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Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old July 19 2009, 11:52 PM   #1
Maurice
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What did Wise REALLY want for a TMP Director's Cut?

There's been many a discussion here about the TMP DE over the years, but one thing that interests me is what Wise's own intentions were for a cut of the film versus what we got.

So, I'm curious if anyone has access to any old old interviews with Wise (and maybe some of the other crew members) wherein they discuss what they wanted for the film at or around the time the film was released. And by old I mean within a few years after the film was released, not decades later.

I dug into my morgue and found one. Here's a few salient quotes from that interview titled "A Very Sloppy Way to Make a Movie" (Best of Starlog Vol. VI), which is described in the introduction as having been conducted "In 1980, a few months after the release of the 1979 film."
STARLOG: The film's final cut is two hours and ten minutes...don't you think that the present cut is also a bit long at times?
WISE: Sure do!
STARLOG: There's the scene when Kirk is being taken by Scotty around the Enterprise in that spacepod shuttle.
WISE: That is one minute and 30 seconds [too] long, and the flight inside V'ger is about two minutes too long.*

WISE: ...One of the reservations I have about the film is that I didn't have time to fine tune it. I think we could have trimmed it by six-and-a-half minutes--at least! I was planning to do more cuts on the version which would be released overseas, but I found out later that Paramount had already made 150 prints, so it would have been too costly to go back an re-edit it...
Emphasis (underlines) mine.

* One can assume this means the V'ger cloud and flyover
So, right here, months after the film hit the theaters, Wise talks about two sequences he thought should be cut down, and how much he thought at minimum the film should have been trimmed back by. It's interesting that the DE makers chose not to touch the drydock flyaround at all, yet Wise himself said it was too long by a minute and a half.

Anyone else have any interesting tidbits like this to share?
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Last edited by Maurice Navidad; July 20 2009 at 07:44 AM. Reason: Pulled out a paragraph that was distracting from the point of the thread.
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Old July 20 2009, 12:34 AM   #2
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Re: What did Wise REALLY want for a TMP Director's Cut?

I for one am not opposed to the Director's Edition. I think it made the movie more bearable and quite nice to listen to. And who is to say that 'changing your mind' along the road is always a bad thing? Sure, Robert Wise didn't think the same way he did back than, but isn't that what everyone who makes movies usually go through in all stages of production?

And it's not like he didn't do everything he mentioned in that article. The journey through the V'Ger cloud and ship was trimmed for the Director's Edition.
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Old July 20 2009, 12:47 AM   #3
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Re: What did Wise REALLY want for a TMP Director's Cut?

Changing your mind down the road isn't the same as the original intent, and the Director's Edition was plugged as his "original vision", which it ain't. Also, many of the changes in the DE are clearly suggestions from the guys doing the FX on it, and ergo not at all Wise's original intent.

To be clear, I'm not looking for a battle about the merits or warts of the DE. I want to find out as much as possible as what Wise's original intention for a Director's Cut entailed versus what we got.
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Old July 20 2009, 12:56 AM   #4
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Re: What did Wise REALLY want for a TMP Director's Cut?

DS9Sega wrote: View Post
Changing your mind down the road isn't the same as the original intent, and the Director's Edition was plugged as his "original vision", which it ain't. Also, many of the changes in the DE are clearly suggestions from the guys doing the FX on it, and ergo not at all Wise's original intent.

To be clear, I'm not looking for a battle about the merits or warts of the DE.
......I think you already did.

DS9Sega wrote: View Post
I want to find out as much as possible as what Wise's original intention for a Director's Cut entailed versus what we got.
I don't think Robert Wise was talking about what he would do in his Director's Cut. What we got now is certainly what he now intends, and that I think is more important than getting nothing at all from a film that feels unfinished and unbalanced when compared to everything else Trek.

Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert!

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Old July 20 2009, 01:43 AM   #5
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Re: What did Wise REALLY want for a TMP Director's Cut?

Jeyl wrote: View Post
DS9Sega wrote: View Post
Changing your mind down the road isn't the same as the original intent, and the Director's Edition was plugged as his "original vision", which it ain't. Also, many of the changes in the DE are clearly suggestions from the guys doing the FX on it, and ergo not at all Wise's original intent.

To be clear, I'm not looking for a battle about the merits or warts of the DE.
......I think you already did.

DS9Sega wrote: View Post
I want to find out as much as possible as what Wise's original intention for a Director's Cut entailed versus what we got.
I don't think Robert Wise was talking about what he would do in his Director's Cut. What we got now is certainly what he now intends, and that I think is more important than getting nothing at all from a film that feels unfinished and unbalanced when compared to everything else Trek.

Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert!

Make.....it......stop.......
Maybe YOU aren't getting the OP's point. The DVD does NOT represent what the director intended when he made the film, based on comments quoted here and on a lot of boards and art that did NOT get used for the DVD.

If they marketed it as 'a modern day tweak of a not quite finished film' then that's fine, but they did not do that.
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Old July 20 2009, 03:08 AM   #6
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Re: What did Wise REALLY want for a TMP Director's Cut?

trevanian wrote: View Post
Maybe YOU aren't getting the OP's point. The DVD does NOT represent what the director intended when he made the film, based on comments quoted here and on a lot of boards and art that did NOT get used for the DVD.
I'm more interested in knowing why they didn't get used instead of being told again and again that they weren't. Do you know off hand why the art wasn't used?
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Old July 20 2009, 04:07 AM   #7
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Re: What did Wise REALLY want for a TMP Director's Cut?

Jeyl wrote: View Post
trevanian wrote: View Post
Maybe YOU aren't getting the OP's point. The DVD does NOT represent what the director intended when he made the film, based on comments quoted here and on a lot of boards and art that did NOT get used for the DVD.
I'm more interested in knowing why they didn't get used instead of being told again and again that they weren't. Do you know off hand why the art wasn't used?
You could ask Dochterman on his blog.

As far as I know, the better unused approaches to San Francisco would have meant using existing art as opposed to creating something new in the computer. Might even have required crediting other people, or paying them.

As for the single nacelle view instead of the spectacular view Probert drew of a symmetrical lounge ... because somebody on the DE team decided to place the lounge in space above the rec deck, instead of under the bridge (presumably because of continuity issues with the lounge seen in the pair of SURAK docking shots, which they could have just yanked.)

As for why Katzenberg chose to farm at least one Vulcan shot out to another company instead of using Yuricich's work, you'd have to go to the documentary stuff that got removed from the DVD and delayed its release, since apparently his frankness pissed Paramount off. (old threads discussed here in 02, I think.)
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Old July 20 2009, 03:36 PM   #8
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Re: What did Wise REALLY want for a TMP Director's Cut?

trevanian wrote: View Post
As for the single nacelle view instead of the spectacular view Probert drew of a symmetrical lounge ... because somebody on the DE team decided to place the lounge in space above the rec deck, instead of under the bridge (presumably because of continuity issues with the lounge seen in the pair of SURAK docking shots, which they could have just yanked.)
Wait a minute...let's look at this scene again.



Remember the suggestion Probert initially made to marry the actual lounge set with the original lounge concept (and miniature set)?



Something about the angle the set was shot at makes me wonder if they didn't initially shoot it for the purpose of using his suggestion, but the scramble to get the thing finished forced that idea to get bent.

Now, if the DE wanted to try that, there might not be enough usable footage of the miniature set to just roto it in, but it would have been fairly easy to build a digital set for those few shots. I mean, they already know the spatial relationships between the actual set and the officer's lounge on the model, as well as having the actual model on hand to generate a rough guide for the interior shape of the lounge. Hell, it's even possible that if they asked around, someone from the production crew might have hung onto reference photos or blueprints of the thing.

Of course, this is Sharpline Arts...
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Old July 20 2009, 03:39 PM   #9
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Re: What did Wise REALLY want for a TMP Director's Cut?

By the time the DE was actually done, the other folks working on it doubtless realized that they'd get howls of complaints about "desecration" if one frame were trimmed off of the Kirk/Scotty flyaround of the Enterprise.
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Old July 20 2009, 05:59 PM   #10
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Re: What did Wise REALLY want for a TMP Director's Cut?

USS Mariner wrote: View Post
trevanian wrote: View Post
As for the single nacelle view instead of the spectacular view Probert drew of a symmetrical lounge ... because somebody on the DE team decided to place the lounge in space above the rec deck, instead of under the bridge (presumably because of continuity issues with the lounge seen in the pair of SURAK docking shots, which they could have just yanked.)
Wait a minute...let's look at this scene again.



Remember the suggestion Probert initially made to marry the actual lounge set with the original lounge concept (and miniature set)?



Something about the angle the set was shot at makes me wonder if they didn't initially shoot it for the purpose of using his suggestion, but the scramble to get the thing finished forced that idea to get bent.
Hard to know. I was surprised Apogee got the job of building that interior model, but the angle is odd too, given that Probert ALSO did art of a SURAK approach looking UP past crew through windows ... this shot is almost an inversion of that drawing, but maybe that is in keeping with Trumbull looking at things from the opposite end of the scope, which apparently he picked up from exposure to Kubrick.

I'm probably gonna be away from here and other sites for the next few weeks again, due to a sudden flurry of writing jobs, wife health issues and having to try to coordinate a home move, but if there's something pressing, PM me or email me, okay friends o mine?
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Old July 20 2009, 07:11 PM   #11
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Re: What did Wise REALLY want for a TMP Director's Cut?

Dennis wrote: View Post
By the time the DE was actually done, the other folks working on it doubtless realized that they'd get howls of complaints about "desecration" if one frame were trimmed off of the Kirk/Scotty flyaround of the Enterprise.
Also, they'd have to edit the music cue so it would fit.

Doug
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Old July 20 2009, 07:47 PM   #12
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Re: What did Wise REALLY want for a TMP Director's Cut?

Doug Otte wrote: View Post
Dennis wrote: View Post
By the time the DE was actually done, the other folks working on it doubtless realized that they'd get howls of complaints about "desecration" if one frame were trimmed off of the Kirk/Scotty flyaround of the Enterprise.
Also, they'd have to edit the music cue so it would fit.

Doug
Damn. They'd have had to go underground and assume new identities after that.
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Old July 20 2009, 08:39 PM   #13
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Re: What did Wise REALLY want for a TMP Director's Cut?

But Goldsmith said he wrote some pieces with repeating motifs precisely to allow the music to be trimmed to fit.
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Old July 20 2009, 09:36 PM   #14
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Re: What did Wise REALLY want for a TMP Director's Cut?

DS9Sega wrote: View Post
But Goldsmith said he wrote some pieces with repeating motifs precisely to allow the music to be trimmed to fit.
You try telling that to the internet.
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Old July 20 2009, 09:49 PM   #15
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Re: What did Wise REALLY want for a TMP Director's Cut?

The Internet hardly represents a typical audience.
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