Friday, 13 July 2012

More on TNG season 1 blurays and beyond

CBS have released three new images from TNG season 1, and are rather cruelly teasing us with what the new effects look like in widescreen (while the blurays will be presented in the original 4:3). TrekCore posted comparisons with the DVD shots:




Both TrekCore and TrekMovie have posted interviews with the Okudas. Asking about whether the remastering team plan to reuse effects shots where they were before, or add more variations, they said this:
This varies on a case-by-case basis. In some cases, there will be variations. In some cases, there will be straight reuses. In some cases, there will just be something new! It simply depends on what’s happening at that moment. There is a subsequent use of that exact green planet where if you first look at it, you go ‘It’s the exact same planet!’ [But] if you look at it a little more closely, you’ll notice there are some subtle differences. I didn’t see it when I first saw the show – I was thinking ‘It’s the same planet’. And then they pointed out the differences to me and I was ‘Oh my God!’ But that’s further down the road – it’s not a first season episode.
Regarding the extended cut of The Measure of a Man in season 2:
Mike: With regard to ‘Measure of a Man’. That was kind of an unusual circumstance in that… first of all, we had a very, very early cut of the picture. It happened to be Melinda Snodgrass’ first professional tale. So when we found out there was an early version that was quite a bit longer than the final version, we were so excited about that! This was back in the day, I actually asked our friends in the editorial department for a copy of it and we gave that to her and she happened to hold onto it for all these years, because normally that sort of thing isn’t saved. When the Blu-Ray project started up, we emailed Melinda and said ‘Hey, is there any chance you still have that VHS tape?’ And she was so kind. She just mailed it back to us – that’s why we have it.

Denise: And everyone’s trying their darndest to make it happen. It’s kind of a crapshoot, but everybody is very enthusiastic that the process is going forward. Right now we can’t tell you if it’s going to be a happy ending, but everybody is very excited about the possibility and trying to make it happen.

Mike: The plot itself does not change. What changes is more character development, more texture, there’s more emotion to it – you understand people’s motivations a little better.

Denise: The cutting is a little bit different. There [are] more wide shots than the final finish – the courtroom has more shots and closeups. So there is additional footage, it doesn’t change the story though.
They also mentioned that they don't expect there to be many more extended cuts like this, which has almost quarter of an hour more footage. They believe most episodes had at most a scene or two cut out.

Following up on the thirteen seconds os SD footage that were upscaled for Sins of the Father on The Next Level teaser disc (which have now been restored to the episode in HD for the season bluray release), the Okudas mentioned there are a few more missing seconds in season one:
For the live-action footage there is a two or three second close-up shot of Riker in one of the later episodes that had to be upscaled. I think that is pretty much it.
There was apparently also some concern that the footage of Okona's ship from The Outrageous Okona had been lost, and a new CGI replacement had even been made. The footage was however found.

Discussing changes to effects:
In one of the very early shots in an episode in the first season – ‘The Naked Now’, there is a scene where Data is watching a computer screen, and information is flashing up. That information is flashing very, very fast. The flashing animation is actually a piece of film that I created using Film Animation, and I gave the film to visual effects supervisor Gary Hutzel – but my art was actually black and white. I said to Gary ‘here are the colors I would like you to use, because these are the colors of the console.’ You have to remember that at the time, we were all working 60 hours a week, and we were all working for weeks and weeks and weeks on end and we were all just scrambling to meet the airdates. For whatever reason, Gary forgot! And he made the animation green – and I was very disappointed, because that wasn’t the color that I wanted. Now, fast forward 25 years later. The opportunity exists to correct that mistake. And I really thought about fixing it, because I had in mind still the color I wanted, [but] Denise pointed out to me ‘people have been watching that for 25 years. That’s the way people expect it to be. That’s the way it should be.’ And she’s right – it’s going to stay green, because that’s what people expect it to be.
On the other hand, in that sequence – there was an actual mistake. They’re looking at a history tape, and the dialogue talks about the Original Series Enterprise, but the actual screen image shows the movie Enterprise. That was the mistake! An understandable mistake, but once it’s done – it’s done. That, we fixed. We did a piece of art, of the Original Series Enterprise...
They also spoke enthusiastically about the possibility of converting DS9 to HD, but alos recognise that is something to worry about in the future, with years of work still ahead on the TNG project!

You can read the full interviews on TrekMovie, and in three parts on TrekCore, here, here, and here.

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