Sunday, March 14, 2010

Watch an Amazing Behind the Scenes Documentary on Star Trek: The Motion PictureHere's a treat for all Trekkies and wobbly newsreel fans: a ten minute

Here's a treat for all Trekkies and wobbly newsreel fans: a ten minute featurette from the olden days (1979) about the making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, a film that now seems sadly fossilised in the wake of last year's slick and sexy 'reboot' (sorry for that word).

This is a great little documentary that whizzes us through a world of BIG filmmaking where everyone looks very old, with much fun to be had seeing mustachioed men attend to Leonard Nimoy's shoes, alien masks that look like a joke, and a cake that says 'Happy Birthday, Bob'.

The unknown narrator is full of important stats (Eleven sound stages! Twenty one simultaneous sets! One William Shatner!) and is especially loving when describing the model for the Starship Enterprise, as if he's going to ask 'her' out for dinner when the film has ended.

Around the six minute mark you'll find the longest and weirdest scene, in which lead actress Persis Khambatta gently sobs as her head is shaved, the Hollywood orchestra churn away in the background and Gene Roddenberry arrives to present her with a razor. All very odd, as if an experimental Polish film from the 60s has landed in the middle of an ancient sci-fi lovefest.

Still, in these days of evil pixels dominating our cinematic expectations, it's amazing to see the extraordinary amount of physical effort that went into making films of this scale back then, and to learn that Zarnites breathe florine gas and must wear breathing apparatus in earth environments...

Watch the Star Trek: The Motion Picture 1979 featurette below...