December 1, 2020
A future that isn’t yet, represented by a past that never was. Bit of a mind-twister, that. But that’s what we have in Nick Acosta’s intriguing and beautifully realized digital media project, Star Trek in Cinerama Widescreen (2016). Star Trek was vast in its scope, epic in its reach, long in its influence — yet tiny in its literal size, a grand vision of the future that was very much Made for TV with a 4×3 aspect. The movies later expanded the ratio, but what if, Acosta wondered, the original TV show could be seen in widescreen, as it no doubt deserves? And so he decided to make it so. Using high quality screenshots, Acosta patiently stitched together consecutive grabs from pans and cuts to produce the images here.
In Acosta’s words:
50 years ago today Star Trek debuted its first episode on NBC. The show, like all other shows at the time, was broadcast in the old style 4×3 aspect ratio. Using HD screen caps from my friends at Trekcore.com, I created this project of what the show would have looked like in Cinerama widescreen. As a kid the show always felt bigger and more epic than it appears to me as an adult. I was able to create these shots by waiting for the camera to pan and then I stitched the separate shots together. The result is pretty epic. It reminds me of the classic science fiction movies of the 50’s and 60’s. Suddenly the show has a “Forbidden Planet” vibe. Other shots remind me of how director Robert Wise would use a camera technique to keep the foreground and background elements in focus.
All our favorites are here: tribbles, the Green Girl, Evil Spock, Harcourt Fenton Mudd, Captain Kirk of course but also Captain Christopher Pike. Acosta has even branched out and done a few of Star Trek: TNG. And sometimes there is a bit of doubling, not unlike panorama artefacts, or even Google map glitches, today. We encourage you to go directly to Acosta’s portfolio site to see the images in Acosta’s widescreen gallery.
And once seen, doesn’t your memory do a little jog? Isn’t this what Trek was, all along? Walter Benjamin reminds us that the future is constructed out of the materials of the past. And what better materials with which to construct a possible future, than Star Trek?
Star Trek in Cinerama: website
Nick Acosta portfolio, Twitter
Star Trek TOS: memoryalpha site, Trekcore site
Photo disclaimer from Nick Acosta’s website:
STAR TREK and all related marks, logos and characters are owned by CBS Studios Inc. This website, the promotion thereof and/or any exhibition of material created by the operators of this website are not endorsed or sponsored by or affiliated with CBS/Paramount Pictures or the STAR TREK franchise.