Wilson Cruz Asks For Patience As ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 3 Post-Production Continues Remotely

While fans wait for news on the premiere of the third season of Star Trek: Discovery, members of the cast and crew give an update on post-production and ask for some patience.

The team is working hard on Discovery post-production

At the end of March, CBS released a teaser for the third season of Star Trek: Discovery which promised it is “coming soon,” but still offered no date. Production wrapped up in February before the coronavirus shutdown, but post-production has continued remotely. Yesterday, in response to a fan question about a release announcement, Discovery actor Wilson Cruz (Dr. Culber) asked for patience and assured that people were working hard on post-production and the release date would come as soon as possible.

Discovery editor Scott Gamzon picked up on Cruz’s post to add that working remotely takes longer and has additional challenges.

Could composer apply “jigsaw” recording method Discovery?

One of the big challenges for post-production under lockdown is music. The episode scores for past seasons of Star Trek: Discovery have been recorded with a large live orchestra in Los Angeles. In early April, composer Jeff Russo told TrekMovie he was working on composing the first half of season three from home, but the lockdown prevented him from recording with an orchestra.

However, in mid-April Variety reported how composers have started to change the way they record scores during the lockdown by recording each musician individually. This is much more complicated and time-consuming, but the process has allowed a number of shows to complete their work, including Empire and American Dad. The composer for American Dad explained that this technique may not be scalable for shows that use larger orchestras, saying, “I don’t think we could do this with The Orville, It’s just too symphonic and the music is much more complex.”

The Variety article reports that Russo is also using this “jigsaw” technique for his work on Umbrella Academy, which traditionally uses an orchestra about half the size of what he uses for Discovery. The Variety report explains the challenge:

[Russo] had 38 players on Netflix’s “Umbrella Academy,” but experimented using between four and 16 players on different cues, “all recording the individual parts on their own, at their home studios, then sending it back to me. We edit it, compile it and mix it as though it’s the orchestra. It worked really well. But I think it’s going to work even better when I expand the number of players. The only problem is, the more expanding I do, the more complicated it becomes on the back end. Something that would normally take us three or four days to do, will now take a week and a half to finish.”

Recording sessions like this one for Discovery season one with Jeff Russo in 2018 cannot be done during the lockdown

One thing is for sure, ViacomCBS is keen to get Discovery season three onto CBS All Access soon.

Watch the trailer again

While you wait, here again is the NYCC trailer released last October.

The second season of The Twilight Zone was also slated for 2020, but it appears that the show has yet to go into production.

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Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 3 could come any day now. Patience is a virtue in times like this. Post production usually takes a long time.

The entertainment industry is struggling to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic. Film and TV production has completely shut down. Movie theaters are closed. Hollywood is at the brink of collapse. ViacomCBS is aware of what’s going on.

Wilson Cruz is spot on.

You mean a surprise release as opposed to a 3-month release date heads-up?

Hodged Torpedo you should ask the producers that question. I was making a suggestion.

This pandemic has really screwed things up.

I know it is typical do this but I have been trained at this point to have doubts when show producers say an extra long wait “will be worth it”. With recent stuff I have seen it really isn’t.

I know how you feel.

Often times, TV or movies are delayed due to reshoots or changing the script in post-production. It can be debatable whether these changes are improvements or not.
However, in the case of Discovery, not waiting would mean they would have to release a show that’s missing VFX and music and that hasn’t even been edited yet. So in this case waiting will be worth it. Of course, that doesn’t mean the show will be perfect once it’s released.

Digimon, I think you are missing the true point of my comment. I am aware of the current issues slowing or stopping production. It is well known that the show could not be released as is and why that is. I was making a general comment towards a line often used in publicity in recent years towards projects.

Well, this time it actually isn’t simply just a publicity line. That’s what I’m saying.

No, it is a publicity line. And the cause of the delay that causes such lines doesn’t matter. The fact that a project is delayed or taking longer than expected often produces said comment. Which leads back to my original comment.

Absolutely right, there.

As far as I’m concerned, they can skip making that second season of The Twilight Zone. The first was horrendous.

You weren’t kidding. I watched the other 6 TZ’s when I re-upped CBSAA for Picard. Ugh… What a hot mess. The only way that show should return is with an entirely new behind the scenes staff. ENTIRELY.

I liked two of the episodes, and parts of some of the rest; but overall, it was pretty poor, I thought. I keep hoping All Access is going to do something I’ll enjoy, and it keeps not happening.

The Twilight Zone was okay but not good like the original.

Black Mirror is better in my opinion.

Black Mirror is so much better that this newest version of Twilight Zone does not belong in the same sentence with it.

Black Mirror is excellent.

I have never watched Black Mirror. It sounds like you folks are endorsing it. I’ve considered giving it a shot but I didn’t know very much about it to begin with.

It’s not unlike the Twilight Zone, but properly updated for the times. Standalone episodes. It’s pretty downbeat, mostly terrifying, with a lot of thought-provoking things to say about our culture’s interaction with and dependence on technology. It has a few duds, but it’s generally of a very high standard. I’d say check it out. You’ll know within the first few if it’s going to work for you or not.

I may end up giving it a shot. There is not much I’m watching on TV these days and I do have the time.

@ML31: Without giving away any spoilers: I remember quite a lot of comments by Americans who were offended by the first episode of Black Mirror (not for any political reason). Once you see it you’ll know what I mean. Just know that each episode tells a different story so if you’re offended by what they do in the first episode at least check out another one.

I am not easily offended. My fuse for such things is a lot longer than most. But even I have lines. However, I usually give shows at least 4 episodes.

Dear Jeff Russo,
I think viewers could be happy with a chamber orchestra as opposed to a symphony orchestra if it saves a few weeks of waiting …

You’d think after two seasons, they’d have enough “stock” music they could pull from to score the episodes.

If that were permitted, but tracking has been banned since the late 70s, I think. Most Trek TV music since then has been so generic (except Ron Jones of course, and Jay Chattaway’s TIN MAN), it would be easy to think it was just the same stuff reused.

Paying to reuse and track would probably be okay solution, if they could get the musician’s union to go along with it, but maybe the cost would be too high for CBS.

Then again, to hit this note one more time, if you wrote good and made solid dramas & thrillers like the filmscore-free features NETWORK and THE CHINA SYNDROME, you wouldn’t need musical underscore to hype the storytelling.

Oughtta just tell the unions to go fvck themselves and just have AI make any new music if it can’t be reused for legal reasons. Reminds me of the writers strike back in 2007, should have just fired them all and used the best picks of fan fiction submitted for free (maybe made it an ongoing contest, the prize would be a few peanuts and the bragging rights of getting their script picked to use for production). The world as we knew it circa 2019 is over, time to get used to the new reality. Even if the shutdown was lifted by the CDC tomorrow most people would still simply self-isolate out of fear until a vaccine was available, which isn’t a guarantee and will take years to develop and test even if it is. Movie theaters are done, studios will soon be going directly to online on-demand and even production will have to eventually be mostly CGI actors made at home (assuming they want to remain in business in some form). As far as ST:D music, I really couldn’t care that much about it. If the story and everything else is good even relatively sh1tty music made by AI (assuming sh1tty/cheap AI is used) won’t be noticed. Not by me at least, I pay attention 10x more to dialog and sound effects than the music.

If you pay that much attention to the dialog, then how can you embrace fan fiction taking the place of the pros? Not all of them are this sad bunch, many are geniuses.

Trek without music is just wrong.

I’d just as soon the episodes have no music. Russo’s work is insubstantial.

Agreed, nothing wrong with bringing back Jay Chattaway, Ron Jones or Dennis McCarthy.

Nothing Ruso has done will come close.

Jay Chattaway, Ron Jones or Dennis McCarthy wouldn’t be able to record a score now, either.

Not sure why some are so down on Russo. He seems professional and adequate to me. Great? No. But serviceable.

If music is only serviceable, then it probably isn’t worth including. It should add to the mix, not pad it out.

Try rescoring STARSHIP MINE with TOS music and see if you don’t get much more enjoyable results. If you tracked TIN MAN over some ship to ship stuff in STARSHIP DOWN and other DS9s, you’d get more engaging product too. (and that’s just looking at trek episodes with STARSHIP in the title, something I wasn’t even trying for! What are the odds of that?)

I made a huge post on this thread a couple days ago, one I spent 15minutes on, plus some research, and it still hasn’t shown up. No swearing in it either.

Well from my point of view most scoring on TV is squarely in the “serviceable” category. It is pretty rare when something really adds to what is going on. I am at the point where I just expect an adequate job from television and really sit up when I find something that does more than that. I did, however think what Russo did with Fargo was above average for TV.

It’s sad that this is how low our expectations for Star Trek have become since 2009

@Lukas: Many people will probably argue that the “wallpaper” music of the Berman era has been nothing more than serviceable. So that’s nothing that started in 2009.

Didn’t remember he did FARGO, will have to pay attention, have 2 seasons on DVD and haven’t rewatched in awhile.

The music on Discovery was pretty descent.

With a Mellotron Mike Pender of ‘The Moody Blues’ made their own Orchestra. Many over dubs but doo-able

The second season of The Twilight Zone should be in production by now. Maybe it was delayed before COVID-19 disrupted everything. Not too excited about that.

The Twilight Zone on CBS All Access is not amazing. It was pretty bad. The original series is way better. I was watching the old one on Hulu.

Black Mirror does a much better job at telling sci-fi stories. It does it in a way that feels authentic. My favorite Black Mirror episode is USS Callister. That episode feels like Star Trek.

The Twilight Zone will always be a sci-fi classic but the newest version doesn’t cut it.

Hell, the 80’s TZ reboot was damn good. UPN version was not very good. The CBSAA version was downright garbage. Not only were they monumentally badly written but the stories were groan inducing garbage. And the couple of episodes that had a little bit of potential just went on for way too long. Making them difficult to watch as well. That revival was filled to the gills with bad decisions at pretty much every single turn. If there are new episodes the next time I start my CBSAA subscription it is unlikely I will check them out unless they have an entirely new production staff. Honestly, I should have seen this coming when they changed the narration over the titles.

I find the concept of “Jigsawing” the soundtrack immensely cool. Being a dude that can play a few instruments to some degree of okay-ness by ear and feel, to be able to do have so many people create something so complex as a large orchestral score in pieces just sounds awesome. I know that one’s ability to accurately read music probably makes this simpler than it sounds, but since I can’t read it well, I’m bamboozled and immensely impressed.

The advantage of having the musicians together in the room is that you can change things quickly. If you have to ask musicians to re-record their parts and send them back in that slows things down. Or you need to get very technical and manipulate the recordings. I used to play an instrument but I never played in an orchestra so I don’t know how much orchestra players usually react to what’s going on around them. You lose all that when everybody is alone at home just listening to a click track.

So they are doing all of the VFX on their laptops at home. Oh boy. I can’t wait to see what that looks like.

You have heard of that thing called the internet, right? The part of CGI that requires a lot of processing power is done on servers, not on the artists’ computers.

It’s okay, Wilson. I can wait 100 years for my next dose of STD. No need to rush!

I am paying for CBS All Access just for the Star Trek shows. I could care less for the other shows. I could spend my $59 on something else.

Or you could do what I and a some others are doing. Subscribe only while the Trek shows are on then cancel until another pops up.

You have to wonder exactly when were they originally going to launch the show because we never got a date even BEFORE the pandemic became a bigger issue. I always assumed they were going to release another trailer and give a date for it while Picard was still on to at least convince some people subscribe to AA longer if the date wasn’t too far out. We did get a ‘coming soon’ tease in the final Picard episode but we probably wouldn’t have seen it until 3-4 months later after Picard ended anyway.

Season 2 release date was announced back in July of 2018 and they were still shooting the show. Picard had a much closer announcement back in October of last year. It is really bizarre that one was never released sooner even if they had to delay it later. But with the virus everything is just screwed up now.

The fall season will probably not look like anything we normally see on TV before but now that streaming has such an impact, shows are basically released all year long now, but it will effect the networks for sure.

I have been a faithful viewer of this show since it’s inception. I’ve come to discover that these millionaires just don’t care about viewers and fans. They just keep delaying and delaying. Canceling my subscription to CBS and moving on to something else. Maybe we’ll get lucky and the cast will sing “Imagine” for us instead. I’m done.

You do know there is a global pandemic happening right? They aren’t doing it to spite you.

Even as a huge critic of Kurtzman Trek, I can let them off for these delays.

Collector I have a feeling you would pay them NOT to run next season. ;)

Have fun canceling all the other streaming services and cable channels that need to postpone releases due to the corona virus pandemic. I guess you will also have to boycott network TV (Is it even possible to cancel a subscription to network TV?) because they too will have a hard time releasing new shows that hadn’t already been finished before the lockdown started.