Thursday, October 16, 2008

Orci, Kurtzman On Movie Stills

Eight movie stills from next year's Star Trek movie hit the web yesterday. Star Trek producer Damon Lindelof commented on three of them, now Trek writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci provide further insight on a few more.

From, the writers comment on the above pictures with the USS Kelvin.
TrekMovie: Any background to the name Kelvin?
Roberto Orci: It is JJ [Abrams] grandfather’s name
Alex Kurtzman: JJ’s grandfather had a company named Kelvin and Kelvin has appeared in everything he has done. It was in MI3, it was in Alias and Felicity.
Orci: Kelvin is also a big name in science with the temperature scale named after him, and there is certainly a believable reason that Starfleet would have a ship named after him.

TrekMovie: Would you describe the ship as a science vessel?
Orci: All ships — even the Enterprise is a vessel of science.

TrekMovie: True, but certain ships, like the Grissom, were specifically science ships.
Orci: Then, I don’t think I would describe it as a strict science ship.

TrekMovie: And is the registry number NCC 0514?
Kurtzman: yes

TrekMovie: What angle are we seeing the ship? Is that the leading edge of the saucer?
Kurtzman: Yes
Orci: That picture should be the first clue that saucer and nacelle technology are still quite prevalent in our Starfleet.

TrekMovie: Is this just part of a larger battle or is this particular ship significant?
Orci: Aren’t all of life’s battles part of a large battle?

Kurtzman: [laughs] This is a very significant ship.
TrekMovie: Is this a different type of ship that the USS Enterprise?

Orci: Yes, a different type of ship.
Kurtzman: They are similar ships, but not the same ship. They are different classes of ships.

TrekMovie: There is a red beam hitting the ship, can you say who is firing on them?
Orci: It is a Star Destroyer. [very funny Bob!]

Kurtzman: The answer to your question is in one of the other photographs. [NOTE: This could either mean the USS Enterprise or the villain Nero…TrekMovie is going to guess Nero…duh]
TrekMovie: Here is a nerdy Trek question. In the history of Trek shields have been shown both as a bubble around the ship and as a skin clinging to the hull. It is hard to see from this image if there are any shield effects, but in the new Star Trek which approach is used?

Kurtzman: We have always thought of them as more like skin, less like bubble.
Orci: The bubble represents energy fields — signature, but not necessarily the physical shape of the shield.

TrekMovie: The ship seems to have lots of striations and marks on it, is that all from the battle or has this ship been around the block before it gets into the battle?
Orci: When you meet the Kelvin it is pristine, it is a beautiful site.
TrekMovie: Regarding the other pictures, there has been a lot of questions about how Kirk is never seen in a gold shirt, will we see him in the gold?
Orci: That is a big question…we have given it a lot of thought.
Kurtzman: It is not a random thing. There is a reason his shirt is the color that it is.

These comments are from, edited by me, about the above Enterprise bridge photo.
UGO: I saw in the photo on what I believe to be the bridge that Kirk's got a little bit of a shiner on him. Can we find out a little bit of how that happened?
A: Really, who could say?
B: You know, working in space is dangerous. You know?
A: You have objects that fly at you all over the place.
B: It's not exactly just a cruise ship, the Starship Enterprise. It's actually...uh...they're still all astronauts and the dangerous of space are real.

UGO: I also noticed that their uniforms, it's very true to the original series, but I noticed there is some sort of new... I'll call it a polymer of some sort. There is some sort of space-protective agent. Is that to protect from some sort of element or the weather, or zero gravity?
B: I'd like to think that that's a whole area of research for the new era of fan fiction, hopefully. They can speculate exactly what kind of details these would be in 23rd century clothing.
B: Definitely the goal is to make it seem a mix of old and new.

UGO: That's fine, I mean, I can handle it. But when we meet Pike's crew, is the original Number One gonna be there? Is that space-age gee-whillekers kid gonna be there? Are we to see any of those characters again?
B: I gotta say that that's still part of the discovery process. It would be a disservice to you to comment on that.

UGO: ...about the character of Sarek who I know is going to appear in the film. We're going to meet Sarek and Amanda. And I've always wondered, and maybe you guys know the answer whether it's in the movie or not, did Sarek and Amanda engage in a koon-ut-kal-if-fee ceremony? Or not because she was an outlander, do you know the answer to this?
A: Well let me say this...let me say that, one of the things that attracted all of us to covering some things that had never been covered in cannon about Spock is his background. A lot of people don't know that his mother was human, and that his father was Vulcan. A lot of people that came to work on the movie, that was something they found out.
A: We all know relatives that know basic things about Kirk and Spock, and that kind of seminal thing that was in Spock's background was invaluable. And Nimoy's involvement is a testament to the fact that there's continuity in that character. And you are going to get to see this rich character who was torn between two worlds. And his parents are torn in two worlds. And the pain that that caused their two families.

UGO: Is the running time gonna be a straight two hours?
A: Uh, we think it'll be under at this point.
B: Just a little though. It's basically a two-hour movie. In shot form
A: It's pretty damn close minus credits. I mean Transformers was 2 hrs, then 2 hrs 17 min with credits. I don't know how you count that these days.

UGO: Are the the Romulans...pure evil?
B: No.
A: No. No, way.
B: Uhh, we'd wanna link this to, the origin of the Romulans being that kind of imperialist crowd, kind of Greco-Roman based. Not nearly as logical as their cousins the Vulcans. Kind of the passionate Roman republican. And all the trappings of that. And in a way I think it mirrors the way the United States sees itself. Us being based in the western philosophies, as they say.

UGO: How do you differentiate Romulans from Cardassians?
B: They're not cousins of Vulcans. In a way Cardassians are the "next generation" version of Romulans.

UGO: In this film you talk about origin stories, and have the whole Universe - hell, the whole Multiverse - of Trek to deal with. Are you using as your source material only canon from TOS? Or things that entered the world in the later films, or perhaps Next Generation if they were to have been around back then? Was that part of your process when you were creating the story?
A: To us "canon" is considered the original series onward, including the novels.
A: To some degree. There are actually some things that's very interesting including the novels and even to some degree in the shows vs the movies is that there are different interpretation of events. And some blank sports that are open to interpretation. So, I think and certainly in approaching it we saturated ourselves in everything, including the novels, Best Destiny, and Spock's World.
B: And that might mean that a lot of the continuity we take from the novels might be the character continuity. I forgot the names of them, a couple I love, and I get their names confused, but they take place between Star Trek II and III. Another between IV and V when the probe shows up and you know, Voyage Home. Those, there's a lot that could slot right inbetween those two movies.

UGO: Chris Pine is a guy that is a little bit of an unknown. Can you tell me a little bit about what he brings to Captain Kirk?
A: Pine is just the greatest. And the thing that's tricky obviously, as is the case with any of the actors who stepped into the shoes of these characters who were created by legendary actors, that the thing you wanna avoid in a way is somehow becoming a caricature of William Shatner, or an imitation of his performance. So, I think the way that we all went into this thinking was,"What is the spirit of Kirk? How do we embody the spirit of Kirk?" And, what does that mean? And how can we as fans know that our Kirk is being honored and protected, just speaks to the fact that we have cast a new Kirk. And that was a tricky thing. And I think what you'll find is that there is a lot of Kirk you will recognize in the performance, but Chris Pine is his own brilliant actor. And it's all about what he brings to the part. I would say that the spirit of Kirk is very much alive and well in Chris Pine.

UGO (suddenly very excited): OK, now I know that you can't tell me if it's in the movie or not, but did you discuss the Kirk Chop? Was that actually something that was brought up?
B: Of course we discussed the Kirk chop!!! How could not discuss the Kirk chop?!?

UGO: Um, the bridge, I'm sure you're gonna catch a little bit of hell because there are some psychopaths that feel that everything has to look exactly how it looks on the TV show. But there's not as much color. When I saw it, it reminded me a little bit of the bridge in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, with a little bit of Tron. because there was some blue in there.
B: You'll have to see the floor, I guess. Wait til you see the floors, they're gorgeous.
A: It's funny actually. Because in the pictures you are getting such a limited view of the bridge. I think what you'll find when you see the movie is that there is more original series design in the movie than in any of the movies that have come so far.

UGO: Are those cheesy sound effects that were recorded in 1966 that mean so much to us, are they going to appear in the film?
B: That was also discussed. That one's left as a yes or a no.
B: The sound design is definitely going to be influenced by what came before. And we actually went through the same question on Transformers in terms of the original iconic sound. And in Transformers it was used sparingly and in the right places.

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