• Wednesday, Jun. 8, 2022
DP Glen Keenan Cookes Up A New "Star Trek" Look
Glen Keenan, CSC
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Using three sets of Cooke Optics Anamorphic/i Full Frame Plus Special Flare lenses, cinematographer Glen Keenan, CSC, achieved his desire for the most organic, non-studio look to convince the audience they were seeing a real location in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (Paramount+).

A spin-off from Star Trek: Discovery and a prequel to Star Trek: The Original Series, Strange New Worlds follows Captain Christopher Pike and the crew of the USS Enterprise. The Star Trek Universe’s journey for its streaming series to get to anamorphic full frame with special flare started with Star Trek: Discovery Disco, for which Keenan served as cinematographer for seasons one through three.

“Season two of Disco was our move to anamorphic primes [for 2.39:1 for streaming], and that won me over,” said Keenan. “For Star Trek, there’s a studio, but no reality. I want to convince the audience that we are in a real space with a lens that would add more organic qualities to the image. The Cooke anamorphic special flares have the right amount of aberrations and flare for the signature Star Trek blue streak flare. Two things really help with reality: the expected inconsistencies between lenses help to ground the story like we were really there and the anamorphic falloff. Both of those features help to deliberately frame the action to where I want the audience to focus on.”

The offer for Keenan to move to Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and develop the look came from Alex Kurtzman, creator and EP of Star Trek: Discovery.

“There was a moment when shooting Disco in anamorphic that I knew I really wanted full frame special flare for 4K for Strange New Worlds. My supplier got on the horn with Cooke. And Cooke built a custom set for Strange New Worlds, delivering two sets before episode one, then the third set once they were made. Cooke stepped up with full frame anamorphic special flare for day one. It was remarkable. Three sets in two months.”

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