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.

https://twitter.com/DS9Doc/status/837065933730414593

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.)

“Next Generation” film negatives at CBS Digital during the TNG restoration project’s early days.

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.

  • Daniel Shock

    Please oh please oh please!

  • scarecroe

    How much would it cost to crowd source funds to rescan the entire series? As a separate project, of course.

    • Eric Cheung

      The estimate I’ve seen most is $20 million.

      • archer923

        It probably be more. Due to the heavy use of CGi. Maybe 30-35.

        • Eric Cheung

          The estimate took that into account. It came from Roger Lay, Jr.

          TNG cost north of $12 million, and he estimated that DS9 and VOY would cost $20 million each.

          The longer it takes to get started that number could fluctuate, with labor and inflation making it more expensive and technology possibly being more efficient, possibly saving some money.

          Despite the article from years ago that CG elements were kept, I wouldn’t count on those, so I’d assume the CG work would need to be recreated from scratch.

          Here’s the interview with Lay that includes his figures. It’s quite a thorough breakdown of the situation, making it maybe the definitive synthesis of all the ink spilled on the subject.

          http://www.treknews.net/2017/02/02/why-ds9-voyager-not-on-blu-ray-hd/

          • Harry Kane

            Actually the CG work is top quality as previously proven. Thou so much detail is lost when put on the film.

          • Eric Cheung

            It’s not whether or not the work is good, it’s whether or not the files are as complete as we hope.

          • Tone

            Those models are awful by today’s standards. Very low polygon counts, and very basic low resolution texturing. The composition and execution however was fantastic for the time and fact that it was a TV show.

          • archer923

            It’s not all top work. There’s are shortcuts done. Since those flaws where hidden in blurriness.

          • The Science Fiction Oracle

            Again, Lay is applying TNG process and experience — developed nearly a decade ago — to now. It’s apples and oranges.

        • Tone

          You are forgetting that it has become significantly cheaper to scan 35mm film these days, and also creating 1080p CGI (I can’t imagine they would do this at 4K, as there is very little resolution to the 35mm footage, due to the over use of soft focus and Vaseline filters used for live action filming!) is not time consuming compared to what it was when they started the TNG project.

          But yes, later seasons of DS9 did use a lot of CGI, but it was only the last 3 seasons which used it heavily, for long sequences.

          The first 3 seasons use very little CGI and when they did, it was Odo effects and a handful of short flyby stuff, and the Defiant, which was mostly simple flyby stuff. Even most of the wormhole elements were practical, and used only very basic CGI in a few elements.

          • archer923

            3 Seasons is still 3 seasons. They can’t use or find all the old CGI. And a lot of work would have to be done, to fix some of the usable original renders.

          • Tone

            There is hardly any CGI at all, apart from Odo. They had to do a hell of a lot of additional CGI work when they remastered TNG, this is no more than that. Even a lot of season 4 is stock footage. Try to keep in perspective that it does not cost $1,000,000 every time that a model has to be made, or Odo changes in to a bird. We are only talking a few frames of animation, and a handful of models.

            Besides, Netflix would love to pay for more Trek in HD, as would a lot of other streaming services. Netflix paid for the TNG remaster.

          • The Science Fiction Oracle

            “Besides, Netflix would love to pay for more Trek in HD, as would a lot of other streaming services. Netflix paid for the TNG remaster.”

            Exactly. I don’t get why Trekcore staff and others just keep complaining that the Blu-ray’s didn’t make enough money. The HD online and broadcast is where the long term money is.

          • Tone

            It’s corporate BS that was made to make us feel bad, and buy extra copies etc…

            The HD project was aimed at making Trek available in a format that both TV services (+streaming) and their customers want going forward.

            The TNG project made a load of money, the Netflix deal paid for it in full, and the Blu-ray sales were the icing on the cake. CBS made their investment back. If anything hurt those sales, it was the disc recall on season 1, and the terrible way season 2 was handled – CBS only have themselves to blame for that, if it did affect sales negatively.

            I believe the Netflix exclusive streaming rights will expire in a couple of years, so expect some movement on the DS9 remaster project around that time, as CBS need to keep Trek as attractive as possible, so that those streaming companies try to outbid each other for the rights to the Trek catalogue.

          • The Science Fiction Oracle

            Exactly!

          • Justin Olson

            This is basically correct. Though it was only really the last two seasons which had heavy CGI. They didn’t switch to entirely replacing models with CGI until Season 6’s “Sacrifice of Angels.”

            And even after that, Gary Hutzel’s VFX team continued to shoot motion control miniatures on 35mm film until his last supervised show late in Season 7. All told, I’d say roughly 20% of DS9’s episodes, around 35 or so, use CGI for ships exclusively in place of physical models.

            Unfortunately I don’t remember the exact count, but Digital Muse’s David Lombardi and Bruce Branit are credited with a combined 28 DS9 episodes on IMDB from 1997-1999.

          • Tone

            Thanks for the backup Justin.

            CBS basically has the first 5 seasons to get to work on, before having to really worry about CGI expenses. Also remember that the planning work for those CG sequences has already been done, they only have to copy the camera angles and movements from the original broadcast version. This saves an immense amount of time and money too, as directing and designing CG from scratch is actually the most time consuming and expensive part.

            So my maths works out that CBS has 5 boxsets to release, which would be nearly 2 years worth of the public buying them, making profit while CBS prepare for the next round of streaming sales.

        • Justin Olson

          That is definitely an over-estimate. No way it would cost $30-$35 million. The $20 million figure already includes completely re-doing all the CGI from scratch (no original 3D models or scene files).

          • The Science Fiction Oracle

            Yea, it’s way, way overestimated…not even in the ballpark

        • The Science Fiction Oracle

          Less, This is getting more efficient and easier to do over time. In a few years, if given access to the negatives and with some equipment purchases, fans could do this themselves.

      • The Science Fiction Oracle

        My estimate:

        $2M for season 1
        $1M for seasons 2 through 7

        – Roughly $10M total.

        The processes are better now, the software and computers better, the negatives are automatically cataloged (see Justin’s post), and some of the source special effects is high quality enough that it can be enhanced with software instead of completely re-done.

      • The Science Fiction Oracle

        Burnett’s numbers essential are him saying that is what it would cost if they applied the nearly decade old process they used on TNG to DS9 and Voyager. It ignores much more efficient processes and software that are now available today.

        • Eric Cheung

          Season 3 of TOS was released on blu ray in December 2009. The TNG sampler was released in January of 2012, and first announced in July 2011. So, I figure it was really some time between January 2010 and July 2011, so no more than seven years old, possibly less than six years. And the process was going until late 2014, so did they upgrade as the seasons progressed? If so, then it’s really only two and a half year old tech.

          • The Science Fiction Oracle

            The TOS Blu-Ray conversion from old 16 mm film restorations has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the TNG Blu-Ray effort, so you are trying to make a connection there where none exists. This comparison makes no sense here???

            And, they started planning and developing the processes for the Blu-Ray sampler about 24 months before the Sampler was released — i.e. starting in early 2010 — about 7.5 years ago…as I said, “nearly a decade”. And they them implemented the same process over and over on the 7 seasons, without making significant changes…so yes, they used a process that was state of the art way back in 2009/2010.

          • Eric Cheung

            I know. I wasn’t comparing the TOS method to anything. I was merely pinpointing the date of the start of the TNG process. And TOS was shot on 35mm.

            http://www.startrek.com/article/the-lost-film-of-tos

          • The Science Fiction Oracle

            Of course, 35 mm. Sorry, I had a brain fart — the Cage 16 mm was on my brain.

    • Harry Kane

      I imagine people would be willing to crowdsource to fund it,

      • Ace Stephens

        I don’t understand why this isn’t considered viable. Whatever the start-up costs are and enough to do the first season or two are all they need to start with. If it goes well and they get enough then, following the release of Season 1 (if they raised enough for Season 2), they can do another campaign for Season 3 and progress on a season-to-season basis following. Until it fails, if it does fail. Then they complete what was funded and move on. Rewards could include things similar to this IndieGoGo but possibly on a larger or more exclusive scale. Or, if “season-to-season” isn’t workable than they could aim for the first couple and their “stretch goals” for the campaign could simply include more seasons, depending. However, financing only portions of it at a time may be far more reasonable as fans might contribute a decent amount more to multiple campaigns over the course of years (and also wind up buying the seasons as time progresses) rather than paying a ton to begin with. And, again, if fans don’t cover the cost further down the line, they still got the first season or two and, otherwise, may simply have to wait until costs go down for more.

        It’s a win-win as far as I can tell.

        • The Science Fiction Oracle

          Agreed, Ace. Please see my detailed post above with cost estimates.

  • Harry Kane

    Give it time, we will get Blu Ray DS9 sooner rather than later, DS9 was a fantastic series, but CBS failure to give it the HD treatment is hurting it, TOS TNG ENT and the movies have all been restored to a degree. There are only two more Series to be done DS9 and Voyager Lets get it on CBS

    • The Science Fiction Oracle

      Yep!

    • Pedro Ferreira

      If you want to be pedantic Enterprise wasn’t remastered, only upscaled so what needs doing at the end as well.

  • Eric Cheung

    The Indiegogo page still has the $500,000 stretch goal written in “Cardassian.” Could the use of remastered clips be that goal?

    • Andreas

      Actually the goal has been translated a few days ago.
      It is in English but written in Cardassian letters, meaning:

      Remaster original CGI models from Doug Drexler to HD
      EG High Definition Dominion War

      You can check for yourself by comparing to the Cardassian alphabet.

      • Eric Cheung

        I tried to do that a week ago, but I saw conflicting alphabets.

        • Andreas

          If you use this font at the text I postet above:
          http://www.fonts2u.com/st-cardassian.font

          …you’ll get exact the same symbols as on indiegogo page.
          So It is right.
          If there is a conflicting alphabet, the sententence would make no sense, I guess.

    • apparently my PC has a universal translator built in, because it looks like normal english to me 😉

      • Eric Cheung

        I saw that as well. It’s in English now. They changed the graphic since I posted, I guess because there was no need to keep it coded if they put out an official announcement of their plan to remaster clips.

  • Harry Kane

    Point is, we need to get the discussion going again, WE WANT DS9 AND VOYAGER IN BLU RAY TO COMPLETE IT ALL. BUT DS9 FIRST! We need to tell CBS and stop being so compliant that we will not except standard definition. CBS has done bugger all these years with the Star Trek Brand. Watering it down and Paramount too watering it all down with just money maker movies. (Thou the earnings of each new movies are going down YOY)

  • GIBBS v2

    Like with TNG they should cherry pick a few episodes and HD them. Let market forces dictate whether the demand is there to justify the cost of doing more. Start with the pilot episode.

    • With that TNG sampler, that was possible because the full-series project was already greenlit.

      The TNG process revealed that film material from each episode might be scattered across multiple seasons of stored negatives, so cherry-picking one or two episodes of DS9 will be difficult without the whole set of film archives pulled from deep storage and cataloged anew.

      • GIBBS v2

        Intersting, thanks for the insight.

  • Tzadik

    Thing is, I’m not really interested in buying TNG on Blu-ray, thanks to Netflix (and I suppose, All Access).

    I **WOULD**, however, buy DS9 on Blu-ray.

    • Eric Cheung

      Would you be interested in getting it for someone else as a gift? Then you don’t have to own it and the money would still count toward TNG blu ray sales. How about TOS, TAS, ENT, or the movies on blu ray?

      Another option is to push the DS9 doc to $500,000 to get those clips in HD.

  • TrekRules

    I am guessing they want the live action stuff as it would be the easiest and cheapest to scan and upgrade – anything with effects could either require re-rendering if cgi or compositing if done on film so that would require a lot more effort. Any station shots could just reuse Birthright footage. Tough to say what will happen – CBS isn’t known for spending a lot on Trek even though it has brought them a lot of money over the years. This might be the kick in the butt they need to remaster DS9 or they might just say no to this as it would make them look bad for not remastering DS9 or allowing someone else to.

    • MattR

      They did just spend $12+ million on remastering TNG, and however much they spent remastering TOS including with all new effects. The problem was they didn’t get much return on those investments so they’re hesitant to spend the $40+ million to do DS9 and VOY, which are less popular.

      • patrick

        Like all of TREK, it’s never made “enough” money for the studio – even though they continue to squeeze continuous profit from each of the shows (especially TOS). Considering that the TNG-episodes were also then offered on streaming-services in hi-def – yeah, some fans and casual-viewer simply chose to watch them without purchasing them on DISC.

        No, DS9 hi-def likely wouldn’t be profitable up-front – yet as they’d collect year after year of dvd/BluRay sales, combined with non-stop National and International rerun-fees for decades, the Remastering would obviously pay for itself. In DS9’s case, I feel it suffers the worst from the low-def broadcast and/or dvd-quality. Being that it was filmed with lots of natural-lighting from the sets themselves, and the soft-focus look which was chosen for the series, those particular elements often make DS9 look dreadfully blurry when watched on larger screens.

        • The Science Fiction Oracle

          You “broke the code” dude. Please see my post above. Good to see that there are others here who aren’t burying their head in the sand on this. It’s inevitable given the profits over the long-term.

      • The Science Fiction Oracle

        Not true. Yes, they didn’t make a great kill on the Blu-Rays, but they updated the broadcast and online products of TNG, which keep paying out, and will be profitable for years to come. The Blu-Rays were always the initial niche market, but online and broadcast are the big money-makers over the long term.

        They will start upgrading DS9 and Voyager to HD by the early 2020’s at the latest for the simple fact that they will need the shows to remain viable in broadcast and online mediums — SD is not going to cut it for much longer. It’s simple asset preservation — the bean counters at CBS understand this. I guarantee this will happen. It’s all about the long term dollars — not the Blu-ray initial niche market.

        • MattR

          Without knowing the contractual details, we don’t know whether CBS is getting a higher licensing fee from Netflix or BBC America for their HD TNG. They could be making a lot more, they could be making a little more, or they could be making the same amount. If it is either of the latter two, the investment still isn’t necessarily worth it in the long run.

          There’s no way of knowing, since online streamers don’t release viewership data, whether the fact that episodes of TNG were remastered had any effect on the viewership of the show. It’s not like Netflix even indicates that TNG is in HD versus the other shows that are not.

          I’m not saying I don’t want this to happen btw. I wholeheartedly support it, and will happily shelve out whatever they cost if/when they are ever made. I’m just saying it’s not a clear-cut automatic money-maker – a lot of things related to Trek aren’t these days, particularly in merchandising.

          • The Science Fiction Oracle

            Well you are kind of missing my point. They needed to preserve the asset (TNG) for the long term broadcast and online markets, and SD is not what consumers are expecting, and it’s going to be harder and harder over time to maintain pricing on SD content given new audiences for Trek may just reject SD at face value in the coming years.

            So even if the HD upgrade only allowed them to maintain the pricing of their last contract with broadcasters, it’s still a victory, and it leverages the better pricing structure for the long term.

          • patrick

            Yep!

      • Coupon: The Movie

        Didn’t Amazon or Netflix foot most of the bill for that?

        • MattR

          No, CBS paid for it.

          • Coupon: The Movie

            Hmmm, I could have sworn they gave them some money upfront for streaming rights which went toward the remaster budget but I can’t find any reference to it now. Maybe you’re right and I’m remembering things wrong.

  • Ian Fleming

    The game must continue.

  • bgoo2

    I just dontated now solely based on the prospect of the clips in the doc being in HD

  • The Science Fiction Oracle

    As I have been predicting here for years, with many doubters, including Trekcore staff, by no later than 2020, we we will be beginning of HD remastering of DS9 in some fashion.

    This production is a baby step to highlight this. But it clearly shows that if they really wanted to make a big marketing push, I estimate that they could get $2M in crowd funding to start the mastering process and get season 1 of DS9 done. Given advances in technologies, this effort would be significantly less labor intensive than the TNG remastering process, which is based on processes and editing technologies nearly a decade old now — I estimate $2M for season 1, and then $1M for each succeeding season — about 1/3 of the cost of TNG remastering.

    Remember, I was spot-on my my prediction of the massive price drops in TNG blu-ray sets, yet most here, including Trekcore staff, didn’t buy that assessment/prediction either.

    PS: I have donated $300, and will be at the LA Screening!

    • Justin Olson

      “Given advances in technologies, this effort would be significantly less labor intensive than the TNG remastering process.”

      Yes, in fact, DS9 was made entirely after Kodak introduced their Eastman KeyKode system in 1990. It imprints a machine-readable bar code on the edge of the negatives which automates the editing and assembly using a computer-generated cut list. TNG Remastered didn’t have this luxury for the first several years of its run, unfortunately, causing CBS Digital to have to come up with a different, ad hoc solution.

      http://motion.kodak.com/kodakgcg/motion/support/technical_information/keykode/index.htm

    • It’s highly unlikely any further ST series will be remastered. ALL the special effects would have to be redone from scratch due to how the series’ were made as opposed to TOS and TNG. That coupled with the relatively poor sales for both of those remastering efforts have all but sealed the fate of the others ever being done.

      • The Science Fiction Oracle

        No only is it HIGHLY LIKELY, I can pretty much guarantee that its going to happen sooner rather than later.

        Yes, they didn’t make a great kill on the Blu-Rays, but they updated the broadcast and online products of TNG, which keep paying out, and will be profitable for years to come. The Blu-Rays were always the initial niche market, but online and broadcast are the big money-makers over the long term.

        They will start upgrading DS9 and Voyager to HD by the early 2020’s at the latest for the simple fact that they will need the shows to remain viable in broadcast and online mediums — SD is not going to cut it for much longer in terms of what consumers will watch. It’s simple asset preservation — the bean counters at CBS understand this. I guarantee this will happen. It’s all about the long term dollars — not the Blu-ray initial niche market.

        • Pedro Ferreira

          I agree with you here.

          • Dusty Ayres

            The Oracle’s an idiot with no knowledge of real life or business practicalities, as are you for agreeing with him.

          • Pedro Ferreira

            Extremely valid points.

        • scooternva

          Maybe they’ll time it so that season 1 gets a Christmas 2022 release… just in time for the 30th anniversary of DS9 on January 3, 2023!

      • pittrek

        That makes no sense. The effects on DS9 and VOY were done in the EXACT SAME WAY as on TNG and TNG was upgraded. You also seem to think that all of the effects were CGI, which is simply not true, and for lots of the CGI effects they still have the original files.

    • Pedro Ferreira

      You talk like Season 1 is the most expensive. The latter seasons will be the most expensive due to recreating the CG.

  • Bear in mind, there ARE NO HD shots containing special effects. They simply do not exist. The effects were generated in SD and 4:3 ratio. You can’t create something that does not exist unless you have an effects team ready to recreate every single effects shot from scratch.

  • M33

    Oh man.

    I am so contributing more money to them right now!

    HD DS9. I am there!

  • Coupon: The Movie

    So, I have to share this. About two months ago, I was at an event attended by almost every special effects guy in the business. A lot of these guys were from Foundation Imaging and had worked on stuff like Babylon 5, the Star Trek shows, Titanic and current shows like Supergirl and The Flash. One guy was currently working on Star Trek Discovery (to which he seemed to garner a lot of sympathy from his friends on this. Apparently IT IS somewhat rough goings over there at least as far as the special effects department goes). I even got to chat with Dan Curry a little. He’s an awesome, very nice gentleman.
    Anyway, I started to talk to one of these guys about a DS9 remaster and he had some interesting thoughts I’d like to share. I questioned him as to why he thought CBS wasn’t doing it and mentioned the whole cost factor. Now I’m paraphrasing here because this took place two months ago but here’s basically what he said: “It’s not about money. The studio’s always make profit and if they want to pay for it, they will.”
    The problem, according to him is the infrastructure. He related a conversation he had with James Cameron a few years back before the 3-D conversion of Titanic came about. He had been hearing rumors for years about Cameron tackling a 3-D conversion and when he finally ran into him, he asked him what the holdup was. Cameron told him yes, everyone wants to do it but the problem is figuring out HOW. Things like this take a lot of planning and that can take years to figure out. In his words, this is what this guy told me: “Imagine you want to take a trip and you know where the end destination is but not sure how you’re going to get there. Then you come to a fork in the road. You have to stop and decide which is the better route and why. Which one of these paths will get you to your destination quicker, which road will have the least obstacles, which road is built better and will be easier on your car, etc…”
    That’s what these projects are like, he claims. It takes a hell of a lot of thought to put the pipeline together in order to tackle the reconstruction of 7 seasons of a show consisting of 25 episodes a season.
    And because of the heavy CGI use of DS9 and Voyager, the same infrastructure pipeline that was used for TNG, probably couldn’t be employed for these two later shows. Some things could be rolled over, sure but a lot of their approaches would have to be rethought.
    When you start to look at it from an infrastructure standpoint rather than a monetary one, a lot of things start to make more sense. Notice the delay between TOS and TNG remasters. The approach to the two shows was so different that an entirely new system had to be created for TNG. ANd again, if it took Cameron years to figure out the Titanic 3-D reconstruction, so how long will it take to figure out two 7 season science fiction shows where the continuing use of CGI first emerged and slowly became a constant factor throughout? This is serious troubleshooting here. And according to someone else I know who worked on the special feature docs for the TNG remaster, everyone at CBS really wants to do this. I don’t know if this includes Moonves, who doesn’t seem to get Trek or like it much but it seems everyone below him is very enthusiastic about getting these shows done. How that works out in the end, I have no idea.
    However, the more I thought about the infrastructure angle after talking to this guy, the more the money factor actually started to play back into it and here’s why: The way DS9 and Voyager were put together is much more alike than how TOS and TNG were originally created or even how TNG and DS9 were produced. My thinking is that if a DS9 project gets the go ahead in the future, once that pipeline is in place, it would be much more cost effective to use that system to not only remaster DS9 but Voyager as well. It would seem cost prohibitive to set everything up for DS9, shut it down then have to re assemble the team, equipment and logistics to then tackle Voyager later. This would seem to be borne out by the fact that while they had the TNG remaster team up and running, CBS decided to tackle the easiest of the the Start Trek shows to upgrade to HD: Enterprise. Since the production approach to DS9 and Voyager seem to be very similar, I think they will have to tackle both shows at the same time. What this means though, is that the studio isn’t looking at just one budget for DS9 but one massive budget for both of these shows which means the money they will have to spend at one time will be double what everyone is currently thinking. This I think, is maybe what’s giving the studio pause as well as the planning that will be required for such a gigantic project.
    Bringing this back to the article at hand, I will say that this is why the HD remastering of these clips is so important. Not just for an awesome documentary that is the closest we’ll get to a DS9 special feature doc like on the TNG Blu-Rays but also because this could be the first step in figuring out a production pipeline to tackle a remastering project. CBS could easily apply what they learn here and streamline the process for a full on HD remaster. This may be more significant than most realize even though I think a lot of you are thinking the same thing.
    There’s also another factor to consider that I think this documentary is already starting to shed light on. One of the big obstacles I keep hearing about when the possibility of a DS9 remaster is mentioned, is that TNG didn’t sell as well as CBS hoped and DS9 will sell less since TNG is more popular so the idea of diminishing returns is invoked time and time again. But see how fast the funds were met for this doc? I’m not so sure that thinking is correct. Yes, in the 1990’s, TNG was more popular and DS9 was fairly ignored but that was over 20 years ago. In that time, DS9’s cultural stock has gone way up while TNG’s has seemed to have somewhat stagnated. I would say this idea of DS9 selling less is an example of a thought process that’s stuck in the 90’s. I think it’s much more likely, that the opposite may be true.
    Now granted, the guy I spoke to only represents one production viewpoint which is that of special effects/post production. The accountants and studio heads at CBS may and probably do have an entirely different perspective but this particular analysis is not one I’ve seen talked about much so I figured it was worth mentioning.
    I agree with Oracle below that the remastering of these shows is pretty much inevitable. I think CBS is also waiting to see how Discovery pans out and if it’s successful, I think they’ll start considering putting the team together. I think this documentary is the first step in that process.
    So there’s my two cents for what it’s worth based an a pretty cool conversation with a guy who has years of experience under his belt and the little I’ve gleaned that trickles out of CBS from others I talk to.
    Trekcore, I would very much like to hear your thoughts on this.

    • Eric Cheung

      That’s a fascinating and persuasive analysis. I know one of the worries that spurred on some urgency by fans was that the team that did TOS and TNG would need to be rounded up if too much time passed. One of the metrics I used was the amount of time between the completion of the TOS-R project and the beginning of the TNG-R project.

      TNG-R sounded impossible during TOS-R’s run. But then it was announced on 7/26/2011; the sampler released 1/31/2012, season one 7/23/2012. This was after TOS-R season three was released 12/18/2009. My calculations were based on the period between the last TOS release and the announcement of TNG-R. So, my thinking was the window was 19 months (and 8 days if we want to be precise). The last release for TNG-R was 12/02/2014. So, 19 months would have been around July of last year.

      Someone on TrekBBS based the estimate on TOS-R’s finishing date of April 2008, which would provide a 39 month window.

      But to take it to the money angle again, I assume some costs would be amortized by tackling VOY right after DS9. So, assuming it really does cost $20 million for DS9, then it could be something like $35 million for the two series. Maybe even less if the process and technology streamline things significantly by the end, but that seems a safely conservative estimate. If as The Science Fiction Oracle suggests, it’s more like $10 million, then the two shows could cost as little as $15 million. I’m just pulling these numbers out of thin air, but it’s something to think about.

      I hope they are thinking about that infrastructure, and I know the response to this article by the backers of the documentary campaign has been huge. They had one of the biggest days in the past 24 hours, as they’ve raised more than $16K since it’s been posted. That puts them within spitting distance of the $425K goal, and with a decent shot at the $500K goal which would spur the remastering of clips. That’s got to get the remastering R&D team pretty inspired to think creatively about how to solve these problems.

      • The Science Fiction Oracle

        It’s actually better that they NOT reassemble “the old team” who did TNG remasters. They need to bring in new more cost effective team that is up on the latest software so that they can take advantage of the advancements and economies of scale here over the past decade since TNG HD process was first planned.

        TNG HD team did a great job and I commend them for it, but I see all of their quotes that tell me that their mindset is still stuck in “let”s repeat that process again,” but that process and software is outmoded and way too resource intensive.

        If I were CBS, I would open up the whole HD process for DS9 and Voyager to competitive bids from outside companies. And as part of that bidding process, I would allow the bidders to include crowdfunding support and fan volunteers as part of their bid/teams.

        • Eric Cheung

          As far as the technical grunt staff, maybe. But I definitely want to keep the Okudas, and as many of the designers, artists, producers, and Trek historians that actually worked on the shows as possible.

        • Mateusz Cieslak

          You seem to forget one thing. Bringing the vet’s, even if you have to pay them through the nose guarantees faithfulness to the original because they either remember, or have acquaintances which remember, or have notes of why things were done the way they did. Because they worked in that pipeline.
          It might speed things up if you make them consultants basically overseeing the job that new (i.e. cheaper) guys would be doing but also only to a certain point.

        • Pedro Ferreira

          When you say outside companies are you referring to the company that remastered Season 2 or TNG?

        • Dusty Ayres

          I would not-fan volunteers are not of the same caliber as professional FX techs who know their jobs inside and out.

      • Coupon: The Movie

        I agree. It also seems logical that it would take more time between each remastering project, especially this last one. It’s gonna be a whopper. And yes, technology advances might also be why they’re waiting it out and I would bet they’re also waiting for the TNG sets to finally reach a cretain economic goal based on their estimates and once that’s surpassed (and eventually it will) CBS will start to seriously consider tackling the last two shows. I would think, a good plan would be to switch off on releases between the two shows. Like DS9 season 1 followed by Voyager season 1 then DS9 season 2 and so forth. This doc will raise the stock, I’m sure of that.

    • The Science Fiction Oracle

      Exactly! And as I’ve posted about many times, here, as time goes by, the software and resources to redo those CGI efffects gets lower and lower in cost. In a few years, fans as volunteers will be able to do a credible job on it.

      2020 or so — that’s my prediction on the latest date that CBS will start working on the HD versions of DS9 and Voyager.

      And as I also mentioned before, the profits are not based on the small niche market of the Blu-Rays, but are much more supported by the long term online and broadcast markets which bring in steady millions year after year — CBS will have to upgrade DS9 and Voyager to “preserve their asset” here for these markets. You can take that to the bank.

      • Coupon: The Movie

        Yep, preserving these assets is not something anyone can get around. It’s the inevitability hanging over this franchise as it always has. I don’t think you can ever outsource a project of this size to the fans though. It’s just too complicated and you need the experience of veteran FX guys who can not only do quality work but be able to deliver on a time crunch and keep the project on schedule which means knowing where to compromise and still be able to deliver quality work. Guys who have to work on network shows under those conditions know how to do that and work under tremendous amounts of stress. That experience is invaluable and needed to keep things on budget and moving smoothly because if one person drops the ball and can’t deliver, it throws the whole pipeline into chaos.
        But like you’ve said, the costs of doing these things is going to go down as technology gets cheaper and easier to use. That extra money needs to go into payroll for these experienced FX vets to deliver the quality product we all expect. Like you, I have no doubt that this is an attainable goal. 2020 seems like a pretty good estimate to me.

        • Eric Cheung

          The remastering for TOS and especially TNG remains fairly unprecedented. Most shows from the 90s are unlikely to get the blu ray treatment if they were edited on videotape, like TNG, even if they were shot on film.

          That said, DS9 and VOY would seem to have a better chance on the desire of the owners.

          • Coupon: The Movie

            You are very correct. In between cutting on film and digital editing, there was the heavy use of videotape editing and video compositing for special effects elements. From what I’ve seen, this began in 1985 and lasted well into the 90’s. You can see a lot of these techniques in all the music videos on MTV at the time and notice that the large majority of television shows shot in this period have never had Blu Ray releases, just DVD because to upgrade to HD would mean a TNG level restoration process. This affected science fiction shows the most. Since they were so expensive, the “video approach” became a way to control the budget. That’s why we will never see a Blu Ray version of shows like Amazing Stories, 80’s Twilight Zone or Babylon 5.
            Luckily for Trek, it just happens to be a cultural milestone and a constant source of revenue for whoever holds the licensing fee.

          • patrick

            Luckily, for this fan, The X-Files did undergo an upgrade and it looks fantastic! Had the DVD-set and it quickly became unwatchable after seeing it on my first HiDef flat-screen TV. Especially programs which are often filmed in darkness or low-light settings – there’s simply no clarity unless it’s remastered. I’ll conclude by expressing some unhappiness with the choice to Widescreen TXF’s first several seasons. I hope they never choose to do this to any TREK-series. Unless they had also included the original 4:3 broadcast-version as an alternate viewing-option, I’m never too keen on those kinds of remasterings…

      • archer923

        If everything was working out. Than the shows would of been done. So other things are in play. Because, if they counted all the points of money returns. Like you bring up. DS9 and VGR should of been green lit. Regardless of TNG BD sales doing poorly. They haven’t. So It’s not cut and dry. The other shows where constantly touted to be only green lit. If the BD sales of TNG, did good. No one ever mention any other monetary points, for success range.

    • Pedro Ferreira

      I’ve said it a hundred times already and I’ll say it again: CBS are sort of forced to remaster DS9 and Voyager into HD because not just the quality of the existing online transfers but the quality of the tape masters is getting worse. People expect to see their shows today in Hi-Def average consumer is going to wonder why the poor quality. So yes it’s not a matter of ‘if’ but a matter of ‘when’.

    • patrick

      Really do appreciate your effort in crafting such a thoughtful, well-reasoned report, CTM. Consider yourself on the Captain’s list for a promotion, Mister.

  • Chris

    Ds9 will 100 percent be one day shown in a hd presentation and the reasoning is simple.tv is evolving my 3 month of son when he is 20 will not want to be watching a standard definition presentation in the same regards as I struggle to sit thru a black and white film.My great uncle who is nearly 100 starred in 100 films and can even be seen in Stanley kubricks film clockwork orange what fascinated me was watching him on film in sparkling HD as a middle aged man.Now he was also in three carry on films which were popular in 70s Britain yet these were shot on 16mm I believe and when on Terrestial TV the picture quality is mediocre at best as not from the original negative and I find myself distracted. If companies don’t get on board and show the best presentation of the film stock available then simply future viewers will be put off.iv shot film myself 8mm and super 8 on a bolex p1 and showed it on a projector and the quality is fantastic I have even viewed home movies shoton 8mm from the USA in the 50s in colour and again the results were fantastic in fact a director at pinewood bought them off me for his collection.ds9 can be shown as hd perhaps the film negatives may even hold enough detail to be shown as 8k presentation so there is really no excuse it will be the studio’s loss not to act

    • Eric Cheung

      While I would be ecstatic at an HD presentation of DS9, I have to say I love black and white movies and I love silent movies and foreign films and films shot on 16mm and anything really. There is still an audience for silent films in fact. Near me, Berklee College of Music students score silent films and screen them with the new scores at the Coolidge Corner Theatre. There are Buster Keaton conventions every year. Old shows in black and white like Ernie Kovacs, I Love Lucy, and Dick Van Dyke still inspire comedians to this day. And when CBS airs Dick Van Dyke or I Love Lucy in color, I tend to turn the color off. It’s even surprising how great new TV commercials look in black and white.

      I would be in favor of old TV shows and movies being restored to present the vision of the original filmmakers, but not to upgraded in such a way that is counter to that vision. Colorization in particular drastically changes the vision, if for no other reason than because choosing to shoot in black and white or color completely changes the lighting and framing and costume and set design of a film. It’s the same with aspect ratio. That should stay as originally framed by the director and DP.

    • The Science Fiction Oracle

      Exactly!

    • Thomas W.

      Today’s kids are confused about SD. When I watch DS9 or VOY on DVD my four year old son always says: “Dad, why is the picture so blurry?” Six years ago I found the DVDs were brilliant. But once you have accustomed to HD you can’t stand SD anymore.

      • Eric Cheung

        It’s not ideal, but even kids will get used to it if the show is good enough. I mean so many good shows were shot on video, which will never look better than it does now. It would be a shame to lose decades of British television, or the Norman Lear shows, or Barney Miller, or classic Muppets, Sesame Street, or SNL, just because we can’t see individual pores and hairs.

      • archer923

        Well. People will have to live with thousands of shows that can never be in HD, at all. And resolution keeps being increased. So things that are “safe ” now. Won’t be. If high res becomes the norm. Like Lord Of The Rings. Not 4K. So if you buy a 4K set. Your son will ask you the same thing. And I can switch back and forth with SD content, Black and white shows, with no problem. That is a personal issue, with yourself. I’m only 30. And have no issues watching Lost In Space, Twilight Zone, and Doctor Who, in Black and white.

        • Eric Cheung
        • The Science Fiction Oracle

          Eventually they will have super-smart software that can, with some relatively minor user inputs, add more detail to SD recordings…like AI-based software up conversion. Probably in the next 10 to 20 years.

          • archer923

            You can’t add detail to what’s not there.

          • The Science Fiction Oracle

            Sure you can. Intelligent AI-driven software of the future will be able to add more detail to any element you see on screen, so long as it can identify the elements — nebula, phaser, bulkhead, face, etc. Where the software can’t identify and element, it can ask the user for assistance. For faces, the user can provide high resolution photos of the characters that the software will be able to use to add more detail.

            These techniques, when fully mature, might even be eventually used to expand old 1:33 aspect ratio shows to widescreen, but that will be a more intensive effort…but there is no technical reason that it won’t eventually be done.

        • Pedro Ferreira

          Doctor Who is a bit of an odd one as some of the show can technically be remastered in HD.

  • Paul Camuso

    Hey Gang!

    It’s Paul from the DS9 Documentary Team. Just wanted to thank everyone for helping out to make this documentary a reality. Whether you are helping getting the word out or have made a donation or both we really appreciate each and every one of you. The outpouring of love and support from Deep Space Nine fans has been overwhelming.

    We are very excited to be in talks with CBS to up-res the clips we license for the documentary to HD.

    • Tone

      You’re more than welcome. We support you, because you’re supporting us! So a big thank to you for this project.

      Please also pass our regards to your team from all of us here. We are all very much looking forward to seeing the finished product.

      PS, please inform CBS that we Trek fans want DS9 in HD, they did a wonderful job with the TNG-HD project, and we would love, no, need a repeat performance!

      • Paul Camuso

        We are letting CBS know all the feedback we have received during the campaign. Perhaps our upres of the clips will light a fire under CBS to consider bringing the entire run of the series.

        We do thank everyone who has participated, commented, helped promote this campaign and we are sure you are going to love the results of the doc.

        • Dusty Ayres

          Why the frak should a CBS executive stick out their neck for it to get chopped off authorizing a risky home video project just to suit a bunch of silly middle aged fans who don’t seem to understand the basic core concept(s) of how a business is run?

          There’s no big demand for DS9 and Voyager to be optimized for Blu-Ray or 4K, because there’s no big sales demand for DS9 or Voyager; when there’s a demand for both shows, their will be a supply of both shows on Blu-Ray or 4K, No demand, no supply.

          And if any of you wanted to see both shows on both high def formats, you all should have shown the bean counters at CBS Studios enough coin when the Star Trek: TNG Blu-Rays were issued. Demanding that they be put on high-def formats ‘just because’ is stupid and unrealistic as an expectation, this company is not a charity for nerds.

    • The Science Fiction Oracle

      Paul, you are welcome for sure…and I am looking forward to meeting you at the LA Premiere!

      As as tone said below, please try to the push the HD as much as possible — you guys are in a unique position to get the studio interested in doing the whole series in HD.

      • Paul Camuso

        I look forward to meeting you.

  • Bbock

    The dumb thing about their expectations for sales of the TNG Blue-Ray is that it came at a time when everyone is switching from physical media to streaming. They might have had better sales if they could have sold the set complete with all the extras, but delivered over the Internet, like the iTunes Plus format.

  • DAVID M BROWN

    The Indiegogo website says 4 days left for the fundraiser. Does that include Friday March 10,2017? Or would Friday March 10, 2017 would be to late and it ends on Thursday March 9, 2017

  • Ian Fleming

    We did it! $500,000+ We are of DS9!

  • Tone

    I find it interesting that they can get hold of the original 35mm film stock, scan select scenes and create updated cgi models and re-render effects in full HD (I hope you have decided that you like 1080p now Mr Drexler!) for only $75,000.

    More proof we were bullshitted to regarding how much it costs to remaster? I’m sure a few of the usual apologists here will rush to defend CBS, the reasoning escapes me, but this is more for the logical realists out there to have a think about!

  • Paul Camuso

    Hey everyone, need your assistance.

    We are trying to go all Niners in our final push. The Indiegogo campaign ends on Friday at 11:59pm Pacific. We want to try to get 9999 backers. Even at $1.00 you can become a backer and increase that number by one to get to 9999.

    This has been an amazing campaign and we are going to deliver the best documentary ever. We just want to end it on the nines.

    Can you help spread the word and make it happen?
    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/what-we-left-behind-star-trek-deep-space-nine-doc#/

    Thanks,

    Paul

  • Kenneth Hammer

    As of 8:30 PM CT US, 5 hour left, it’s passed $614,472.