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

David Craig Fein, generally credited as David C. Fein, is a producer who was involved in the making of the director's edition DVD of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It was Fein, together with partner Michael Matessino, who originally approached director Robert Wise to do a revised version of the film on video, when they were working for Wise's production company, Robert Wise Productions, on the 1994 commemorative documentary The Sound of Music: From Fact to Phenomenon. (The New York Times, 10 February 2002, p. 26) It took an additional three years of lobbying before Wise relented and green-lighted the project (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 8, p. 25). It was Fein who brought in Daren Dochterman, with whom he was already acquainted, on the project to serve as visual effects supervisor, winning them both a Video Premiere Award.

Fein was featured in the "Redirecting The Future" documentary on the DVD, in which he, and his co-workers discuss the work they have done for the project. In addition, he and his co-workers were featured in an after-the-fact, separately produced audio commentary, released in 2007 as a podcast on, the official Star Trek website and which, at the time, could be downloaded at the site. [1](X)

A decade later Fein was reacquainted with the movie when he served as executive producer at La-La Land Records on the 2012 Star Trek: The Motion Picture soundtrack project, earning him an IFMCA Award.

Aside from his contributions to the above mentioned productions, David Fein has served as Board Member at [2]

Career outside Star Trek[]

A New York City native, Fein had from early childhood developed a passion for motion pictures, those in the fantasy and science fiction (including Star Trek: The Original Series) genres in particular, already producing his own animated films in high-school and college. His fascination early on focused on the visual effects aspects of those productions.

Aspiring a career in the motion picture industry, Fein moved to California after college, starting out as a marketing consultant for studios such as 20th Century Fox and LucasFilms, to help out with the campaigns for movies such as Aliens, Labyrinth (both 1986), and The Abyss (1989, and where he met and befriended newcomer and fellow New Yorker Daren Dochterman). When productions like these were released on home video formats, first on VHS, and subsequently on LaserDisc (and at a later stage to be followed by DVD), Fein soon realized that the "special features" about the making-of aspects of the productions were very sparse, and that the few that existed were limited to "commercial" extras (such as trailers and the like), lacking the quality and depth he as a film buff wanted to see. [3] Inspired by early, pioneering efforts of The Voyager Company on early special edition LaserDisc projects such as King Kong, he joined that company to work as producer and writer of the interactive supplementary sections on their Criterion Collection LaserDisc editions of Brazil and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. After his tenure there, Fein decided to produce these features himself. [4](X)

To this end Fein founded in 1991, together with fellow New York City film buff Michael Matessino, an audio restoration expert, their own production company, Sharpline Arts, located in Glendale, California. Daren Dochterman served in the early years as executive director for the company. [5] Befittingly, the company's first project was the 1991 Aliens–Special Wide-Screen Collector's Edition on LaserDisc. Not only were several in-depth making-of documentaries included, but the footage was also cleaned up, deleted scenes were inserted and the soundtrack was remastered. The release was very well received at the time in movie collector circles, as it was a portent for things to come, having once been called a "film school in a box" by educators and industry professionals. [6] Projects, especially those of directors James Cameron and Ridley Scott, that followed suit in the same vein were, Alien–Special Wide-Screen Collector's Edition (1992), The Abyss: Special Edition (1993), Independence Day: Special Edition (1995), The Thing: Special Edition (1998), and others. Released at first on LaserDisc, all special features were later transferred to their DVD and Bluray successors. The project the company received the most renown for was the 1999 The "ALIEN" Legacy DVD collection. [7] The company has attained somewhat of a legendary status in movie collector circles, as it has set the standard for how "special editions" should be produced. [8]

Aside from producing the documentaries, Sharpline Arts also restored music scores for studios on commission base, which included those of the Star Wars franchise, Poltergeist, Superman, and The Omen, something Matessino, as the resident soundtrack expert, was mainly responsible for. [9] As sub-contractors, the company (or more specifically its two founders) worked in the 1990s for Robert Wise Productions on their productions of the special editions of The Sound of Music (1994), The Sand Pebbles and the director's edition of The Motion Picture. The experience gained with Sharpline Arts served both men well when producing the special features for the latter, as it became the very first Star Trek home video release to feature a substantial amount of in-depth bonus material, beyond the superficial promotional "filler" material hitherto included on such releases, if at all. Bonus material of this kind went on to become a staple on the subsequent Star Trek home video releases, most notably the 2002-2005 two-disc "film DVD special editions", the franchise was inspired to embark upon themselves due to the success of (and modeled after), The Director's Edition which, as an originally intended stand-alone release, was in retrospect fitted into the collection as the first one.

Fein himself stayed at Robert Wise Productions until Wise's death in 2005, learning as much as possible from the director. While not bankrupt, Sharpline Arts has become dormant since 2003, the retrospective documentary DVD Discoveries (in which the two founders look back on their productions while operating their company) its last recorded production.

Between May 1992 and September 1994, Fein concurrently served as a columnist and writer for the visual effects magazine Cinefex, which served him well as it gained him access to studios, aiding him on subsequent Sharpline Arts projects. As freelance producer, technical and creative consultant, graphic artist, and designer, Fein worked, besides his tenure at Robert Wise Productions, between 2001 and 2006 on several projects and for several companies, designing DVD/Bluray packages, designing and preparing trade ads and promotional materials for several industry magazines, and editing soundtracks for several music productions.

In 2006, he joined La-La Land Records as producer and motion/graphics designer, rejoining his former partner Michael Matessino, and which eventually resulted in his participation on the The Motion Picture expanded soundtrack project.

Star Trek awards[]

For his work on the Star Trek franchise, Fein received the following awards:

DVD Exclusive Award[]

Fein won the following DVD Exclusive Award (at the time called Video Premiere Award) as producer in the category Best New, Enhanced or Reconstructed Movie Scenes

IFMCA Award[]

Fein won the following International Film Music Critics Association Award as producer in the category Best Archival Release of an Existing Score

Further reading[]

External links[]