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Deep Space Nine Doc “What We Left Behind”


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#1 djc242

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 03:18 PM

I went to the Los Angeles screening last night. It is really great and covers a lot. The season 8 writers room is definitely the highlight. The run time is 2 hours but I could have easily sat through more. Check it out when you can!

PS - sat behind Herman Zimmerman!

#2 VulcanFanatic

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 05:35 PM

That sounds awesome! Would have loved to have been there.

#3 Gothneo

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 04:54 AM

djc242,

 

Just curious, did you contribute to the crowd funding campaign? and were tickets to the even part of that? or did you just pick some up and decide to go?

 

I should add... I'd love to see this... I was only half heartedly watching DS9 when it 1st aired... missing episodes and catching them in reruns... but by the end of the 3rd season I was hooked and loved it... I never missed an episode from then on... even more than TNG and I still consider it the pinnacle of Trek story telling. I guess DS9 is what really solidified my fandom. 

 

Heck... I was living in Charlotte NC at the time... and used to get season passes to Parmount's Great America and recall they had an entire Trek Pavilion I'd just hang out in.

 

In retrospect, I think DS9 was  truly ahead of its time and helped pioneer the "novel" style of TV shows we see from the likes of Netflix. DS9 is still my favorite show



#4 djc242

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 06:49 PM

djc242,
 
Just curious, did you contribute to the crowd funding campaign? and were tickets to the even part of that? or did you just pick some up and decide to go?
 
I should add... I'd love to see this... I was only half heartedly watching DS9 when it 1st aired... missing episodes and catching them in reruns... but by the end of the 3rd season I was hooked and loved it... I never missed an episode from then on... even more than TNG and I still consider it the pinnacle of Trek story telling. I guess DS9 is what really solidified my fandom. 
 
Heck... I was living in Charlotte NC at the time... and used to get season passes to Parmount's Great America and recall they had an entire Trek Pavilion I'd just hang out in.
 
In retrospect, I think DS9 was  truly ahead of its time and helped pioneer the "novel" style of TV shows we see from the likes of Netflix. DS9 is still my favorite show


I did contribute so this screening was part of that reward. They did sell tickets just for this event.

It really makes you want to go back to that world, either in re-runs or in a new season (a long Hail Mary for sure).

#5 Gothneo

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Posted 15 October 2018 - 08:12 PM

Thats really cool. Glad to hear they kept up their end of the bargin for those that did crowd fund!



#6 djc242

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 11:08 AM

Anyone else see this in a theater last night? I went to the showing in Burbank and as luck would have it Ira & the other filmmakers were there with Andrew Robinson!

#7 Gothneo

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 06:18 PM

nice! I hope it makes it to some type of streaming venue. I'd love to see it.



#8 Alex

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 07:52 PM

I saw this at my local AMC 24 when Fathom Events did the theatrical screening; it was totally worth the price of admission and then some with the little "extra" they tacked onto the end of it.

 

nice! I hope it makes it to some type of streaming venue. I'd love to see it.

Shout! Factory is releasing it on Blu–Ray and DVD under their Shout! Studios label I believe; you should definitely buy it on Amazon on through their website if you get the chance, it's definitely worth the money, especially for the approx. $20 they're charging. (It's not streaming, but it's definitely a good way to see it.)

 

Honestly, the documentary, especially the conceptual pitch for a DS9 S8 really makes me wish CBS would consider revisiting DS9 with these guys, especially given that I was finding myself more intrigued by the pitch for a season eight premiere of DS9 than I was by large portions of DSC. The DS9 writers' ideas for Section 31 also seemed like something that could be even more interesting than what DSC did with them, although they definitely had some similarities.

 

What I really found interesting though is that apparently DS9's director of photography for seasons 3-7 framed the entire show for widescreen, which was mentioned in a little bonus feature shown after the film about the HD remastering process. (We don't know if seasons 1 and 2 were framed this way, but it's certainly possible.) This is in contrast to TNG which was framed for 4:3 only, but it also opens up another reason to consider remastering DS9: Original and "Modified" aspect ratio releases in 4:3 and 16:9 respectively. (And this assumes that you couldn't fit them both in the same release.) While I'd want the show as I originally saw it in 4:3, I'd definitely pick up 16:9 copies too given that DS9 really works well in widescreen, especially its epic battles that are so cinematic to begin with. The little bit of HD footage we did see definitely left me wanting more, and it's clear that DS9 would truly benefit from a proper remastering. The footage that was in HD wasn't just in widescreen for the documentary, but they also did some additional color correction beyond what was possible when the show first aired, and the improvements that were made with the footage that had new transfers really made DS9 look new. I normally hate modified aspect ratio releases, (they almost always look butchered/botched since they're crammed into the "wrong" shape,) but could actually get behind a widescreen release of DS9 knowing it was meant to be seen that way, and that it actually does feel more immersive with DS9's cinematic style. I could honestly see it as a way to bring DS9 to a new audience, and even to justify the overall remastering costs.

 

I'm also thinking of picking up the complete series set of DS9 now too. I mean, I own the whole thing on the individual season style releases anyway, but it would be nice to have the whole thing collected into one set. Ditto for VGR, especially since my VGR DVDs got quite a bit of use over the years and I'm beginning to worry that even with proper care they might be a little scratched from the amount of play they've received.



#9 Gothneo

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 09:05 AM

I'd buy DS9 remastered blu-ray... especially if we could get it in 16:9 aspect ratio.

 

I forget... so correct me if I'm wrong... but I thought DS9 was the last Trek Series actually filmed (VOY and afterwards I think were basically digital?). Which, if true, even if the 1st few seasons weren't expressly framed for the larger aspect ratio, they might be able to get there.. albeit it might take some more work to fix it?



#10 s8film40

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 09:33 AM

I believe Enterprise was the first series to go digital and that was around halfway through.

 

Edit: I found this on the Wikipedia page.

 

"Until the start of the fourth season, the series was shot on traditional film stock. It (the first three seasons) were shot on wide screen 35mm film with and an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and it was 3-perf Super 35mm film.'



#11 Gothneo

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 03:24 PM

I thought there was something different about the way VOY was mastered... but Maybe it was just the use of CGI? No Matter it wouldn't curb my enthusiasm for a remastered and wide-screen aspect version.



#12 Alex

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 01:02 AM

I'd buy DS9 remastered blu-ray... especially if we could get it in 16:9 aspect ratio.

I would too Gothneo, and I really wish CBS would realize that there are several of us who would buy DS9–R even if we might not have initially bought TNG–R. I've gone over it several times before, but TNG–R was handled very poorly between when it was released and how it was released. (Most people didn't have Blu–Ray players until a couple of years after TNG–R had been released, and unlike TOS–R, TNG–R was "held hostage" on Blu–Ray without a DVD release that would have still had some small improvements over the earlier releases, particularly in terms of color correction, which would have given people like me a reason to buy the whole thing a lot sooner.) As much as I'm normally opposed to "Modified Aspect Ratio" releases, I could make an exception for DS9 with what I know now, especially after seeing how good the show looks in widescreen from the clips in the documentary. (One reason I usually despise modified aspect ratio releases is that it's not the way the series or film was meant to be seen, so the framing is almost always wonky or there are other issues with the way things look, but DS9 was framed for widescreen which effectively fixes that issue.)

 

I believe Enterprise was the first series to go digital and that was around halfway through.

 

Edit: I found this on the Wikipedia page.

 

"Until the start of the fourth season, the series was shot on traditional film stock. It (the first three seasons) were shot on wide screen 35mm film with and an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and it was 3-perf Super 35mm film.'

This is correct, Star Trek was always shot on film prior to ENT S4. At the time budget constraints for the show finally forced them to consider digital production, which they honestly should have done around the start of Season 2. For what they were spending on film, the cost of digital would have actually been less for them overall, even with the budget required for the high–end digital video cameras of the day that actually were capable of rivaling film instead of being the "lesser" option. (And while we could certainly debate having the show "locked" at a 1080p resolution versus being able to rescan it at 6K, the simple fact is that it would have been no better or worse than Star Wars Episodes II and III from a technical standpoint, and that you could always do a "film out" of the completed material for the purpose of upconversion if you really wanted/needed to have ENT at 6K for some reason and simply scaling the material up with software wasn't good enough.)

 

I won't go into the technical reasons why as it'd undoubtedly just confuse people, but Super 35mm is actually smaller than traditional 35mm, but is very common for digital cinema work. (For example, I've shot with digital cinema cameras that have Super 35mm size sensors. The now-discontinued Blackmagic Production Camera 4K that was a godsend to indie filmmakers and its considerably more expensive URSA counterparts aimed at professionals with a bit more of a budget all use Super 35mm sensors as well. I'd have to check, but I'm pretty sure the Arri Alexa is a Super 35mm sensor too.)

 

 

I thought there was something different about the way VOY was mastered... but Maybe it was just the use of CGI? No Matter it wouldn't curb my enthusiasm for a remastered and wide-screen aspect version.

From what I understand, VGR was mastered no differently than DS9, which is to say that it was shot on 35mm film, and finalized onto Digital Betacam tapes. (In contrast, TNG was finalized onto Betacam SP, which was an analog format, and a format that doesn't digitize to the full 720x480 size typically used for standard definition video without a little bit of upscaling involved.)

 

I think you're really just thinking of the increased use of CGI for VGR, Gothneo. Prior to VGR, TNG and DS9 had their "practical effects" shot on 16mm film, which was then scanned/digitized and finalized on tape. (The benefit of 16mm film was two–fold for FX work. First, it was cheaper than 35mm film, which would have been overkill for FX work anyway, and second, the quality of 16mm film helped to hide some of the imperfections in the effects, which made it appealing to an FX team on a tight deadline. 16mm film was actually common for most TV shows of that era, and can produce an excellent quality 1080p scan.) In several instances TNG–R utilized CGI rather than rescanning the 16mm film used for the original FX work, as it was simultaneously easier and more cost effective, (and could be argued looked better) to recreate certain effects with CGI rather than to try and utilize the practical effects shot on 16mm film. VGR was sort of a different beast; while it wasn't really stated officially, unofficially VGR was known internally as "Paramount's CGI Tech Demo/R&D team." (The people who've worked on the show have come out and said as much over the years.) In this sense VGR is the most Trek–like Trek series ever, in that the show itself was "on a mission of exploration" and "boldly going where no one had gone before." If memory serves me correctly, VGR's production crew utilized two separate post–houses to handle all of the CGI that they had, and each post–house ran two different hardware platforms, (they were the same platforms, but they each ran two of them,) and two pieces of VFX software, with the VFX software being beta versions because VGR was pushing the envelope so much. The process of running beta versions in a post–house would be highly frowned upon today, but back then it was a necessity for VGR. (And if I'm being honest, I actually could see some post–houses running beta versions today if a show was going to push AI and Machine Learning software utilizing techniques like deep learning and neural networks, and possibly even some Augmented Reality capabilities. All of those things are currently about where CGI was when VGR was pushing it to its limits back in the '90s.) While VGR did utilize some practical effects for economical reasons, as well as the fact that in some cases the CGI just wasn't where it needed to be at the time for certain effects to be handled by CGI, it relied more heavily on CGI than any other Trek series before it. For example, VGR's entire opening credits sequence is a minute of the most gorgeous CGI ever created in my opinion. There isn't a practical effect in it, not a frame of film was shot, and it still looks amazing and I'd bet a good number of people would believe at least some of that footage utilized practical effects or physical models.

 

In the past, one of CBS's "excuses" for not remastering DS9 and VGR was that they'd lost the digital files necessary to recreate the FX work, and while it was still technically possible, it'd be exponentially harder to do the whole series without those files. However, we now know that excuse doesn't hold water anymore as people who worked on the VFX have come forward stating that they had functioning copies of the files necessary to rebuild the VFX for a proper remastering. Not only that though, the files were built with HD in mind, and largely hold up. While some of them do need a little bit of tweaking, (e.g. the sample render that was shown had "blocky" nacelles on a Nebula–class ship, but that's easily fixed by bumping up the polygon count on the nacelles to return them to their former glory,) they definitely hold up and largely look better in HD as you'd expect them too. Likewise, simply having even half of them, (and realistically it's believed that they may have most if not all of them now,) not only makes the remastering process easier, it effectively eliminates the vast majority of one of the most laborious tasks associated with TNG–R since you now really can just punch up the resolution in many cases and hit "render," and in the situations where that's not enough, the time consuming part is just adding polygons instead of rebuilding an entire scene.

 

I personally would grab both DS9–R and VGR–R in a heartbeat. The part of me that wants things done in order wants DS9–R first, while the part of me that loves VGR would admittedly like to see VGR–R first. It pains me to admit it, but the idea of doing VGR–R first actually might not be that bad. If it's true that the majority of the top ten most watched Trek episodes on Netflix are from VGR, it'd be a lot easier to make an argument for VGR–R as being the better investment, and to then go back and point out that DS9 would be the only "Trek" series trapped in SD as the final incentive to get DS9–R out the door. I'd just like to have both shows on Blu–Ray, ideally after they've been streamed and people have picked them apart so that any and all corrections are made before discs start getting pressed. (This was another mistake with TNG–R. With TOS–R people saw the show before it was released on DVD, HD DVD, and eventually Blu–Ray, and mistakes were pointed out and corrected before people bought the show. With TNG–R going to Blu–Ray first, mistakes slipped through and are permanently stuck on the Blu–Ray discs. CBS's excuse for not correcting these on subsequent releases is that they don't want to alienate the people who've already purchased the discs, even though they've corrected the masters for streaming, but I would happily double–dip for corrected versions of episodes that have known flaws if it meant I could have them corrected on disc.)

 

I just hope that What We Left Behind is the final push needed for DS9–R. It kills me CBS will almost certainly never try to turn that hypothetical season 8 pitch into an actual series, as it looked quite enjoyable to me, and I could get behind it very easily for a variety of reasons. At least DS9–R would let me watch what we already have in HD instead of drawing blood from the stone that is the current SD version of the series.






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