Interview: Mike & Denise Okuda Talk Star Trek – TNG The Next Level [Part 2] | TrekMovie.com
jump to navigation

Interview: Mike & Denise Okuda Talk Star Trek – TNG The Next Level [Part 2] January 25, 2012

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: DVD/Blu-ray,Interview,TNG Remastered , trackback

Today TrekMovie presents the second part of our interview with Mike and Denise Okuda, discussing the upcoming "Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Next Level" Blu-ray coming out next week. This time we get more detail on how the approach to bringing the Next Generation to HD differs from the remastering of the original Star Trek, and how the focus this time is to make the process even more seamless. Details below, plus more images. 

 

INTERVIEW: Mike & Denise Okuda talk Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Next Level Blu-ray [Part 2]

TrekMovie: One of things that was within the scope of the project for the remastering of the original Star Trek was to periodically fix something that was deemed a mistake. Will you be doing that for The Next Generation?

Mike Okuda: There will be far far fewer of those kinds of things. For the most part, we find that people – for whatever reason – that is part of the viewing experience. So to smooth over things they expect to see we find will disappoint some people. That being said, very occasionally there will be some minor tweaks. An example of that is in The Next Level, there is a shot where Picard orders the phasers to be fired at a low level to bathe the wounded space creature to bring it back to life. In the original version the phasers incorrectly came from the Captain’s Yacht. Having worked at Paramount at the time, the original ship’s designer Andrew Probert was very disappointed because that wasn’t where the phasers were supposed to come from. So we thought "let’s make Andy happy."

TrekMovie: Another thing you did last time was to replace over-used repeated establishing shots with something new, like a new angle. Is that something you will be doing or less of an issue with TNG?

Mike Okuda: If that happens, it will be on a much smaller scale. One thing we are trying to be cognizant of is that people who buy the show, know the show really well. We want them to get the show that they fell in love with and not say "wow, these guys were really clever." We want them to say "the original designers were clever." We want to highlight their work.


Captain Picard in "Encounter at Farpoint" (Click to Enlarge)

TrekMovie: That brings up an issue that has been brought up by some fans who are wondering why this set is not being done in widescreen. Some believe the original film elements have more information on them and it could be done in widescreen without cropping. Is that possible?

Mike Okuda: First of all, it is our very strong desire is to respect the original work by the original directors and cinematographers. By cropping and letterboxing, we change the composition. You make things appear bigger and more crowded. It is true that in some shots – not all – but in some shots there is additional information on the film. But then again you are changing the original intention.

Denise Okuda: And in a lot of cases there are things that aren’t intended to be seen – sandbags, light stands, whatever – on the sides. The major thing is that we want to preserve the composition and the look of what the original filmmakers wanted to offer.

TrekMovie: There is another side to that. As I was watching The Next Level I was impressed with the amazing amount of detail you could see. But you also notice things that were never meant to be seen, such as a scuff on a set element or a seem in make-up – that kind of thing. Is that something you are concerned about? The original intent was never for this to be seen in 1080p.

Mike Okuda: That is a very good point. Our attitude is that it is part of the original show. It is not something we think is that distracting. It is certainly visible if you look for it. For the most part, it is what was shot.

TrekMovie: Well I know you used to drop things into your famed "Okudagrams," like people’s names.

Mike Okuda: For the most part we are going to leave those as they are, as they are not particularly noticeable if you don’t go looking for them. There will be a few places where if we think they are going to be distracting, that is if you watch the show and go "oh, there is Gene’ Roddenberry’s name!" Those kind of things we will look more closely at them and undoubtedly change some of them.

TrekMovie: So how far into it are you now, still on the first season?

Mike Okuda: Pretty much.

TrekMovie: Well good luck and thanks. We are all very excited about the project.

Mike Okuda: Thank you Anthony and we appreciate everything you do to promote Star Trek.

Denise Okuda: And we are very excited too. We are excited that people are going to finally get to see what we have been seeing.

See part 1 of the TrekMovie interview.


Picard and Q face off in "Encounter at Farpoint" (Click to Enlarge)

"Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Next Level" featuring HD versions of the two-part pilot “Encounter at Farpoint," along with "Sins of the Father," and "The Inner Light" will be released next Tuesday, January 31st. You can pre-order from Amazon for $14.99.

POLL: Picking up TNG Blu-ray sampler?

Expect new crew to return for fourth Star Trek film?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Comments

1. rm10019 - January 25, 2012

Thanks to Mike and the whole TNG-R team! Can’t wait.

2. rm10019 - January 25, 2012

And Denise, sorry about that!

3. NX-17000 - January 25, 2012

Now If only I had a Blueray Player….

4. Allen Williams - January 25, 2012

I don’t agree with the widescreen explanation. choosing an aspect ratio because it fits the tvs that everyone has isn’t a choice or intent. If you were to film a show in 4:3 today, that would be another story.

5. Allen Williams - January 25, 2012

@3 blu-ray is cheep. about $70 or so. It really doesn’t cost anymore than DVD anymore unless you’re talking about the old movies in the $1 box.

6. Caesar - January 25, 2012

Glad you asked about the Okudagrams, I was curious about that.

7. Joseph Chapes - January 25, 2012

I wonder if it is possible for them to put the original SD version of the episodes on the Blu-ray sets. It may seem redundant since they are staying so faithful to the originals with the new edits, but the completist in me want to have both versions available. This is why I enjoyed the TOS Blu-ray sets so much. Just thought I would ask.

Joseph

8. Allen Williams - January 25, 2012

@7 I own season 4 on dvd. There is a reason I stopped there. it was so terrible that it became a low priority to get the rest. by the time it became a possibility i heard about TOS-R and decided to not buy TNG until TNG-R came out.

So I see no reason to include them on the blu-ray sets. On the other hand if the original effect was too bad to use they could probably put that in there.

What I would like to see are the original trailers re-edited in HD. Maybe even the original series promo. “Tonight the world premier movie of STAAAAAAAR TREK the next generation!!!!!” (its on youtube, but in even worse VHS quality)

9. Allen Williams - January 25, 2012

Actually I do have a question that hasn’t been answered yet. Are they going to photoshop out the construction paper used on the bridge? You can even see it in the DVDs. Fortunately its just in 2 seasons, but it will be worse in HD.

10. scifib5st - January 25, 2012

Are we going to see the stage hand chewing gum in the reflection on the lamp while Spock and Picard are being interviewed by a Romulan Tash Yhaw’s daughter?
Or will that be grayed out?
I look forward to the HD version of STNG.

11. Ben - January 25, 2012

I am curious… I realize they are intending to stay as close to the original as possible, which I fully support, however in the case of “The Pegasus” the USS Pegasus was intended to be a ship specifically designed for that episode. Due to budgetary reasons the Oberth Class model was used despite a graphic on the Pegasus’ engine room set that clearly depicted the specialized ship design. Will the Bluray release take advantage of the ship designed for that episode or will it be an up-convert of the original effects?

Again, I stress no disappointment with me if that’s not in the plan as I’m thrilled just to see TNG in HD!

12. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - January 25, 2012

This should settle all further conversation about the aspect ratio. (As if there was really a reason for it to have been much of an issue in the first place.)

The TNG-R team is composed of film/video professionals. They understand and respect the cinematographic choices made during the original filming. Period.

13. Matt Wright - January 25, 2012

#9 I assume you mean the black posterboard that was used to hide the lighting glare on the aft bridge stations? They figured out how to light things better sometime in season 2.
http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/inconsistencies/curiosities.htm

I had the same question, but Tony only had limited time with the Okudas so he cut that question.

14. petrichor - January 25, 2012

I would love the STAAAAAAAAAAAAAR TREK THENEXTGENERATION trailers on the first season blu ray.

15. DeShonn Steinblatt - January 25, 2012

I knew they wouldn’t change anything, which is fine with me.

16. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - January 25, 2012

I think Mike and Denise are the best. What they do with trek is just so Geeky Cool. Thank you for taking care of our beloved show.

17. Laughing Man - January 25, 2012

The only thing at this point I really want to see is them do away with the over reuse of ships and the Angel One matte painting.

18. Magic_Al - January 25, 2012

I can think of one other time when the phasers came from the wrong place, out of the torpedo launcher or something. Glad they’re fixing that sort of thing. It would be kind of crazy not to since recompositing the effect means you are the one placing the phaser beam on the ship again. Deliberately repeating a mistake is taking originalism too far.

19. Tony Todd's Tears - January 25, 2012

I appreciate the OAI stuff. But the original artists were limited by the technology of the day. And if it’s mostly the original guys working on the remaster anyway, why not take the opportunity to brush up on their own work. Especially some of the horrendous stuff in episodes like “The Battle”

20. brian - January 25, 2012

#10

My guess is no, so far in the shots posted so far, I’ve found 3 or 4 reflections in the LCARS panels of stage lighting, mics, stands etc and a couple where they’re seen on the side of the frame.

21. Thomas Jensen - January 25, 2012

One of things that was within the scope of the project for the remastering of the original Star Trek was to periodically fix something….

Mike Okuda: There will be far far fewer of those kinds of things. For the most part, we find that people – for whatever reason – that is part of the viewing experience. So to smooth over things they expect to see we find will disappoint some people….

Really, Mike? Really? People will be disappointed to see anything changed? They love every frame that much? So when they expect to see an obvious technical error or some kind of visual limitation from the production and you don’t fix it, then they’ll be happier?

Sheesh, you ought to be in politics.

Sure artistic intent and all that, with other aspects of this project, but don’t try to make me believe that you guys wouldn’t be doing more to refine the effects where needed, if, you guys were getting the funding. And you’re not.

Updating the effects isn’t necessary to the extent needed for the original series, but I remember from watching TNG that some “fixes” would be nice. And they really wouldn’t change the vision of the film makers, either.

I’m certain this will be a worthy project and it’s better then what is seen now, but please don’t make us believe that this is as good as it gets and doesn’t need to be better.

Because it does.

I’m just glad I’m an original series fan. Before the Remastering project ran out of gas, we got lots of great fixes/upgrades and artistic changes. Bob Justman loved it.

I was a fan of the original Star Trek and I wasn’t disappointed with the artistic fixes and choices of the team that did it.

The Next Generation Fans deserve that too.

22. JP - January 25, 2012

A look at the packaging for the soon to come season 1 set:

http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Star-Trek-Generation-Season-1-Blu-ray/16437

23. JP - January 25, 2012

#21: I’m of the complete opposite mind. My preference is for them to stay as close to the original as possible and thus I’m very happy with the decisions that have been made so far by the Okudas and the rest of the team.

As for your politician crack towards Mike… I think that was really unfair. You don’t know the man, thus you have no basis to question his motives in such a manner.

24. Shunnabunich - January 25, 2012

@4: It makes perfect sense to me. The aspect ratio limitations of the day forced the cinematographers to compose each shot so that it would suit that 4:3 space. The aspect ratio itself indeed wasn’t a “choice” or “intent”, but everything they did within that canvas was.

It’s the same today; shots get designed to take advantage of a 16:9 or 16:10 or whatever aspect ratio. If, down the road, we all switch to ÜberWidescreen 18:3 screens, to crop those “old” HD shows would be to disregard how the show’s creators wanted the shots to be composed.

25. Thomas Jensen - January 25, 2012

You’re right, but I’m not questioning his motives. Far from it. You aren’t reading my whole post in it’s entire context.

You have your opinion, I have mine. I just happen to know they don’t have the money to do much more then bring it to blu and keep the costs down.

And if you know Mike, he is a man who chooses his words carefully.

Like a politician. A good one.

26. Dr. Cheis - January 25, 2012

The fact that there are fewer changes just means I’m more eager to know what they are!

27. JP - January 25, 2012

#26: He does choose his words carefully, because he’s a team player. That said, I’ve never known him to be anything other than a straight shooter.

28. JP - January 25, 2012

whoops I meant #25…

29. Thomas Jensen - January 25, 2012

#28, ok, I can live with that.

30. danielcraigsmywookiebitchnow - January 26, 2012

First of all, it is our very strong desire is to respect the original work by the original directors and cinematographers. By cropping and letterboxing, we change the composition. You make things appear bigger and more crowded. It is true that in some shots – not all – but in some shots there is additional information on the film. But then again you are changing the original intention. ”

Now lets hope that shuts up people once and for all who just cant wrap their minds around respecting Artistic Intent and choices.

31. Allen Williams - January 26, 2012

I also think he wasn’t allowed to confirm the use of the CG enterprise (which has to happen eventually as there were CG shots of it back in the 80s), so he said it was a matte painting, which could still be true even with the use of CG. It also gives people that hate CG the opportunity to believe in a hand made drawing. I don’t believe that though as its too perfect unless your painting right over the blurry version. However if you were going to do that, then why would you change the lights?

32. danielcraigsmywookiebitchnow - January 26, 2012

4 if you cant understand what that means then I dont know what to tell you. But based on the fact that most tvs at that time were 4×3 and knowing the show was going to be shown 4×3 they chose to compose the shots the way they did with that 4×3 aspect ratio in mind. to take and alter that now can completely change and ruin how a scene plays out really dont understand whats so hard to understand about this.

33. danielcraigsmywookiebitchnow - January 26, 2012

24 thank you stated it perfectly.

34. Bart - January 26, 2012

@ 21 Thomas Jensen, I completely agree with you. Of course people want to see some cheesy effects updated. And they have to understand in order to sell these discs they need to have a bigger selling point than just improved color and detail. It’s not just trekkies buying these things.

Instead of just admitting that there is no budget to do more, they’re finding all kinds of lame excuses to defend what they were allowed to do.

On every question they give the same answer: that they are staying with the original artists intent and people want the original. Please…

35. Will - January 26, 2012

@21 – I agree with the interviewees, that sometimes the nitpicks are enjoyable. After all, there are books about mistakes, people delight in finding them, and there’s essentially a culture that enjoys reading about them and then seeing the mistakes themselves. That said, if they’d put the goofs in a bonus feature, and put corrected versions in the episodes, that would be fine with me.

36. Adam Clark - January 26, 2012

Season 1 and the sampler will be released in Australia during July.

37. Trek Or Treat - January 26, 2012

Now that they’ve fixed the phaser emission in “Farpoint” please fix the phasers coming out of the torpedo tube in “Darmok” and I’ll be happy. Other than that I’m good.

38. New Horizon - January 26, 2012

>34. Bart – January 26, 2012
>On every question they give the same answer: that they are staying with the >original artists intent and people want the original. Please…

Count me as one of the fans who is extremely happy that they’re respecting the original artists, because I DO want to see how the original work looks remastered.

They’re not just rescanning ‘completed’ FX, the FX are being rebuilt from the individual elements but this time with modern compositing software.

http://tng.trekcore.com/bluray/trailer_images/tng_nextlevel_season1_5.jpg

Yes, it’s the same footage but the final result looks many times better due to the resources at their disposal. For all intents and purposes, they ARE new FX.

http://tng.trekcore.com/bluray/exclusive_images/Farpoint/Farpoint01.jpg

http://tng.trekcore.com/bluray/exclusive_images/Farpoint/Farpoint01.jpg

This whole process is pretty awesome…and expensive. To be honest I never thought anyone would have put the money behind a project that would require rebuilding every episode. I just don’t think people appreciate exactly how huge this project is….instead, they’ll always see the glass as half full and complain that they’re not getting ‘having it their way’. It’s not a McDonald’s drive thru folks…and thank goodness for that. It’s nice to seem them exercise some restraint on this project….even if the restraint is a result of a limited budget. The original artists and the show deserve it.

39. falkan - January 26, 2012

I would like to ask if they will be using any CG to add depth to backgrounds on the ourdoor sets, as they did in TOS-R. There were a lot of outdoor scenes, especially in TNG seasons 1 and 2, where the set clearly was very limited.

40. Trekboi - January 26, 2012

They need to do more than just clean up the footage, they need to fix mistakes, improve the quality, consistancey & depth of the special effects if they want people to buy.
This can be done without majorly changing the look of the shots or overall show- I do think “respecting the original” is a bit of an excuse

41. tubular_trekkie - January 26, 2012

@40. Trekboi.
No they don’t. Original footage all the way, I say. Either you loved it as it was or you didn’t. Dicking around too much with the VFX just to modernise it and make it look ‘cool’ is a waste of time. The live-action footage itself IS dated (seasons 1 and 2 certainly), they can’t change that or update it, and they can’t fix goofs made in dialogue, sets or costuming. It is what it is. Why do you want to ‘improve’ a cultural icon?

42. Royal Canadian Institute for the Mentally Insane - January 26, 2012

#40 “This can be done without majorly changing the look of the shots or overall show- I do think “respecting the original” is a bit of an excuse”

Agreed to an extent. If something is wrong, fix it. The “Giant” BOP always bugged me, but I see they retconned it to be a second version of the same design. Whatever.

There are a lot of space shots that look wrong because of budgetary constraints, or prep time constraints.

43. New Horizon - January 26, 2012

40. Trekboi – January 26, 2012

They don’t HAVE to do anything…they didn’t even have to do as much as they’re doing. We could have simply gotten a crappy upconversion, how gross would that have been? They’re rebuilding the entire show from uncut negatives, looping sound, and re-compositing all of the effects. The show is essentially in post production again. That’s a hugely expensive undertaking…one that I have honestly not seen. If you think you’re being short changed by that, then you’re quite honestly being a spoiled brat. Really, given the amount of work this is going to take, we’re all spoiled to even be nitpicking.

44. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - January 26, 2012

@31 – Yes, he did confirm that they have a CG Enterprise they can use when need it – this is in part 1 of the interview: “they do have a digital Enterprise, because we know it will be needed at some point.”

“I don’t believe that though as its too perfect unless your painting right over the blurry version.” What? Do you understand how matte paintings are done? They don’t need to paint over anything – just draw a new rendering in Illustrator and replace the existing shot.

45. star trackie - January 26, 2012

Colors look great I’ll admit, but the detail still looks a little soft to be HD 1080P. Perhaps its the screenshots cant really do the final product justice. I just hope details are little more crisp that these screenshots depict….on the best of sets that is…still not buying the entire season sets…too much digging to get to the good stuff.

46. Simon - January 26, 2012

#42 – Giant BOPs, use of the Excelsior, Miranda, and Oberth classes over and over and over again (what would they have used if ST III never existed???).

State of the art late 24th century starship always rendezvousing with a 80-plus year old clunker. Give me a break.

47. Captain Robert April - January 26, 2012

That shot in “Darmok” with the phasers coming out of the photon torpedo port is just screaming to be fixed.

48. OneBuckFilms - January 26, 2012

#46 – Whether you like it or not, those are established as part of the story. Those ship classes were used in the 24th Century, and personally, I like that some 23rd Century vessel designs were still on active duty in the 24th Century.

It’s realistic, and establishes a greater sense of history, firmply placing TNG in the same universe as TOS and the TOS Movies.

TOS Remastered added a lot of new things, without rewriting basic Canon, but the changes were extensive, and somewhat rushed.

TNG has learned the value of restraint, and it’s much more of a restoration project than a Star Wars: Special Edition.

Which is as it should be. Change only what needs to be to get the series to look good in 1080P, without changing the series itself.

One or two minor corrections in the effects shots is good, as they had to recreate some elements used in the shots anyway.

They are doing this RIGHT.

49. Ryan Spooner - January 26, 2012

I’m all for them sticking very close to the originals., but let’s not forget that they’re expecting us to pay full whack (probably more than the original DVD price) for these. The least they can do is to correct a few obvious flaws in the episodes, flaws that while ignorable in the DVDs will be very much “in your face” at 1080p.

I’m glad the phaser out of the captains yacht was corrected. But I’d very much like to seem them correct a few other things too:
* Reflections of rigging, crew, cameras, etc in panels and other shiny surfaces.
* More phasers coming from the wrong place, like in Best of Both Worlds when Picard says Fire all weapons while they’re stuck in a tractor beam.
* The red alert lights not flashing below the viewscreen when the ship is at red alert
* and other stuff like that.

I don’t expect them to fix anything major like the wrong ship being used (Pegasus, as mentioned in the comments above).

Make it so! :)

50. Matt Wright - January 26, 2012

#45 – To be fair, the softness has always been there. The soft focus was a purposeful style of shooting TV (and a lot of film too) in the 1980s and early ’90s.

In the last 5+ years we’ve gotten used to razor sharp HD digital video for TV shows and perfectly edited movies done with high-resolution (2k or 4k) digital intermediaries so there is no film generational losses, etc.

Also I’m pretty sure you’ll find that when you sit back and watch it, rather than scrutinize a single lossy JPEG file up close, it won’t seem so soft.

51. Corvette king - January 26, 2012

Thanks JP. Mike and Denise are the salt of the earth, are intregiry driven with hearts of gold.

52. Rela - January 26, 2012

@40. Trekboi.

I agree
I would prefer to have TNG remastered In the same way as TOS.
TOS-R for me was for me must have on BD precisely because of the new special effects.
But TNG will be too similar to the original, so I am not interested to buy it on BD.
Same old effects may be satisfactory for old fans. But the the new generation of fans it will not be enough.
For us younger fans, special effects are very important.

53. Rela - January 26, 2012

@40. Trekboi.

I agree
I would prefer to have TNG remastered In the same way as TOS.
TOS-R for me was must have on BD precisely because of the new special effects.
But TNG will be too similar to the original, so I am not interested to buy it on BD.
Same old effects may be satisfactory for old fans. But for the new generation of fans it will not be enough.
For us younger fans, special effects are very important.

54. New Horizon - January 26, 2012

>53. Rela – January 26, 2012
Same old effects may be satisfactory for old fans. But for the new generation of fans it will not be enough.
For us younger fans, special effects are very important.

They are not the same old effects. They are being completely reprocessed and recomposited.

TOSR was a DO NOT buy for me for the very reason it was a must buy for you. Let us TNG fans who want the original effects enjoy them. :) You got yours last time.

55. captain_neill - January 26, 2012

I agree with the reason, I like to watch these shows as originally aired and if that was the intended way it was shot it is way I would like it, the only Star Trek show that would make sense to be on blu ray in widescreen is Enterprise but that isbecause it was shot in widescreen.

56. tubular_trekkie - January 26, 2012

@52. Rela

Interesting viewpoint. I don’t agree of course.

Despite all the controversy about the VFX (are they/will they be the original shots, will they be ‘improved’, will they fix mistakes, will they rotoscope me and my trekkie friends into the background of the bridge etc etc..) the best thing about this is the live-action stuff in 1080p.

Patrick Stewart’s very first performance as J-LP now in high definition!!!
Isn’t anyone excited about that? I am.

57. Rela - January 26, 2012

HD resolution itself is not so interesting to me. Watching TV, very quickly i get used to and stop to notice the difference in resolution.

For me the the most important are special effects. If TNG wants to survive the future, and have new fans. They will have to change more. The new sci-fi series will bury TNG.

Why not just make 2 versions. One faithful to original and one with the changes. The same was done with the TOS-R.

58. tubular_trekkie - January 26, 2012

@57. Rela.

Curiouser and curiouser…

Do you really like TNG generally, as whole? What about the episodes with minimal FX? Something like ‘Sarek’, say, or ‘The Drumhead’?
It’s not all phaser battles and warp core breaches…never has been.

59. New Horizon - January 26, 2012

>57. Rela – January 26, 2012
>Why not just make 2 versions. One faithful to original and one with the >changes. The same was done with the TOS-R.

You don’t seem to have a clear understanding in the differences between these two projects.

TOS-R being given completely new effects was a technical necessity. The exterior ship shots were ‘finished’ compositions. That means the stars, ships, phasers, lighting…etc, were compressed down into a single layer of processed film. If the original negatives had existed, where the ships were a layer, the stars were a layer…etc, the TOS-R team could have scanned those raw images and recomposited them with modern computer compositing software. All that exists of TOS though, are the finished episodes…so all they could do was scan the finished film, clean them up and include them as a seamless branch. It would have been pretty cool to have restored the original effects but pumped them up with modern technology.

TNG-HD is a completely different animal. The show, like TOS, was filmed on actual 35mm film…however the finished edit was on video tape. That means both the live action and the original effects do not exist in a finished form…however, all the individual elements to recreate the effects with modern tech DO exist. This means it’s going to look way better than it looked in the 90′s.

To expect the team to do both is completely unrealistic. The current project is going to take years as it is…the show is essentially in post production again.

60. Rela - January 26, 2012

TNG is not my favorite Star Trek series but I like it. But I know all about TNG.
So that i could watch it again, I need something new.

61. Capt Krunch - January 26, 2012

Are they remastering planets like in the TOS blurays. Some of the earlier seasons planets looked like horrible…not musch better that the originals from un mastered TOS.

62. New Horizon - January 26, 2012

61. Capt Krunch – January 26, 2012

Are they remastering planets like in the TOS blurays. Some of the earlier seasons planets looked like horrible…not musch better that the originals from un mastered TOS.

Yes, there is a remastered planet in a Sins of the Father screenshot. Anything that was computer generated back then…such as all the planets, will have to be recreated. This was covered many times. :)

63. Rela - January 26, 2012

@59

I understand the differences in the remastering of TNG and TOS.
But I can not understand the fact that they will not correct the errors. That they will not replace multiple times reused scenes with new ones.
Multiple times reused class of star ships, ships that illogical and inconsistent acting as vessels of different civilizations. Reused multiple times matte paintings and similar.

A lot has been done due to budget and not because the creators wanted to do that ..

64. DavidJ - January 26, 2012

43. Agreed. Yeah it would be cool to have a greater variety of ship shots like in TOS-R, but considering all the extra work involved this time, we should be MORE than grateful that they’re doing as much as they are.

And even better, they actually ARE improving some of the old effects. The new transporter effect looks lightyears better than the old one, and the old CG planets are being replaced with better versions as well.

65. James T. West - January 26, 2012

I am very excited for this! I haven’t watched some of these episodes for almost 15 years!!! I never liked the standard def DVD transfer, and I’ve been holding out for clearer version, and this BluRay edition will be a dream come true! I am eagerly awaiting having every season on BluRay.
Thank you to everyone involved in what seems to be a highly organized, detailed endeavor!

66. DavidJ - January 26, 2012

57. I can’t speak to the younger generation, but as someone who grew up with TNG (and had to endure the crappy SD versions for 25 years), finally seeing the show in HD is something that will probably never get old.

The special effects sequences were never the main focus of the show anyway. They usually amounted to a few minutes an episode, and did little more than establish which planet the ship was orbiting that week.

67. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - January 26, 2012

Mike and Denise THANK YOU for all your years of hard work and dedication to star trek. It was truly made wonderfull by your extra care and attention to detail that made Star Trek special!

68. New Horizon - January 26, 2012

>63. Rela – January 26, 2012
>I understand the differences in the remastering of TNG and TOS.
>But I can not understand the fact that they will not correct the errors. That >they will not replace multiple times reused scenes with new ones.

In saying this it is clear that you do not fully understand the differences between the two projects.

In TOS-R they had a finished show to work with. They scanned the show, cleaned it up, and the rest of their time was then free to be spent recreating all of the special effects from scratch and fixing ‘errors’.

In TNG-HD they do not have a finished show to work with. The negatives are uncut. They have to sift through thousands of reels of negatives, scan them at HD quality into a computer, edit the episode exactly as it was edited during the original run, re-loop all the dialogue, sounds effects, and music. That’s already triple the work, or more than they had to do on TOS-R. Add to that, there are 7 seasons and on average more effects per episode than TOS-R.

They’ve said that if the original TOS negatives had existed for the special effects, they would have rescanned and recomposited those. With the amazing compositing tools computers give us these days, I’m sure they would have looked stunning…especially since they likely would have composited new stars and planets like they’re doing in many of these TNG episodes.

TNG was the highest rated Trek, it was the #1 syndicated program when it aired….despite the ‘boring’ effects. It’s not broken son….and there should only be CGI fixups when absolutely needed.

69. Rela - January 26, 2012

@68

Like i said. I understand the differences in the remastering of TNG and TOS. :)

But that is no obstacle in any way.
They can replace multiple times reused scenes, ships, planets, matte paintings. And correct errors.
If they decide to do it.

If they expect that people will spend a lot of money buying it, then they also need to invest a lot of money and time into this project.

70. BeatleJWOL - January 26, 2012

@69
“If they expect that people will spend a lot of money buying it, then they also need to invest a lot of money and time into this project.”

Welcome to the entertainment media, my friend. “Here, have this cheaply done 10-year-old HD transfer and pay us handsomely for the privilege.” (Star Trek films on Blu-ray, anyone?)

Thankfully they are going SOMEWHAT further with TNG’s remastering. The issue with making more than minor fixes, though, is always that if you fix that phaser coming from the wrong spot, then you have to fix that other effect so it matches, and then these effects are all wrong, and before you know it, you’ve hired George Lucas to tell you what to change, and many of the TNG fans are trying desperately to avoid that.

This project is for people who want to see the show they’ve known and loved for years, flaws and all, with improved picture quality and a fix of a stupid mistake here and there. (So, basically, all the people that complained about the drastically different new effects from TOS-R. :p)

71. Ensign RedShirt - January 26, 2012

69

They ARE investing a lot of time and money into it. This is probably one of the single biggest post production jobs in the history of the business-it’s going to take them years to finish it. There’s not an endless pile of money to correct the mistakes that occured over 178 episodes.

I’m not a big fan of revisionist filmmaking. TNG is what it is, mistakes and all.

72. Salvador Nogueira - January 26, 2012

Yeah, I also don’t believe there’s people complaining about anything. I don’t know who the complainers want to fool. If you’re in a Star Trek website day in day out and you have a BD player, you WILL buy this, whatever they’re doing.

On top of that, what they are doing is ABSOLUTELY GREAT. The guys asking for new effects make it seems like the original FX for TNG were bad. TOS had terrible FX, even for its time (look at 2001, from 1968). But TNG was on par with the best space shots done for movies/TV in its time. This was after George Lucas broke all kinds of new ground with Star Wars. ILM, a Lucas company, worked on TNG. The original shots and models are wonderful.

OK, there are tons of “Enterprise orbiting planet of the week” that repeat themselves. But, seriously, how many ways do we need to have in conveying the Big E is in orbit? I’m all for preserving as much of the original show as possible, and even when correcting/changing stuff, there should be seamless branching so that we could see the original (in SD, of course).

Let’s face it: some people would have this 16×9, others wanted original aspect ratio, others wanted new FX, most would have the originals recomposited… CBS can’t possibly please all of us with a single product/project.

However, what most of us have in common is that we will appreciate TNG in HiDef. That’s the whole point. And it is absolutely amazing that they are working that hard to give us that. Let’s be happy and live with the choices of the remastering team, as much as we’ve lived with the original choices of the producers 25 years ago…

Cheers,
Salvador

73. Allen Williams - January 26, 2012

For the record he only confirmed that they had a CG model, not that they already used it. What I’m saying is that they probably used it in that shot and he wasn’t allowed to reveal that.

As for the “no reason to make it widescreen”. I would take dead space (areas with nothing going on) over black bars. However I’ll take black bars over cropping. While adding in the dead space may not really bring anything into the episodes, it is less distracting.

74. Greg2600 - January 26, 2012

Honestly, give the advance in technology and budget by the late 80′s, there really shouldn’t be that many “mistakes” or reused shots that would need to be replaced.

75. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - January 26, 2012

@73 – Nope, he said it was a matte painting. There is no reason for him to lie. At the start of “Sins of the Father” the ships are stationary, so 2-D matte painting is sufficient to execute the shot.

76. danielcraigsmywookiebitchnow - January 26, 2012

72 had they adjusted the aspect ratio, i would not have bought it.
I knew from the start when average joes who only care about filling their tv screens aspect ratio were clammering for 16×9, that at the end of the day they decision would be made to preserve the original aspect ratio.

But had something happend that prevented that i would have canceled my pre order. I dont buy movies or tv shows that alter aspect ratios.
And there are a lot of film buffs like me that no matter how big of a fan we are of a movie, if the aspect ratio is altered we wont buy it, even if the price is super cheap as well.

As some one who not only works in the industry but also loves film and TV I just cant support releases that alter original composition and intent.

77. Salvador Nogueira - January 27, 2012

Aspect ration on TV is tricky. For instance, take Babylon 5. It was framed so that it could look good in 16×9, but also in a way in which all of the important content would fit a 4×3 rectangle inside the 16×9 frame. So, what is the correct aspect ratio for this one? The original intent was that the stuff looked good no matter what, so I’d guess nowadays the preferable release should be 16×9, based on the most common screen format today.

TNG, on the other hand, was made in a time nobody thought about 16×9 for TV. So all compositions and shots are inevitably connected to the original 4×3 frame. Recompositing for 16×9 would, to put it honestly, look like shit. So, there’s no real choice here, folks. It had to be 4×3.

One proof that remastering the show in 16×9 would look like shit is the fact that, when they needed to pull up a few shots from TNG to include in Enterprise’s finale, to reframe it, they got some more picture in one of the sides of the frame (i.e., more than what appeared in 4×3), but had to stretch it a little bit nevertheless, so that it could fill the whole screen. And that for a simple Ten-Forward shot with no complicated compositing involved.

Many shots from TNG would look terrible in 16×9. And that’s why it is not going to happen. Probably Paramount will create 16×9 masters for TV broadcast (they did it for TOS, and it had a small amount of stretching as well), but there are some shots that will look really bad.

Nevertheless, in spite of all that, if they had done it in 16×9, in spite of not being my favourite choice, I’d buy it anyway. C’mon, guys, TNG in HiDef. It is better than pizza! :-)

78. BeatleJWOL - January 27, 2012

@72.
“there should be seamless branching so that we could see the original (in SD, of course)”

Allow me to repeat myself. YOU DO NOT WANT SD CONTENT ON BLU-RAY WHEN HD CONTENT IS AVAILABLE. You may think you do, but you do not.

Special features and documentaries are one thing.

“Seamless branching” between awesome and crap is bad.

79. TREKWEBMASTER - January 27, 2012

Dear Mike and Denise:

You two are simply AWESOME! I’ve never seen two people before, outside of perhaps Gene Roddenberry and crew, who strive tirelessly to keep Star Trek pure and true to what it is intended to be. GREAT JOB, and may the “Great Bird of the Galaxy, bless your home-planet!”

WONDERFUL WORK and you have my esteemed admiration and loyalty!

Sincerely,

TREK

80. Joseph Chapes - January 27, 2012

@78
I could live without the seamless branching, but I think there is merit in having the original version of the episode as a special feature. Yes, the original versions will look poor in comparison, but there will be differences between the original SD version and the new HD edits. The Star Trek completist in me believes there is value in having the original available.

Some could argue, “Well, that’s why the DVDs are available.” But why would you want two sets of discs around if you can have only one?

Joseph

81. Corinthian7 - January 27, 2012

#80 from what has been said about the project there would be little point in having the original versions on the set as the only significant differences would be in resolution. Personally I preferred the approach taken with the TOS remastering. It was very respectful to the source material and when they did make changes the show benefited by effectively removing the original productions understandable constraints of continually recycling the same matte paintings and ship models for every other alien/planet of the week. I know that lazy and cheap are unfair words to label at this project as its clear a lot of painstaking work has been put into it and the higher res shots look nice, nevertheless I am feeling a little underwhelmed at the moment. That being said, I have preordered the sample disc and I hope to be proved wrong.

82. Tom Schoon - January 28, 2012

I was always dubious about old material being ‘upgraded’ to Blu-Ray. Then I purchased a few Chaplin films ranging from the 1920s to 1950s and they look stunning on Blu-Ray.
This changed my mind completely about remastering projects such as this.

If care and attention is being taken, as is being done with the TNG project, the results are sure to be spectacular and well worth the purchase.
I am still toying with whether or not to purchase this sampler – ‘Encounter’ is putting me off as I never liked it as an episode – but at the same time just want to see it all in HD, especially the effects shots!!

On a side note I happened to catch an old favourite ‘Chain of Command’ on TV yesterday and the first thing that hit me was how low quality everything was; sound and picture. Hence my visit to TM today.

But I am very pleased that a show of this quality is being remastered as it seriously deserves it.

TS
P.S. I have been a fan of this site for some time; so a big thanks to the people who run this for putting all of this info in one place! Keep it up! :)

83. Chris - January 28, 2012

@49. Ryan Spooner – January 26, 2012
I’m glad the phaser out of the captains yacht was corrected. But I’d very much like to seem them correct a few other things too:
* More phasers coming from the wrong place, like in Best of Both Worlds when Picard says Fire all weapons while they’re stuck in a tractor beam.

Actually those shots were entirely correct – one of the very few times that a TNG episode made use of the phaser arrays scattered about the stardrive section. Picard did say to fire “all” weapons – it was about time that the tactical officer did what he was told (even then there were still a few more phaser arrays on the stardrive section that could have been made use of for the direction they were firing in for the incident you mention).

84. Rick - January 28, 2012

If sales of this are good, I’m sure they will do the same with DS9. I certainly hope so cause DS9 is the best IMHO! And SD just doesn’t cut it with todys big TV’s.

85. danielcraigsmywookiebitchnow - January 28, 2012

Just picked up my copy at the west hollywood best buy, they have 3 more on shelf 16.99 price tag, I used the best buy upgrade and save promo coupon(that expires today) for a total of 11.99 plus tax came out to about 13 bucks
So check around best buys are allready putting them out early in some stores.

86. Trekboi - January 30, 2012

#68 New Horizon I think you missed the point #63 was making, the fact they do have to re do all the elements of every shot means they can easily correct things- why re-composit a mistake? Why draw in a phaser beam in the wrong place etc etc
Yes its a lot more work than TOS R but this is the only time it can be done as the shows are being re-constructed from the raw elements not scanned through in finished form & this situation will never happen again.

#72 Salvador Nogueira they can please everyone, they can branch original vs redone/CGI & they can crop each shot for the best framing possible for 16:9 & give us the option of watching in 4:3 or 16:9 like many movies do!

87. sTTuey - February 14, 2012

I am a TNG fan and, as mentioned in the interview, I know TNG very very well. So well that I don’t really want more of the same. I am a fan and I WANT it to be different. Give me something new, please!!

IF they had done what was within their power and make tweaks, improvements, enhancements, corrections, remastered it in widescreen, etc etc, I would almost certainly be purchasing the series again.

However as their goal was to make it as close to the original as possible then, although visually it will be stunning, sadly there is nothing new for me so I will pass on it.

Big cry.

TrekMovie.com is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.