DarenDoc's Slightly Nifty Musings Inc.

10 years since TMP:DE???

by on Mar.11, 2010, under Star Trek

An early attempt at integrating the augmented key art, the New Title logo, and a tag line...

Believe it or not, it’s been nearly 10 years since we got the greenlight to work on the Director’s Edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture with the great Robert Wise.  For Producer Dave Fein, Restoration Supervisor Mike Matessino, and myself, it had already been 8 months of prep and dealings with the studio to get the project approved.  For those of you who haven’t gone through my personal website at www.darendoc.com, I invite you to take a look at this page I put up that gives you a little taste of what went on…


25 comments for this entry:
  1. avatar

    We have some ideas we’d like to integrate into the DE if you’re interested in helping.

    http://wp.me/Pr3Gu-8Q (no links to downloads, just suggestions at this point)

    A fan edit of your fan edit, if you will.

  2. avatar

    Well, your ideas are interesting… but I’m gonna have to pass. Much as we’d like to believe we still have our “fan” attitude toward the project, the DE was overseen and crafted by Mr. Wise to be his final cut of the movie… and I’d have to respect his wishes on that. It was not a “fan edit”.

    While your thoughts are certainly welcome, and I have nothing against people doing mash and mix-ups for their own fun and learning, I have to say that none of your additions actually contribute much more to the story of the film. Sure, it would be fun to see the Enterprise return to earth after her 5 year mission, but that’s not the story of the film. The story is about seeing our familiar characters out of their element in the beginning of the film, and the journey to bring them back to their rightful states and be the characters we’ve known and loved.

    And, just to be a nitpicker, I really dislike the treatment of the main titles. Makes it look like First Contact or Generations… not my cup of tea.

    So, thanks, but no thanks on this one. But will be interesting to see what you guys come up with.

  3. avatar

    I respect your respect of the Director’s Edition. I love it and what it did for what was once my least favorite Star Trek movie. I’ve listened to your podcast commentary on it more times than I’ve actually seen the movie!

    This is just a fun project I’m helping out with, and I’m so glad that you don’t disapprove.

    BTW, the bottom section is just random suggestions and mockups, those titles have already been vetoed as being too TNGy.

  4. avatar

    Oh, snap! 10 years? I was a sophomore in High School!

    This Director’s Edition was a huge deal for me, because I grew up watching TMP more than any other Trek film and was so looking forward to seeing what was different. Weird considering that even I think it doesn’t hold a candle compared to the other films. There’s just something about it that makes me want to watch it more.

    And oh, the fun I had picking out stuff that was new, deleted and overall different. This Director’s Edition was a joy to experience. Everything that was new was a warm welcome, everything that was gone will not be missed, and by gosh, V’Ger’s ship! I understand it now!

    Thank you Daren and to everyone who worked on it. I hope that someday we’ll see the Director’s Edition in a new format someday.

    doubleofive, looking forward to seeing what you and everyone at Original Trilogy will cook up, though I still have no idea how the heck you’re going to pull of the Klingons attacking the Enterprise.

    Also Daren, thank you for this.
    Uhura: A faint signal from Starfleet sir.
    Daren: It says “HELP!”

  5. avatar

    It’s funny that one of the original tag lines for the film was “There is no comparison…” In my mind, now, more than ever.

  6. avatar


    Any chance of an HD version of the DE seeing the light of day? You guys did a wonderful job and it would be a shame if it’s left in SD.

  7. avatar

    I was wondering about the colors in the DE. I always assumed the Klingon ships were grey/green, then I found pictures of the models which are a nice shade of green. I was even more surprised when I white balanced screenshots in Photoshop to find that they ARE green, just dulled down significantly. Any reason why they were kept this way from the theatrical version?

  8. avatar
  9. avatar

    Like many thousands of people, I’m hopeful that Paramount will one day let you guys re-render your efforts in HD for a real Blu-ray treat.

    Any chance of that happening before the 50th Anniversary?

  10. avatar

    Can you find the reference for the green color on the Klingon ships? I don’t think they’ve ever been green… (there was only one built) I’d like to see the green you speak of…

  11. avatar

    … and as to the Director’s Edition in HD, that’s really in Paramount’s court. I know of no plans to bring it to Blu-Ray, but I do know that they would have a heck of a time doing it without the original people involved in it… We still have all the files…

  12. avatar

    I won’t be such a hysterical fanboy as to say that the studio not making Mr. Wise’s final cut available on blu-ray is a “disgrace”, but I will say that its a piss-poor way to treat the work of a great man who had the thankless job of riding herd on that behemoth production. The movie deserves to be widely seen the way Bob Wise wanted it seen. Period.

  13. avatar

    I appreciate the sentiment…

    However… I believe that the studio is going through some serious money troubles, especially the home video division… so I’d rather they didn’t try and do something without the right resources. It deserves the full treatment.

  14. avatar

    I found the green on Ex Astris Scientia’s Starship Gallery:


    When they sold it at Christie’s, it had been repainted, but there are a few shots (especially the Star Trek Mechanics shots) where it seems to be in its original configuration. And I’m by far no expert at Photoshop, but I used level adjustment and white balanced the blueish grey light on the model to white and some space to black and this shade of green jumps out in nearly every shot.

  15. avatar

    I love the internet. Where else would I be able to discuss the finer points of Klingon paint jobs with one of the guys who worked on the movie? Seriously, this is awesome. I appreciate you being so available, Daren.

  16. avatar

    I made an extensive post on the OriginalTrilogy forums on Klingon colors. Instead of reposting it here, I will just post the link:


    It has the reference pictures I found at the other link posted on some of my leveled out shots.

  17. avatar

    Yes, it was repainted for Trek VI, and you’re right… the original was green… (slightly)… I bet though that most of the green was muted due to Apogee’s Blue screen process… which would tend to desaturate and take out the blue bandwidths… so they just chose to make it less… does that make sense?

  18. avatar

    I think so. Poor Klingon ships, can’t ever be green until the BoP! I’m guessing they used a different blue screen process in Star Trek 3?

  19. avatar

    Well, the green on the BOP was much more chromatic… a much stronger green than the one in the reference… I assume it was exactly the same blue screen processing they used on TMP, but they probably fought to keep the green with lighting…

  20. avatar

    DarenDoc: “I believe that the studio is going through some serious money troubles, especially the home video division…”

    This actually reminds me of something. When the Director’s Edition DVD was released, I purchased it on day one. But over the years, I somehow misplaced the DVD and couldn’t find it anywhere. When your startrek.com downloadable commentary was released, I just had to listen to it and find out more little tidbits, so I went and bought another copy of the movie.

    Wow, just opening the case to this set pretty much showed that the money issues was very apparent. The discs came packaged in a big, one open keep keepcase that had the two discs on both sides, which meant that there was no insert. Kind of sad since the insert came with a written introduction by Robert Wise himself. Not only that, but the disc art was non-existant. I remember the original discs carrying the gold/yellow feel to them with the six sided floor panels of V’Ger’s lair on the bottom. With the new set it’s just gray with the title etched out.

    I just don’t get it. Paramount has the two Transformer movies and the new Star Trek movie raking in tons of profits more than any other studio that’s out there both in the theaters and on home video, but the area where every other studio puts a decent amount of work into their products, Paramount doesn’t.

    Another favorite example are the DVD season sets of the original Star Trek series vs. the BluRay sets.

    DVD Disc Art:
    Listings for each episode that are on the discs with both the air dates and the episode’s stardate. Color Artwork showcasing every character from the show on each separate disc.

    BluRay Disc Art:
    Disc Number.


  21. avatar

    My favorite DVD disc art is Star Trek 6 Disc 2. You know, the one with the Enterprise-*B* in drydock. Upside down.


  22. avatar

    Want another one? The Enterprise-B RETURNS to Star Trek VI for the individual BluRay copies on the back of the packaging.

  23. avatar

    I noticed that my Blu-ray of the “Star Trek Movie Trilogy” has TWO pictures of Spock from TMP, which isn’t in that set.

  24. avatar

    ST:TMP:DE is the only Star Trek movie DVD I own, even though I’ve seen all the other films countless times (and even managed to catch STII at the Aero in Santa Monica in 2007(?) with Nicholas Meyer present).

    Sure it’s got it’s problems, but it’s the most epic of the films, it tried more for a 2001: A Space Odyssey feel than simply ripping off Star Wars (as everyone else was doing), and I LOVE the uniform designs.

    Daren and company did an amazing job on the restoration (Lucas and Spielberg could have learned a thing or two from you guys before they restored/rejiggered/changed their movies).

  25. avatar

    To bring up an old comment thread, I emailed Doug Trumbull on what color the Klingon ships originally were, and he had this response:

    You’ve got me on that one. Can’t really remember, but my taste would have been to go slightly green to differentiate. The opticals could have affected it, but we did not use blue or green screen – we used black and white contrast mattes with mocon matched moves.

    If I were to make a guess, I would bet on the greenish side.


    Very interesting. How does black and white contrast matting work?

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