I’ve written before thatI’ve always been something of sucker for STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE. Moreso than any of the other ‘classic’ TREK films, it was a movie of scope and scale and vision - reaching for a theatricality and ‘size’ which would not be attempted or matched until J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot of the franchise.
To be clear, I’m not positing that TMP is the ‘best’ of the classic films - although I do think 2001’s Robert Wise supervised Director’s Cut went a long way toward turning a sometimes bumbling movie into something considerably tighter and more interesting. I will say, however, that ST: TMP is probably the most interesting of the classic films in terms of its science fiction and TONE. TMP is the closest TREK ever got, and is ever likely to get, to capturing the unnerving majesty and sobriety of space travel manifested in 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, for example. For better or worse, despite its sometimes derivative trappings, THE MOTION PICTURE had an atmosphere which hasn’t been matched to this day. And likely never will be.
With all of this in mind, I wanted to call your attention to BeyondTheMarquee’s two part interview with STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE visual effects designer Richard Taylor. The interview offers some fascinating insight into the trials and tribulations of realizing the effects for the project (whose effects work was rebooted frighteningly late in the game), and contains some and rare photos of designs which were ultimately altered for production (an Erector Set-like Orbital Drydock with stabilizing thrusters, a very different V’Ger design/model, etc.
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