New unofficial Making of TMP book

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by SpHeRe31459, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. JJTrek4ever!

    JJTrek4ever! Lieutenant Junior Grade

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    The $49.50 "International Delivery" fee for two thick trade paperback copies of Return to Tomorrow is an absolute bargain in comparison to what Reship.com would charge in addition to paying the vendor shipping to send the items to Reship.com's Portland, Oregon facility in the first place, so I personally cannot fault Creature Features in this particular instance.

    My needs are modest. :)
     
  2. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Got an assignment to review it for ICG magazine, probably for December or January issue (they've reviewed some really arcane stuff, like the Bob Fisher/Storaro book, which probably retailed for $150.)

    It'll only be a one-pager, but even so, I really like getting to do stuff that isn't interview-driven. Maybe I WILL order a second copy (first went in under my wife's name, so I probably can't write that one off for taxes ... )
     
  3. SpHeRe31459

    SpHeRe31459 Captain Captain

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    Really tempted to pick this up. I seem to take a long time to finish (if ever) reading the behind-the-scenes books I do have. I'm still slowly working my way through TNG 365, and it took me a long to time to read through Star Trek Action! a few years back, etc. I read it in spurts, and then put it back on the shelf for a while, life intervenes, etc.

    TMP to me is always an interesting subject. It was a time when everything was up in air, there wasn't a movie franchise yet, it was based on scrapped Phase II stuff plus more/new stuff when they changed the scope of the project to a movie from a weekly TV series, etc. There's so much to know about what went on behind the scenes.
     
  4. pfontaine2

    pfontaine2 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Me too! I've been waiting for this for 30 years. I actually kept my subscription to Cinefantastique for years hoping that they would eventually publish that double issue. I'd love to know the story behind the movie and why the article never made it to print.
     
  5. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    The ad for that non-issue made me order a three-year subscription (which was good in a way, since that meant I was spending money on CFQ rather than STARLOG, but also bad, because I often couldn't afford to buy FANTASTIC FILMS, which sometimes had fantastic Syd Mead interviews.)
     
  6. pfontaine2

    pfontaine2 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Ahh yes (and I'm a bit off topic here...). The late 70's to mid 1980's was a golden age for genre-related film magazines.

    Starlog was great from it's inception up to when it ran its SFX series and published it's photo guidebooks but I eventually lost interest.

    Fantastic Films did a great job interviewing important people who worked on various projects. The three issue Alien series of interviews (Dan O'Bannon, Ron Cobb and Ridley Scott) were incredibly interesting.

    CFQ was the place to go for hard information about a film's production. Their double issues on Star Wars and Close Encounters are just chock full of information not found anywhere else. I even enjoyed their double issue on the Black Hole!

    I was so looking forward to their coverage of Star Trek based on their track record on these other films. And now, after waiting 35 years, I'll finally get my hands on that information!
     
  7. pfontaine2

    pfontaine2 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I'm not certain if anyone can answer this question yet but does this book cover the transition from Phase II to TMP? I would dearly love to see more photos of the Phase II sets before they were modified for the movie.

    I know there are some online but there are photos that were published in Star Trek magazine of Roddenberry and Wise having production meetings. There on the walls behind them are tantalizing Phase II set photos. The photos are so small that it's hard to make out many details.

    This period is what most fascinates me and I hope that it's covered to some degree in this book.
     
  8. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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  9. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    If you combine the authorized PHASE 2 book from Pocket with the unauthorized TREK THE LOST YEARS book, then filter both with a discerning eye, you can get a pretty good picture of things. The art in the pocket p2 book is sometimes miscaptioned, though.

    Mike Minor's version of vger is something that turns up in the background of a lot of pics, but I remember seeing it online in larger form someplace (maybe ottens lost trek or forgotten trek page?) ... I haven't ever seen anything showing photos of the corridors, but I'm guessing they are standard Holiday Inn, w/o the angled frames.

    My guess is that if Minor, Lee Cole and/or Joe Jennings are interviewed that you'll get a decent hunk on p2 in there. Oh, and Jon Povill would certainly be a good person to have interviewed who had history on all trek attempts in the 70s, back when his memory was still fresh.

    It'd be awesome if Robert Collins was interviewed as well, but I'm guessing he was long gone by the time Jones got this assignment (he was supposed to direct INTHYIMAGE and was technically still the director when it became TMP, but that was mainly just keeping a placard in place till Wise accepted the job -- they both had the same agent, so Collins knew he was history long before it became official.)

    I helped a good writer named Ross Plesset prep a couple articles that ran in FILMFAX around ten years back (it has an EMPIRE STRIKES BACK cover if that helps) which deal with Joe Jennigs' career and paths not taken while phase 3 morphed into TMP ... he got comments from Povill, Collins and I think Bob Goodwin too ... he also got a picture of the building that was going to be used as Starfleet in IN THY IMAGE, an angular place called the Fluor Building.

    Unfortunately, the MOST interesting thing Ross got, a memo from Jon Povill to Paramount higher-ups, was left out of the magazine. Povill wanted the memo printed in its entirety (understandable), and it went into convincing Paramount that its ... well, let's say Judeo-Christian bent ... was not a direction that was credible to have vger pursue.

    Here's hoping Ross finds someplace that will reproduce that memo sometime ... it's amazingly polite given how what inspired it would probably have had Harlan Ellison throwing Magicam constructs at anybody wearing a business suit.

    The stuff that is going to be of most interest to me is how they handle the whole Robert Abel situation. I've talked to a LOT of folks who worked at Abel's, some who went on to Trumbull and Dykstra, and there's a lot that was going on there that was positive, and some really bad stuff too. If Jones didn't get access to vfx till after main unit wrapped, he may not have had access to Abel folk at all, except maybe Bob Swarthe.

    Just as an exercise, to give you an idea of what expectations we had at the time of release, you might want to hunt up the NEW WEST article from 79 about the Abel VFX debacle (only presents one side), the Playboy TMP article focusing on Trumbull's team (I think it has a Farah cover, but don't hold me to that) and STARLOG 27's MAGICAM article, along with STARLOG and FF pieces of 1979. I've never read it, but the MEDIASCENE PREVUE piece on TMP (might be 78, not 79) is also supposed to be of interest (cover is a recolored pr shot of the principals, but with great red coloring on the uniforms.)
     
  10. pfontaine2

    pfontaine2 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Hi Therin. Yes, I know about the Phase II book and bought it as soon as it was released. I think I've downloaded or own nearly everything related to Phase II and yet I know there was more, partially due to those photos I mentioned. I know that the Ottens and Memory Alpha websites have some nice images as well (I provided some to Memory Alpha as scans from long out of print magazines).

    The Phase II book is fantastic but doesn't really discuss the transition between Phase II and TMP. There are many articles printed in Starlog, Fantastic Films and others that discuss the production of TMP but there's little that discusses the transition between the two projects. What state were the sets in when Wise came on board? What changes did Roddenberry want now that he had a larger budget? Clearly, the models were discarded and layers of detail were added to the existing sets but I'm always interested in seeing more.

    For instance, like Trevanian mentioned, no photos of the Phase II corridors have ever surfaced (though you can see hints of them in some behind the scenes photos that show the framing of the new corridors). Perhaps the corridors had only been framed out but never completed by the time the transition took place. I would love to see anything else that might be floating around that has never made publication or appeared on the internet.

    Perhaps I'll start a new thread soon where we could post anything anyone has come across related to the transition between Phase II and TMP so as not to tie up this thread.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014
  11. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    the new thread idea is a good one, this topic is interesting enough with just the Jones-related stuff.

    One thing that is only hinted at in various places is how Joe Jennings being replaced seems to be mainly because of his clashing with the Abel group. He never addresses this, but someplace (perhaps a Mike Minor interview from way back), there is an explicit mention of art dept vs Abel leading to art dept shakeup ... then again, I imagine Wise wanted somebody with major motion picture credits anyway, so maybe that was just a matter of time anyway.

    In the FILMFAX piece, Bob Baker mentions how shoddily he was treated (building the IN THY IMAGE puppets that invade the Enterprise that were designed by Mike Minor) by Abel's people.
     
  12. pfontaine2

    pfontaine2 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Just wanted to clarify that the scans I made were provided to the Memory Alpha website, not the Otten website. My mistake and my post has been corrected.

    Yes Trevanian, I will start a new thread soon!
     
  13. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Preordered. :mallory:
     
  14. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Cawley posted a rare photo or two on Facebook of the Phase II sets. I think it was the engine room or the transporter. Unfortunately FB doesn't make it easy to dig up old posts, but they were fascinating.

    Update:

    I found the Phase II set concepts/photos.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014
  15. inflatabledalek

    inflatabledalek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Ordered on the grounds that, even though I'm not a huge TMP fan I do find all the behind the scenes shenanigans hugely interesting (more so than the film in many ways), so this should be a great read.
     
  16. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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  17. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    What I see in this is the hexagonal motif that may have been carried over to the "stepping-stones" at the end of the movie. Trumbull's model didn't really have much of a hexagonal pattern.
     
  18. JJTrek4ever!

    JJTrek4ever! Lieutenant Junior Grade

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    Mike Minor concept art for V'ger.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/11335116/OldFluorCorpHQ1.jpg
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/11335116/OldFluorCorpHQ2.jpg

    Presumably matte paintings would have been used to futurize the upper floors of the buildings as well as to replace the 1970s Orange County background with 23rd century San Francisco.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
  19. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wonder what happened to those models.
     
  20. JJTrek4ever!

    JJTrek4ever! Lieutenant Junior Grade

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    Considering how flimsy that thing looked the remains probably ended up in a Paramount dumpster after somebody accidentally belched on it during a snack break.