Star Trek in Widescreen
September 9, 2014 5:49 PM   Subscribe

"I was able to create these shots by waiting for the camera to pan and then I stitched the separate shots together. The result is pretty epic. It reminds me of the classic science fiction movies of the 50’s and 60’s. Suddenly the show has a 'Forbidden Planet' vibe." [via]
posted by brundlefly (51 comments total) 85 users marked this as a favorite
 
They're all nice compositions. (mostly)
posted by Trochanter at 5:59 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


YESSSSS THE ROMULANS
posted by Greg Nog at 6:03 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


I didn't know what to expect but those are really nice!
posted by mondo dentro at 6:05 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


This may be an example of the picture with more tribbles in it than any other picture in history.
posted by LoRichTimes at 6:18 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


These are lovely, not just for the panorama stitching but also the great color. These must be from the remastered TOS episodes?

My favorites: Amok Time, Journey to Babel, and especially this poignant vignette from The Tholian Web.
posted by Nelson at 6:33 PM on September 9, 2014


I thought they might have made some kind of no-panning-wide-screen videos out of this. Still, pretty neat.
posted by coolxcool=rad at 6:33 PM on September 9, 2014


As someone enjoying my first Star Trek viewings over on FanFare, this is the coolest thing ever and maps more closely with how I thought I'd enjoy Star Trek for the first time.
posted by mathowie at 6:39 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm lost.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:40 PM on September 9, 2014


Epic hair on that 3rd to last one, omg want.
posted by odinsdream at 6:41 PM on September 9, 2014


The lighting is so moody and dramatic in these, old techniques from black-and-white dramatic series that translated very well to the surreal sci-fi sets. These compositions actually make the sets more engaging, and the world the series was building seems more complete and inhabited when presented in wide-screen, which is something that can't be said for most shows actually shot in widescreen today.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:41 PM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


Needs some flare!
posted by Poldo at 6:42 PM on September 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


This may be an example of the picture with more tribbles in it than any other picture in history.
And now it's got even more!
posted by Flunkie at 6:47 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


I thought they might have made some kind of no-panning-wide-screen videos out of this. Still, pretty neat.

Oh wait, that wouldn't make any sense, would it? Because of time; fuck time.
posted by coolxcool=rad at 6:49 PM on September 9, 2014


Wow! I've always thought of the TOS sets as claustrophobia-inducing levels of cramped, like a 20th-century submarine, but this has rekerjiggered my whole perception. It looks as roomy as the Enterprise-D.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:54 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


holy jesus, what a sweet palette.
posted by j_curiouser at 6:57 PM on September 9, 2014 [13 favorites]


The reason there are no wide-screen stills from the day is that in the day ALL photography was pretty much 4:3, and you wouldn't waste film zooming back to include the mic crane and gaffers' shoes to get a wider shot of the set.

Even cinemascope movies were really still shot in 4:3 well into the 1990's, but they used anamorphic lenses to compress the horizontal dimension onto the film and re-expand it for the theatre. The idea of a still camera that takes widescreen shots would have seemed quite bizarre well into the 2000's.
posted by localroger at 7:03 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]




As someone enjoying my first Star Trek viewings over on FanFare, this is the coolest thing ever and maps more closely with how I thought I'd enjoy Star Trek for the first time.

I recognize a few (especially Harry Mudd), and I few I don't, so can't wait to keep going on the fanfare series. The lighting is especially interesting with the extreme close ups that show up on each episdoe. These images are awesome.
posted by Benway at 7:09 PM on September 9, 2014


God, I love the colors in classic Trek. I know that the network was just trying to sell new-fangled color TVs and wanted to show off but I'd kill to watch a show that colorfull now. TV is mostly so drab now.
posted by octothorpe at 7:13 PM on September 9, 2014 [11 favorites]


Really gorgeous. I liked the Amok Time scenes.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:18 PM on September 9, 2014


The reason there are no wide-screen stills from the day is that in the day ALL photography was pretty much 4:3, and you wouldn't waste film zooming back to include the mic crane and gaffers' shoes to get a wider shot of the set.

It's neat to think about how some of these shots are unrealistic in this sense, meaning if you were standing in the spot where a camera would have needed to be to take these originals, you'd have seen crew on one side. They moved out of the way in time for the pan, so they don't show up in these manufactured shots.

Kinda like stacking astronomy images in a way.
posted by odinsdream at 7:20 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


YESSSSS THE ROMULANS


IT'S A FAAAAAKE
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:35 PM on September 9, 2014 [11 favorites]


I like the way that the '60s sense of style turned budget constraints into a beautiful, restrained aesthetic. The bridge isn't overdone, the monitors don't blare wads of useless graphics, even the corridors are functional.

(Though check out those funky aluminum trapezoids attached to the pipes.)
posted by zompist at 7:38 PM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


What? I thought TOS was shot on 35mm film? I distinctly remember like, the HD-DVD release that didn't include the silly cgi redux of the space shots being widescreen. Am I hallucinating this?
posted by emptythought at 7:52 PM on September 9, 2014


Yes but you can shoot 4:3 aspect ratio on 35mm film.
posted by RobotHero at 7:54 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yea but I mean, I thought it was shot in widescreen and then became 4:3 when telecined or something. Like that at some point in the production it had been not 4:3 until nearly the end.

My brain is just convinced I heard this nugget of trivia about TOS over and over for years.
posted by emptythought at 7:57 PM on September 9, 2014




Oh, I was about to correct myself with technically, it may have been academy ratio, but okay, if it was specifically something you'd heard about Star Trek, I don't remember hearing something like that. I can't think of any reason they would, but that doesn't mean a reason couldn't exist.
posted by RobotHero at 8:02 PM on September 9, 2014


It's also possible they cropped it for the HD DVD. I've heard complaints of films that were shot in academy ratio getting released in cropped form because people have come to expect widescreen and complain if they have black bars on the sides.
posted by RobotHero at 8:10 PM on September 9, 2014


>Yea but I mean, I thought it was shot in widescreen and then became 4:3 when telecined or something. Like that at some point in the production it had been not 4:3 until nearly the end.

I can't find any info on the TOS film having been shot in any other ratio. The Remastered Blurays are stated to be remastered from the original 35mm film, so if they had been shot widescreen, seems like it would have been restored at that point.

Some or all TNG episodes were shot in widescreen. Perhaps you were thinking of that?
posted by insert.witticism.here at 11:27 PM on September 9, 2014


Yea but I mean, I thought it was shot in widescreen and then became 4:3 when telecined or something. Like that at some point in the production it had been not 4:3 until nearly the end.

You may or may not be thinking of Babylon 5. Logically, if Trek was shot in widescreen and they cropped it, there would be plenty of nerd rage on the Internet about it. Ergo, they didn't.
posted by neckro23 at 11:29 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


> Even cinemascope movies were really still shot in 4:3 well into the 1990's

Super35 crops for widescreen and dates to the 80's. 3-perf and other moderate widescreen (not 2.35 and higher of 'scope, but wider than 4:3: 1.66, 1.85, &c) formats and 70mm all use spherical (not anamorphic) lenses.

> The idea of a still camera that takes widescreen shots would have seemed quite bizarre well into the 2000's.

Panoramic film cameras were odd, but not bizarre, huh? The Fujifilm G617 is 6x17 and was available in 1983. APS had a 3:1 ratio in 1996.
posted by morganw at 12:00 AM on September 10, 2014


God, I love the colors in classic Trek. I know that the network was just trying to sell new-fangled color TVs and wanted to show off but I'd kill to watch a show that colorfull now. TV is mostly so drab now.

octothorpe, check out Utopia. It's a fun story, and it's fricking gorgeous. Really great use of color.
posted by nushustu at 12:05 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Beautiful. And it reminds me that I need to go back to showing my wife the best of the classic Trek. Like the Romulans, back when they were cool.
posted by happyroach at 12:32 AM on September 10, 2014


Love these.

God, I love the colors in classic Trek.

I know, right? So gorgeous, particularly in the remasters.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:27 AM on September 10, 2014


Shatner is 83 and still working.

That is all.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:36 AM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


This is so fantastic.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:01 AM on September 10, 2014


nushustu: "octothorpe, check out Utopia. It's a fun story, and it's fricking gorgeous. Really great use of color."

Doesn't seem to be available anywhere (legal). There seems to be an American remake in the works for HBO so that's probably why.
posted by octothorpe at 4:03 AM on September 10, 2014


Some or all TNG episodes were shot in widescreen.

Wow, wall-to-wall beige.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:12 AM on September 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


35mm film is 4:3 unless you crop it or use anamorphic lenses. Since NTSC television is 4:3 too, it would have made little sense to shoot any pre-HD TV series in wide format.

Wide format still cameras did exist before digital, but they were indeed bizzarre. Good luck finding a shop that could print the negatives, and for slides you'd pretty much mount them in 2.25 inch square frames so why not live a little and get a media format camera anyway?

(Actually there were a few narrow professional niches where those cameras were valuable, but the people using them would have had their own processing to deal with the format.)
posted by localroger at 5:29 AM on September 10, 2014


Some or all TNG episodes were shot in widescreen. Perhaps you were thinking of that?

They were shot in widescreen, but the original film was intended to be cropped for 4:3 television. The Blu-Rays retained the original ratio. Here's a vid explaining why.
posted by Fleebnork at 5:31 AM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Very cool. The shots with duplicates of the actors is also neat, if only for the fact that the scenes didn't open with everyone standing at their mark. The directors had folks walk in, then out of camera, then the camera pans to find them in the proper spot for the scene. Nifty.
posted by Atreides at 7:41 AM on September 10, 2014


It's been mentioned, but not linked, so for those intrigued on hopping on the galactic Enterprise wagon, the Original Series is being watched and discussed, one episode a week, in order of broadcast, over on Fanfare. Come on over!
posted by Atreides at 7:48 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I greatly enjoyed the many instances of multiple Spock.

(also these look gorgeous)
posted by emjaybee at 8:00 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Some day someone will render full 3D CGI interiors and actors/puppets and redo the whole series in widescreen for real. That'll be pretty cool.
posted by General Tonic at 8:11 AM on September 10, 2014


I greatly enjoyed the many instances of multiple Spock.

(also these look gorgeous)
posted by emjaybee at 11:00 AM on September 10 [+] [!]


I've just been telling myself that one of those Spocks has a cleverly-camouflaged goatee.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 10:52 AM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Shatner is 83 and still working.

That is all.


So's Nimoy.

They both better live forever -- or at least for another two years so they're around for the 50th anniversary.
posted by tzikeh at 10:59 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


The more Kirk, the better.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:06 AM on September 10, 2014


check out Utopia. It's a fun story, and it's fricking gorgeous

Fun? I guess, if you really enjoy graphic scenes of brutal torture and murder. It is a very well done series, but 'fun' is not exactly the word I'd use to describe it. Harrowing, more like.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:37 PM on September 10, 2014


odinsdream: It's neat to think about how some of these shots are unrealistic in this sense, meaning if you were standing in the spot where a camera would have needed to be to take these originals, you'd have seen crew on one side. They moved out of the way in time for the pan, so they don't show up in these manufactured shots.

Kinda like stacking astronomy images in a way.
That's... not exactly the way astronomy works...

(How many best boys can dance on the head of a pin?)
posted by IAmBroom at 12:44 PM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


My eyes are drawn to two separate focal points in most of the pictures, which makes them a bit disorienting. Strange.
posted by malocchio at 1:15 PM on September 10, 2014


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