Star Trek: The Motion Picture Art & Effects Book

stmpbook.jpgDue next May from Titan Books (although on the strength of how often their books slip back, I’d expect to see it maybe by next Autumn with a little luck) is this hopefully fantastic book about the art and visual effects of 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture. On the one hand, if its a similar project, say, to the original Cinefex article way back when the film originally came out, then it could be really special. On the other hand, if its just one of those vacuous coffee-table art-books with lots of stills from the film and little else, it’ll be heartrendingly disappointing (albeit likely pretty).

Here’s hoping though. I’d love to see a really good decent-sized book, plenty of text with lots of images of the miniatures being  built and well-sized reproductions of the films matte paintings, the kind of behind the scenes stuff lost to us in this age of CGI workstations. Pre-production paintings, sketches, all that stuff. Say what you like about the merits of the film itself (and hey, I’ve always had a soft spot for it) the film certainly had a sense of scope and scale that remains quite refreshing to this day. This film was made back when stating ‘The Motion Picture’ really meant something, like it was a statement of intent, and certainly dates from a time when the difference between television and film was much more pronounced than it is today.

I think this book is a great idea and could be something very special if handled right. Having Jeff Bond’s name attached makes me cautiously optimistic on that front: Jeff is a Star Trek historian whose writing has graced several Trek soundtrack albums, notably the Star Trek The Original Series complete soundtracks boxset and the 3-disc Star Trek: The Motion Picture expansion.

3 thoughts on “Star Trek: The Motion Picture Art & Effects Book

  1. Matthew McKinnon

    Sold!

    I’m going to see STTMP next month in memory of forty years passing. I saw it at the NFT five years ago as well.

    I’m a fairly big fan. I think it’s pretty much perfectly paced until the Ilya probe turns up, and then, yeah, it does grind to a halt. But it’s a feast for the eyes and ears throughout.

    Where do you stand on original vs DVD Director’s Cut? Any preference?

  2. Hmm, that’s a tricky one. I’m not naturally a fan of revisionism, but in the case of ST:TMP, it clearly wasn’t finished when it was initially released. It needed more polish to the edit (all things considered, its a wonder it works at all, and that is mostly due to the Goldsmith score that seems to carry everything along- Goldsmith had a knack for ‘fixing’ dodgy movies).

    The DVD directors cut therefore should clearly be the better version, but short-term thinking with regards the CGI rendering etc has nixed any chance of that version being released in HD, never mind 4K, so the theatrical version has rather reluctantly returned to be the standard version we can watch now, warts and all, and that directors cut relegated to history, really. I guess I’m saying the Directors Cut but I can’t watch it because my DVD is R1 and I no longer have a multi-region player, and DVDs tend to look ugly as hell on my OLED anyway, so I’m stuck watching the original version on Blu-ray. You’re so lucky being able to watch it at the cinema though, I imagine it looks gorgeous on the big screen (yeah, I saw it back in 1979 and loved it, but never had opportunity to see it on the big screen since).

    I did quite like the longer tv edit that got shown on telly, it was clearly better than the cinema version with some lovely character moments that I really miss when watching the original cinema version. I hope rumours of a good HD attempt at recreating the Directors Cut can one day be realised, but I don’t trust Paramount to do it. Its incredible how often they drop the ball with that franchise.

  3. Pingback: The 4K Adventure is Just Beginning- ST:TMP 4K? – the ghost of 82

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