Top SFX shots No.40: Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Feature Martin Anderson

The entrance to the inner heart of TMP's monstrous space-urchin follows the organic motif established so impressively in Douglas Trumbull's (perhaps excessively-used) footage of V'Ger. The thing is, it's very hard to tell how that organic aperture is actually working. Is it an iris of some kind or are the 'petals' actually changing shape? Truth is that the gate segments are actually cones spinning in unison. Since the camera remains perpendicular to the circular bases of the cones, the secret is hard to guess.

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Stunning effects in TMP all round. And the 2001 special edition is one of the best director's cuts around. They completed effects planned for 1979, but didn't do anything they couldn't have done at the time, or execute them in a way which jarred with the rest of the film (I'm looking at you Mos-Eisley-Sweeping-Crane-Shot-From-Star-Wars-Special-Edition).

Yes, gotta love ST:TMP. I just wish the Director's Cut FX would get re-rendered in HD so they can release that version on Bluray.

Yes I agree. It sucks that the Director's Cut was done at DVD res. They need to re-do it  at 1080p for Blu-Ray. The Director's Cut saved the movie. Much like it did for Blade Runner. (Odd note: Doug Trumbell did the FX for both films.)

"Saved the movie" 22 years later?

Why not? I meant "Saved the movie" for posterity, not the Box Office. Likewise the Director's Cuts of "Blade Runner".

The Enterprise shots in TMP still best anything done in the reboot films. And Foundation's new CG in the special edition were lit and grained to match the miniatures and are virtually seamless.

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