Thursday, March 21, 2013

Burk Comments on Trek Past and Present

Star Trek Into Darkness is still making the rounds to promote the movie with a recent stop if Russia. As TrekMovie reports, while there he answered a few questions discussing the choice to convert the film to 3D, making the film accessible to a worldwide audience and how the lack of support impacted the previous non-JJ Abrams films. The two images are new from the movie. Per usual nothing specific is provided about the movie.

On 3D
We decided for Star Trek we wanted to make [the 3D conversion] special, which is why nothing you are going to see tonight is in 3D. It turns out that the process that we chose to use is significantly more laborious and precise than we ever imagined. We are literally going shot by shot and frame by frame pushing things further than they have ever been pushed. Our stereographer – the guy who is in charge of doing 3D – we regularly have these conversations and he says ‘you can’t further than this, nobody goes further than this’ and we say ‘go further!’ So when the movie comes out we will have it in IMAX and in 3D – hopefully like nothing you have seen before.

On accessibility
We also knew that if we were making this film, it would have to work for people who have never seen Star Trek. They had to be able to walk into the theater, sit down, and completely understand what is going on — learn to love these characters instantly with no knowledge of anything before. We didn’t want it to be a sequel, we wanted it to be it’s own film. So we thought we could do all of those things without compromising we could make a film for everyone.
On previous films
I quickly was thrown into the world of Star Trek and started learning a lot about it. Here is what I learned: Gene Roddenberry – the man who created Star Trek – was a genius. He made a [show] about us, about all of us getting together. And all of our problems, all of our wars, had all gone away. And we were all working together to survive. What is better than that? It is not about far away planets and distant aliens, it is about humans, about us, about Earthlings. Where we have to combine forces to explore and protect and to fight and to love for everything that is out there. So then I start wondering how is it I didn’t get that before. Why wasn’t I a Star Trek fan?

What I realized was, for years the old studio regime – many studio executives – always made Star Trek films for a very small segment who did love Star Trek films. They did not make them for me. They never spent the money on it – the resources were not made available like they were for other Hollywood films. Not to say that Gene Roddenberry and all the writers that followed him – let alone all the craftsmen and artists and production designers, cameramen and visual effects people – all these people were brilliant. Particularly because they had to make these films with limited resources and limited funds. So we said, if we were going to do a new Star Trek film we need more money. And we were going to put up all that on the screen. And fortunately for all of us, Paramount Pictures went beyond our expectations and supported it not only financially, but also creatively. Allowing us to do anything we wanted to do.
It is nice to realize that the producers of current Star Trek do recognize they had an advantage the previous films never had which is the full confidence, budget and support of Paramount. With the Orginial Series and Next Generation crew, Paramount really did take them for granted. Through them less then $30 million dollars, as little marketing as possible and then would get annoyed when the box office didn't give them the mega bucks they were expecting. What works for TV with a small budget simply doesn't work for movies. While recent tech has made that line more blurry (see Game of Thrones), back then it mattered a great deal to get a proper budget and support from the studio. Trek didn't have that before but thanks to JJ Abrams it finally has it now. I just hope the support remains even if he is unable to direct Star Trek 3.

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