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American Cinematographer is a magazine that has a specific focus on the art of cinematography and delves into the technical aspects of filming and other details of, predominantly, theatrical film productions through in-depth behind-the-scenes articles and interviews about and with the people involved. Several Star Trek productions have received noteworthy coverage in the magazine.

The professional nature of the magazine is reinforced by the fact that cinematographers often submit articles on their work, that they themselves have written. Launched by the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) in 1920 under the stewardship of "Captain Jack" Poland – shortly after the birth of the US motion picture industry – the magazine is the official publication for professionals of the cinematographers guild.

Though there is some overlap in the subject matter with the younger magazines Cinefex and Cinefantastique (reporter Ron Magid submitted his visual effects articles also to the latter magazine in the last quarter of the previous century), the focus of this publication lies, as the title already suggests, on the various aspects and techniques of the actual filming whereas Cinefex is focused on special, and visual effects while Cinefantastique covered a lesser in-depth but wider range of behind-the-scenes aspects. As such, the magazines can be considered complimentary. It should be noticed that American Cinematographer has remained true to its origins as a theatrical motion picture specialty magazine, and seldom ventures into the field of television productions.

Star Trek issues

Of particular relevance to Star Trek are the issues mentioned below. The October 1967 issue stands out as the earliest professional behind-the-scenes coverage of a Star Trek production, pre-dating the book The Making of Star Trek by a year. The article in that issue featured the visual effects (then still called "Special Effects") work on The Original Series – thereby constituting one of the magazine's rare ventures into the field of television production – , produced by Darrell Anderson, Linwood G. Dunn, and Joseph Westheimer, being the very first one on the subject matter for Star Trek, and was written on the occasion of their 1967 Emmy Award nomination for that work. This rare issue has become a sought after item, commanding premium prices on second hand markets like and

Noteworthy is that Star Trek Nemesis has not received any coverage in the magazine.

As one of the very first, if not the first, professional parties to report on Star Trek, it was fitting for the magazine to join in on the festivities surrounding the 50th anniversary of the franchise, by furnishing a dedicated Star Trek page on their official website in 2016, recapitulating a selection of hitherto published Star Trek articles in edited format.

Issue Cover Contents
Note: In the past, American Cinematographer employed a page count that continued through consecutive issues in a particular volume, hence the "odd" page numbering for past issues until 1984.
October 1967 American Cinematographer cover October 1967.jpg Star Trek: The Original Series:
  • "Out-of-this-world Special Effects for 'Star Trek'", Rae Moore, pp. 715-717
February 1980 American Cinematographer cover February 1982.jpg Star Trek: The Motion Picture – theme issue:
  • "Behind The Camera On Star Trek The Motion Picture", Richard H. Kline, pp. 134-135, 180-181, 187-188
  • "The Universe And Beyond", Peter Bankers, pp. 136-137, 176, 202-204
  • "Far Out Production Design For Star Trek The Motion Picture", Scott Henderson, pp. 138-141, 189-191
  • "The Very Special Effects For Star Trek The Motion Picture", Herb A. Lightman, pp. 144-145, 174-175, 193-197
  • "Kinetic Lighting For Star Trek The Motion Picture", Sam Nicholson, pp. 148-149, 183
  • "The Magicam Miniatures Constructed For Star Trek The Motion Picture", James Dow, pp. 152-155, 178-179, 186
  • "Special Equipment For Filming Star Trek The Motion Picture", Sandford Kennedy, pp. 156-157, 184-185
  • "Synthesized Sound Effects For Star Trek The Motion Picture", Dirk Dalton, pp. 160-161, 198
October 1982 American Cinematographer cover October 1982.jpg Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan:
August/September, 1984 American Cinematographer cover August-September 1984.jpg Star Trek III: The Search for Spock:
  • "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock", Nora Lee, pp. 54-63
December 1986 American Cinematographer cover December 1986.jpg Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home:
  • "Leonard Nimoy Recollects", Nora Lee, pages 42-48
  • "Don Peterman on Earth", George Turner, pp. 50-56
  • "Jack Cooperman Underwater", George Turner, pp. 57-60
  • "Blue Skies and Starfields", Ron Magid, pp. 62-74
July 1989 American Cinematographer cover July 1989.jpg Star Trek V: The Final Frontier:
  • "Mountain Climbing in the 23rd Century", Robert Carmichael, pp. 38-48
  • "Shatner at the helm for Final Voyage", Ron Magid, pp. 50-54
  • "Cinematography at the Limits of the Universe", Ron Magid, pp. 58-74
  • "Effects for Trek V Explore Uncharted Territory", Ron Magid, pp. 76-92
January 1992 American Cinematographer cover January 1992.jpg Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Star Trek: The Next Generation:
  • "Star Trek turns 25", Ron Magid, p. 33
  • "Where No Show Had Gone Before", Jan Alan Henderson, pp. 34-40 [1]
  • "Narita Leads Enterprise Camera Crew", Ron Magid, pp. 42-50
  • "Director Meyer Explores Familiar Country", Ron Magid, pp. 52-56
  • "ILM Gets 'Piece of the Action'", Ron Magid, pp. 58-65
  • "Specialized Departments Add Artistic Touches", Ron Magid, pp. 66-75
  • "TV Sci-Fi Hits Warp Speed With The Next Generation", Stephen Pizzello, pp. 76-87
October 1994 American Cinematographer cover October 1994.jpg Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation:
  • "Star Trek Meets The Next Generation", Bob Fisher, pp. 77-82 [2]
April 1995 American Cinematographer cover April 1995.jpg Star Trek Generations:
  • "ILM Creates New Universe of Effects for Star Trek: Generations", Ron Magid, pp. 78-88
December 1996 American Cinematographer cover December 1996.jpg Star Trek: First Contact:
  • "Battling the Borg", Andrew O. Thompson, pp. 58-66
  • "Where No "Trek" Has Gone Before", Ron Magid, pp. 68-74
January 1999 American Cinematographer cover January 1999.jpg Star Trek: Insurrection:
  • "Trouble in Paradise", Andrew O. Thompson, pp. 30-38 [3]
  • "Effecting an Insurrection", Ron Magid, pp. 40-46 [4]
  • "Trekkies: Space Cadets", Naomi Pfefferman, pp. 76-78, 80-83
  • "In Memoriam: Joseph Westheimer", p. 118
November 2001 American Cinematographer cover November 2001.jpg Star Trek: Enterprise:
  • "The Final Frontier", Douglas Bankston, pp. 66-73
July 2009 American Cinematographer cover July 2009.jpg Star Trek:
  • "A Bold, New Enterprise", John D. Witmer, pp. 28-31, 33-36, 38-39 [5](X)
  • "Visual Effects for the 23rd Century", Jon D. Witmer, pp. 32-33
June 2013 American Cinematographer cover June 2013.jpg Star Trek Into Darkness:
  • "Boldly Captured", Michael Goldman, pp. 34-47
August 2016 American Cinematographer cover August 2016.jpg Star Trek Beyond:
  • "Hostile Planet", Michael Goldman, pp. 30-41 [6]
July 2021 American Cinematographer cover July 2021.jpg Star Trek: Discovery:
  • "Outer Reaches", Iain Marcks, pp. 30-39 [7]

External links