http://www.blogger.com/logout.g Lex Petros: The Art of The Film Star Trek 2009

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Art of The Film Star Trek 2009


I think this 100-pager houses fantastic conceptual renditions and illustrations of film. The Art of the Film: Star Trek 2009 houses palatable paintings utilizing gouache and marker techniques with minimal computer enhancements.



For me, what bears lacking is the screen props used for the filming. Although I am grateful for the working drafts of the Starfleet Phaser and Communicator, there is nothing much beyond one or two photos of the final versions. I thought the addition of detail of Nero’s staff (which deploys into a 3-bladed spear), Romulan and Klingon weaponry would have made the book’s “inventory” more complete. No harm could be done by detailing the shipboard phaser banks, pulse cannons or photon torpedoes. Perhaps those lies in store for the next coming book for Star Trek II said to be scheduled in June 2012.


The artwork and drawings does justice to the visionary ideals of J.J. Abrams in the making of the film. We all know props and sets play a crucial part in any good film and as a tailor’s creed, the suit is only as good as the man wearing it. The landscapes and gargantuan structures which fill them are functional as they are beautiful.

The initial ideas of the USS Enterprise NCC 1701 lays present in The Art of the Film as expected with the book now putting on record that according to scale, the Enterprise is about 1200 meters long, putting to rest the discrepancy in length due to ILM’s on-screen rendering which made the ship appear between 760 meters to 1000+ meters long in different screenshots. Leave it to ardent Trekkers to figure the discrepancy and scaling of the flagship.

My favourite work is that of James Clyne, whom I think is a commendable film and conceptual artist having credit in Transformers and X-Men 3 amongst others. As a teenager, I somewhat possessed the penchant for poster colors and pencil sketches. I remember making rough sketches of what I thought the new Starship Enterprise was going to look like after the Original Series and without exaggerating, my visualization on paper was quite close to the USS Enterprise D which made its debut on celestial TV back in 1990 as far as I could recall.

I like this one: Clyne’s rendition of the Enterprise-Narada confrontation. The piece invokes a surreal feeling of David and Goliath with the behemoth and the flagship in orbit against the backdrop of Vulcan’s atmosphere. The movie’s one is almost identical, save as additional shadows and lens flares (a J.J. Abrams signature) creates an intimidating marauder imposing on and completely overshadowing the sized-challenged Federation flagship.

Price at RM109.90 (now available at the Kinokuniya Bookstore, Suria KLCC), The Art of The Film is more worthwhile than collecting Ship of the Line/ Star Trek calendars published by Pocket Books every year which costs about RM70.00 each. Come to think of it, my office charges RM0.50/ page for photocopies and I’m getting 100-pages of artwork and drawings for roughly RM1.00 each from The Art of the Film.

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12 Commentsjavascript:void(0):

Blogger CFC said...

Nice! But does it have pictures of the actual props? Ever since they came out, its hard to get the 'correct' pictures of the actual props especially the front of the Tricorder Screen.

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Vroooooom said...

Now you're making my hand ichy! aarrgghh... !!!

9:55 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

CFC, yes, there are pictures of the phaser and tricorder, but only a profile and not a 360 degree view. It's good enough to get the painting scheme correct.

Vroooooom, what's stopping you?

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