‘What We Left Behind’ Update – Remastering Clips Of ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’ Nearing Completion

The team from the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine documentary What We Left Behind shared a status update this afternoon which included a video update from producer Ira Steven Behr.

As we previously reported, the actual interviews, editing, sound mix, and most of the other elements have been completed. The documentary had early backer premiere events late last year, but the clips from DS9 seen at those events were a mix of newly scanned high definition and older standard definition footage.

Thanks to an outpouring of support from fans, the documentary team set about upgrading all clips from the show. In today’s video, Ira gives fans an update on the remastering progress.

Remastering episode footage

The documentary has over 20 minutes of footage from DS9 spanning all seven seasons, which involves scanning 400 reels of 35mm film. The original film reels have to be located, brought out of storage, scanned, and then color corrected and generally cleaned up of any blemishes. It’s not a trivial task. Today’s official DS9 Doc update notes:

We’re nearly through the heavy research-and-scanning stage of our remaster, and with just a few (hundred) more film rolls ahead of us, we’re hard at work replacing the 20+ minutes of new HD sequences — spanning ALL SEVEN seasons of the original run of Deep Space Nine!

What about a release date?

The team knows we’re all clamoring for a final version. But they’re not quite ready to give a date yet. Again from the update:

The restoration process alone is a HUGE undertaking — after all your support in funding this expensive endeavor, it has taken months of work from the CBS Digital team to coordinate, research, find, ship, scan and deliver the original film negatives for us, and more time from our team to clean up, color, and polish the resulting images (and even re-create a handful of effects!).
While we’re still waiting on final elements to arrive and distribution details to lock firmly into place, we don’t want to promise any deadlines we can’t meet with the film not yet entirely complete.

More coming soon

The end of their update teases something big coming later in March.

We’ve got BIG news in the works and expect you’ll be hearing much more from us later this month.

You can show your support and pre-order the final release at www.ds9documentary.com

Keep up with all the updates and news on the DS9 documentary in our What We Left Behind category here at TrekMovie.com

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Big news? DS9 in HD?

There will be a day coming where you will see DS9 in HD.

I’ll buy now if I could!

Remastering DS9 in HD as a streaming exclusive for CBS All Access, perhaps?

Gosh I hope so!!

This film is so late. You guys missed the anniversary! I’ll never help pay for something like this again. It’s been a very disappointing experience for me.

I’ll bet good money you’ll change your mind when you see the final product….

I’m all the more happy to wait for this. I know the longer they work the more polished the end product will be.

See my response to Thomas W. further down. Same applies here.

You are obviously new to this sort of thing. When Starship Exeter put its first few minutes on the ‘net, I eagerly ponied up a donation. That was in 2004. The final finished product wasn’t released until 2014. One of the release channels, YouTube, didn’t even exist in 2004.

It was also, by the way, TOTALLY worth the wait. The brothers behind Exeter never compromised their vision rushing out an inferior film, and the results speak for themselves—to this day it’s still one of the best semi-pro Star Trek productions.

I’m also a donor to the documentary, and I would rather wait and get something that will stand the test of time. Plus, I really, REALLY want to see what DS9 would have looked like in high definition. Be patient. It will get here when it’s ready, and it will be magnificent.

True, it’s a bit late, but 2019 marks exactly 20 years since “What You Leave Behind” aired, so it’s kind of fitting to release “What We Left Behind” this year. I’m sure the end result will have been worth the wait.

Is it more important to be done on time or be done correctly?

Seems as if you didn’t understand the risks of crowdfunding projects.

dude… pay some respect to hard working people. They still do it for you!

How much did you donate, somehow I am guessing your at the lower end of the donation amount . And stomping your feet and saying I won’t play again in the future, because your not happy with the amount of time to takes to make a quality product says a lot. It’s not like they are dragging their feet, they provide regular updates, they even managed a rough cut screening for the people who donated the amount required for the screening before the end of last year.

Behr is starting to turn this project into his own version of Avatar lol. I’m sure it will be worth it though but we are still talking just HD clips. Its not something people are going to pop in years from now just to watch a five minute scene but its nice to see how passionate he is about it. I imagine this is why DS9 came out so well.

I have no idea what they are doing. Only 20 Minutes of material to scan and correct and they are working on it for years.

Yes. You have no idea ;)
It’s not like yo sit down at your pc and scan a paper. If they have to paint out blemishes, that’s a time-intense process for sure. if they are to recreate certain special effects from scratch even more so.
I myself am working on a scifi short which is “only” 30 minutes long since 2015. It all comes down to resources and manpower.

Agree 100% with you there, German Trekkie. Good luck with your project :)

Thanks sir or mam :)
(…in addition, they have to literally beg for the money to continue the work)

You don’t have an idea. If you did you’d fully understand why this project is taking so long. It’s a labor of love and I and many other fans are more than happy to wait. For as long as it takes. It’s a big world out there, not everything revolves around ‘me’ and ‘I.’

It’s sort of like car racing. How fast you want to get to the finish depends on how much money you have to spend.

I worked on some of the TNG HD project years ago, and let me tell you, it’s not a quick and easy process. It takes a lot of effort by many hands to scan the and correct the footage, make sure you have the right takes, and then do what we call “dust busting.” That’s the process of going through frame by frame on each scene and painting out dust and hairs, whatever else that ends up in the footage. Sometimes, that’s a pretty easy process, other times, not so much. A lot of them show up as big white dots on the frame.

It sells much better to Netflix or Amazon with the HD clips than it would in SD. While it’s funded by the fans, I 100% guarantee that one of the reasons Behr & Co. started this process is that they think a DS9 documentary will sell well. (And I’m sure it will.) Altruism is wonderful stuff, but it doesn’t pay the bills.

sure because Behr & Co are such poor people with no money.

I have seen this movie last year in Birmingham. Some of the clips were in HD and some in SD. Believe me it’s worth the wait when all the clips will be in HD. The HD stuff they showed was the battles from season 6 and it was amazing.

I’m rewatching DS9 once a year on Netflix. I bet they would add a pretty penny to the remastering to HD. I would even accept a monthly fee to make it possible.

DS9 in HD would be a heck of a carrot for All Access to exclusively dangle. Bizarre they don’t have all of TNG in HD. Surely they’ve also at least pondered the idea of seeing if Netflix would subsidize the cost in exchange for an exclusive window with HD DS9 and Voyager.

Yeah, that would be awesome, plus a no-brainer.

I would have thought they would have scanned and restored the film in 4K in this day and age. Even if their release is for HD Blu-ray, it seems like minimal extra effort to clean a 4K scan and then they’d have it for a future release.

Has CBS Digital not upgraded their space to handle 4K as the default?

Future 4K for the people making the documentary, not for CBS Digital exclusively.

You might be right that it doesn’t work that way, but it is just being short sighted on their part.

If someone comes to CBS Digital and asks for a 4K clip of DS9 to use as a promo somewhere, CBS would have to go through the entire process again instead of just pulling the digital copy.

I mean heck if I, as a freelance videographer, can afford to archive every project I’ve ever done to digital, surely CBS could afford the space to store all their assets to digital when the chance arises.

Of course I also think they should be finishing Star Trek Discovery in 4K too and they don’t appear to be.

Matt – maybe you’re the one who can finally answer.

Are 2k and 1080(x1920)p technically synonymous? Or just vaguely so? Shouldn’t we be missing about 80 (horizontal) pixels difference?

The Star Wars prequels I know were *actually* shot in 1080p. And “supposedly” they looked like “crap” on the big screen (and Clones did in fact appear soft and pixelated)… compared to (I would hope?) other movies out there that have a final post-production resolution of “2k.”

On the other hand, it’s hard to imagine 80 (times whatever) pixels would make that much difference.

“What Lucas shot Episode II and III on would today be thought of as an inexpensive camera a local news van might carry. Another reason why the prequels can look soft is that often they were rendering the VFX at anywhere from what could be described as 1K (which is not a standard) on up to the native 1080p of the HD camera footage.”

That is actually quite laughable. Thanks Matt for the lowdown.

I wouldn’t say it was laughable, especially for a movie that was shot in 2000 with the technology available at the time. It was state of the art at the time and an experiment on Lucas’ part since he was always about embracing the latest technology and pushing it to the limit. He took the first step, put his own money behind it and everyone else would eventually follow. I think often lost in the equation is just how groundbreaking much of the technology in that film was.

And Episode III was a significant leap over Episode II as they adjusted to working digitally. Episode II was a first step, Episode III started to get the hang of things and before long the transition to digital was in full force.

Production on Episode II wrapped in September of 2000 so we’re looking at a film that was shot in HD nearly 20 years ago .

I just don’t ever see this or any other series come to Blu-ray. TOS series sold well but Next Gen didn’t do so well and you can pick up TOS and Next Gen for a song and a pray now. Physical media is at a in pass.The mistake people make with any physical media is waiting until it goes on sale instead of buying it at release time. If you don’t buy it at release time it sends a message to the studios that were not interested in discs anymore and they will stop making DVD, Blu-ray and 4K blu-ray.That would include gaming discs.Streaming has picked up in the last few years. I don’t like it for a few reasons but never the less streaming is easy.Download and go or go to Netflix and your there. We become so lazy as a society we can’t even get up put a disc in the player and enjoy. Oppo and Samsung are now out of the blu-ray player business, no more players. I doubt when 8K TV’S comes to the stores there will be no disc players ,no disc content. A few years away but it’s coming. I love 4K however I think I got duped and this was the plan. 8K wasn’t ready so let’s give them 4K until 8K is ready . DS9 will never be on a blu-ray disc, maybe they will stream it. But no matter what they do the cost of getting the series for HD is to much money to produce. Last, the truth is Star Trek doesn’t sell well, never has except in the DVD days.

You know, I wonder if CBS might consider doing an HD DS9 for All Access/Netflix only? And release it in an episodic format( or half a season every 3-4 months) then release it physically. They did the episodic thing with the HD TOS on CBS back when it was first done. Second time’s the charm?

Deep Space Nine is the worst Star Trek show.

Not by a long shot and far too many episodes to counter that argument.

I’ve not bought any of the Trek shows but if DS9 got a HD remaster I would definitely pick it up.

Let’s hope the “big news” is Avery Brooks joining the film.