Star Trek Post Production Complete + Oscar-winner Ben Burtt Provided Sound Design

JJ Abrams’ Star Trek film is officially complete. According to sources, post production on the summer 2009 film was actually completed Christmas week, shortly after JJ Abrams posted his Holiday greeting on Facebook. The final step of the post production was sound editing, and to help out they brought in Academy Award winner Ben Burtt.


Star Trek’s Post – March to December 2008
The post production for this Star Trek movie took just under nine months, which makes it the second longest in the franchise behind Star Trek The Motion Picture in 1979. Even though Paramount moved the released during production, JJ Abrams and his team decided not to make any significant changes to their delivery schedule (they have other projects to move on to and didn’t want to spend any more money than was needed). Once the first cut of the edit was completed over the summer, the major work to be done was with the visual effects by ILM and the recording of the score by Michael Giacchino. The last task in the post-production was the sound editing, including sound designing and recording. According to a trusted source, all of the recording of Majel Barrett Roddenberry’s voice work as the Enterprise computer was completed well before she passed away in late December, with the source noting "she is all over the movie."

Burtt gets heard in Trek
According to a studio insiders, one of the last people to join the Star Trek movie team was Academy Award winning sound designer Ben Burtt, best known for his work on the  Star Wars franchise. Burtt worked on all six Star Wars films and created most of the iconic sounds, including Chewbacca’s roar, light sabers and the droids. Burtt also worked as a sound designer on all of the Indiana Jones films, E.T., and last year’s Pixar hit Wall-E. Burtt is working alongside Mark Stoeckinger who was the sound editor for JJ Abrams Mission: Impossible: III. According to the source, they needed all the help they could get for the sheer number of new sounds that had to be created for this new Star Trek. Even though the film re-uses some iconic TOS sounds (like the Red Alert klaxon), all the sounds still need to be recreated, and then there are many more new sounds as well. Apparently Burtt is a huge Trek fan and was thrilled to get a chance to be involved.


Wall-E Behind-the-scenes feature on Burtt

Next steps – it’s all marketing
The new Star Trek movie is now four months away. All the activity between now and then will be in the hands of the marketers. Expect to see more images released and clips as well as the full theatrical poster and possibly another theatrical trailer.  There will also be a significant amount of merchandising closer to the film as well as additional promotional tie-ins, like the one with Intel. The big push will begin in the Spring with advertising, lots of interviews, a likely Paramount junket and all the stuff that goes along with a summer tent pole.

Another Star Trek milestone
What a long strange road its been. News of this Star Trek movie first arrived in the Spring of 2006, after months of behind the scenes discussions. In the end the film took a bit over three years from the first phone between Paramount and the new team, all the way to finalizing the film. Here are the major milestones along the way

late ’05  First discussions initiate between Paramount and Abrams/Orci/Kurtzman about a new Star Trek movie
4/20/06   Variety first reports JJ Abrams in talks to produce Star Trek film
7/15/06 Paramount announce multi-pic production deal with JJ Abrams / Bad Robot (to include new Star Trek movie)
7/22/06   Comic Con: Paramount release first teaser poster (showing blue & gold uniforms, hinting TOS era), indicated ‘2008’ release
1/07 Script completed / Paramount gives green light, begin discussions on director
2/24/07   Paramount announce green light, Abrams as director, Christmas ’08 release date
4/07 Abrams first confirms Kirk-era storyline for Star Trek
7/27/07 Comic Con: Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy announced as ‘two Spocks’, release new teaser poster showing "Star Trek" as title
8/07-10/07 Casting rest of main ‘crew’ and cast
11/11/07  Principal photography begins
1/18/08  First teaser trailer released (w/ Cloverfield) + official movie site & ‘viral’ ncc-1701.com site launched
2/13/08 Release date changed to May 8th, 2009
3/27/08 Principal photography wraps, post-production begins
7/18/08 Comic Con poster with cast photos revealed + official site updated
8/1/08 First cut completed, shown to Paramount execs
10/14/08 First official images released (online & in Entertainment Weekly)
11/14/08 Theatrical trailer released with Quantum of Solace  (official site updated following Monday)
12/23/08 Post-production completed

 

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