Star Trek: The Next Generation 365 released yesterday and authors Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdman explain how the book came to be and how they did their research to find the perfect pictures for the book.
The release of the book coincides with the twenty-fifth anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation. “Our editor, Eric Klopfer, began talking about a TNG version of the book when we started turning in text and photos for the first one,” said Block and Erdman.
“He realized how cool that book was turning out, and promised that if TOS 365 was embraced by the fans, we’d do it again,” said Block and Erdman. “When we pointed out to him that 2012 was TNG’s twenty-fifth anniversary, he was more committed than ever.”
The pair had to go through binders in the studio to find still shots that hadn’t been seen before. “The studio’s publicity/marketing department assigned photographers to do still coverage of TNG while the series was filming,” said the duo. “We knew the studio had binders and binders full of imagery; the licensing department had provided many of those images to licensees for use in their products over the years. Paula was familiar with what had been used and she worked very hard to steer us away from the ones that had been seen over and over again.
“In the hopes of finding something new, she took an especially close look at the black and white photography. The licensees had always requested color shots. So while many of the color images repeatedly appeared in books and magazines over the years, very little of the black and white photography was used at all. On any given day on the TNG set, the assigned still photographer would shoot both color and black and white film, generally using one or the other to cover different angles, or even different scenes. It was in the black and white where we found many of the rarest behind-the-scenes shots, like early versions of costumes and hairstyles, cast and crew indulging in unscripted and rather unorthodox behavior, and actors attending script readings and rehearsals in non-regulation attire.”
In addition to going through photos and film, the authors interviewed people in hopes of unearthing more photographs. “We interviewed dozens of people who’d worked on the show, and asked if he or she had any unique personal photos hidden away in a forgotten box or two,” said Block and Erdman. “Production designer Richard James provided some great sketches, and visual effects producer Dan Curry gave us free access to his storyboards from the show, as well as some fantastic paintings. Prop making company MEL gave us a lot of material, shots of the props under construction or completed. And effects associate Eric Alba unearthed a treasure trove of candid photos that he’d taken while he was working on the show.”
Star Trek: The Next Generation 365 is available now at Amazon.