Saturday, August 29, 2009

Closer look: That TNG/Reading Rainbow clip

Reading Rainbow may be gone, but its iconic TNG episode is a landmark.

Yes, Anthony's trekmovie.com and other sites picked up the end of LeVar Burton's Reading Rainbow this week after 26 years on PBS—premiering four years before TNG began—and linked you up to that classic TNG show in two parts that I too, yes, duly have around here on its original VHS cassette.

But here's some Trekland context about that episode—aside from "Gee, look how young they are all":

In the You Tube Part II clip, check out the funnies at 5:22 (above) and realize you are watching the very first bloopers of any kind made available to any audience from the TNG era onward. Until the onetime leak of the TNG 1st season party bloopers a few months later, this was *it* for fandom who'd been used to the infamous TOS outtakes as a convention staple for a decade.

Then too, gentle Internet/DVD generation: after the hoopla coverage of the series launch in September 1987 on ET and elsewhere, this was the only backstage look available for fans for years—and this "gold" is just simple behind-the-scenes footage, much less Rob Legato's visual effects world. Note their gear, too: still very much an analog world!

BONUS ROUND: Three gold stars to the first who can post the name of the episode being shot when the RR film crew comes calling on the bridge; double it if you can name the red-headed female stand-in in teal on the bridge, doing her job as a shot is set up and lit! Answers by Wednesday.

9 comments:

MikeZ83 said...

Not sure about the woman but the bridge scene where LeVar had that close encounter with the clapperboard was
"Symbiosis".

Larry Nemecek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Larry Nemecek said...

Ding-ding-ding! We have a winner, for Round 1. Note that they talk about Delos, the two planets, the freighter needing to be tractored .... And thus we know what director Win Phelps looks like, too--at least in 1988!

Any takers on the stand-in? She does have a credit after Season 1...

MikeZ83 said...

Thanks, actually the name "T'Jon" is what triggered the memory.

Marcos said...

The bit about "what the camera sees" makes it look like they used a single-camera setup. Is that right? They had to re-shoot each scene for each angle they wanted?

Larry Nemecek said...

Yep--the master shot, the coverage of each speaker and reaction shots to cut to, etc. Might be B cameras as simultaneous second looks in certain situations, like action, stunts, etc. That's why it takes 7-8 days to shoot a 48-minute show...and TOS did it in 5 or 6!

Jerky said...

lovely Lorine Mendell als Diana Giddings ;-)

Larry Nemecek said...

Wow, it took two years.. but kudos to Jerky! Absolutely right. Lorinne was a regular women's stand-in for all seven years of TNG, and got the "character name" coveted by all regular extras and stand-ins, thanks to her quarters' door plaque glimpsed in "The Outrageous Okona."

Unknown said...

Just a bump here, it turns out the 'Reading Rainbow' segment will be part of the bonus features on the TNG Season 2 Blu-ray set. Hooray!