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The View from the Bridge - Memories of Star Trek and a Life in Hollywood

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The View from the Bridge - Memories of Star Trek and a Life in Hollywood is an autobiographical book written by Nicholas Meyer and published in 2009. As the book title suggests, it primarily focuses on Meyer's involvement with Star Trek but also details a myriad of other events in his life.

Summary

When Nicholas Meyer was asked to direct the troubled second Star Trek film, he came to the project as something less than a true believer. A bestselling author (of the Sherlock Holmes-Sigmund Freud mystery The Seven-Per-Cent Solution) and successful director (of the beloved science-fiction-thriller-romance Time After Time), he had never been a fan of the TV series – or, for that matter, the often absurd conventions of outer space science fiction. But as he read the discarded drafts of earlier scripts and began to ponder the appeal of Kirk, Spock, et al., he realized that their story was fundamentally a classic nautical adventure yarn transplanted in the cosmos, and armed with that insight he set out to revitalize Trek.
The View from the Bridge is writer-director Nicholas Meyer's drolly entertaining account of his involvement with the most highly regarded and beloved of the Star Trek films - Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country – and of his own gaining of wisdom in the fractious politics of Hollywood. The offer to direct the second Star Trek feature proved to be more complicated than Meyer expected when he discovered that there was, in fact, no screenplay. With only twelve days to deliver one, Meyer found himself cobbling together a shooting script from scenes and sequences of five previous attempts, during which he was plunged into the arcane minutiae of Star Trek, studio politics, artistic temperament (William Shatner proclaimed his script a "disaster"), a minuscule budget, Gene Roddenberry, and even death threats when a rumor reached outraged fans that Spock might actually die in the film. Despite these and other obstacles, Meyer – then a relative stranger to the ways of Hollywood – discovered that he loved the challenge, the camaraderie of his cast, and the resourcefulness of his beleaguered crew, and the sum total of their efforts resulted in one of the classics of the genre.
But Khan was just the beginning, for its phenomenal success drew Meyer back into the fold to cowrite The Voyage Home and to cowrite and direct The Undiscovered Country. Between his Star Trek experiences, he found time to write four more novels and also to helm the epochal and controversial nuclear Armageddon television film The Day After, the Tom Hanks comedy Volunteers, and the Merchant-Ivory production of The Deceivers. Meyer recounts his experiences with all these projects with the wit and skeptical wariness of a native New Yorker transplanted to Hollywood, and the result is one of the most engaging, affectionate, and sheerly funny books about the business of – and the passion for – making films in many years.

Excerpts of copyrighted sources are included for review purposes only, without any intention of infringement.

Chapters

  • Author's Note
  • Part I - Pre Trek
    • Prologue - A Funeral
    • Early Days
    • Iowa
    • Paramount Pictures
    • Baby Steps
    • Go West
    • Los Angeles
    • Hired
    • Your Name Here
    • Strike!
    • The Seven-Per-Cent Solution
  • Part II - Trek
  • Part III - Post Trek
    • Fifteen Years
    • Vendetta
    • The Human Stain
    • Elegy
    • Epilogue
  • Acknowledgments
The book also includes an index and sixteen pages of black-and-white photographs.

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