On Thursday, William Shatner breezed into Richmond BC for an event so far off the radar it didn’t appear on his website’s official schedule. Shatner was in BC to host the first ever Canadian Awards for the Electronic Arts and Animation. Prior to the show there was a "Champagne Reception" and it was here that Shatner fielded all manner of Trek related questions. The press gaggle was on him like an EF Hutton commercial peppering with questions, however Shatner did try to stay on message about Canadian animation. As a result, many of his replies to Trek questions were brief and often showed his trademark sarcastic wit. On how he he celebrated the 40th anniversary of Trek Shatner quipped, that he and "George Takei spent some time alone together but I’d rather not go into details."When asked by one reporter about his years as Capt. Kirk, he said: "I’m all done talking about that stuff." He did say that he thought that the role of Captain Kirk should be played by somebody very handsome, "just like in the original series," being careful not to endorse Matt Damon when the interviewer mentioned his name. When asked about JJ Abrams, he quipped in reply, "JJ Abrams? Who’s he?..is he an actor" — still apparently stinging from the"odourous gas" comments earlier in the week and trying to dodge any further controversy. When asked if he was involved in the production of Star Trek XI he replied "I haven’t been asked for input on the new movie".
[editor’s note: As with all things Shatner it is hard to separate the straight answers from the sarcasm. Shatner was pretty clear when he told a few thousand people he was talking to Abrams last weekend, and that Abrams people were in contact the weekend before..on video. It is not entirely clear why after weeks of talking up Abrams he has now moved into evasive mode. This latest ‘not asked for input’ comment may seem inconsistent, but it is possible that (as he stated before) he is talking to Abrams, however Abrams may only be updating Shatner on the project.]
Not a fan of CGI?
Shatner also mentioned the anniversary while on stage as a lead in to special effects budgets and how digital effects that can replace actors. Shatner went on at some length about how extras were being replaced by CGI stand-ins. He compared the crowds in the background of the Ten Commandments to the crowds in the city of Coruscant. Trek isn’t known for its crowd scenes, but throughout all of his comparisons, he declined to compare the effects done on the recent series or movies. This thread seemed like an ideal shoe-in for discussion about how the original series effects are being redone digitially; but he passed on the topic. Instead, he broke out a compact mirror and began gesturing into it in the same way a CGI artist would do while mimicking a facial gesture when animating. He went on about how CGI was going to put scenery chewing actors out of work. He played connect-the-dots between his Tek series of books, the ill-fated series on the USA Network and C.O.R.E. Digital’s formation that came in the aftermath of his Tek-War series cancellation. He compared the budget for Tek War episodes, saying that his production was less expensive than the catering budget of "Battleship Galactica" (sic). In the spirit of the awards show ceremony, Shatner gave praise to the team at C.O.R.E. Digital Productions, the company he co-founded.
Shatner plays Janeway?
The only Star Trek offshoot he was willing to talk about for any length of time was the upcoming Star Trek Legacy, the game that brings all five Captains together. During the awards show presentation, he said, "Unfortunately, when I play the game, the words ‘Game Over’ fly across the screen, before I’ve hardly been able to get out of my captain’s chair. Of courseCG, I was playing Captain Janeway. Maybe if I’d played Captain Kirk I’d have done better, but Janeway’s more attractive." Even this Trek reference had to be kept brief though, since the evening was about Canadian animation and the company developing Star Trek Legacy, Mad Doc Software, is American.
Kidney stone redux
During his opening monologue, one of the presenter assistants cameout with a large silver suit case and left it on the stool Shatner was using off and on. The case sat there through the ceremonies leaving the audicence only to speculate as to its contents. Could it be a timebomb? or possibly Verne Troyer? Midway through the awards show, Shatner revealed that the case held his kidney stone (which he had formerly auctioned off for charity). Shatner then produced a smooth iregular lump the size of grape. He said that Golden Palace casino (who had won the stone auction) was behind the stunt, then two more assistants appeared on stagewith a huge novelty cheque representing $10,000 donated by GoldenPalace to a local horse therapy charity.
That’s us!…More images: here.
E Canada (via TrekWeb): Shatner Danced The Night Away (w/vid)
Editor’s Note: Mike DeWolfe is a writer, web developer and long time Trekkie. He maintains a number of blogs, but most of his online rants end up at Mike DeWolfe: Daily Edition, with longer pieces on his personal site. Mike also contributes to GameBoyz.com. Cheryl DeWolfe is a writer, library worker, and a Trekkie by association. She’s been putting her stamp on the internet since 1996 and regularly shares her opinions and other nonsense on her blog: Flotsam and Jetsam