One possible reason Star Trek The Motion Picture Directors Cut is not on blu ray?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by XIDOR, May 21, 2016.

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  1. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

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    Would it really come to that much, though? The new effects that Foundation Imaging did for the TMP director's cut only amounted to a few seconds of screen time if memory serves. They fixed a few shots and inserted a few that never got completed due to time pressures.

    I think they'd have to start from scratch. Foundation went bankrupt not long after the TMP director's cut came out. I doubt anybody still has those assets.

    It was really good work, but there wasn't much of it.

    Wise's cut is an improvement, but the film still has huge problems.

    The story began life as a script idea for Roddenberry's Genesis II series, which never got beyond the pilot. It then got translated to Star Trek: Phase II while that series was bubbling at Paramount during the mid-'70s, before they finally decided to make a film out of Trek post-Star Wars.
     
  2. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

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    Roddenberry nearly destroyed TNG, which was mostly produced by his idiot lawyer that first season (to predictable results). Gerrold had come up with concepts like an Away Team back in the '70s, and had gone on at length about the changes he'd make in his book on Trek, so it was cool to see some of that implemented, but for the most part that first year was an absolute train wreck. If Trek weren't basking in the post-The Voyage Home glow of massive box office success Paramount probably would have pulled the plug on TNG after that first season. (Although the ratings were OK for syndication - probably better than the worst expectations inside the studio. I was mostly hate-watching it after a few months though, and I suspect I wasn't the only one...)

    The person who "saved" TNG was script editor Melinda Snodgrass in the second season, with episodes like "The Measure Of A Man" and the Borg-introducing "Q Who", which showed what the series was capable of when Gene's lawyer wasn't pulling the strings. "Measure" - which Snodgrass penned - might be TNG's finest hour. It's certainly up there. The second season was something of a mess in spite of her work, but the episodes where she was allowed to leave her mark were pretty much the templates for the subsequent 5 seasons.

    They finally shoved some of the malevolent forces out of an airlock by the third season and brought in Michael Piller to run the show. He and Snodgrass didn't get along and she departed, but I think by this point she'd clearly produced the template and they simply followed it. I've always thought Piller, Berman and Braga got way too much credit though for "saving' TNG. A lot of what saved it was getting Gene's lawyer out the door, getting Gene out the door, and letting professionals - any professionals - run things without ridiculous interference.

    Ironically, Roddenberry was a lot like George Lucas - great idea guy, but shouldn't be allowed to write scripts or produce or direct pretty much anything.
     
  3. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    Yep, your story is very much what I have heard from several people on the inside. The only thing I would add is that certain producers had drug issues, and that lead to health issues which did not help the turmoil within TNG. I was surprised to find out that even the These Are the Voyages 3rd-season book mentions that Roddenberry was on meth (prescription) to work the long hours needed for the job. In fairness to him, I knew a ton of producers who did the same thing, at least during the season.

    Nobody liked Roddenberry's attorney, Leonard Maizlish, and I've heard no good about him over the years. How he managed to wring any control of the show at all is incredible.

    @wayneklein tells the exact same version of the story I've heard from four or five different people, so it's fair to say that the original Star Trek plus the movies plus Next Generation were quite a mess. For anybody who wants to read more, here's a link to the These Are the Voyages books, which are extraordinary in the amount of detail they provide:

    These are the voyages Publishing

    The new book about to come out deals with what Roddenberry was doing from 1970-1975, which was an interesting period. I actually got to meet the man at Paramount in July of '75 and had lunch with several cast members (through my old pal, VFX whiz John Ellis), and even then, Gene told us he had an idea for a TV movie where "the Enterprise crew would meet god." And in many ways, that's close to what Star Trek: The Motion Picture became 4 years later.
     
  4. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

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    It was a bad idea, but it was an idea...

    Nicholas Meyer saved Star Trek. Well, him and Jack B. Sowards. If it hadn't been for Wrath of Khan, the franchise probably would have died after the first Trek film.

    And about half of the Trek films made since Wrath Of Khan have been attempts to remake it. Increasingly awful attempts.
     
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  5. The Hermit

    The Hermit Wavin' that magick glowstick since 1976

    I've heard about the chaos behind the scenes on TNG's first season for years - even though I seemingly like that season (despite it's flaws) more than most people; I have a soft spot for it, they were still finding their creative feet, it does have some really good material/moments, plus it's arguably better than Season 7, which was mostly a dead dog of a season with one or two genuinely excellent episodes - but the best story I've heard about Leonard Maizlish, and I'll admit this is probably one of those apocryphal-albeit-highly amusing urban myths, is that Maizlish was having chest pains in the office... and one of the TNG writers/producers literally screamed at him "I hope you DIE!"... probably not true, but boy, I chuckled at that for weeks (hey, I have a jet-black sense of humor, so sue me!)... hooray for Hollywood indeed!!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  6. mBen989

    mBen989 Forum Resident

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    Don't forget the second season of Next Gen was affected by the '88 WGA strike and so was The Final Frontier. (Okay, that was only one of the problems Final Frontier encountered.)
     
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  7. dougotte

    dougotte Petty, Annoying Dilettante

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I don't mean to pick on you, but I don't understand why people question things like this. The studio obviously feels it wouldn't be profitable.

    In the case of ST, they leveraged the new HD versions (w/ upgraded effects) to license them to HD channels and streaming. That's 79 episodes which can be shown over and over, ad nauseum. Even so, I wonder if it ended up being profitable for them. That was in the era when people still had some interest in ST.

    How could they recoup the costs for TMP? It's one of the least popular of the original movies, which are all fading from younger viewers memories.
     
  8. boyjohn

    boyjohn Forum Resident

    Is there any reason that studios can't turn to some kind of fan financing to get a project such as this done? In other words, set up a gofundme or whatever for the expected cost of updated special effects, and then everyone who contributed would get the result for free (streaming or digital file) or the physical cost of producing a disc/package. The studio could then sell physical copies to everyone else and license to Netflix, etc. down the road.
     
  9. BeatleJWOL

    BeatleJWOL Senior Member

    Typically it's because the necessary financing for such a project reaches into the realm of millions. Most Gofundme campaigns don't reach those heights and the few that do get there because they're heavily political (not here to discuss that, of course, but examples provided in the link) or related to immense tragedy, neither of which applies to a remastering of a 40 year old movie.
     
  10. boyjohn

    boyjohn Forum Resident

    I understand. But if total scams like the portable drinking water thing or the lcd projected smart watch thing on your skin can pull in millions, then you would think that a legit project like STTMP or a DS9 HD remaster could do as well.
     
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  11. donmac

    donmac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Has everyone newly posting to this thread read ST:TMP producer David C. Fein's posting here back in Feb 2017 (posting #40 link)?

    Because in his post, David C. Fein answered some questions other made, which he quotes, (and that I see being asked again) saying that they still have the effects models and elements for the Director's Edition and could re-render the effects in HD if the studio requests it.

    Quoting this directly from his post:
    "All of the shots in the film were created with HD in mind so the quality of the models and elements were much higher than the SD renderings. We have everything, and when the time is right, we'll use them. Again, there is no truth that anything is missing."
     
  12. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Forgot about that. Interesting.

    So this is down to Paramount's usual incompetence, then...
     
  13. BeatleJWOL

    BeatleJWOL Senior Member

    Moreso their tight wallets. At the time the Director's edition was going to end up on a DVD, so that's the quality they were aiming for.

    Now that the films are on Blu-ray, and even Wrath of Khan got a director's edition, there's no excuse.
     
  14. mBen989

    mBen989 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scranton, PA
    There's also the issue of a co-star outing himself as a paedophile.
     
  15. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    It's not like they've withdrawn the film though. All 8 came out again in a Blu-ray pack in 2016 (and can be had for $30 from Amazon...hmmm...).
     
  16. Scooterpiety

    Scooterpiety Current operator of the Freedonia peanut stand

    Location:
    Oregon
    As I understand it, adjusted for inflation, ST TMP is the second most profitable of all of the Trek films, closely following ST Into Darkness.
     
  17. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    TMP might be the second highest grossing, inflation-adjusted, but I doubt it's the second most-profitable. It cost a fortune to produce. According to research I did years ago, it cost a whopping $46 million to produce and had a total box office worldwide of $221 million. It was certainly profitable but was not exactly beloved. TWOK cost only a pathetic $9 million to produce and while it actually grossed less (mostly due to poor overseas box office and heavy competition from the likes of E.T.) it earned nearly as much in profit without risking the financial health of the studio.

    The most profitable of the old skool Trek films was The Voyage Home, with a then-reasonable budget in the range of $21 million and a massive box office haul of almost $110 million in the US as well as a decent overseas performance (although old-skool Trek films never performed well overseas, with First Contact being the only real exception thanks probably to TNG's popularity in Germany), bringing its total haul to $133 million. That's slightly less than the $139 million TMP made, but at less than half the budget left the film far more profitable.

    (Of course, with Trek films box office doesn't tell the whole story - they tended to do really well on home video and Paramount sold the television rights to pay cable and networks for a fortune back in the day. I wouldn't be surprised if their total revenues for these films weren't at least 50% of the box office gross if not more. They were probably all solidly profitable apart from Nemesis, which would have been lucky to recoup its bloated $60 million production budget on worldwide box office of just $68 million. A film generally needs to earn double its budget to break even, and there's no way Nemesis achieved that.)
     
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  18. dougotte

    dougotte Petty, Annoying Dilettante

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Maybe it was the 2nd highest grossing Trek film, but it was 40 years ago. My point is: would the immense investment in making the new effects 4K or HD ready be profitable now? I don't think so, but I wish I was wrong. I sure would like to see and own it.
     
  19. BeatleJWOL

    BeatleJWOL Senior Member

    Thread,

    https://trekmovie.com/2019/07/19/pa...ar-trek-the-motion-picture-directors-edition/

    Nothing confirmed but this is more news than we've gotten in years.

    Meanwhile, the Special Longer Version:
    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Dude111

    Dude111 An Awesome Dude

    Location:
    US
    Is the directors cut the one with 12 mins added??

    I have that one and the original on VHS .. I think I prefer the original over the 12 mins added one.......

    Original is 132 Mins and the other is 143
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  21. The Hermit

    The Hermit Wavin' that magick glowstick since 1976


    Theatrical version of TMP is 132 mins.

    Director's Edition is 136 mins, but ironically it's an altogether tighter affair, despite the additional four minutes.
     
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  22. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    No, the movie was all shot on film and the VFX were done on film, so a 4K scan (even a 4K HDR release) is possible. No need to redo the effects. The problem are the TV shows, where all the VFX were done in standard-def video, and we're screwed on those.

    If you mean the Director's Cut of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, then that's a different thing. I dunno what Viacom/Paramount/CBS would do. Bear in mind they are cheap bastids.
     
  23. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    The Director's Edition had footage - mostly character footage - which had been removed from the original edit restored. Wise also trimmed out a lot of effects footage, tightening up some of the original release's most boring passages. And some CGI was done at DVD resolution to fix a few poorly-realized effects from the original, to provide effects for some trimmed shots that never had their effects completed, and to realize some effects for shots that dropped because their effects couldn't be completed in time / on budget for the original release.

    It's the CGI stuff that's problematic, since (stupidly) Paramount didn't pay to have them done in HD.

    Wise's director's cut is vastly superior to the original. The film is still a mess, but it's not a hot mess anymore, and the added character stuff almost makes the whole exercise seem worth it. It at least gives the film some of the human connection the original release was almost completely lacking.
     
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  24. jtiner

    jtiner Forum Resident

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  25. Scooterpiety

    Scooterpiety Current operator of the Freedonia peanut stand

    Location:
    Oregon
    ST - TMP 40th anniversary screening one night only in theaters September 15th.
     
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