Star Trek: The Motion Picture Screening Event
It has been nearly forty-three years since Star Trek: The Motion Picture was released in its original form. Last night, at a screening which is to be the first of three this month, I had the honor of watching an astonishingly more detailed and balanced 4k version of the film.
The screening I attended was held at Regal LA Live. There were forty-five people in attendance, and I enjoyed how intimate the event felt. It was presented by the people who lovingly worked to perfect this new version of the film: David Fein (Producer), Daren Dochterman (Visual Effects Supervisor), and Mike Matessino (Post-Supervisor).
The film was preceded by a discussion with the trio. Matessino explained the access they had to the original elements of the film, including the ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement), which was re-recorded dialogue.
There was also a featurette about the Enterprise model. As the video demonstrated, the original artists had painted it in tiny panels using pearlescent paint, which the remastering crew spent loads of time studying.
It was time for the movie to begin. The new audio mix made every line crisper than ever. My experience of the film was completely changed because of the restoration team’s amazingly skillful handiwork.
After the film’s conclusion, there was a Q&A session with David Fein and Daren Dochterman. I posed a question to them, which had to do with the models and whether they had access to the Klingon D7-class starships in addition to (as had been shown in the featurette) the Enterprise model. Dochterman confirmed that they had been allowed access and corrected me: the Klingon vessels were, in fact, a single model. The Q&A also revealed that it was Fein’s mission to recolor V’Ger’s lightning-like probe on the Enterprise, to avoid the feeling of “the movie being stopped in the middle.”
This remastering was also a way for Fein to pay homage to someone he looked up to: the director of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Robert Wise. Fein explained that a delta-adorned, jewel-encrusted medallion he wore to the event had been a gift to him from the director. Wise had received the medallion from Gene Roddenberry after filming the movie. It was an emotional moment for the producer as he shared with the audience Robert’s wish for David to wear the medallion whenever he was speaking about or presenting his rework of this movie. Wise had said the film was sadly misunderstood because of how the original theatrical release had been cut.
Fein also emphasized that this updated version of the film exists because of the fans’ enduring and powerful love of the movie. However, it’s clear that this update of The Motion Picture has been and is a labor of love for all involved.