Chris Pine did an excellent job of becoming Captain Kirk in the movie. It was a slow transition in which you could see young Kirk develop the character traits that William Shatner help create in Kirk—without in any way exaggerating the "shatnerisms" or creating an impersonation.
The new Star Trek is quite interesting from a visual design standpoint. Lens flares, light halos and small reflections appear everywhere. It gives the film a clean, high-tech appearance, as though the we're watching it through a thin layer of glass. The effect is sometimes distracting and used perhaps too exuberantly, but in reading JJ Abrams' explanation about the effect and how it was done, I can appreciate this artistic decision even more.
"The flares weren't just happening from on-camera light sources, they were happening off camera, and that was really the key to it. I want [to create] the sense that, just off camera, something spectacular is happening. There was always a sense of something, and also there is a really cool organic layer thats a quality of it. They were all done live, they weren't added later. There are something about those flares, especially in a movie that can potentially be very sterile and CG and overly controlled. There is something incredibly unpredictable and gorgeous about them. It is a really fun thing. Our DP would be off camera with this incredibly powerful flashlight aiming it at the lens. It became an art because different lenses required angles, and different proximity to the lens. Sometimes, when we were outside we'd use mirrors. Certain sizes were too big... literally, it was ridiculous. It was like another actor in the scene....
So it was this ridiculous, added level of pain in the ass, but I love... [looking at] the final cut, [the flares] to me, were a fun additional touch that I think, while overdone, in some places, it feels like the future is that bright."
Before I start posting more about Work/Life, I'd like to share with you some news about last summer's The Shatner Show book and exhibition...
The Shatner Show is mentioned in William Shatner's recently-released autobiography, Up Till Now! I was quite happy (and surprised) to see us listed in the index. "It is an astonishing collection, with pieces made of LEGOs and another one of clay, limestone, artificial ferns, and plumbing pieces." It's nice to know that our show has made it into his official personal history! Thank you, Mr. Shatner.
In the April edition of Sci Magazine (the magazine of the Sci Fi television channel), The Shatner Show is given an "A" by reviewer Adam-Troy Castro. "This jaw-dropping cultural artifact is the aftermath of an exhibition where artists from across Canada [and the USA] were invited to address the impact of one of [Canada's] most enduring exports, the often-praised, often-imitated and often-derided actor who found fame for taking all those pauses during those speeches on the original Star Trek..."
Mackenzie sent me this great photo showing Mark Gervais' Shatner Show piece in their home. It would be fun to see where the other Shatners have landed... if you purchased The Shatner Show artwork or book, send me a digital photo of how you live with Shatner and I'll post it online in March in honour of Bill's 77th birthday.