In today’s new ENGAGE: THE OFFICIAL STAR TREK PODCAST, the team behind the in-progress Star Trek: Deep Space Nine documentary fundraiser – director Adam Nimoy and producer Ira Steven Behr – promoted the crowdfunding project, currently nearing a $400,000 total with about ten days left on its run.
Discussing the reasoning for the fundraiser process – post-production needs, and licensing Trek video and photographic content from CBS – the team revealed that they are actively pursuing access to the original Deep Space Nine film negatives, for digital rescanning to a high-definition presentation for use in the “What We Left Behind” documentary!
ADAM NIMOY: “We’ve really expanded the scope of the project – the length of the time will expand [from 60 to 90 minutes] – but it also allows us to acquire more clips from CBS from the original [‘Deep Space Nine’] episodes… and we are now in discussion with CBS about trying to get to the original negatives, to rescan them to give high-definition resolution to our film so that ‘Deep Space Nine’ can be seen in high def for the first time.
CBS is open to discussion – it’s expensive, it’s complicated, there’s a lot of logistics involved – but now that we have the financial backing to pursue this, we’re really determined to make it happen.”
IRA STEVEN BEHR: “For many, many years – and decades, it seems – I’ve talked to people about getting DS9 in HD… discussing ways to make it happen. It’s not what I set out to do with the doc, it would be an offshoot of it. If it doesn’t happen, I’m not going to feel like, ‘Oh, damn, that was a level of success we did not reach.’
It’s a total offshoot – has to do with money [and] other things – it’s not so much a matter of the series itself, it’s just the technology of how the film was shot and how the special effects were shot back then, and the changeover. It would be nice.
Just imagine: if we do get a chance to do the clips [for the doc] – I’m not talking about the series – the clips for the doc, in high def. That would be… extremely cool. Plus, it would give the fans another decade of dreaming what the whole series would look like! It would be that little taste, a lovely little taste – that first injection that leads to so many others.
Nimoy and Behr are certainly taking on something fans have been clamoring for over the last five-plus-years, ever since the Next Generation HD restoration project was announced in late 2011 – and something that, since the end of the TNG project, has seemed less and less likely as time has passed due to lower-than-expected Blu-ray sales of the remastered Next Generation episodes.
Like TNG, both Deep Space Nine and Voyager were shot on film, then edited on videotape in post-production, making a post-series high-definition renovation an extremely time-consuming – and costly – project. (TNG alone took several years, and many millions of dollars to convert to HD.)
And while Behr certainly isn’t promising that HD film clips are definitely coming – so don’t get too excited yet – the pursuit of the original film negatives for this project are certainly a wonderful new twist to this already exciting documentary project.
We’ll keep watch for any more news on this endeavor as work on “What We Left Behind” continues. If you want to contribute to the fundraiser campaign, running ten more days, you can head over to Indiegogo now.