Baird Talks Cinematic InfluencesBy Caillan
December 12, 2002 - 4:17 AM
'Star Trek Nemesis' director Stuart Baird said recently he was looking to invest the movie with a dark, ominous tone, drawing inspiration from German, Polish and Japanese cinema.
"The story is a dark story, so I wanted to give this movie a feel of threat and doom, photographically," Baird told fans during a chat at StarTrek.com. "From the very first frames, we set the mood of the movie to introduce the Romulan Senate being destroyed and even before that, the two planets, Romulus and Remus. The Remans have been described in the script as people who lived on the dark side of the planet, so I was determined to get a very interesting look for them and the sets and lighting. I took my inspirations for that from some German Expressionist movies of the 20s and 30s."
Baird looked outside mainstream Hollywood movies for inspiration, and was especially influenced by the Polish film 'Ashes and Diamonds.' "When I took on this job of directing 'Nemesis,' I looked at that picture and I looked at a bunch of [Japanese director Akira] Kurosawa's pictures as well, because they have an operatic quality, especially the late Kurosawa pictures, because the Star Trek pics have an operatic quality, and I wanted that feel in the confrontation between Shinzon and Picard."
That doesn't mean 'Nemesis' is all doom and gloom, as the director promised the film will have fun sequences - including Trek's first 'car chase'. "I've included as much levity and humor as I can, because I always believe that heightens the enjoyment of a movie," he said. "In fact, I constructed one scene in the first third of the movie which is on the Kolaran planet, when they go in search of these positronic signals, which is an action beat, but has a great deal of fun in it. It's really the first car chase in Star Trek movie history, actually. I thought it was important to get a burst of adrenalin as well as fun going early in the picture, because the real action doesn't start until about halfway through."
Although there will be a DVD release of 'Nemesis' with audio commentaries and other special features, Baird was adamant he is happy with the film as it stands and will not re-edit the film for the DVD. "The Director's Cut is the cut that you'll see at the cinema. I have added to the DVD some scenes that I deleted from the finished film. They work on their own, but in the film, they slowed the pace down and didn't add any additional information that was not already clearly indicated."
To read the full chat transcript, in which Baird also talked about writer John Logan and his own background as an editor, head over to StarTrek.com.