WI: The Enterprise completes its five year mission (Star Trek survives for 5 seasons)

STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, PART III

Is three ships and a station a fleet?
How small is Starfleet?
War and Peace is still the longest book? slackers...
Do Terrell and Howard get a split screen moment on the viewer? That would be cool since its its obvious but not often used in Trek.
Does the Station fire on the Klingons as well?
Cutting to Enterprise and Reliant for reaction shots as Yorktown is destoryed would add to the moment methinks esp a 'we cannot help' line.
What is the transmitted song? Is the B side to Nichols single?
Koloth, Krell, and Korax all dead in action - the Empire mourns.
Proper hull breach like in ST:VI would look very cool when the Klingon disable Enterprise.
Be good to see some Red Shirts going down in H2H combat with the Klingon borders to empathise the contrast between melee and ranged preferences, otherwise it looks like a Starfleet walkover and de-empathises the Klingon threat- they DO have ranged weapons as well, they should be shown using them and missing more often or getting some melee in and then falling to ranged fire.
Contrary to that, a Starfleet officer like an Andorian holding off Klingon borders in melee would go some way to show not everyone in Starfleet is the same.
So they get Kang from his disabled ship but not the others? Sorry, but I can see them taking the entire crew off to prevent any last minute warp core breach or similar tactics.
Just Kirk, Decker, Sulu and Chekov? No security people? Really?
Decker getting shot with a disrupter when up to now the Klingons have not been (written as) shooting seems out of place- getting stabbed with Chekov killing his attacker, or the Klingon firing (badly) all the time works better.
The fight with Kor is somewhat... flat. Sulu needs to fence a Klingon or something while Kirk and Kor punch each other.
Even in these circumstances I could see Starfleet vessels taking off Kor's crew, that basic humanitarian thing they do. Letting a crew die when they can beam them out if NOT what Starfleet does, even with enemies.
Do Bones and Chapel not have nurses?
Is Scotty in sickbay in that scene too? I cannot see him leaving Engineering injured or not.
Not sure Kirk would risk getting physical with Kor in the Brig. More like taunt him from the other side of the forcefield.
Why is the War over just cos Kor and co failed? There needs to be something more - say the Chancellor hearing the news of Kor's defeat (from Kamarag?) and withdrawing his forces to the border.
A Terraforming device to fix Sherman's Planet? And the Klingons will just accept the UFP's magical solution? Gavin is deluded.
Holiday instead of fixing the Enterprise Admiral?
Some lines about the fate of the Reliant might be useful, it just gets dropped before the Kirk boarding action.
"Kirk: No Spock, you’re just becoming more human every day." - I think this should be a McCoy line.

Not a bad movie there, needs some refinement I think.
1. Fitting five enemy vessels, three allied vessels and a space station on one screen is a lot for 1978. This isn’t DS9 with CGI SFX yet.
2. Starfleet and the Klingon Empire have about the same number of capital ships, somewhere between 150 and 200.
3. Terrell and Howard get at least one split screen moment with Kirk in the final act.
4. I could add a spot where Branch on Epsilon Nine fires on the Klingon fleet, but to little effect.
5. The transmitted song is from CHARLIE X, where Uhura serenades Spock.
6. The Enterprise gets scarred like in TWOK but not to the point where the hull is completely compromised.
7. Good suggestion about redshirts dying both on the Enterprise boarding scene and the Klingon ship boarding scene. I can go back and change. Good suggestion about the Klingons bludgeoning Starfleet security forces on the Enterprise, but I want to avoid an R rating.
8. Like I said before, regarding Starfleet saving Klingons, Kirk is only concerned about apprehending the Klingon commanders who ordered the genocide. The rest of them are biting the dust.
9. I could have Decker stabbed from behind by a Klingon, which would cause the spinal fractures. Good point.
10. The nurses are extras in the movie.
11. Scotty is injured. A console explodes and damages his right hand. He keeps on fighting anyway and doesn’t get treatment until after the battle.
12. Kirk is not Picard. He’s going to want to beat Kor’s behind for what he did. I could expand on the fight scene a little if you want between Kirk, Sulu and Kor.
13. The Klingons have to retreat because they have been reduced to less than 50% of their operational capacity in the other two star systems, plus they lost Kor’s fleet and the Federation knows the Klingon weakness in battle, so they would get beaten in further confrontations.
14. Kirk could say in the final scene that we are in the process of finishing repairs at Altair VI.
15. The becoming more human line...that should be a Bones line, in retrospect. I’ll go back and make some edits later.

I was awaiting the review with interest...
 
Can someone just deal with Ayatollah Khomeini please? Strangle the Revolution in the cradle somehow for the good of the Iranian people.

Would Reagan consider a war with Iran? Some casus belli involving the oil?

Nichols on Dallas? Sure that could be fun, as long as she is not used as in a token kinda way. Otherwise NASA beckons.

Humm... not sure about Star Trek: Planet of the Titans as a movie or TV film, I think its not the strongest premise. Perhaps its time for a Star Trek spin off movie? Have the Reliant find the Titans using the existing characters with perhaps Chekov and/or Sulu along for the ride? This would make the ships fate in WoK even more personal to the viewer as they knew these characters.
 
Roddenberry won't be invovled in a sequel then if he is demanding more creative control. Sorry mate, think that ship has sailed...

Be soooooo funny if Nicols and/or Nimoy get gongs for TMP and Shatner still gets nothing except perhaps a nomination.

I wonder if President Reagan could goto Tehran directly and appeal to the Shah? Take Bush, the Shah apparently respected tall people. Shah Reza Pahlavi MUST realise how unstable his country is? Sure, this would be a risk to Reagan, but he liked big showmanship and this would certainly be it, and would play well at home if he could get a result.

Wonder what the Soviets could do in Hormuz?

Question, was the RKO 40 Acre Lot saved ITTL? It was a major piece of Desilu/Paramount and seems a Resource waste for it to have gone.

"Paramount is swimming in money right now, and we have big plans to expand the entire studio," this does not sound like a line a top Exec would say. More like: "Paramount is enjoying the returns from this movie, and we now have big plans to expand the entire studio."

$375 million is a serious amount of cash for a Trek movie, heck any movie. Can see why the studio might want more of the same. Though repeating the formula will just lead to dullness.

Not sure Jeffrey Katzenberg would talk so openly about which script options Paramount might follow up on. That's akin to leaking internal info.
IRL, Roddenberry suggested the Kirk and Spock meet Kennedy in Dallas plot and that’s what got him kicked out of the sequel. There are serious issues between Roddenberry and Paramount despite the movie’s success. Katzenberg is going public to push Roddenberry out.

The Shah was going to run Iran however he pleased and no US president is going to tell him otherwise. It’s my way or the highway, and the Shah is now on the highway. An Iran war could blow up into WWIII so that’s not a smart course of action if the Reagan admin goes that way

Paramount still has the RKO lot I believe because they incorporated it as a part of their studio, along with Desilu’s sound stages.

I could change the Paramount is swimming in money line.

Nichols could be the legal adviser to Bobby Ewing or someone like that, in a story arc where Bobby tries to take control of the ranch from JR. Nichols could then go on Knots Landing and be a main character

Planet of the Titans is a decent story, but Katzenberg is right that it can’t be a big feature. That’s just going to deepen the feud between Roddenberry and Paramount
 
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1. Fitting five enemy vessels, three allied vessels and a space station on one screen is a lot for 1978. This isn’t DS9 with CGI SFX yet.
2. Starfleet and the Klingon Empire have about the same number of capital ships, somewhere between 150 and 200.
3. Terrell and Howard get at least one split screen moment with Kirk in the final act.
4. I could add a spot where Branch on Epsilon Nine fires on the Klingon fleet, but to little effect.
5. The transmitted song is from CHARLIE X, where Uhura serenades Spock.
6. The Enterprise gets scarred like in TWOK but not to the point where the hull is completely compromised.
7. Good suggestion about redshirts dying both on the Enterprise boarding scene and the Klingon ship boarding scene. I can go back and change. Good suggestion about the Klingons bludgeoning Starfleet security forces on the Enterprise, but I want to avoid an R rating.
8. Like I said before, regarding Starfleet saving Klingons, Kirk is only concerned about apprehending the Klingon commanders who ordered the genocide. The rest of them are biting the dust.
9. I could have Decker stabbed from behind by a Klingon, which would cause the spinal fractures. Good point.
10. The nurses are extras in the movie.
11. Scotty is injured. A console explodes and damages his right hand. He keeps on fighting anyway and doesn’t get treatment until after the battle.
12. Kirk is not Picard. He’s going to want to beat Kor’s behind for what he did. I could expand on the fight scene a little if you want between Kirk, Sulu and Kor.
13. The Klingons have to retreat because they have been reduced to less than 50% of their operational capacity in the other two star systems, plus they lost Kor’s fleet and the Federation knows the Klingon weakness in battle, so they would get beaten in further confrontations.
14. Kirk could say in the final scene that we are in the process of finishing repairs at Altair VI.
15. The becoming more human line...that should be a Bones line, in retrospect. I’ll go back and make some edits later.

I was awaiting the review with interest...

2) Adding in a map or a line about Starfleet and the Klingon Empire having about the same number of ships at the start of Act III might help explain things. Perhaps a Decker/Kirk moment in a turbolift on the way back from Sherman's Planet while the inspect/prep Enterprise for the confrontation at Epsilon Nine?
4) Epsilon Nine should definitely be seen firing as that was one of the reasons they went there, and establishes that UFP stations are armed.
7) You can have people hit down without an R - no need to show brains or blood if you do not want to.
8) I figure Kirk not saving the defenceless Klingons could be brought up later if the trail/investigation in ST: III goes the same.
12) More fight on the Klingon bridge would be good to see. Esp as it gives Sulu more to do besides fly the ship and establishes some 'action' bona fides for the character. Though I think a physical confrontation in the brig is a mistake; perhaps Spock holds Kirk back from going in when he clearly wants to?
13) That might be the case, but that needs to be said on screen. A moment where Kamarag reports in and the Emperor orders a retreat tells the audience the war is over, not just Kirk winning one battle.
14) Good call.

This TMP is a different movie from anything we got OTL from the TOS movies, congrats for doing something different.
 
2) Adding in a map or a line about Starfleet and the Klingon Empire having about the same number of ships at the start of Act III might help explain things. Perhaps a Decker/Kirk moment in a turbolift on the way back from Sherman's Planet while the inspect/prep Enterprise for the confrontation at Epsilon Nine?
4) Epsilon Nine should definitely be seen firing as that was one of the reasons they went there, and establishes that UFP stations are armed.
7) You can have people hit down without an R - no need to show brains or blood if you do not want to.
8) I figure Kirk not saving the defenceless Klingons could be brought up later if the trail/investigation in ST: III goes the same.
12) More fight on the Klingon bridge would be good to see. Esp as it gives Sulu more to do besides fly the ship and establishes some 'action' bona fides for the character. Though I think a physical confrontation in the brig is a mistake; perhaps Spock holds Kirk back from going in when he clearly wants to?
13) That might be the case, but that needs to be said on screen. A moment where Kamarag reports in and the Emperor orders a retreat tells the audience the war is over, not just Kirk winning one battle.
14) Good call.

This TMP is a different movie from anything we got OTL from the TOS movies, congrats for doing something different.
I'm going to make some of these changes now...I'll try for an update later, which will basically be the Academy Awards nominations for 1979. This is what I did:

1. Added a short Kirk-Decker turbolift scene.
2. Epsilon Nine fires once, to little effect.
3. The Klingons are shown as winning the battle in engineering with melee combat and some disruptor fire before Decker arrives.
4. There's a little more fighting on the Klingon bridge, plus Sulu getting stabbed in the shoulder by Kor.
5. Uhura reports the Klingon truce to Kirk.
 
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Chapter 132: February 1979
Short update today, largely focusing on the situation in Iran and the 51st Academy Award nominations.


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AYATOLLAH KHOMEINI RULES IRAN, IN BLOW TO WEST

Washington Post, February 12, 1979

Since returning to Iran at the start of the month, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini quickly seized power in Tehran, declaring an "Islamic Republic" as the newly established government. Two days after returning, Khomeini created the "Council of the Islamic Revolution," a group of religious leaders presumably dictating religious law. Last Wednesday, Khomeini suspended the Iranian National Consultative Assembly, seized control of law enforcement, court systems, and bureaucratic functions. Those instruments of government were quickly filled with highly religious Shi'a Muslims faithful to Khomeini. In the last two days, the Iranian military has ceded its power to the Islamic government, completing the takeover. In response, the United States has placed a carrier group in the Arabian Sea on high alert. "Any threat to cut the Hormuz Strait to international shipping will be dealt with by the United States Navy," said Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. "Additionally, covert efforts will be made to prevent attacks on Israel, with the CIA and the Mossad working together to identify and eliminate threats." In a press release from Tehran, the Iranian government proclaimed the following: "Any aggressive action by the United States and its ally Israel against the Islamic Republic of Iran will be met tenfold. The infidels shall pay a heavy price for attempting to intimidate the Iranian people." The Reagan administration has reportedly discussed several options to deal with Khomeini, but refused to divulge those discussions with the Post. "Our internal discussions regarding actions with relation to Iran will remain secret," Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said. The CIA had no comment.

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51st Academy Award Nominations

Gene Roddenberry, Robert Wise, William Shatner, David Gerrold, Alan Dean Foster and the production team of Star Trek: The Motion Picture were notified about the nominations for the 51st Academy Awards, to take place on April 9, 1979. ITTL, TMP received eight nominations.

BEST PICTURE: The Deer Hunter, Midnight Express, Heaven Can Wait, An Unmarried Woman, Star Trek: The Motion Picture

BEST DIRECTOR: Michael Cimino, The Deer Hunter
Warren Beatty, Buck Henry, Heaven Can Wait
Alan Parker, Midnight Express
Hal Ashby, Coming Home
Robert Wise, Star Trek: The Motion Picture

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE: Jon Voight, Coming Home
Gary Busey, The Buddy Holly Story
Laurence Olivier, The Boys from Brazil
Robert De Niro, The Deer Hunter
William Shatner, Star Trek: The Motion Picture

ART DIRECTION: Heaven Can Wait, California Suite, Interiors, The Wiz, Star Trek: The Motion Picture

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Days of Heaven, The Deer Hunter, Heaven Can Wait, The Wiz, Star Trek: The Motion Picture

COSTUME DESIGN: Death on the Nile, Caravans, The Wiz, Days of Heaven, Star Trek: The Motion Picture

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE: Midnight Express, The Boys from Brazil, Days of Heaven, Superman, Star Trek: The Motion Picture

WRITING (SCREENPLAY BASED ON MATERIAL FROM ANOTHER MEDIUM): Midnight Express, California Suite, Heaven Can Wait, Bloodbrothers, Star Trek: The Motion Picture
 
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I'd figure that Reagan would've tried to convince the Shah to have Khomeini killed or figure it out how. I think even suppsoedly Hussein offered the Shah that chance.

Very good update!
 
I'd figure that Reagan would've tried to convince the Shah to have Khomeini killed or figure it out how. I think even suppsoedly Hussein offered the Shah that chance.

Very good update!
There will be some planning between the CIA and Mossad in respect to the Ayatollah. Question is, will they succeed? Will the Soviets protect the Ayatollah under the radar? Will Saddam Hussein get involved somehow, since he and the Ayatollah weren't friendly, to say the least, IRL

Thanks for the compliment!
 
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There will be some planning between the CIA and Mossad in respect to the Ayatollah. Question is, will they succeed? Will the Soviets protect the Ayatollah under the radar? Will Saddam Hussein get involved somehow, since he and the Ayatollah weren't friendly, to say the least, IRL

Thanks for the compliment!

I think the offer Saddam have to Shah was back on 1978, when Khomeini was still in Iraq.

I doubt the Soviets would protect a religious extremist and given how Saddam was still a Baathist, he’d see the reactionary cleric as a threat. Will be interesting to see how this goes and how this impacts pop culture
 
One of the things that baffled Russians on the ground was the American's insistence on backing religious types. They're going to back Saddam in any sort of confrontation.
 
One of the things that baffled Russians on the ground was the American's insistence on backing religious types. They're going to back Saddam in any sort of confrontation.
I have to do some research here on AH and see if someone has done an alternate timeline of Iran, Iraq and the Middle East during this period. This statement rings true to me because the Soviets were fiercely non religious; in fact they tried to suppress religion back home.

An interesting article on the Soviet position on Iran during this period:

 
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A poll has been included in the timeline. Star Trek: The Motion Picture was nominated for eight Academy Awards ITTL; how many will it win? It has been nominated in these categories:

Best Picture (Gene Roddenberry)
Best Director (Robert Wise)
Best Actor (William Shatner)
Art Direction (Harold Michelson, Joe Jennings, Leon Harris, John Vallone, Linda DeScenna)
Cinematography (Richard H. Kline)
Costume Design (Robert Fletcher)
Original Score (Jerry Goldsmith)
Adapted Screenplay (David Gerrold and Alan Dean Foster)
 
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Based on the votes so far, the Oscars update will be pretty easy to write. However, I'll still be looking at the poll for another 24 hours or so to see if the numbers change, and therefore, my update changes
 
Based on the votes so far, the Oscars update will be pretty easy to write. However, I'll still be looking at the poll for another 24 hours or so to see if the numbers change, and therefore, my update changes
Might the results work better if people could indicate (to you in PM if nothing else) which awards they meant? For example, I'll admit that I couldn't vote for Star Trek getting the Music award... cause I prefer Superman. :happyblush
 
Send me messages: How many Academy Awards, and for which categories
Might the results work better if people could indicate (to you in PM if nothing else) which awards they meant? For example, I'll admit that I couldn't vote for Star Trek getting the Music award... cause I prefer Superman. :happyblush
Yeah, I'd love to get PMs from the eight people (other than myself) who voted so far. Specifically how many Academy Awards, and for which categories. Superman and Star Trek: TMP both have epic scores and it's so hard to choose between them. That's just one example. There's no way I can create a poll with all the different permutations of the eight different awards. In fact, I'll threadmark this post so people can see it and PM me.

Tomorrow I'll probably open a second poll in respect to William Shatner and his nomination, because that's the one I've been back and forth on. I pretty much know which awards I'm going to give TMP, but I'm not sure with Shatner
 
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Somehow I want Deer Hunter to lose Best Picture and Director, so the success won't get into Cimino's head. That being said, Chris Walken WILL NOT lose Best Supporting Actor if I have anything to say about it!
 
Chapter 133: Siskel and Ebert preview the 51st Academy Awards, March 1979
This update will primarily focus on the buildup to the 1979 Academy Awards, so of course, we have Siskel and Ebert on the case once again to discuss matters.

SNEAK PREVIEWS WITH ROGER EBERT AND GENE SISKEL: 1979 ACADEMY AWARDS PREVIEW SPECIAL--HIGHLIGHTS

Siskel: Most everyone in Hollywood is singing that song, "the one that they want" is the nine pound trophy known as Oscar. It can be worth as much as a million dollars to an actor; ten million dollars to a motion picture. An Oscar is the special subject of this special edition of Sneak Previews. We'll show you the nominees in action, and try to predict the winners to be revealed on April 9. Across the aisle from me is Roger Ebert, the Pulitzer Prize winning film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times. Now normally, I'm much better at picking Oscar winners than Roger, but last year, he wiped me out, he was five for five.
Ebert: And this is Gene Siskel, who usually does much better than I do; last year, he only got two out of five. Gene is the film critic of the Chicago Tribune and CBS News TV in Chicago. Now this special will take a look at the major Academy Award categories, the one the Las Vegas oddsmakers make the book on, like Best Picture, Best Actor and Actress, and Best Supporting Actor and Actress.
Siskel: Also something unusual, maybe a first for television, we'll look at some of the often overlooked Oscar categories, of costume design, art direction, best song and animated short film. And every year, we hear these winners announced on the Oscar telecast, and frankly, we couldn't care less. We don't know who the nominees are, much less why they were nominated. So Roger and I decided to illustrate these categories with film clips too.
Ebert: Yeah, we thought that things like cinematography and art direction would be ideal for television, because they're hard to put into words, but on TV, we can show you what the Academy members look for when they vote. Gene and I are going to throw in our own votes for those winners too. But first, Gene starts with the best nominees for Best Actor.
Siskel: This year, the majority of the nominees for Best Actor were young performers. The only veterans are Sir Laurence Olivier, who played a Nazi hunter in Boys from Brazil, and William Shatner, in middle age, who played Admiral Kirk in Star Trek. Olivier is already scheduled to receive an honorary Oscar this year for his entire career, so it's unlikely that he'll win two. (clips play of the nominees). Roger thinks that Robert De Niro is the favorite, playing a Vietnam veteran in The Deer Hunter. I also believe that De Niro is the favorite, but Jon Voight as Luke Martin in Coming Home, playing another military veteran, and William Shatner, playing a futuristic military veteran, are not far behind. Warren Beatty in Heaven Can Wait, as a naive main character, rounds out the set of nominees.
Ebert: Voight was absolutely remarkable in his portrayal of a paraplegic Vietnam veteran, with incredible range, and Shatner was a tour de force in Star Trek. But De Niro's scene where he is holding the gun to his head in The Deer Hunter was unlike anything I have seen in cinema.
Siskel: I'm not so sure that director Michael Cimino didn't take liberties with that portrayal of the Viet Cong. There were many other ways the North Vietnamese demonstrated their brutality towards American soldiers, but there were no reports of forced Russian Roulette.
Ebert: That's the controversial part of The Deer Hunter. It still doesn't detract from the picture as a whole, or De Niro's outstanding performance. For that, he deserves to be the favorite. I love William Shatner as I am a fan of the Star Trek television series, but I don't believe his performance was as emotional as De Niro's or Voight's.
Siskel: Shatner's stand or die speech to the fleet in Star Trek was pretty dramatic though.
Ebert: It certainly was. We never saw the Star Trek characters under that much threat. Maybe if Kirk died in the movie, Shatner would be the favorite for Best Actor.
Siskel: They're never going to kill off Captain Kirk or Mr. Spock, Roger, you know that. If they ever did, the Trekkies...
Ebert: Trekkers, Gene.
Siskel: OK, Trekkers, they would be on the streets with pitchforks and torches, threatening to burn down the Paramount studio.
Ebert: I wouldn't be so sure, Roger. If Shatner or Nimoy decided they didn't want to make any more Star Trek films, they could kill one or both of them off in a blaze of glory.
Siskel: You know more about Star Trek than I do. But we agree on this point: Shatner is probably third in the running for Best Actor, behind De Niro and Voight. I like Voight, you like De Niro.


Ebert: Now we come to the first of those special categories that are sometimes overlooked, the one for costume design. It's an easy category to explain because everybody knows what a costume is, but it's one of the most interesting Oscar categories for a couple of reasons. First, because costume designers aren't simply just designing clothes; they're interpreting the screenplay and the characters, and they're helping the director carry out his vision of the whole movie. Secondly, Hollywood costumes often influence the way the rest of us dress. Remember the Bonnie and Clyde look, or the time Clark Gable wasn't wearing an undershirt; it happened one night and undershirt sales fell off all over the country. This year's nominations in the costume category are interesting, especially the Starfleet uniforms in Star Trek, the favorite to win the award.
Siskel: Trekkies rejoice!
Ebert: Trekkers, Gene. Star Trek's main competition is from The Wiz, a Broadway production brought to the silver screen. Those costumes were so colorful.
Siskel: In a traditional year, I think The Wiz would win. But those Starfleet uniforms, Roger. They're influencing the way a lot of people dress, for good or for ill, depending on your point of view.
Ebert: Are you taking a shot at the way Star Trek fans dress, Gene?
Siskel: Come on Roger, those uniforms are kind of ridiculous!
Ebert: They're worn in great fun, Gene. And they could pass for military uniforms of the future. You can't deny that they aren't a significant fashion statement.
Siskel: I'm going to predict The Wiz. Broadway costumes are among the most creative in the world, and they translate well to the big screen.
Ebert: It's going to be Star Trek. The Starfleet uniforms have infiltrated popular culture all over the Western world. For better or worse.


Siskel: In trying to understand the Oscar categories for costume design and our next one, cinematography, it's important to know that not all of the Academy's 3560 voters select the nominees. Actually, it's just the actors who nominate the actors. Costume designers nominate the costume designers, and cinematographers who nominate for the cinematography award. So what you're dealing with here are small groups of people, about a hundred to two hundred people, who know each other very well, and like any small group, there are some powerful members, and some outcasts. So that may explain why some of the nominations just don't make any sense. Favoritism does play a role. Now that's just in the nominations. The whole Academy, all of the people, vote for the actual winners. Now let's get back to cinematography. The cinematographer is vitally important to the film and works hand-in-hand with the director. How important is he? He's the second most highly paid member of the crew, after the director. Now let's take a look at the five nominees for cinematography. (clips play).
Ebert: We disagreed on costume design, but on cinematography, Richard Kline pulled off a masterpiece with Star Trek. The television series suffered from low budgets, and still received acclaim for its cinematography, but this movie is just as good as Star Wars in respect to the action shots and special effects. Kline has already been nominated twice for Camelot and King Kong, and is one of the best in the business. The Wiz could surprise, but Star Trek's awe-inspiring film work is the clear favorite.
Siskel: I agree with you. I was astonished by the way Kline captured the shots of the futuristic vessels moving around, the action on the Enterprise bridge, and some of the combat action shots. Kline broke new ground, even from what Star Wars accomplished last year. The shot of the five enemy vessels at the start of the picture flying in space was awe-inspiring.
Ebert: The reveal of the starship Enterprise was pretty groundbreaking as well. That was as accomplished a feat as I have seen in the cinematography department since another science fiction classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Siskel: So we expect that Star Trek is coming away with the cinematography award, Roger?
Ebert: Absolutely. George Lucas, who was actually invited on set for a couple of days for Star Trek, said that Star Trek pulled off some shots that he wished he could pull off in Star Wars, and plans to attempt in a sequel he's putting into production this year.
Siskel: I thought Superman deserved a nomination. What's more inspiring than seeing Superman leap tall buildings in a single bound?
Ebert: Superman definitely got snubbed in this category. I thought they were a worthy candidate, and some of their work gave Star Trek a run for its money.


Ebert: Now to one of the quietest categories, art direction. They hardly ever make any noise. In fact, one of the easiest ways to explain what the art director does, is to say that he's responsible for the parts of the movie that don't move. The sets, the props, the furniture, the streets, the houses, the seats. It's his job to place the characters securely in their surroundings, whether they live as they do this year, in South Boston or California, or whether they live on the starship Enterprise. Now we're going to look at all the scenes from all the nominees, and when you look at them, don't pay so much attention to the acting, as to the things that surround the actors. Look at the meticulous attention that's gone into creating the world the characters live in. (Clips play).
Siskel: The starship Enterprise is most likely going to win, although The Wiz is a definite contender.
Ebert: It is one of the most iconic sets in entertainment history. I also like how they designed the interiors of the enemy vessels. The Wiz was unfortunate to be made in the same year as a movie with the Enterprise.
Siskel: They were very similar to futuristic submarines, in how cramped they were. I bet the actors playing the aliens were very uncomfortable, both wearing that makeup and working on those sets.
Ebert: Harold Michelson built on the work of the legendary Matt Jefferies, who designed the worlds of the Star Trek television series. Jefferies designed the Enterprise for the big screen as well as the small screen, so I think Jefferies deserved some credit for this nomination and likely win, as well.
Siskel: You never know. The Wiz would be popular with traditionalists at the Academy, but the science fiction craze seems to be taking over, so Star Trek is the clear favorite.


Siskel: We're back with the award for Best Picture, the most important award at any Academy Awards ceremony, the most important prize of all. A win here can mean millions of dollars, because it will get a film additional weeks of playing time in movie theaters all over the world. The nominees are as follows: The Deer Hunter, Heaven Can Wait, Coming Home, Midnight Express, and Star Trek: The Motion Picture (clips play). I didn't think Midnight Express was one of the year's best pictures.
Ebert: It's kind of a one-note movie. I thought that a lot of other films, including Days of Heaven, should have been nominated over it. The next movie, I thought, was one of the year's best. It's Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It was a dramatic future war film with a love story, a marriage destroyed by the horrors of war, and compelling storytelling, placing a twist on the television series. It followed the epic Star Wars in the science fiction genre, and did not disappoint. (clip plays of Decker dying in Ilia's arms). This was the most emotional moment of the movie. The newlywed couple, Decker and Ilia, are embracing as Decker dies. This story of a man dying in war and a woman mourning is unique in the fact that it still happens in our future.
Siskel: Although it was a tear-jerking scene, I thought Star Trek was a popcorn movie, and other movies could have been nominated over it, like Heaven Can Wait.
Ebert: I thought Star Trek was one of the five best movies of the year, but like Star Wars, it will likely fall short. That being said, Robert Wise is beloved by almost everyone in Hollywood, and his directing was masterful, so it is possible that the Best Director and Best Picture awards split, with Wise winning and Star Trek not winning as a picture.
Siskel: Wise is a master of the craft, that's for sure. His curriculum vitae is beyond reproach, with two Academy Awards already on his record. Although he said that he did not know a lot about Star Trek when taking the director's job, he adapted extremely well to the actors, who knew all there was to know, and crafted an excellent movie. I just don't think it's Best Picture though.
Ebert: Neither do I, but the nomination was well deserved. Gene and I agree that the Best Picture comes down to two films: The Deer Hunter and Coming Home. There's little to separate the two. I prefer The Deer Hunter. It is the best American epic since the Godfather movies.
Siskel: It's certainly got the momentum right now. It's playing to capacity business, and if that means anything, this picture should do it. It is a very powerful film. However, I think the film that's going to win is Coming Home, also a picture about the Vietnam War. Coming Home's themes are about love and rehabilitation, and Jon Voight's performance highlights the film. Jane Fonda provides an awkward welcome home to her soldier husband, Bruce Dern. Jon Voight played a strong, handicapped person. A great film.
Ebert: It is a nicer film than The Deer Hunter but I still think The Deer Hunter is going to win.


NOTE: There's actually a video on Youtube of Siskel and Ebert reviewing the Academy Award nominations of 1979, so some of this update is word-for-word what they said in parts.
 
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Somehow I want Deer Hunter to lose Best Picture and Director, so the success won't get into Cimino's head. That being said, Chris Walken WILL NOT lose Best Supporting Actor if I have anything to say about it!
Christopher Walken's Supporting Actor Academy Award is safe! Now I could go with Coming Home for Best Picture and Hal Ashby for Best Director, or I could split Best Picture and Director, although that's rare, and give Robert Wise his third Oscar
 
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I’ll keep the poll up for a few more hours and write up the 1979 Academy Awards later today. Keep on getting those votes in, and if you’d like, PM me with the categories Star Trek should get Oscars in. I’d like to hear either on this thread or in a PM which categories everyone chose
 
So I've decided on the number of Academy Awards TMP will win ITTL, based on all the direct messages I've received. I will give two hints: Star Trek won't sweep all eight awards it's nominated for, nor will it be shut out. The poll will be open for about 5 or 6 more hours, and then I'll take it down to write the update.
 
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