TFF - The Good

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by austen_pierce, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Probably the best moment in the movie, and a nice acknowledgment of Spock's character growth over the course of the entire series.
     
  2. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    I didn't know about the GB2 thing, but the date on that event puts it at a point way past when ILM would have made their 'you get the 3rd-string team' offer to Par (assuming that is what actually happened.)

    Muren was the vfx supe on that, so since he was already king at ILM, he'd've had a lot of clout in terms of what they chose to do. He had some stuff farmed out on ET (some kind of kid's mobile?) and TEMPLE OF DOOM (the utterly awesome plane crabbing through frame over The Great Wall shot) to DreamQuest without any sacrifice in quality, and they certainly knew VCE had delivered on any number of ILM shows back to EMPIRE and going ahead past TFF through to STAR TREK VI, and while Apogee's work varied in quality, I still don't understand why they weren't more seriously considered for TFF to start with.

    And to tie-in with Apogee, Peter Donen's group, which worked with them on SPACEBALLS, would have been an awesome choice for TFF, given that some of the SPACEBALLS stuff delivered great mattework on ships flying in daylight and that kind of thing (going on what might be a shaky memory there, since I have never seen SPACEBALLS except once on VHS.) The R/Greenberg people would have been solid as well, though perhaps too pricey.

    I'm certainly not suggesting ILM was the only way to go on this, just that it would have been a safe call. I don't have any agenda to promote them, that's for sure (except for BATTLESHIP, every article I've been assigned that involved them since TREK 09 has either failed to happen or gone forward without ILM participation, so I'm presumably on a shit list that ranks with how Adrian Samish blacklisted Harlan Ellison at ABC for years. Most recent instance, I had done about 7 interviews with NOAH's camera guys -- not the DP, he was exclusive to AmCin, though we didn't find that out for months -- before it became clear that the studio wouldn't override and insist ILM talk to me, so that one went PFFT! as well.)

    Yours for more parenthetical excess,

    Kevin
     
  3. Tiny Timby

    Tiny Timby LIKE LIGHTNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING Administrator

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    I always figured Apogee was too busy for TFF ... in addition to their overflow work on GB2, they were also working on My Stepmother is an Alien, Wes Craven's Shocker and one or two other movies during that 1988 - 89 time period. I don't recall them being a particularly huge outfit so I imagine bandwidth could have been an issue for them.
     
  4. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's worth noting that in Star Trek Movie Memories Shatner makes the point that they did apparently sound out ILM about doing the SFX, and (I'm paraphrasing from memory) "the best they could give us wasn't their best", due in part to their large work commitment elsewhere that year. I think Shatner does suggest that ILM could have been contracted for the movie, but likely that they would've had the C-Team or D-team working on it, rather than the A-team ("An' I piddy da fool who don't have The A-Team workin' on it!").

    But who knows? Maybe even ILM's D-Team would still have done a better job than what we got.
     
  5. lurok

    lurok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As we seem to have vfx-interested people here, curious about the officer's lounge/pain scene: does anyone know if the starfield running in back of shot is some form of projection? Doesn't feel like blue/greenscreen.
     
  6. Khan 2.0

    Khan 2.0 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    earth...but when?...spock?
    wonder if shatners seen Noah... bet hed have killed to have those rock monsters at the end of TFF :D
     
  7. balls

    balls Commander Red Shirt

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    I agree with everything you wrote except the last line about god being in the human heart. It bothered me on June 9, 1989 when I first heard it and to this day. The Federation has 150 planets and they know of countless other worlds, yet god resides in the "human" heart? I don't care for that sentiment. While he's telling bones this, does he even care about spock's half Vulcan heart?
     
  8. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Very heavy-duty rear projection. The cinematographer actually wanted to shoot bluescreen in order to have a huge backlight coming through the windows, but there would have been tremendous matting problems on every shot that wasn't static (even movement against the RP was problematic in terms of sometimes being a little off-axis, which can hurt the look.)

    For me, I think the RP is one of the best things about the movie visually, both there and to a lesser degree on the bridge viewscreen as well. It has some lovely quality of not-perfectly-sharp that really works well for the lounge.

    Rear projection actually continued to see use in features well past this point; Fincher used it in FIGHT CLUB for the driving/crash scene, and it still gets used on TV sometimes, though usually now with those LED-type screens, so it is a digital version of what used to involve multiple projectors.
     
  9. lurok

    lurok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thanks. That was my suspicion, and I think it's quite a nice effect.
     
  10. pfontaine2

    pfontaine2 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I agree that the rear projection in the lounge was spectacular. It's one of the few times I've felt like these characters were on a ship that had tremendous forward motion. The low lighting must of helped because the blacks are truly black. The same can't be said for the bridge scenes where the rear projection doesn't have the same amount of contrast and ended up washed out.
     
  11. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I see your point but I think he meant it in the generic sense, not the specific species.
     
  12. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As to budget, that budget comparison doc I posted a while back indicates that more money was spent on VFX for TFF than TVH, so why would ILM turn it down for money reasons alone?
     
  13. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This is just a little nitpick, I know, but the rear projection in the Observation Lounge would've looked a little better had there been some actual glass, or plexiglass, or whatever, in the actual window. Some vague reflections with that behind would've helped, considerably. As it was, it was OK. It's my understanding that the rear projected film wasn't quite long enough and that presented challenges for a few scenes ...
     
  14. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    ILM felt a little constricted by the budgetary and in-camera approaches on TVH, so maybe they weren't chomping at the bit to have to go through that again (Ken Ralston was on the BTTF sequels so he wouldn't have been available anyway.) It was said earlier in the decade that ILM guaranteed its shots not to go overbudget (I think Sallin said that), but I don't know if that means they ate overages or that there was a different way to look at the numbers.

    Those numbers you found for TFF's VFX might be a times point 5 overage for all we know. You look at all the hardware that got built for RP and for the unused FP for the God live bit that got dropped to post, plus the electron microscope modification and a brand new mocon system, plus whatever it cost to blow up the scratched neg shots that Ferren saved for them. Even with all that, the number you found just blew my mind given the results (or lack thereof.)
     
  15. Khan 2.0

    Khan 2.0 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    it was Star Trek though...ILM shouldve done it for free (or at most some signed photos of Shatner)
     
  16. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^Ok, time to cut back on the Cordrazine, man.
     
  17. Khan 2.0

    Khan 2.0 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ok :D

    but I Wonder what the FX wouldve been like had ILM done them?

    the spaceship FX for ENT/BOP/shuttle surely wouldve been up to Trek III standard (plus maybe wed have seen some new mushroom spacedock stuff as in VI instead of reusing the end of IV) but what about ShaKaRee/god? would they have done the bluey light show? Maybe, but itd have more than likely looked less bland, more 'ILM' looking...in fact maybe they wouldve been able to do the original ending of all the gargoyles coming out the ground after the torpedo strike and them chasing KSB back to the shuttle with Scotty accidentally beaming one up thinking its kirk and having to disintegrate it but in doing so destroys the transporter. So kirk is on the run using 2 phasers and gets to the top of the mountain and fires both phasers at the gargoyles but there's too many but then the BOP arrives and blasts them..then kirk fires his phasers at the BOP before being beamed up..(as described in The Making of The Trek Films & The Making of Trek VI) the gargoyles couldve been a combination of animatronic/puppets/early CG/animation/man in suits as in Raiders (dark angel ending), Ghostbusters, Gremlins, Twilight Zone The Movie Nightmare 20,000 segment, SW trilogy, Aliens etc (dunno how 'god' wouldve fit in with all the gargoyles? maybe He would be like the overlord of them directing them/guiding them toward the trio like a big Dr Manhattan.)

    I doubt the FX wouldve been an issue and criticized just like they weren't for the other films
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
  18. Nebusj

    Nebusj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It seems to me that Final Frontier was more demanding for visual effects than Voyage Home was, but that's not based on actually counting the number of shots or their duration. Has anyone got a sense of how the movies compare for shots of starships and energy effects and the other stuff that can't be done in-camera?
     
  19. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    They didn't name names, but the 'audition' for vfx houses on TFF was to do up the god tube effect (called at that point the undisclosed wonder, I think) ... Winter or somebody was quoted as saying one of the biggest fx houses just superimposed somebody inside a tube of light without any fanciness or magic. Have no idea if that was ILM or Apogee or not, but I can't imagine DreamQuest on their worst day delivering something like that for a test.
     
  20. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Thing to keep in mind here is that most of the God sequence was supposed to be in-camera, using a front projected image of God on a spinning cylinder, and that approach was dropped practically on the day. So the number of opticals went up enormously just right there with that added to the post schedule.

    TFF actually cuts some corners pretty well, using starfields w/o a starship a couple of times (the flawed log entry, and again when Spock is first in the lounge.) I do think the ILM shots stand out like Hulk's thumbs next to the other stuff in the film, it is like it is from a different universe rather than a different movie with respect to lighting as well as success in compositing.