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July 19 2024


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Rob Bowman Talks TNG Directing

By Lisa
May 6, 2002 - 7:31 PM

Rob Bowman is now a director and producer on the X-Files but he recently chatted about his early career directing on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

"I went to the Star Trek trailer and met Bob Justman, who as you know produced the earlier series, and he was surprised at my age - at the time I was 26," Bowman told Star Trek: The Magazine. "But he said, 'well, anyway, I like the way you shoot and we'd be interested in you doing Star Trek.'"

"I was standing there with Bob and then Rick Berman popped his head in the door and looked at me and said, 'Pizza?' I said, 'Excuse me?' and he said 'We ordered pizza; are you the pizza boy?' and I said, 'No, I'm Rob Bowman. I'm your next director, I hope!'"

The director went on to talk about his experiences with Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. "Gene was around quite a bit," he said. "After two or three days of filming he actually came down to the set and told me that he very much liked the film that I'd been shooting. The director of photography at the time said to me 'You know, he never does that. You should feel very fortunate.' I felt incredible! Every script that I directed I would have a meeting with Gene, and it was quite an honour to work with him. I was lucky to be around before he passed away."

Bowman had good things to say about the man who took over the franchise, Rick Berman. "Rick was very, very good to me from the beginning all the way to my last episode," he explained, "And I owe a great deal of gratitude to him. [...] I was very enthusiastic and wanted to be an integral part of the show and it seemed to me that Rick Berman had given me a bit more latitude than a typical director. But I think I had it very, very good, and Rick was protective of me and gave me a lot of opportunities to try things and to shoot the show differently, and try to move the lighting around, which did not always work! But I felt like my voice mattered; I felt that when I spoke I was heard, and that I was part of the problem solving in the day-to-day shooting."

The director also spoke about his decision to "I missed it, and I came back and directed 'Brothers', which I thought was a wonderful script by Rick Berman, but by that point it was just time to move on," Bowman explained.

"My agent was really pounding on me, and I thought it actually had sort of soured them and me on the whole thing. But in the end I think he was wrong. I think I would have been better served if I'd stayed, because I enjoyed the show. I enjoyed the crew, I enjoyed the cast. I loved Paramount studios, and I wish I would have been there longer. I've been a part of something that's very special."

More from Rob Bowman about his directing work on the Next Generation can be found in the July 2002 issue of Star Trek: The Magazine. Alternatively extracts are available online here at TrekWeb.

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