TOS-R Producer Explains Remastered Production Process

CBS Digital Executive Producer Toni Pace has a new article at DigitalMediaNet where she gives some behind the scenes insights into the Star Trek Remastered project. She says that so far been over 1,800 shots to do and that  the project "cannot be done without advanced technology that can track and manage the information on each shot.": To that end she has created a special database to track each shot. Pace goes into detail on how this database is used. For those interested in this kind of thing check it out Digital Media Net, but bear in mind it is written for post production professionals.

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#1 !

Although I am not a post production professional, I look forward to reading it.

Enhanced “Wild, Wild West?” That’s the first I’ve heard about that.

I’m not sure what they could or should do to the Wild Wild West. The type of effect they used didn’t involve anything that would seem to cry out for replacement. Perhaps they are just refering to restoration and a HD transfer.

As to the article itself – not much news there and the 2 pictures shown where old model shots. The author also made some references to things that were just wrong like the viewscreen on the bridge being a window. I would have liked to had a more indepth technical article with more stills or a mpg or 2 but it was actually pretty thin. Seems thefolks that hang out here regularly are more informed than the article author is which for Trek fans is not really all that surprising :-)

Re: Wild Wild West-

Can they go into the movie and remove the Spider?
(The producer of that movie loved spiders, and wanted ’em ever since he tried to do Superman with Kevin Smith in the ’90s)

Funny thing about Wild west (the show) I was just looking at an old ep, and thinking about Robert Conrad and Ross Martin and wondering about them in the Roles of Kirk/McCoy. Also then got to thinking If Lloyd Bridges had been cast as Kirk.

Wrong thread for this, sorry.

In my mind, I think the CBS-D’s effort is rather hap-hazard.

The things that they should change, they don’t and vice versa. Some changes are great though- I just wish there were more consistency.

Another friend of mine questioned the whole effort- “Isn’t Star Trek already on everywhere?” Clearly he’d missed that they are re mastering it with new F/X , cause, at least here in Philly, no one is pitching it as remastered. Just “Star trek” (which everyone has already seen a million times)

Unfortunately, it’s not a very informative article. I still have yet to read which 3D package CBS-D is using to model and render the shots, though I assume it’s Maya or Lightwave.

The two photos are of the original (and much-derided, on these boards) model that was replaced shortly after the episodes started coming out of CBS-D’s pipeline. I think it actually doesn’t look all that different from its replacement, with the big exception of the nacelle caps–the main advantage is that the new mesh renders much faster, so they can experiment with the lighting more to make the shots look better.

Much to say about nothing. There are so many ways to improve the pipeline companies are using. CBS-D is one of them.

“the Wild Wild West” movie is another example of how a remake, reimagining” ruins it.

Let’s add that to the list…

1) Honeymooner
2) Planet of the Apes
3) Car 54
4) War of the Worlds
5) Lost in Space
6) The Wild Wild West

#7 –

Agreed on that list with the major exception of “War of the Worlds.”

I love both the classic film and the new one.

I can love the modern “War of the Worlds” for what it is. But the rest were CRAP.

AGREED. New War of the worlds was awesome.

Michael Hall wrote:

> Unfortunately, it’s not a very informative article. I still have yet to read
> which 3D package CBS-D is using to model and render the shots,
> though I assume it’s Maya or Lightwave.

> The two photos are of the original (and much-derided, on these
> boards) model that was replaced shortly after the episodes started
> coming out of CBS-D’s pipeline.

I’ve known about this article for a few months already. It’s an older article, probably written at the beginning of remastering TOS (thus, that is why there are shots of the older digital Enterprise).

I must be the only person in this universe that thought the Lost in Space movie was way better then the show.

Perhaps they could CGI the guy in the carrot suit. I really only like Lost in Space’s 1st year. I thought it went down hill fast after that.

War of the Worlds – loved the original, could barely site through the remake.

I hope we don’ have to add Star Trek 11 to the list. :(

Not very interesting article. Reads more like a plug for File Maker Pro.

“Lost in Space” is not that bad a movie…if it had merely been a 1990s scifi movie, but as a reimagining is slaps the original fans in the face. “Lost in Space” differs from Star Trek in one way…Star Trek as a francise is become a living and evolving one; while “Lost in Space” languished in run obscurity with nothing new coming out. There was not “grand Canon” in it…so a remake was a bit more pleasing. A total reimagining of Star Trek as if the 1970s-present didn’t exist has the danger to shatter the franchise…A poor remake of “Lost in Space,” which should have been followed up by a series, had nothing to loose and everything to gain (especially if it has been the catalyst for a Series). Trek, on the other hand, has everything to loose if it’s fan base is insulted, split or if the movie is disappointing (ST:V or Nemesis) For “Lost in Space” to parallel Trek we would have to have seen the following timeline… —————————————————————- The Following is FALSE history most likely brought on by repeated RUM and COKES. 1968- Lost in Space cancelled after a true ratings sucess 1970- 20th Century Fox is looking for a “hot property” to answer 2001: A Space Odyssey throws around plans for a “Lost in Space Movie.” It is later changed to a new Television series featuring the original cast now entitled “The Frontiers of Space.” 1972- A year went by with no news, but most of the Original cast has been signed. A script was written where Guy Williams, now the Governor of Alpha Centuri (obviously they made it there) is talking to Earth and a major undertaking in a much more impressive colonization project. Colonel West has married Judy and will lead the expedition with his Brother-in-law, Lt William Robinson who has adapted the robots basic memory circuits as the ships computer…it had been damaged in the mission to Alpha Centuri. Dr. Smith had been imprisoned and released based on a techincality. The idea is a fleet of colony ships would be lead by Colonel West and Lt Robinson with Smith and his band of rouges chasing them. The New Title is “Colonists in Space” as they encounter planets and deal with Smith. 1973- Production of “Colonists” begins and a pilto episode is filmed. It is not pick up by CBS. 1977- Star Wars in Released. Rumors of a “revived Star Trek Series/ or movies makes Fox think about “Colonists.” They enlist veteran Director Orson Wells and up in coming Film Maker Steven Speilberg to work on bringing “Lost in Space” to the Big Screen. It will again be called “Lost in Space” but will later be called “Lost in Space: The Movie” 1979- “Lost in Space: The Colony” is released featuring Mark Goddard Marta Kristen and Bill Mummy as the leads, Jonathan Harris as a comic relief henchman of a truely evil villain played by Walter Pidgeon. Guy Williams and June Lockart have lesser roles. Dr Smith dies saving Will. It’s not camp and, aside from some disco era touches, it is a big hit. 1983- a new TV series named “The Colony”, with a greatly changed format from the original, goes into production taking up where the film left off. It is a hit and goes three seasons before rating start to drop. 1986- “The Colony” ends its run, but a second film. “Lost in Space:Beyond the Colony” begins production. It stars Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen and Bill Mummy, but features Guy Williams. It is a very serious film that sets a new high for the era in Science Fiction. General West dies saving his Wife and teen age child from a demented scientist. Major Will Robinson and his android friend revisit the past to get information from Dr Smith. Guy Williams character takes command to the ship and is mortally wounded by the Armies of Insects that threaten the Colony. 1989- Guy Williams Dies of a brain aneurysm; rumors of another “The Colony” moive are planned, but the lost of Williams pts the Kabosh on that. Interim- Huge conventions of “Lost in Space” and “The Colony” take place, its a major franchise. 2006- 20th Century Fox announces exploration of a new reimagined FILM and they will be REMASTERING the original “Lost in Space” with new graphics, cleaned up materials. Plus, certain episodes that are deemed “too campy” to mitigate will be dropped from “The Doctrine” and will not be remastered. There is outrage and “” reports the outrage and incredulous defense of it all. 2007- It is announced that the reimagined movie will be a “reboot” of “The Colony” where “Lost in Space” will be retold. Cast The regular characters of the series were the Robinson family, their pilot, their robot and… Read more »

Written for Post Production professionals? Eh, not really. FileMaker Pro? That’s pretty lo-fi for a database… I would have thought something like an advanced client-server database like Oracle. What does ILM use, I wonder. I’ll bet you it’s not FileMaker Pro….

FileMaker Pro . . . yuck! FileMaker Poo more like!!!

As a post-production professional, I didn’t need any of my knowledge to understand the article, so it’s an easy read for everyone.

Hopefully there’ll be an in-depth doco on the restoration of the show on the DVD/HDDVD/Bluray releases, when any of them happen!

As for Wild Wild West, I’m not sure it ever got an airing in the UK, so hopefully a restoration will get it shown over here and issued on shiny discs!

14. Sean4000 – July 22, 2007

I hope we don’ have to add Star Trek 11 to the list.

I’ve got it penciled in. ;)

#16 That was one of the most entertaining posts I’ve read in a while. Very nice. Not bad for “too many rum and cokes” :-)

Lost in Space movie yuck, the cast was abominable and the story was almost as bad. If you want to ruin a scifi movie, cast William Hurt (and Matt Le Blanc for that matter). The series was all Jonathan Harris if you ask me. Also, don’t forget the WB network wasted $2 million dollars on a pilot for a new series in 2003 from John Woo (why?). Then dug a further grave (no pun intended) by canceling Angel in 2004 in favor of Lost and Space and Dark Shadows, but neither ever made the airwaves.

Slightly a interesting article. Thank you for sharing this one. I was a film major in college and had been interested in post production as well as pre Production work….. and to the professionals here thanks for the insight. I had no idea File Pro was that bad. Says very little but still eh OK.

Wild Wild West might be cool. The reruns look so damaged over time. I hate to see the show deteoriate . Some re-imaginings work most don’t. it depends really but yeah they seem to forgot about the fans of those shows quickly. And they appeal to the lowest common denominator who take anything.

Lost in Space the Movie was decent eye candy if a tad muddy plot-wise and poorly cast (does anyone seriously want to see Matt LeBlanc in anything other than Friends reruns ever again?) but there’s something germain to the discussions in these threads:
Gary Oldman did a dead-on Jonathan Harris impression throughout.
It was horrible.
I PRAY whoever they cast as Kirk does NOT do a Shatner! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE! It will send people (or me anyway) running for the exits.

Ross Martin would have been a very good Dr. McCoy, Very Good.

‘The Outer Limits’, that is one show where new CGI would really that show.
A Classic for sure.

Regarding Kirk comparisons, it seems odd that Conrad’s character was James T. West, and was certainly a two-fisted, drop-kickin’, confident ladies man. I always found the characters, and even the actors to be oddly similar in nature.

25. Kirk’s Girdle – July 22, 2007

I agree, Shatner and Conrad could have played both characters. Also, It is a shame that we never saw any other Starship Captains we “got to know” in TOS. Conrad would have made a good one.

Sorry, I ment to say that new CGI would really HELP ‘The Outer Limits’.

A classic show that would only get better with a greater scope for its FX and sets.

27. Hacom – July 22, 2007

Star Trek Remastered was limited by Trek “Canon” and its mission was obfuscated by the debate of “just how much should we remaster.” Some wanted only space shots other was much as possible…still others, as little as possible.

There has been a slight “paradigm shift” in the comments here. At first, people clamoured about “ruining TOS” and didn’t want the live action shots toyed with. The “Amok Time,” came out…now there is a strong group here that wants more matte shots done in a radical manner. Once Charlie X’s TAS style ship came out…lots of people are wanting CBS-PARAMOUNT to even go back and TOTALLY remaster other episodes “like Balance of Terror.” Then there are the phasor shots? Oy!

Now, “The Out Limits,” “One Step Beyond” and “Twilight Zone” (and other anthology series) coudl be remastered with out all that. And I mean total remastering. Since the show is in Black-n-White, it is a bit easier.

I should like to see them redo sets…I get tired of seeing so much “Robby the Robot” era sets used and reused in those old shows.

I’m surprised no one has mentioned the possibility of a remastering of TWWW involving colorizing the first season. (Colorizing=yuck)

Other than cleaning up the prints, there’s very little else that they could do to that show, it seems to me. Most of the special effects were practical effects (models, explosions, etc.), not visual effects (spaceships). And any VFX that overlay the sets and actors — as we’ve seen with Trek — are hard to alter.

Scott B. (huge WWW fan) out.

29. Scott – July 22, 2007

Maybe they will “reimagine” the shots and have an Amtrak Diesel Locomotive pulling the train!

Something just struck me…

Star Trek is “Wagon Train to the Stars,” The Wild Wild West is “Star Trek to the Wagon Train!”

I have no problem with colorization or remastering of movies and television programs, as long as the original versions (unmolested and unaltered) are always available too.

I’ve noticed that a few black and white tv shows from the sixties are being offered in both original and colorized versions. I think that’s the proper way to market these shows, and it pleases a much larger audience.

As much as I like the TOS remastering project so far, I would be TOTALLY AGAINST IT if Paramount/CBS was planning on discontinuing the production of the original TOS DVD season box sets, in favor of these remastered versions. Let’s hope that never happens.

Long live Star Trek TOS in it’s original (non-remastered) form!

Mike :o

HD-DVD and Blu Ray discs have plenty of storage capacity. Both disc types could utilize flipside discs: On one side the original episode, the other side containing the remastered episode.

That’s my assumption. CBS would be VERY smart to release the episodes on both HD-DVD and Blu Ray formats like this.

32. MichaelJohn – I agree wholeheartedly with your final sentence.

I’m still trying to figure out why the redone TOS-R effects don’t quite come up to par with the same level that Ent effects were? Ent had some pretty spectacular effects going on.

Would still like another interview with the team from you sometime Anthony, if possible, where you invite some of your questions from the good folks here… ;)


The answer is CBS-D wanted to do things cheaply so they set up an in house operation. Their model maker should be burned at the stake for making that abortion of an Enterprise near the beginning. If it was not for the repeated protest by the fans we would be seeing that model throughout the series.

Star Trek: Enterprise’s FX were created by a company called Eden FX. Their people and abilities FAR SURPASS CBS-D. CBS should have consulted them at least before undertaking the work themselves to hammer out technical problems that Eden is more capable of handling.

So far I have only been marginally impressed with this effort to date. The DDM is my favorite.

Before Matt Wright gets in an uproar, I understand that money is an issue. Blah Blah Blah. KMH!

The least CBS-D could have done was hire more capable people and give them better equipment. From what I’ve seen the tools these people are using are straight off the Dull (Dell) production line and running Windows XP…….a “NO NO” in VFX land!

On my desktop I have solid state drives and Linux software that easily surpasses these sad little Macs and Dulls.

Stanky I really want to talk to you. Please find a way to contact me.

One little note is that I lost a lot of faith in this when they stated that it took twenty-five minutes to render the original crappy model. THAT right there told me someone did not know what the hell they were doing. I suppose they fixed it with the new E but the drone in charge of getting the thing to fly straight needs to be remastered himself.

This job should have been Eden’s from the start. “In A Mirror Darkly” Anyone?

I have no idea where the KMH came from.

Yeah, “In A Mirror Darkly” was definitely very impressive, to say the least. I agree that it does seem a shame that more resources weren’t spared for this project. Bless CBS-D’s hearts for giving an excellent effort, but in a lot of ways it does seem as though they are reinventing the wheel here, with a mixed-bag bunch of results.

Thanks for the info about Eden FX, very interesting to know.