finest sports cars, the new Treks are, wonderfully machined. However, seeing them is much like buying an Aston Martin when you live at the intersection of 405/101 with a typical 9-5 job. Sure the car is wonderful; but instead of ever taking full advantage of all it can offer, you're sitting in 1st/2nd gear traffic all day, every day.

I am deeply saddened, personally, not by the lack of skill in the films, of which there is so much; but by the lack of depth, that we can have all the top notch technicians, time, and money, yet lack the balls to once, just once hop into the shoulder of the highway and open up the engines full-- to try something which will fill and thrill and be looked back on fondly as a crazy moment cherish-able.


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#8 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 05:37 PM

We have a phrase that we like to use often:

"We don't write 'em... We just light 'em!"

I really wish I could afford to work on the pictures I like to watch. That's not always possible.

G
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 05:40 PM

The marketplace has determined that any science fiction film above "x" budget has to be action driven, with a few exceptions. The big budgets allowed the recent Trek movies to have a visual scale never before achievable on Trek projects but the cost has been to lose so many classic elements that made the series interesting. It's bittersweet because Trekkies like me have always imagined what an expanded Trek universe could look like, but ultimately that's just window dressing.

Classic Trek wasn't free of commercial expectations, hence having so many fist fights where Kirk could lose his shirt, but that was a small aspect of the series, which involved characters confronting social and moral dilemmas while trying to hold onto noble intentions and higher ideas often put to the test. But that isn't going to make a 100+ million dollar movie profitable.
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#10 KH Martin

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 08:47 PM

 , I'm watching an episode of The Next Generation titled, "The Chase" - a solid episode that featured all of the best things about the series

I always thought THE CHASE and/or YESTERDAY'S ENTERPRISE should have been saved for the TNG feature films, instead of the awful stuff they did do (I dislike all four of them, and really don't get the love for FIRST CONTACT at all.)

 

But honestly, I have a much better feeling about this than the last couple (couldn't be much worse, I think TREK09 is a complete and utter atrocity, and INTO DARKNESS is only watchable by comparison with 09), and have already read some speculation that the antagonist will have a legit point of view, with respect to an environmental issue (mining) or Federation/STarfleet politics, something that will call into question how good our good guys' side really is ... if so, that will offset for me at least a few of the token action setpieces that might not otherwise engage me. I just rewatched the gorn episode of TOS last night (big lizard guy) and the moment when McCoy acknowledges our guys could be in the wrong still resonates for me.

 

Guarded enthusiasm, even if the VFX still have that terrible gauzy look to the space scenes that characterized 09 and ID. At least the unmotivated lens flares don't seem omnipresent.


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#11 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 09:15 PM

Star Trek was all about the technology, exploring, different cultures and science.

I'm a huge Trekkie, have been since I was a kid. I grew up with TNG, DS9 and Voyager on television and of course the feature franchise. What those series offered was clever writing which weaved all of those "trek" elements into current event subjects. The features had even more serious subject matters from nuclear bombs and extermination of man kind (the genesis project) to the saving of our marine life (voyage home) heck even to the corrupt governments (Undiscovered country). What MADE "Trek" so great were those stories and sure they weren't big blockbuster films, but they didn't cost much to make either.

JJ's reboots are travesties and have no relationship to the Star Trek universe outside of Spock. This is why the first movie discusses the universe as being different. Both movies had poor scripts, they're just stupid action films that have zero meaning. It's clear the writers had never really embraced trek, only tried to mimic certain elements. JJ even mentions having really never been a Trek fan. It's the same problem JJ has with the new Star Wars film. He was never a real fan of the original films, but at least Star Wars is just a silly space soap opera, not a serious discussion on current events.

Anyway, this new movie does look atrocious. The poorly cut trailer and gobs of overly done VFX shots, don't help at all.
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#12 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 09:24 PM

Some fan took out the Beastie Boys song and stuck some Star Trek soundtrack music over the trailer... it's a bit of an improvement:

 

Funny thing is that the rock music is probably supposed to excite younger fans, though technically the Beastie Boys date back to my college days!


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#13 KH Martin

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Posted 15 December 2015 - 01:15 AM

Some fan took out the Beastie Boys song and stuck some Star Trek soundtrack music over the trailer... it's a bit of an improvement:

 

Funny thing is that the rock music is probably supposed to excite younger fans, though technically the Beastie Boys date back to my college days!

I didn't even remember that it was music used in the 09 film initially, but the pop in the trailer DID make me think of 'momma told me not to come' being used in the SUPERNOVA trailer, and how screamingly wrongheaded that was. (I actually enjoy SUPERNOVA to a slight degree, though I think along with STAR TREK TMP there should be an edit-your-own version, given how it went through so many distinguished hands -- Walter Hill up through the first cut, then Jack Sholder, FF Coppola and more.)


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#14 Manu Delpech

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 12:14 PM

Kind of a shame they switched over to Alexa for this one, it really shows. Still looks good as Claudio Miranda is the DP, but yeah.


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#15 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 12:49 PM

Kind of a shame they switched over to Alexa for this one, it really shows. Still looks good as Claudio Miranda is the DP, but yeah.

Claudio was not the DP. Stephen Windon, ASC, ACS was the Cameraman. And yes, it was Open Gate, Alexa and anamorphic. Steve's cinematography is fantastic!

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#16 Manu Delpech

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 06:34 PM

Interesting, why did Claudio Miranda drop? Thanks for the infos, was film even considered? Why the switch? I know that Dan Mindel always pushes for 35 mm anamorphic.


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#17 KH Martin

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 07:56 PM

I'm supposed to talk with Claudio soon about something else, will ask him then, but I think it was just when they got rid of Orci as director, they let everybody else fall out as well.


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#18 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 08:04 PM

I'm supposed to talk with Claudio soon about something else, will ask him then, but I think it was just when they got rid of Orci as director, they let everybody else fall out as well.


I've known Claoudio since he was John Lindley's gaffer. He's a wonderful Cameraman. Windon was an automatic hire when Justin Lin took over the helm. He (we) did all of the Fast & Furious pictures with him. Actually a very simple situation.

G
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#19 KH Martin

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 08:07 PM

I've known Claoudio since he was John Lindley's gaffer. He's a wonderful Cameraman. Windon was an automatic hire when Justin Lin took over the helm. He (we) did all of the Fast & Furious pictures with him. Actually a very simple situation.

G

Just saw Claudio's name as chief lighting tech (why not 'gaffer' I wonder?) on CRIMSON TIDE when I rewatched last night.


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#20 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 08:11 PM

Serious mode. This may be a stupid question, but I hope it will provoke interesting discourse.

 

I appreciate this is to some extent a personal choice of the director of photography, but to what extent, on these sorts of huge shows (and speaking generally) do they specify how they want something done? I've seen both extremes of this in various circumstances, from people specifying exactly what lighting devices they want, to people gesturing vaguely and asking for a 5.6 here in a big soft toplight, "chuck a bit of green on it."

 

In short some people rely on, or have a very close relationship with, their gaffers, others don't. What's everyone's impression?


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