Hanelle Culpepper Interview: ‘Star Trek: Picard’ director
“I am a ‘Next Generation’ fan, and when [the pilot episode] ended with that reveal of the Borg cube … I just knew the audience was going to go nuts when they saw that because I went nuts when I read it in the script,” remembers “Star Trek: Picard” director Hanelle Culpepper about the maiden voyage of CBS All Access’s new “Trek” series, which picks up years after Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) left off in the film “Star Trek: Nemesis” (2002). Watch our exclusive video interview above.
“‘Star Trek’ is such a progressive franchise and very diverse,” says Culpepper, and “Picard” boldly went where no other “Trek” series has gone before: Culpepper is the first female director ever to launch a series in the franchise. In fact, she directed the first three “Picard” episodes, titled “Remembrance,” “Maps and Legends” and “The End is the Beginning,” which established Picard’s new adventure to save an innocent android from Romulan spies, his new rag-tag crew, and yes, the Borg cube, where a reclamation project works salvage the cybernetic technology (as well as the victims of that technology).
“The fangirl in me just got super excited reading that script, and I was really inspired by how I wanted to shoot the show,” she adds. This isn’t her first trek into “Trek.” She previously directed two episodes of fellow All Access series “Discovery,” though she wanted to take a warmer, more character-driven approach to “Picard.” “My model with it was to blend the epic with the intimate, so to always bring you really cool, epic, cinematic shots, but to always remember that the character is the most important thing with this series.”