Frakes Had Fun Directing Co-Stars

By Michelle
July 30, 2005 - 3:11 PM

Actor-director Jonathan Frakes said that it's much easier for him to direct his close friends from Star Trek: The Next Generation in movies than strangers, despite that cast's reputation for rowdiness on the set.

"You've spent 15 or 18 years, all of us developing shorthand," the Riker actor told Dreamwatch (via Sci Fi Pulse). "We've all grown up together professionally and we're proud of each other's success...and when it's serious there's mutual respect and when it's not serious a great sense of fun."

Frakes, who has recorded a new audio commentary for the Star Trek: Insurrection special edition DVD, said that the major differences between directing for television and directing for film are the amount of money and time available. "You have more money to make a movie, you have more time to prepare and you have more toys to play with. But certainly you try to tell the story in the same hopefully interesting fashion," he said, noting that on film he might get to cover an explosion with twelve cameras which would never be available for an episode of television.

Asked whether he wished he could go back and improve anything in Insurrection, he said, "I'm not sure it was appropriate that the Baku all looked quite so Aryan. That always disturbed me in retrospect, that it wasn't a mixed race."

As a director Frakes said he tends not to dictate but to seek suggestions from his crew. "I try to provide an atmosphere in which people have an opportunity to make mistakes and suggest ideas," he explained. "I like every department right through the company to feel that if they have an ideas or a contribution they should feel comfortable to suggest it...I'll take suggestions and then make the decision as to whether I like them.":

And on the topic of whether the Next Gen cast has appeared together for the last time, although several of his co-stars have said they believe so, Frakes noted, "Well I'm an eternal optimist so I believe and I hope there will be more to come."

The complete interview plus a review of the Insurrection SE is in issue # 132 of Dreamwatch. These excerpts are from Sci Fi Pulse.

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