Saturday, March 27, 2004

The Star Trek story without violence or villain, yet with everything at stake, an adventure, and a problem relevant to us today as well as the future... Along with solid dramatic construction, a classic visual style, and storytelling that gives plenty of opportunity for group of relaxed actors who rise to the occasion as individuals, and have a chemistry with each other that leaps off the screen: this is Leonard Nimoy's Star Trek statement.

I asked Leonard Nimoy this question: What makes Star Trek Star Trek? "It's all about story," he said. "It's all about ideas."

We talked about why in 2004 Star Trek seemed, in his words, "like a beached whale." Some of it, he felt, had to do with storytelling. "A lot of the stuff we've seen in the last ten years has been driven by the enormously successful development of special effects, and the ability to show these incredible-and in many cases disastrous---images. Destroying the White House, for example. [in Independence Day.] So people say, 'what can we show next that's more dramatic than what's already been on the screen?

" We were an entirely different ilk, we didn't have that. Even in the last film we never relied on that kind of thing. The dependence was on the story, story, story. Not image, image, image. And to the degree that Star Trek movies slipped into image, image, image, I think they lost their way."

"When we were doing the original Star Trek series, things were not so terrific," he told me. "There was the Vietnam war, there were crises and racial tensions in the United States-there was a lot of negative stuff happening. Against that background, there was this very positive idea, to boldly go and solve problems. A group of people solving problems on a large, almost operatic scale. Which was very desirable for an audience, and I think we may see that again. There may come a time when films that are positive are again welcomed."


Scott said...

Another excellent essay William. Many thanks. The amount of work that you put into these essays is quite evident.

Anonymous said...

i so second that.
great read.