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Real world article
(written from a Production point of view)

Bill McGovern (3 February 190910 June 1995; age 86) was the clapper loader or second assistant camera (2nd AC) for all three seasons of Star Trek: The Original Series. Starting out in the employ of Desilu Studios, he subsequently moved over in the employ of Paramount Pictures when the latter acquired the former in 1967. According to McGovern, regarding his opinion of working on Star Trek, "We knew we were working on something that was new and unusual, but none of us knew that it was going to be as big as it became." (Pensacola News Journal, 13 Jun 1995, pg 16)

While having remained an anonymous studio stage employee for nearly half a century, McGovern's likeness had been known to diehard "Trekkies" who bought behind-the-scenes clippings throughout 1969 until the mid-1970s from Lincoln Enterprises, but full recognition of his association as a member of the camera crew on The Original Series was first acknowledged in his regionally published 1995 obituary.

His precise production role and identity came to full realization during the mid-2000s through the efforts of Curt McAloney's staff on behalf of his photo restoration project with several behind-the-scenes (color) photographs showing McGovern at work in various episodes. [1] [2] McGovern's images were later published on McAloney's now defunct website, and were further covered in Gerald Gurian's 2016/17 To Boldly Go: Rare Photos from the TOS Soundstage reference book series, with a number of these images provided by Gurian appearing in Marc Cushman's These Are the Voyages: TOS Season Two. Behind the scenes footage of McGovern at work was featured in the special features of the 2016 Star Trek: The Original Series - The Roddenberry Vault Blu-ray Disc release, albeit unidentified again.


McGovern was born in New York City. His mother was a stage actress and his father died two months after he was born. As a child he performed Vaudeville acts on stage with his mother. After he moved to California, McGovern became a commercial artist, commercial photographer, and camera man who worked in Hollywood for nearly fifty years.

During the 1930s and 1940s he painted portraits, at their request, of Clark Gable, Lionel Berrymore, Gary Cooper, Mickey Rooney, and Katherine Hepburn, among other to celebrities, many of which were used for cover art of popular trade magazines of the day.

Later, he joined the animation staff a number of animation studios, including Disney and Animation Inc. He created the opening credits of the film Around the World in 80 Days (1956). He later transitioned from the animation to camera and editing departments in early 1957. [3] He continued in filming role at Disney, where he was involved with the filming of One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961).

During the 1960s and 1970s, he transitioned into work on the camera crews of such popular series as Bonanza, The Brady Bunch, Branded, Perry Mason, Star Trek, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. (Pensacola News Journal, 13 Jun 1995, pg 16)

Star Trek episodes[]

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