Transforming a ‘Rough Cut’ into the Stunning ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’

Star Trek: The Motion Picture - The Director's Edition

David C. Fein / Paramount

Star Trek: The Motion Picture – The Director’s Edition

Most “Star Trek” fans know the story of “The Motion Picture”. That said, they know how the film’s special effects had to be reworked at the last minute and barely made it to theaters in time. Director Robert Wise worked with visual effects wizards Douglas Trumbull and John Dykstra so that everything works. Due to time constraints, the version of “The Motion Picture” released on December 7, 1979 was essentially a “rough cut”.

It wasn’t until 2001 that Wise worked with a team to make the film what it should have been. Star Trek: The Motion Picture – The Director’s Edition was released on DVD and fans finally saw what Wise always intended. At the time, Wise was working with a team on the restoration of “The Motion Picture” that included David C Fein, Mike Matesinoand Daren Dochterman.

“The Movie” in 4K

STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE – THE DIRECTOR’S EDITION | Official Trailer | Outstanding filmsDirector Robert Wise’s Definitive Vision debuts exclusively on April 5, 2022 on Paramount+. The film will be released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray in September with extensive new bonus content. Originally released in 1979, Star Trek: The Motion Picture became the fourth highest-grossing film of the year and received three Academy Award® nominations for Best Visual…2022-03-24T13:33:51Z

Heavy could speak to wickerman, a Hollywood veteran who has worked on dozens of projects as a producer, director, illustrator, visual effects supervisor and more. Dochterman and the team were brought back from Paramount to work on the restoration of The Director’s Edition for HD, 4K, etc limited theatrical release by Fathom Events.

In addition to his years of studio work, Dochterman has created designs and illustrations for the Star Trek Universe, including Star Trek Beyond, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Picard. He is also part of the popular “Infamous Treksperts” podcast that also features producers, Mark A Altman and Ashley Edward Miller.

Dochterman served as Associate Producer/Visual Effects Supervisor for the new version of The Director’s Edition and says this new version of the film is unlike anything fans have seen before.

“Even those who have seen ‘The Director’s Edition’ on DVD will experience what looks and sounds like an entirely new film,” said Dochterman. “The film has never looked so good, even when it was in theaters.”

“We went into every frame of the film [and was] made to look their best,” said Dochterman. “Of course, without losing the cinematic quality of the original. We’ve rejuvenated it and restored it to amazing condition – I have to say that.”

Dochterman said that he and the team managed to make this new version of “The Motion Picture” in 1979 look better than the image originally projected. During the 2001 restoration, Dochterman said they had about 90 visual effects shots. For this new 4K version, the film has 160 shots with visual effects. These updates only add to Wise’s vision for the film.

Daren Dochterman: Illustration and Concept Design in Film

Daren Dochterman: Illustration and Concept Design in FilmThe art and science of filmmaking. Episode 2. Daren Dochterman talks about his work on Star Trek: The Motion Picture Special Edition, The Abyss, The Chronicles of Riddick and various other films.2016-06-09T17:53:13Z

“The editing that Mr. Wise oversaw in 2001 is actually the final editing of the film,” said Dochterman. “As you probably know, the original theatrical cut was basically a rough cut. A version of Star Trek: The Motion Picture came out on December 7, 1979, whether it was finished or not. And it wasn’t finished yet.”

“It was put together in a hurry, and a lot of the sequences weren’t cut cleanly,” said Dochterman. “There were never any screenings or previews for Mr. Wise or the filmmakers to adjust the cut and see what worked and what didn’t. So basically the theatrical cut is, for lack of a better term, a rough cut.”

Dochterman said that Wise oversaw everything he and the team worked on in 2001, including trimming, adding and expanding scenes. They also used some of the Footage from various other versions of the film. Dochterman said Wise refined everything, especially where the live action met the visual effects.

“A lot of these shots were just put in without any fine editing,” said Dochterman. “Well, there are [scenes] which in the beginning has a frame or two where things don’t move in the shot and there wasn’t time to adjust anything.”

Star Trek: The Motion Picture – Realigning the Future

Star Trek: The Motion Picture – Redirecting the FutureA documentary focusing on the creation of the Enhanced Director’s Edition, based on the concept Robert Wise approached Paramount with; to create the new CGI effects. Also details the changes between the Director’s Edition and the original film with scene-by-scene comparisons. This documentary features interviews with Daren Dochterman, Sherry Hitch, David C.…2021-05-05T17:47:36Z

“That was something Mr. Wise wasn’t happy about,” Dochterman said. “Nearly 18 years after it was originally released, he was not pleased at being forced to release this cut.” reports that the audio has also been greatly improved in this new version. The team found audio from the ADR (Automated Dialog Replacement) which gave them access to clearer speech and words from the actors. ADR is when actors re-record the lines of a scene so the audience can hear the dialogue more clearly.

And the legendary soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith is presented at the cutting edge of technology Dolby Atmos Audio.

Fans can watch this new version of Star Trek: The Motion Picture – The Director’s Edition on April 5, 2022 – “Day of First Contact” – on Paramount+. The Blu-ray and 4K Ultra Blu-ray will be available for purchase from September.

READ MORE: Star Trek: Discovery Explains Why Harry Kim Was Never Promoted Transforming a ‘Rough Cut’ into the Stunning ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’

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