Star Trek sequel co-writer/producer Damon Lindelof is a guest on this week’s popular Nerdist podcast where he touches on Star Trek, describing the collaborative writing process with (Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman), JJ Abram’s trademark secrecy and how cool it is to be writing for Trek. See excerpts below.
Lindelof talks Star Trek writing collaboration, secrecy and nerding out
Damon Lindelof is a guest on this week’s popular Nerdist podcast with Chris Harwick. The hour long podcast covers a lot of ground with a little bit of Star Trek. Of interest was Lindelof talking about what writing is like for him in the post-Lost era where he no longer is working with Carlton Cuse and a writers room:
I function best in collaboration so I have sought out writing partners….On Trek 1, I produced it, but was obviously very involved in the story process with JJ [Abrams], Bob [Orci], and Alex [Kurtzman], so that was great. For Trek 2 I am actually writing, but again it functions a lot more like a TV show. We are all sitting in a room together throwing ideas around and seeing what sticks…I do not like sitting by myself staring at the blank page.
Damon also talked about dealing with the secrecy on Lost and Star Trek:
It’s tough. JJ is really good at secrecy and really good at playing the game because ultimately people want to know but they don’t want to have stuff spoiled for them. … We are working on Trek 2 now and there is such an expectation that it is top secret, because everything we do is top secret. And with that expectation comes this idea that "they are going to do something that is totally mind-blowing that is going to friggin’ fry our brains!" Because we are keeping it such a secret. As opposed to the fact that we are just keeping it a secret because we don’t want the audience to know too much going in. The fact that people went to go to see Trek and they didn’t know we were going to blow up Vulcan. They might have known that time travel was involved and they knew that Nimoy was in the movie, but they didn’t understand how it all worked so when you get to that point in the movie it’s cool because you get to emotionally experience it without being primed for it. It requires a
tremendous amount of – there are only so many people you can include in your circle of trust.
Lindelof defends "Star Trek" secrecy in order to maintain the "emotional experience" of big surprises – like the destruction of Vulcan
Damon also talked about being able to write what he called "professional fan fiction," in some of his favorite franchises, and specifically noting on Star Trek:
That is the coolest thing ever is playing in those universes and writing "Kirk" and dialog, and you are like "oh my god!" It was particularly awesome writing for – as he was slugged in the script – "ORIGINAL SPOCK." Because you are like "Nimoy is actually going to say these words!"
The podcast also contains some talk about how "awesome" the Star Trek movie was, with Chris Hardwick talking about going to see the movie with his friend Wil Wheaton. Listen to the full Nerdist Podcast with Damon Lindelof at Nerdist.com, to hear Damon talk more about Twitter, his favorite TV shows, how he got his start with JJ Abrams and Lost, nerding out meeting George Lucas, and more.
Lindelof still excited to be writing for Star Trek and collaborating with Orci, Kurtzman and Abrams (photo: Anthony Pascale)