A month ago, I was a guest on Anže Tomić’s podcast, Storming Mortal. (The episode just went up this past week, so you’ll notice a bit of a time difference.) He had a lot of questions about visual effects, and I tried to break everything down in, hopefully, an easy to understand way. The industry is so strange that it often sounds like I’m speaking in another language (I already am, technically). I didn’t mention subsidies at all because bidding seemed like enough of a downer.
One topic we did talk about is what inspired me to get in to visual effects at all, and I cited a few things. The Star Trek franchise, mostly Star Trek: The Next Generation influenced me a great deal since it was effects — however limited — once a week. What really sticks out in my mind is an episode of Levar Burton’s Reading Rainbow (Always check our shownotes.) He went behind the scenes on TNG and showed off the sets, as well as some of the effects process with Visual Effects Supervisor Rob Legato. Models, swirling glitter, cutting out mattes, it’s not the kind of thing you would see on TV — indeed, it’s not the kind of thing you can expect to find on TV at all. Sadly, the only version of it I can find is a garbled version someone recorded on VHS and put on YouTube in two parts.
A technical appreciation was only one component. I was also a HUGE NERD about Star Trek. Sadly, at the end of the 90s, Star Trek was waning. The last movie installment of the 90s was Star Trek: Insurrection which… well, it’s not the best. Fortunately, something came along, and that something was Galaxy Quest.
Galaxy Quest is not only a visually satisfying film, but one with absolutely magnificent acting, writing, and editing. So much is going on, and it all just works. I’d say it works better than a lot of the Star Trek franchise movies that have come out.
This past week, Dan and I were trying to think of something to watch, and I wanted to pick something that I really loved. We pick a lot of things that I like, but we haven’t picked one that I have unabashed love for. Of all of the movies we’ve discussed on Defocused, I like Dune, Super Troopers, Office Space, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, The Fifth Element, Empire Records, Hackers, Pirates of Silicon Valley^1, and Grosse Pointe Blank. Some people think I hate these movies because Dan and I pick them apart, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Thinking critically about something is totally fine. There are many episodes, and films, of Star Trek that I am very critical of. You haven’t lived life until you’ve argued with someone about how you rank the best, and the worst, Star Trek movies.
However, I have almost nothing but love for Galaxy Quest. While I edited the show this week[^2], I felt bad that I was mostly just reciting the movie at Dan for most of this episode. Where’s the criticism? Well, there are a couple little things I mention, but it turns out that I want to marry a movie, I guess. I’m not sure we’ll ever happen upon a film, or TV show, to discuss that works out quite that way again.
^1: I liked Pirates of Silicon Valley more in the 90s then I like it today… but I still like it.
[^2]: Dan edits all of our episodes, Blue Yetis pick up a lot of noise, but this week he was busy with a real-world project. I cracked open Adobe Audition and I was all, “How hard could this be?” LOL at me! Stupid me! I still tried to do the opening and closing cuts in the style of Dan.