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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Star Trek - Original Series

Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old May 17 2013, 02:36 AM   #1
marsomthing
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TOS camera usage

One of the things I instantly loved about Star Trek when I started watching it was the camera angles and views the series used.

What I'm talking about is the "crazy" fish lens looking thing, or the POV during a fight.

Was TOS the first "big" show to use this, or had it been around and used before?
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Old May 17 2013, 02:42 AM   #2
SpHeRe31459
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Re: TOS camera usage

It was a somewhat common style in art house films. Trek was one of the first TV shows to use the look though AFAIK. Another was The Outer Limits. Which not coincidentally shared many of the same directors.
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Old May 17 2013, 03:17 AM   #3
marsomthing
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Re: TOS camera usage

I had never read anything before about this kinda stuff, interesting tho. I really enjoy how Trek used it, not enough to be cheesy but just enough to add flare IMO...

Off the top of my head I can't remember which episodes they did it in, anybody else wanna chime in?
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Old May 17 2013, 04:38 AM   #4
EnsignHarper
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Re: TOS camera usage

marsomthing wrote: View Post
I had never read anything before about this kinda stuff, interesting tho. I really enjoy how Trek used it, not enough to be cheesy but just enough to add flare IMO...

Off the top of my head I can't remember which episodes they did it in, anybody else wanna chime in?
The fish-eye lens is from both The Tholian Web, Is There In Truth No Beauty.

Trek had some VERY good directors - Joe Pevney, Marc Daniels and Ralph Senensky were all among the busiest directors in TV at the time. Pevney seemed to specialize in the bigger productions, Daniels was the best at using those small ENT sets, and Senensky was their 'sensitive' specialist.
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Old May 17 2013, 02:21 PM   #5
feek61
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Re: TOS camera usage

EnsignHarper wrote: View Post
marsomthing wrote: View Post
I had never read anything before about this kinda stuff, interesting tho. I really enjoy how Trek used it, not enough to be cheesy but just enough to add flare IMO...

Off the top of my head I can't remember which episodes they did it in, anybody else wanna chime in?
The fish-eye lens is from both The Tholian Web, Is There In Truth No Beauty.

Trek had some VERY good directors - Joe Pevney, Marc Daniels and Ralph Senensky were all among the busiest directors in TV at the time. Pevney seemed to specialize in the bigger productions, Daniels was the best at using those small ENT sets, and Senensky was their 'sensitive' specialist.
Senesky first used the 9mm fisheye in "Metamorphosis" for the long shots of the Galileo on the planet surface. You can really tell as Cochran seems to be far away from the Galileo but when he runs towards it he gets there in about 5 steps, lol.
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Old May 17 2013, 05:30 PM   #6
JoeD80
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Re: TOS camera usage

Jerry Finnerman was the director of photography (except for the last part of season three). He'd be the one picking which camera to use and how the lighting should be for each shot, based on the effect the episode director wants to achieve.

Ralph mentions the 9mm was Jerry's idea (from senensky.com):

Ralph Senensky wrote:
I decided I wanted to use the fish-eye 9mm lens again, the lens Jerry Finnerman introduced me to on METAMORPHOSIS
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Old May 17 2013, 06:38 PM   #7
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Re: TOS camera usage

JoeD80 wrote: View Post
Jerry Finnerman was the director of photography (except for the last part of season three). He'd be the one picking which camera to use and how the lighting should be for each shot, based on the effect the episode director wants to achieve.

Ralph mentions the 9mm was Jerry's idea (from senensky.com):

Ralph Senensky wrote:
I decided I wanted to use the fish-eye 9mm lens again, the lens Jerry Finnerman introduced me to on METAMORPHOSIS
Senensky seems to be saying that Finnerman introduced the new wide angle 9mm lens to Senensky back during "Metamorphosis," but that it was actually Senensky's decision to use it again in "Is There In Truth...," not Finnerman's. But maybe I'm just misunderstanding him.
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Old May 17 2013, 07:48 PM   #8
marsomthing
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Re: TOS camera usage

I had never picked up on Metamorphorsis shot...guess you would really have to look for it since it is not a close up shot.
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Old May 17 2013, 08:22 PM   #9
Forbin
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Re: TOS camera usage

My favorite use of the fisheye was in "In Truth...", not in the exaggerated Spock POV shots, but in that shot after Kirk came out of sickbay looking for Miranda, and the wide lens showed how empty and lonely the corridor was.
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Old May 17 2013, 08:30 PM   #10
marsomthing
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Re: TOS camera usage

I think it really makes the POV fighting feel very "crazy" and makes the person really look like they are full of rage, I can almost feel it while watching.

What other kinds of little touches did the directors/creators/producers add to make TOS stand out at the time?
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Old May 18 2013, 01:52 AM   #11
JoeD80
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Re: TOS camera usage

GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
Senensky seems to be saying that Finnerman introduced the new wide angle 9mm lens to Senensky back during "Metamorphosis," but that it was actually Senensky's decision to use it again in "Is There In Truth...," not Finnerman's. But maybe I'm just misunderstanding him.
Certainly if a director says "I will use this camera" then one should listen, but in general the DP is there to decide such things.
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Old May 18 2013, 03:49 AM   #12
Kirkman
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Re: TOS camera usage

One shot that has stuck with me was from behind a set of stairs as Ent crewmembers were marched down.

I believe it was in For the World Is Hollow and I have Touched the Sky, but I might be mistaken.
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Old May 19 2013, 12:36 AM   #13
SpHeRe31459
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Re: TOS camera usage

Kirkman wrote: View Post
One shot that has stuck with me was from behind a set of stairs as Ent crewmembers were marched down.

I believe it was in For the World Is Hollow and I have Touched the Sky, but I might be mistaken.
Yep, it's a very cool shot.

http://tos.trekcore.com/hd/thumbnail...bum=74&page=11
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Old May 19 2013, 01:33 AM   #14
trevanian
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Re: TOS camera usage

marsomthing wrote: View Post
I think it really makes the POV fighting feel very "crazy" and makes the person really look like they are full of rage, I can almost feel it while watching.

What other kinds of little touches did the directors/creators/producers add to make TOS stand out at the time?
The cinematography was treated -- in terms of AMOUNT of light -- almost as Black&White, something Finnerman learned from old-time pros. What you get when you really push things is what he called a half-tone, where you see detail in the faces even though that part isn't bathed in light. On really good Kirk closeups, you can see the big backlight, the silhouetted foreground and an edge of detail that makes for a very rich image.

Finnerman talks about this in interviews in CINEMAGIC and CINEFANTASTIQUE magazine and I think maybe in STAR TREK INTERVIEWS book too.

Personally, I just love the amount of black in the frame at times in BALANCE OF TERROR and DAY OF THE DOVE, especially the latter during the 'ship out, freak!' scene.

Frankly, I'm bored by the see-everything look we've drowned in since they started making filmstocks resemble video more and more, and now digital has just begun to look like film to a slight degree, but things still show too much mid-range for my taste. But they're not using as many movie lights, so I guess naturalism is going to be in for the forseeable future.
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Old May 19 2013, 02:11 AM   #15
feek61
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Re: TOS camera usage

I believe Finnerman was gone before "Day of the Dove" was shot. His last episode was (I think) "The Empath"

I know what you are saying though.

BTW, here is a great video interview with Mr. Finnerman:

http://emmytvlegends.org/interviews/...erry-finnerman
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