The guy who slated classic Star Trek takes was unfazed by the whole thing

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“Eh, it’s a living.”


“How was work dear?”
“Geez, a real bear. The guy in the sentient lava costume just could not get it done. 15 takes! Your only line is a mild rumbling noise! What a rube.”


I’m going to call my band “Sentient Lava Costume”.


If you work in TV or the film industry this is the guy you want to make friends with. That slate and the look on his face represent both the skeleton key to the kingdom and the long list of where all the bodies are buried.


NB the REASON for a clapper is to synchronize the sound and the image which were captured on completely separate devices. That his why he reads out the scene and take information that is written on the slate and the audible clack can be matched with the visible moment that the bar comes down. Imagine how much time could be wasted trying to match the sound and image from a different take of the same scene.


Patterns of Force…a very damn good episode.


At the time of filming, Star Trek was far from being iconic. It was probably just another weird monster show to this guy and just a gig to put food on the table for his family or a night out with some Hollywood starlets or gentlemen.

Unless he was a Sci-Fi nerd then he was probably in heaven!


Film crew, especially back in the day, were not film nerds. It was a working class job that you got because you had a relative who could get you into the union. These guys were not intellectual, they lucky if they finished high school, it was job same as in the auto plant. Not to say they weren’t often skilled at their jobs, but it wasn’t their adolescent dream.


What strikes me most about this is that Bill is lets say somewhere between 35 and 45. As a second AC. Which is nowadays an entry level gig in the camera dept. Young folks, late teens early 20s are doing this. DPs are 22 Y/O with a Red and a Drone and an ink still wet diploma from Full Sail. The Technology of digital video makes this possible and it is not necessarily a bad thing. It is just that an older DP with 10-20 years of experience has also learned how to manage the set. Not like an AD but to set the tone of the day for Camera, grip and electric.

This guy here…he found his place. Got to be the best he could at it and looks like he stayed there. It was a different time.


Agreed. I just watched an episode of Sea Hunt guest starring a very young Leonard Nimoy., it was kind of freaky.

Another point. The clothes. Looking at old crew shots you see ties, Slacks this guy in a hat and a sweater.

I started out in the 80s at then it was a tee shirt comfortable shoes and cargo shorts

This was one of the guys on my crew last weekend

That guy is my hero.

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I’ve been playing a lot of Star Trek Timelines (money-and-time-wasting card collecting video game), and in my hours of staring at the lovely paintings of Trek actors and costumes, I was struck by how stagey it is. How easily the illusion of “space captain in space” is broken if you have the slightest exposure to acting or stage production. How even the best characters are really just young, attractive theater dorks trying to make their way in the world.

I’m not sure if that realization made me happy or sad, but I’m still playing, and now I want to watch the bits of Deep Space Nine and Voyager that I skipped. It probably has everything to do with the fact that now I’m older than most of the people onscreen nowadays. When did THAT happen?

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The related alternatives are also good: “The Horta”, “The Devil in the Dark” and my personal favorite “Schmitter Was Corroded on Janus VI”.

In those photos William Shatner is 35. McGovern in those photos looks like he’s thinking more about his pension than the set.

I find that one of the things that you realize if you watch the high def Blu-Ray re-releases is that the sets did NOT Look like they were intended to be seen at that high a resolution.


By the end of season three they were lucky if they had any budget to build new sets at all. That’s why they spent so much time in places like “that planet that looks just like an old west town“ and “that planet where everybody dresses like Nazi extras from a WWII movie.”


Ah yes, my favorite take on “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.”

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