Watch: Star Trek IV Behind-The Scenes-Video Filmed By John Tenuto’s Parents

The current Star Trek film is well known for it secrecy. Even Leonard Nimoy has commented here about it, but 22 years ago when he directed Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home it was a whole different world. My parents just happened to be at the Monterey Bay Aquarium while Paramount was on location to shoot STIV and my dad was allowed to videotape the action, including scenes with Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner. Check it out below.

Can you imagine any film today, especially J.J. Abrams’ new Star Trek, allowing members of the general public to videotape filming. Abrams did recently allow some workers of the City of Long Beach to observe filming, but all were required to sign NDAs. Of course Star Trek IV was made over a decade before the Internet became a reality and when video cameras were the size of a Buick, nonetheless it was pretty cool. It was also very nice of my parents to spend most of a day of his vacation videotaping the shooting of a Star Trek movie just for me. You can tell he isn’t really a fan as he couldn’t even get the actors names right.

And just for fun, here are some bloopers from Star Trek IV

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First to be a loser!

So shoot me–this is still my favorite film. Thanks for the look back!


Taking a moment to be sure that nostalgia doesn’t blind your perception, it was with The Voyage Home that the entire franchise began to go from being “epic” and slid toward self-parody…………..a one time opportunity to have the franchise endure wasted!! What a shame!!

Fascinating to see Shatner actually checking out an actual exhibit.

Harry Ballz, I’m disappointed in you. I expected to see that in rhyme.

Talk about wasted opportunities!


I suspect Nimoy would rather we sit back and enjoy his film as opposed to worrying about epic status. Harry–you get the post-Christmas Grinch Award.


They did a movie pertaining to whale
For THAT they should have worked for scale
The plotline was supremely lousy
Watching this film made me drowsy
After ten minutes I wanted to bail!!

ah….what would the Internet be without those who are here to lift the blinders of our own misperceptions.

oh and thanks to John and his dad who shot this cool video. If anyone else or their dad has more behind the scenes footage of trek movie making let me know

I loved this movie and frankly I liked the fact that they were able to poke fun at themselves.

Maybe we should learn to do the same.

Ah, that’s more like it, Harry!

Although I’m obviously not in your camp!

My favorite ST film, too, Admiraldeem!

And right on, MiamiTrek!

Wow! Thanks a lot for that video! Your parents have no idea of the history they were watching! By far the best movie with the original cast, and the one to have the biggest impact on society!

Gees,, thats lucky!!


Love seeing Nimoy directing in-costume.

FWIW, some of my favorite trek is what Harry and others might call “self-parody.” I think what really is damning to the franchise is fans who act ashamed of it.

TOS was already silly before Trek IV ever came along.

I think the gentle self-parody aspect made the film very warm and loveable.

It is truly amazing how they allowed the public to watch and videotape a day’s filming. Bravo, and thanks for sharing.

I wrote an article about a similar theme for MarketingProfs. Check it out if you have a chance.

Sorry for the double post — here’s a link to the article:

Trek IV was an enjoyable film, but it got into whales and things and you could tell that it wasn’t serious science fiction.

#2 – no we won’t shoot you. ST:IV is a guilty pleasure. It was Star Trek at it’s most comfortable, and yet even with it’s insider humour it reached out to a much broader audience.

It was the first Trek that made me feel good inside when I left the theatre, it rekindled my imagination in Trek – and we even see Mr. Spock laugh, and the Enterprise restored.

After such a high note, the ST:V was a dissapointment. I think at that point the movie franchise had in my mind jumped the shark. Don’t get me wrong – Undiscovered Country was good, and First Contact was awesome – but some of the wind had gone from her sails.

Maybe I had gotten older. The days of standing in line hours before a premiere, and getting excited with friends has been replaced with blogs and online tickets.

But for the first time in ages, I’m excited again.

Ok, I’m rambling. But you know I’m right.

Looking forward to the teaser in front of Cloverfield…..

I hope the new film can capture at least some of the charm and appeal of TVH.
Great film. Love it.

Awesome! I kept thinking.. this was all REAL footage of Captain Kirk and Spock. Pretty trippy. lol. :)


You excitement is infectious. I know exactly what you’re talking about and I am totally feeling it too.

Is it good for you? ;-)

This is the real thing!

A wonderful film which unclosed an adorable humorous approach, which still was able to deliver an important message – today more topical than ever – and which at the same time gave us true science fiction by means of the time travel realization.

Thanks to John and his parents for the remarkable footage and thanks for the fantastic bloopers, as well!

Awesome to see that behind the scens footage. Very interesting. I have a real soft spot for ST:IV. I was six years old when the movie came out and it was the first Star Trek Movie I got to see on the big screen! For a six year old kid it was pure magic! And now with Star Trek (2008) less than year away I feel like a kid again waiting for Christmas Morning!

#25 i’m really hoping that the Earth (and stars) will move for me, Miami Trek. ;)
Without fail the last 5 minutes of TVH brings a tear to my eye. I so want Trek08 to have that same affect on me. I honestly do.
Try to do it, JJ and Roberto. Try really hard to deliver us the charm and delight that TVH brought.

Shatner has an interest in marine life. He shot a doc about the manatee a few year back and in it he swam, avec toupee.

Wow, first time I saw that blooper reel! I wish it was on the DVD, but I heard Leonard Nimoy doesn’t like bloopers to be shown publicly.

Voyage Home is still my favorite Star Trek. It was a really fun light-hearted romp and accessible to a wide audience. I think J.J. Abrams movie is going to be in a more serious tone, but I hope it will have its fun moments too.

I mean to say Voyage Home was my favorite Star Trek movie.

#2 “So shoot me–this is still my favorite film:

Why would anyone shoot you? This wonderful outing just shows the TOS crew was equally adept at comedy as they were drama. Just look at some of the lighter TOS episodes. Not to mention the fact that it remains the most successful Trek movie ever made. You and many many more feel the same way and contributed to the movie’s un-equalled success. You’re in the majority, don’t sweat it..

my favorite as well – especially as a biologist :D

John thanks so much for sharing that! Very cool to see! A great little Christmas present.

This was wonderful! I hope the next movie will be like this.

# 30 I have heard that too. But maybe he relaxed his attitude over time, because I first saw those at a convention and he himself was the one that brought the tape and showed it to us as part of his time on stage.

The Voyage Home is my all time favorite Trek Movie. It trackled a subject near to my heart but at the same time it had a lot of laughs. One of my favorite lines from Spock in it is, where he gets dropped off in the park before Kirk and co go for a priza. The bit about sure you will not change your mind and Spock ‘s reply, “Why is there something wrong with the one I have.” That really made me cracked up and nearly got thrown out of the cinema as I have a loud laugh.

The Original Trek series was not silly. It might look out dated by some now but hey they did not have CGI back then or a huge budget. I watched it because of the good stories and action. It was so different to other sci fi show s of that time. I got my interest in Astronomy from watching TOS too.

speaking of deleted scenes and bloopers –
did anyone notice the Trek bloopers that could be found in the Target dollar secton?

I always had one niggling problem with The Voyage Home. “Space Seed” placed Khan’s departure from Earth during the Eugenics Wars in 1996. The Voyage Home was set in 1986, just ten years before. Earth 1986 in The Voyage home looked too much like the real Earth 1986, rather than what 1986 should have looked like in the Star Trek Universe. The same sort of problem plagued DS9’s “Past Tense”, VGR’s trip to 1997 and the whole of ENT.

Funny, I just watched the TVH yesterday! It is interesting to see some behind the scenes takes. I like how he keeps calling him William Nimoy. :) Just a thought. I personaly feel TVH was a nice departure from the, up til then, studio bound films. I think it lent a somewhat broader feel to the movie, not like it was just another Star Trek but a big Star Trek. Although I think TMP accomplished that without location shoots. But that was also a film that was really mostly visual. You will also notice that there isint much dialog in TMP. Lots and lots of reaction shots though!

Very cool video, Thank You for posting it.

Thanks for the video clips.

I wonder if there are any more bloopers from the other Trek movies available on the Internet.

I always thought it would have been great if Joan Collins had made a very brief cameo.

“Nobody’s perfect.”
“Oh yeah?”

Priceless. Nimoy actually has a wicked sense of humor.

TOS was odd in the sense that they did air two flat-out comedy episodes during the show’s run – “The Trouble with Tribbles” and “I, Mudd”, which showed the malleability of the show and it’s characters. They could literally be out of character and still in character at the same time.

So similarly, when the opportunity came for STIV, they decided to wrap up their super-serious, death-filled films mini-arc trilogy on a comedic note. A brilliant and enjoyable strategy, but one that should have been used sparingly. Part of the problem with STV was that they seemed to want to keep the silly humor going, but it was poorly delivered, poorly placed, and it dropped like a turd in church.

And to the comment saying STIV was the beginning of the downfall of Trek, was it not the most successful of all the TOS films?

NIce! What a year 1986 was. The Mets won the WS, the
Giants won the Super Bowl, Nicklaus won the US Open, and TVH was a big hit.

Trivia Question: Can you name the movie that knocked TVH out of its number 1 slot?

Watched it again for the first time in years. It is very well done. Each of the characters actually get well written, important subplots throughout the film. Uhura and Chekov looking for the wessels, Scotty and McCoy with the transparent aluminum guy, Sulu and the helo, McCoy saving Chekhov in the hospital. I can’t think of another Trek movie where all are used better. And I really enjoy this movie’s lighthearted mood. When I read people moaning about how things aren’t “sci-fi” enough, I think of Shatner’s brilliant SNL appearance, ALSO from 1986! In other words, lighten up.

Trivia answer: TVH was only held the number 1 spot for two weekends, then lost it to The Golden Child, and Three Amigos (!). It was a strong number 2 for about a month into 1987.

Those home movies and bloopers are GREAT!!

I dunno, as time goes on, I’m actually liking STV more than the saccherine IV, warts and all. Hell, I like V better than FC with it’s smarmy Voyageresque sense of humor and plot holes ten miles wide.
(I don’t expect anyone to agree…)

#45 It was the biggest straight box office winner, but TMP remains the champ of all 10 of the ST films in terms of tickets sold, and after adusting for inflation, TMP is the clear champ. That has been mentioned here quite a lot. I think Anthony had a whole story about it once.

As far as being the “downfall”, the success of TVH in late 1986 could be credited as the catalyst for Paramount greenlighting TNG, which premiered the following September in 1987. So, arguably, without those goofy whales, you’d have no uber-serious TNG. I guess some would say the rise of TNG was the downfall of TOS.

Yep, here’s the list:

1 Star Trek IV $109,713,132
2 Star Trek: First Contact $92,027,888
3 Star Trek: TMP $82,258,456
4 Star Trek II $78,912,963
5 Star Trek III: $76,471,046
6 Star Trek: Generations $75,671,125
7 Star Trek VI $74,888,996
8 Star Trek: Insurrection $70,187,658
9 Star Trek V $52,210,049
10 Star Trek: Nemesis $43,254,409

And if I understand the chart on, STIV was the only Trek film to ever grab the top spot for an opening weekend.

#47. I agree that V is better than FC. That’s because it features the characters I personally identify with ST. I just never got into TNG. FC was entertaining, but not “my” Trek. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

BTW, any news on the long rumored fan-produced re-edit of STV?