Producer Talks ‘Iowa’ Shoot + VIDEO Of Scene Being Shot

Earlier on Tuesday, reported that Paramount was in Bakersfield California shooting 2nd unit ‘Iowa’ scenes for the new Star Trek movie. Now we have video of executive producer Jeffrey Chernov talking to the local news about why they chose Kern County to stand in for Iowa. Plus another local news station caught the crew shooting an interesting spoilerific scene.

Chernov told KGET:

We wanted something that looked like Iowa, and we also wanted to stay close to Los Angeles. So, we came out here and scouted and realized that we can kind of make Iowa out of Bakersfield.

According to the report, The Star Trek shoot will be bringing in $2 million to Kern county and will involve local extras who have already been cast.

CLICK TO SEE VIDEO FROM KGET (opens new window)
…and yes, they spelled Chernov’s name wrong


Of course Star Trek lore tells us that James T. Kirk grew up in Iowa. first reported (back in early 2007) that the new Star Trek will include scenes from various points in the life of James T. Kirk (including early years in Iowa). This is common in ‘origin story’ movies like Superman: The Movie and Batman Begins.

Shooting will continue until Saturday, at different locations in Kern County. As reported here before, principal photography ended two weeks ago. As the KGET report indicates, JJ Abrams is at the shoot, however our Paramount source says that the shoot still is ‘2nd unit.’ None of the primary cast, including Chris Pine (who plays Kirk) are at the shoot. The location work in Kern is the final bit of work for the production phase for Star Trek.
















Little Trek Corvette
Bakersfield’s KERO has more videotape (see below) from the location shoot, which clearly shows a 1960s red Corvette convertible being used for one of the shots. It is hard to see who is behind the driver’s wheel, but it appears to be either a woman or a young boy (possibly Jimmy Bennett or Spencer Daniels who are playing the young Jim and George Kirk respectively). The ‘raw video’ also shows the car and truck from the crash reported earlier.

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April 9, 2008 12:13 am

Kirk, as a boy, “borrows” an antique and goes joyriding?

April 9, 2008 12:16 am

first!!! whats a 1960’s corvette got to do with anything?

April 9, 2008 12:16 am

It looks that way.

April 9, 2008 12:33 am

My grandparents live in Bakersfield. I could have seen the filming of the Academy set, too, because that was at CSUN where I had some friends from high school going.

April 9, 2008 12:34 am


“They Flivel…”

April 9, 2008 12:38 am

Is it me or is there a possibility of this film becoming a huge sprawling mess? So many timeperiods and locations.
Or it could just be that they’re doing an extraordinary amount of work on what in the end, for the most part will amount to nothing more than brief flashes and mere cameos?

And of course young Kirk goes on a little joy ride, that’s what spirited little boys do in clichee situations.
Still very Kirk-like to go with the big red flashy one.

Justin Olson
April 9, 2008 12:41 am

There making this movie rather down to Earth, aren’t they? As long as Kirk’s ‘Vette doesn’t transform into an autobot, I think we’re okay.

From ‘A Piece of the Action’:

Spock: “Must we?”
Kirk: “It’s faster than walking. Are you afraid of cars?”
Spock: “Not at all. It’s your driving that alarms me.”

April 9, 2008 12:50 am

Sounds like its jumping back and forth with flashbacks… like the TV show “Lost”, except that this one’s in space. OMG… “Lost”….. in space. Nahhhhh.

April 9, 2008 12:52 am

is there seriously a 60’s corvette being driven around in the new star trek movie? wouldn’t such an antique be like 300 years old?


April 9, 2008 12:59 am

#2 – You may find out May 9, 2009.D

Justin Olson
April 9, 2008 1:00 am

One other thought:

If that’s supposed to be Winona Kirk ( a pregnant-looking Jennifer Morrison) in the car, could it be that legendary James T. Kirk is born in the back seat of a 1960s red Corvette?

OR Coast Trekkie
April 9, 2008 1:01 am

As one who grew up in Iowa, I can tell you: Iowa is a lot greener, and you don’t see montains on the horizon line.

April 9, 2008 1:04 am

12. Too bad they don’t have a major Motion Picture FX company working on this who could color correct/airbrush those things out!

April 9, 2008 1:04 am

Oops, that was to #11.

Justin Olson
April 9, 2008 1:08 am

Re: #11

That would be front seat… not back seat, obviously!

April 9, 2008 1:29 am

not sure….1940’s ship builders, 1960’s Vette, 1970’s shuttle control panels, Trek IS about the future I thought?!

April 9, 2008 1:36 am

A young Kirk going joyriding on car? There’s nothing there to indicate such a presumption, so no need to whine about cliches just yet! :)

April 9, 2008 1:48 am

Why after reading this do I find myself hearing the words to Princes, “Little Red Corvette”?

April 9, 2008 2:30 am

I’ve gotta agree with #12 here. I live in Iowa (Save me, Dear God somebody please save me) and the nice mountainous backgrounds look nothing like anything we have anywhere in the state.

Maybe they can digitally fix that. Well, at least I hope they can. Since mountains aren’t in the Original Iowa, it simply wouldn’t be canon. ;)

A Mad-Man In Love
April 9, 2008 2:32 am


April 9, 2008 2:33 am

I doubt they’s get the mountains in the shot if avoidable.

Maybe they can have kirk blow something up in the hearland – kinda ENT-like in the first episode if I remember right.

April 9, 2008 2:44 am

Corvette equals GM product placement.

#16: Look at the DS9 opening titles from later seasons. There are welders working on the station as Colm Meaney’s character name comes up.

April 9, 2008 3:44 am

Uh-oh! I hope this won’t be Nemesis all over again! (I mean the misplaced car-racing.)

April 9, 2008 3:48 am

Pity they didn’t choose to actually shoot in Iowa…

Gotta love that Corvette though. I love 60’s stylings. ;)

Vulcan Soul
April 9, 2008 4:05 am

I got the suspicion this got all to do with soap opera and nothing with science fiction. You know, SCIENCE FICTION. Think Forbidden Planet. 2001. Not the space opera dreck produced these days.

April 9, 2008 4:38 am

This might be a silly question, so please excuse me if it is, but is this the same place where film makers shot the scenes for “Field of Dreams”? Just wondering, because of the country side and that famous line of Kevin Costner’s when he was asked if “is this heaven”. His answer was “This is Iowa”.

April 9, 2008 4:40 am

I can’t wait to see the ‘Bruckheimer’ version of Trek.

April 9, 2008 4:43 am

25: I share the concern, although we obviously won’t know for certain for another year. But so far this has all the marks of a space opera, even if it’s a very good space opera, a la TWOK.

star trackie
April 9, 2008 4:56 am

Kirk has a “fondness for antiques”, perhaps a red corvette is at the roots of his passion. Nothing unusual about that.

April 9, 2008 5:08 am

I think (or I hope…) most of us get why they dont actually shoot space scenes in outer space…but are they so lazy that they cant shoot Iowa scenes in Iowa? Come on…. And a corvette…come on…I can kind of understand there being talk of a car in ENT time…but by the time Kirk comes around…arent they using shuttlepods and transporters to get around on earth? This scene could almost be as gratuitous/absurd as Picard usint the ATV in NEM.

April 9, 2008 5:08 am

I hope that Corvette is an automatic, Kirk can’t drive a stick ( Piece of the Action).

April 9, 2008 5:13 am

when picard goes to france to have a vacation after his encounter with the borg everything looked like a 19th century earth and a few miles away you see a futuristic city, I love the combination.

So I think it would be pretty cool to see kirk drive an old car.

1701 over Gotham City
April 9, 2008 5:33 am

There is a LOT unusual about it if the ancient and operable corvette is in a wreck with an equally ancient and operable pickup truck. If this is the case and it is a flashback, it best be waaay back.
This seems incredibly goody.

Vulcan Soul
April 9, 2008 5:44 am

28 – i wouldnt call TWOK the perfect anti-example even. Yes, it had a lot of action and was obviously much less cerebral than, say, TMP. But TWOK also had prominent big topics, like aging and the end of live vs. artifical (re)creation. I do not have a problem if character examination and development is used for these ends (as Kirk’s in this example), as science fiction concepts are used for it (the Genesis device).

I got a problem, however, if character development is done and characters and their relationships are displayed for their own sake, put into space, and labelled “science fiction”. This is not science fiction. It’s not even good fiction.

So I hope we don’t see Kirk’s first time in a corvette for the sake of it. I got no interest in “mundane Trek”.

April 9, 2008 5:56 am

I’m sure the Corvette could be a replica. Built by some company in the 23rd century that specializes in replica cars of bygone eras. Or Kirk’s father could’ve built it – perhaps a scene of father and son working on it together?

Jorg Sacul
April 9, 2008 5:57 am

That Vette is probably converted over to a Hydrogen fuel cell.

April 9, 2008 5:59 am

Remember, they had that Camaro in Transformers…

I see a product placement trend. I am not necessarily against such things, but in this case it’s going to appear forced.

April 9, 2008 6:03 am

#30… we use flashlights and electric lights…. but don’t we see a lot of candles being used because people like them?

We see cars today, but people still ride horseback… because they enjoy it. Not all horses were killed once technology replaced them as transportation.

There are a lot of things that modern tech has replaced, but are still around because people like them. Antiques included.

So, I have no problem with it.

Mary Jane
April 9, 2008 6:08 am

People still use bicycles and horse-drawn carriages today (or simply horses for that matter). So why shouldn’t there be cars in Star Trek?

#32 I liked that too about TNG France. Very charming.

April 9, 2008 6:16 am

Please God let Jim Kirk drive a Corvette convertible!

I’m more partial to the ’67 Mustang myself, but in an odd reversal I’m afraid ‘Stangs have become too much the flavor of the month.

April 9, 2008 6:20 am

Okay fellas, get out to Kern County and bring your 600mm lenses and your DV cams!

Iowa Farm kid
April 9, 2008 6:24 am

It’s not rural Iowa if you can’t see a cornfield!

April 9, 2008 6:29 am

40. Agreed Dennis……….but I am seeing a ’66 Mustang Fastback GT350……There’s some warp speed fer ya laddie!!!!!

April 9, 2008 6:44 am


April 9, 2008 6:54 am

I imagine it is a bit of an homage to Shatner… who always had the hot rod in the parking lot at Desilu Studios if I remember my Making of Trek book correctly.

April 9, 2008 6:58 am

I’ve got no problem with boy-Kirk taking an antique out for a joyride… except for one thing…. the damn car would be over 300 years old.

Now come on… a car that old in a MUSEUM, sure. You could see museums hundreds of years from now that have preserved such things. Totally plausible.

But such a vehicle in PRIVATE possession after 300 years? Generation after generation would have had to *lovingly* preserve it… which is kind of hard to swallow. It’d be wild luck that after all that time it would still be in good condition—and of course, by that time, it’d be worth an immense fortune…. and SHOULD be in a museum.

but…. what am I saying? It’s only a freakin’ movie.

April 9, 2008 7:02 am

agreed #46. It’s getting nearly impossible to keep some WWII era planes in operating condition due to the lack of spare parts and that was less than 100 years ago.

I could understand a reproduction – I own several reproductions of Peacemaker era Colt “six-shooters” that function just fine but are clearly not the genuine article. The fact that they are reproductions doesn’t decrease the pleasure of handling or firing them though.

April 9, 2008 7:03 am

two words: Tom Paris

The guy had a knack for 20th century technology. I see no reason why having a Corvette antique would be a problem in the movie. To me it enhances the feeling that ST is the future, even though it most likely won’t.

April 9, 2008 7:04 am

Writing this from Iowa…the real Iowa…and I can tell you those mountains were definitely built on earth…

April 9, 2008 7:10 am

Probably a reproduction, if it HAS to be thought about and justified, just think that as you watch it. Even if they never explain it, that will work. :)