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The Troubled Production of Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Last week, we linked the story of Paramount’s search for a story to tell in the first Star Trek feature film. The followup is the tale of how the movie got made, although it was a mess of a production from the beginning. After dropping the idea in 1977, Paramount suddenly decided in 1978 that there would be a Star Trek movie one way or another, and it had to be made within a year. That led to all kinds of struggles, even after the principle filming was finally finished. For example, the computer visual effects, which the producers were counting on.   

“They made some really big, fundamental mistakes in trying to pre-vis on computers that weren’t ready for primetime,” Trumbull told The Hollywood Reporter. “They spent a year and nothing was finished, and nothing worked.”

As a result, Trumbull found himself at the centre of a massive panic at Paramount. Theatres had paid advances amounting to $30 million with the understanding that Star Trek would open on December 7th. Yet here they were, with the movie just months away, and not a single effects shot had been completed. The size of the situation was such that, if Paramount couldn’t deliver the movie, they’d almost certainly be sued into oblivion by angry cinema owners.

But that was just one problem among many in the production of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Read the whole story at Den of Geek.


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