Shimerman Says CGI Has Hurt Actors And AudiencesBy Kristine
December 18, 2003 - 7:55 PM
Armin Shimerman (Quark) decried the prominence of CGI and special effects at the expense of character development.
Speaking in a chat at TrekWeb, Shimerman responded to a question about whether or not computer generated effects have helped or harmed actors. He said, "It most defineately has hurt the actors and the audience. Producers depend on special effects to carry a story instead of getting good writers to fascinate us with their ideas. 'Far Beyond the Stars' had relatively few F/X and it was brilliant. Actors revel in great stories; it sparks us to do our very best."
Shimerman said that while he didn't see his character appearing on Star Trek: Enterprise, he would be open to the idea of a movie. "I would be honored to do another Star Trek movie," he said. He also noted that he didn't believe Nemesis would be the final Trek film. "I think Star Trek will grace the screen again; I just don't think it will be soon," he commented.
When asked about the current troubles the franchise had faced, including Nemesis's poor box office and Enterprise's season 3 episode reduction (from 26 to 24 episodes), Shimerman said that he thought Trek could regain its audience. "The world audience has its preferences. Tastes come and go. Tell fascinating stories and the world will rediscover the franchise. It's as simple as that," he said.
Shimerman also fielded questions about his latest novel, Capital Offense. Capital Offense is the third book in Shimerman's Merchant Prince trilogy, which centers around John Dee, an Elizabethan period multi-talented librarian scholar, who finds himself whisked away to the 22nd century when aliens have invaded Earth.
Shimerman revealed that he hadn't planned the series as a trilogy, and considered himself finished after the first book. "I thought I was done. Until the publisher called and told me to relook at my contract--which insisted on three (Some Ferengi!!??) [books]," he said. However, the error turned out to be a fortunate one. "It was the happiest mistake I ever made," he said.
Though he's enjoying writing, Shimerman said that he does not plan to pen another Deep Space Nine novel. His first and only Deep Space Nine novel, The 34th Rule dealt with rising hostilities between the Ferengi and the Bajorans. "I do not [have plans to write another Deep Space Nine novel]," he said. "We came up with the idea of The 34th Rule, because I saw injustice being implied in the franchise and I wanted to address it. Once I got that off my chest, I moved on." He is now completely immersed in his Merchant Prince series: "I am now chest deep in Elizabethan history and Magic. It is fascinating to me and it drives me to share those mysteries with others."
When a fan asked about the comradarie between the Deep Space Nine cast, Shimerman acknowledged that they didn't joke around as much as either The Next Generation or Voyager casts. "The irony is that as cast we were less buddy-buddy than TNG or Voy," he said. "But what we lacked in extra-mural drinking, we made up for by an enormous amount of respect and sympathy for each other. We bonded as professional who were excellent at their job, rather than jokesters."
When the chat turned to the subject of Quark, Shimerman spoke of making him a well-rounded character, as opposed to just comic relief. "There are thousands of choices I made over the course of seven years that helped to define Quark as a character. But, I suppose the prime motivating factor, was that I refused to see Quark as only a comic character. But rather as an outsider in an alien environment trying to fit in with individuals who didn't share his belief system," he said.
For more from Shimerman on Quark's cut scene from Insurrection, the end of Deep Space Nine, and more on Capital Offense, read the chat trascript here at TrekWeb.