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David Fein Reflects On The Legacy Of Star Trek: The Motion Picture

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With the 4K remaster, what do you think is the most impressive effect changed for this version of the film?

The color grading and sound work is stunning. It absolutely helps tell the story better than ever in every way. There are so many things we could do with the editing but now getting the audio to the level we can imagine and the color work and the sheer ability to change and perfect so much in the film… I’ve said many times that almost every recording has had something changed, modified, altered – just slightly – to bring it to the point where it really draws you in. The fact that she’s working better than ever makes me more excited than I can tell you.

In the film commentary, you discuss how Star Trek influenced real-world technology. What other items from the “Star Trek” universe would you like to see make the jump to reality?

I like vans because it takes too long to get anywhere. Quiet, [it’s] just as frightening. That was the first movie that scared us all. When you think about beaming somewhere, but then come together into something that, as they say, doesn’t live long – that’s terrifying. That idea, plus the medical advances that have happened… it’s funny.

A little tidbit is that when we originally did the project, I got everyone on the project the Motorola i1000, which was a communicator because we could communicate with each other. I was talking about how you could actually use the Apple Watch as a communicator this time, which is closer to the movie. But we are getting there step by step. Check out the pad they used in Next Generation and even the classic Star Trek. They didn’t show it that much, but that technology is the iPad where we are today.

We’re getting closer and closer, but other than the other standards of warp speed and travel to other worlds, transporters are a great idea. All I can think of is how we can enhance films digitally and perfect everything digitally. Imagine if that could happen to a person – not that we change personality, but something happens where you could beam and even use it for medical purposes, to fix certain problems, or in some other way that we’re all going to become ones and zeros. [That] also goes back to the whole concept of the film of…Technology without humanity is cold.

Tone dialing phones were the most advanced at the time. Now we have iPhones with social media. If we go even further with transporters of the digital, where is the humanity? It also raises some other interesting questions of ethics. If you can change something, but you don’t like someone and you don’t have a good argument – don’t succeed – beam them somewhere and change their mind. No, that’s too dangerous. But I love the stories about technology in general.



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