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The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (documentary)

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(written from a Production point of view)

The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture was a ten-minute documentary produced by Paramount Pictures around 1979. The featurette did not contain interviews, but showcased behind-the-scenes footage of the various production aspects in making Star Trek: The Motion Picture, with accompanying commentary. Particularly noteworthy were the segments that showed the model makers at Magicam working on the various studio models, the destruction of D7-class breakaway models at Robert Abel & Associates, the fitting of prosthetics to represent the various aliens and the shaving of Persis Khambatta's head for her role as Ilia.

A rare, and rather unique piece, chronicling the production of the movie, it has not been seen for decades after the release of the movie, nor was it ever included as a special feature on any of the home media format releases. It was only recently that a version started to show up on the Internet on sites like YouTube. It is not clear if the featurette was ever broadcast on television, as the version posted on the Internet lacks begin and end credits, suggesting it was not. Still, it appeared that the featurette was a specialty promotion tool of the studio, as it had been shown in public places, as Doug Drexler recalled, "I remember that Paramount was running this in the lobby of Pennsylvania Station in NYC. Friends and I made several trips to Penn Station just to watch it!" [1]

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