(written from a Production point of view)
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 Amazon.com and eBay.com.
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.
|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||Star Trek: The Original Series:
|February 1980||Star Trek: The Motion Picture – theme issue:
|October 1982||Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan:|
|August/September, 1984||Star Trek III: The Search for Spock:
|December 1986||Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home:|
|July 1989||Star Trek V: The Final Frontier:|
|January 1992||Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Star Trek: The Next Generation:
|October 1994||Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation:
|April 1995||Star Trek Generations:
|December 1996||Star Trek: First Contact:
|January 1999||Star Trek: Insurrection:|
|November 2001||Star Trek: Enterprise:
|July 2009||Star Trek:
|June 2013||Star Trek Into Darkness:
|August 2016||Star Trek Beyond:
|July 2021||Star Trek: Discovery: