Movie producer Ralph Winter got his start with the Star Trek movies and was executive producer on one of the more popular Star Trek movies featuring the original series crew, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was popular, both with fans and with the mainstream audience and the intent of those making the movie was to reach out to fans and non-fans alike. “We had a great feeling making the movie,” said Winter. “The script was well developed and we were having fun shooting it. I finally got to go on location for a couple of weeks, and we used the back lot extensively, using the tank for the first time in many years for the museum and some underwater work. We designed the picture to cross over. We developed a story that would connect with an audience that was not steeped in Star Trek.”
“So that was part of our plan,” said Winter, “specifically the fish-out-of-water idea of characters from the future visiting San Francisco. What better place to hide? Even Spock, with the headband to hide his ears – and it reduced Leonard’s makeup time — was brilliant for the Bay Area. And I went to Berkeley.”
Winter enjoyed the work in San Francisco, especially the scene where Chekov is asking people on the street where to find Alameda and the “nuclear wessels,” as well as his work with Marines. “There were so many fun scenes,” said Winter. “I think our work in San Francisco was the most rewarding and fun, being on the street with our characters, hidden cameras as Chekov asks about ‘wessels.’ I got to write the joke for Scotty knowing how to use the computer mouse. There are just a lot of warm scenes and our actors were right at home delivering a fun ride. I got to shoot some second unit on the USS Ranger, which doubled for Enterprise, with some Marines. That was fun on the ship, during the chase. And later, Harve and I got to know the rear admiral of the ship, and he flew us out to ship for some night ops, and we got shot back to San Diego. It was unforgettable.”
Winter’s recent work includes Cool It, a documentary on climate change which released earlier in the month; Broken, and The Surrogate.