In my Monday Morning Movie, I talked about the Power of Positive Constraints and how implementing structure can help us become more creative.
Shortly after posting the video, a friend of mine, Brad Kolar, offered up a perfect example of an innovation derived from the Power of Positive Constraints: The teleportation machine used in the Star Trek series, which led to the now famous line, “Beam me up, Scotty.”
According to StarTrek.com, a transporter is a “device that converts objects or persons to energy, sends that energy to the destination, and reconstitutes the objects/persons back into matter.”
While this seems perfectly fitting as a Sci-Fi invention, in actuality, the concept itself was devised out of a constraint for both money and time.
According to a report in the Huffington Post, “the original series’ creators devised this shimmery special effect because they didn’t have the budget to show a spaceship landing on various planets.” This would have required unfeasible and unaffordable sets and model filming.
In howtogeek, they illustrate the more cost/time effective method used for transporting the crew off the ship. All that was required was a slow-motion camera inverted, backlighting, and some aluminum power (effects that can now be easily done with computer animation).
The constraints of time and money had this TV crew generate a piece of TV history that not only addressed their concerns, but will long outlive the great Captain Kirk himself.
As a side note: As famous as the catchphrase, “Beam me up, Scotty” was, sources indicate that the phrase was never uttered by anyone in the original series.