Movie Comes To Life In 4K Director’s Edition – TrekMovie.com
Today, in celebration of Star Trek Day, Paramount+ released the remastered Director’s Edition from the first Star Trek feature film, 1979 Star Trek: The Movienow in 4K UHD.
They gave it back to me, Scotty
Boarded a refit USS Enterprise, the film reunited the original cast of the TV series, with stars William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy returning to their legendary roles as Kirk and Spock. An extremely powerful alien force that is destroying everything in its path is heading towards Earth, and the crew of the Enterprise must try to stop it while discovering its true nature.
For all its grand scaleThe film is ultimately a film about identity and finding one’s way. Kirk, Spock and V’Ger are all looking for something that will give them direction and make them feel whole, each of them finding their answers in very different ways.
The 1979 film was often criticized for its somewhat languid pacing, with some fans dubbing it “The Motionless Picture”. While its pacing leaves something to be desired, it tells a story very much in the tradition of the original show while giving Star Trek a greater sense of scale and grandeur. And his great craftsmanship was recognized by the Academy, giving the film three Oscar nominations – Set Decoration, Visual Effects and Original Score.
The 4K UHD version of Star Trek: The Motion Picture – Director’s Edition brings director Robert Wise’s film vision into the modern era with a major visual and sound update, and the result is spectacular. A labor of love in every way, the film is a viewing and aural experience like never before and can finally be considered the epic movie it was made for.
Ready or not, she launches
Star Trek: The Movie had a strange and difficult journey, as far as movies go. Born from a pilot for a proposed television revival of the original series, the film began production in August 1978 without a finished script and wrapped principal photography later than planned. This was just the preamble to a much larger problem: the original company responsible for doing all the effects work on the film failed to produce any usable footage, forcing Paramount to hire visual effects pioneers Douglas Trumbull (2001: A Space Odyssey, The Andromeda Strain, Close Encounters of the Third Kind) and John Dykstra (star wars) to complete the work. With only 7 months to complete the effects to meet a locked December release date, the teams worked around the clock – literally. While creating the visual effects, director Robert Wise and editor Todd Ramsay were trying to find an editorial form for the film, although there were often large holes where the effects should be. This sometimes required them to drop entire sequences into the film as frames came in, with little time to massage edits, which also affected sound mixing and color synchronization. The film eventually reached its release date but received a lukewarm response from audiences, who were unaware that what they were seeing was a compromised version of the film, which was a great disappointment for Robert Wise.
Fast forward to the late ’90s, and the team of restoration supervisor Mike Matessino, producer David Fein and visual effects supervisor Daren Dochterman teamed up with Wise to create a new cut of the film that would resolve some of the problems and would improve the story. . They tightened up the pacing of the film, corrected some effects shots, added others, and implemented a new sound mix.
One of the biggest changes made, from a visual storytelling perspective, was the reveal of V’Ger. The theatrical version skipped this entirely due to time constraints, so what V’Ger really looked like from afar had remained a mystery for over 20 years. Among the edits Wise made was the addition of a few scenes that hadn’t been theatrically cut, including some important Spock moments that, frankly, should never have been cut first. location. They also added a star field to the film’s 2-minute opener (which had previously played on black and was sometimes mistakenly cut off by the projectionists). A return to the golden age of cinema, The film was one of the last films to have an opening (along with Disney’s The black holealso released in 1979).
Star Trek: The Motion Picture – The Director’s Edition debuted to positive reviews in 2001, with many saying it was clearly a superior version of the film. Unfortunately, even this version had its compromises. The impression provided by the studio was below average, and the decision to produce it in standard definition meant that it was not ready for the HD era to come. The team has spent the past 20 years advocating for a return to the film to bring it up to today’s standards and sustain it so it can be enjoyed for many years to come. Producer David Fein recently chatted with us about this and more, which you can read here.
A whole new business?
Af for this new 4K version, the editing of the film is the same as – or very close – to the 2001 Director’s Edition. What’s different are the changes, big and small, to the film’s visuals and soundtrack.
The original camera negative has been scanned at 4K resolution and any instances of dirt or damage have been corrected. The team used industry standard color grading tools to reclassify some shots and give everything a cohesive overall look. In the past, the film’s color scheme was a bit bland and veered towards the “cold” side. It is now slightly warmer, especially in skin tones. The added heat makes the procedure more appealing and more in line with director Wise’s original intentions. It also looks like some sharpening has been applied to some softer shots, but it’s tastefully done. It all leads to an image that showcases Richard Kline’s cinematography and gives it a polished veneer that makes the film look like the expensive studio image it used to be. It far exceeds Paramount’s recent 4K transfer of the theatrical cut.
Visual effects see an even bigger upgrade. Paramount was able to locate numerous Douglas Trumbull 65mm film elements as well as John Dykstra’s VistaVision footage, which was digitized at 8K and 6K, respectively, then recomposed and cut from the image. The results are absolutely stunning. The textures of the Enterprise’s hull, the layers of the cloud, the details of the V’Ger spacecraft…virtually all of the original effects shot in the movie are noticeably better.
Visual effects that were added as part of the original Director’s Edition are also there, but a bit modified, due to the increased resolution and 20 years of advances in digital effects technology. This all fits in perfectly with the rest of the film.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of this project is the new Dolby Atmos sound mix, which is markedly different from any previous version of the film. It’s a very active mix with both big and subtle moments that create a much denser and more layered environment than before. The dialogue seems to have been mixed in to have a richer bottom end, making what sometimes sounded a bit gritty now sound much fuller. Each environment is more sonically active. The Enterprise is packed with lots of different sounds that really make you feel like you’re on a spaceship, and V’Ger itself has a lot more of an aural presence and feels more menacing and mysterious.
The team’s discovery of the original ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement) tapes gave them the ability to use them in fun and sometimes surprising ways. There was a lot of material that was recorded and never used and some of it is applied here in a way that makes the film world feel much bigger and more alive.
Musical lines from Jerry Goldsmith’s legendary score were remixed under the supervision of engineer/producer Bruce Botnick, a longtime colleague of Goldsmith’s who was part of the original scoring sessions in 1979. have been remixed in a way that favors a particular instrument, but overall the score remains the same and sounds better than ever.
It’s a great sound mix that really brings the film to life and matches the amazing visuals.
The human adventure begins again
After 42 years, the movie has finally been given all the resources and time to present it in the best possible way. It incorporates all the adjustments made in the original Director’s Edition and improve them. The various changes, big and small, greatly improve the story the film is trying to tell and truly let it stand as the most epic of Star Trek feature films. Even longtime detractors might find the movie more to their liking now. For fans of this film, well, there is no comparison. This is the final version of Star Trek: The Movie.
The film is now available on the Paramount+ streaming service in the United States. And in May, you can see it on the big screen for 3 days in theaters across the United States with Fathom Events. Blu-ray and digital versions of the film will arrive in September from Paramount Home Video. International availability has not yet been announced.
TrekMovie will be taking a closer look at the many changes to the film in the coming days and will be looking for an in-depth discussion of our Pod Shuttle podcast soon.
Find more information about TMP-DE and other Star Trek home and streaming media at TrekMovie.com.