How William Shatner Changed the World

The documentary “How William Shatner Changed the World” is about the global effect that the original series of Star Trek had on technology throughout the world. The documentary talks about the technology that currently existed when Star Trek originally came out in 1966 and its comparison to the ‘futuristic’ technology that was onboard the Star Trek ship the ‘Enterprise’. This ‘futuristic’ technology onboard the enterprise sparked a revolution in the world’s technology and inspired many to make technology similar to the ones on Star Trek.

Many film techniques are used in this documentary not only to make the documentary interesting, but humourous as well. Some of these film techniques include various camera shots, archival footage and montages to name a few. In the beginning of the documentary, William Shatner is talking and is driving his car and whilst he is driving it there are many jump shots between his car and segments of Star Trek. The effect of this gives you insight of what the documentary is mainly about.

In this documentary many inventors make an appearance in the documentary and talk about how Star Trek inspired them to invent their technology e. g. Martin Cooper who was the inventor of the cell phone the shots used when all of them are talking are medium shots that capture their face and upper torso. This gives off the feeling that the people look close and also so that the camera men can capture them using arm gestures. The use of archival footage is used a lot throughout this documentary showing mainly clips of Star Trek relating to the topic that William Shatner is narrating about.

This makes it easy to show what the ‘futuristic’ technology Star Trek had at the time so we can see and compare it to today’s modern technology that we take for granted. One of the more interesting film techniques that was used in the documentary was a segue which was used when William Shatner walked up to a giant rock, then an edit was used to show archival footage of him as an younger actor in a Star Trek episode fighting an alien, and as an alien throws the rock, the current William Shatner comes back into view and catches the rock.

This use of one motif being the rock used in two scenes to link each other is a slightly humourous segue. Other film techniques used in this documentary are camera angles where William Shatner deliberately moves the camera up and down making him look slightly different from both angles. Editing is also used throughout the documentary a lot for example when William Shatner was narrating and the camera was upon him, jump cuts are used switching to different shots of him like close ups, long shots and crane shots.

This editing makes William Shatner’s narration more interesting and funny. “How William Shatner Changed the World” is an example of a great documentary that uses its film techniques wisely and with good timing, not to mention the documentary has a very good context that appeals to many viewers because of its witty humour.

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