May 28, 2020
Reading Rainbow “Behind the Scenes of Star Trek: TNG” (part 3 of 3)
“And so it goes,” LeVar explains, to a montage of the clapboard being clapped all over the set. Cut to LeVar back in his Casual Friday clothes, sitting in a canvas chair and holding a film strip up to the light. He says, “Close-ups… establishing shots… reaction shots… two-shots… zooms… pans… wide-angle shots…” He then sighs and says, “How do you make a show out of all of this?” He then pulls out more film, drapes it over his shoulders, and proceeds to stare at it like an ape discovering fire. And when it comes to making a show out of all of this, I would imagine step one is not draping the negative over your shoulders like a mink stole.
But the real answer, which we learn in VO, is that “you take it… to an electronic editing house!” Cut to the same scene we just saw being filmed, now on a small monitor in an editing room. Zoom out as LeVar enters and tells us we’re at the Post Group in Hollywood.
A guy who’s also in a stiff cotton shirt and jeans turns around, and LeVar introduces him as Rob Legato, TNG’s “visual effects supervisor”. Rob, in the years following this, did pretty well for himself. He moved on to doing effects for Deep Space Nine, then after that, feature films like Apollo 13 and Titanic, the latter of which won him an Oscar. Unfortunately, he seems to have fallen within the Michael Bay sphere of influence since then, because he did effects for both Armageddon and Bad Boys II. You win some, you lose some.