STAR TREK: VOYAGER documentary will include HD REMASTERING!

It’s been a dream of fans ever since Paramount and later CBS Studios decided to remaster TOS and TNG using original film negatives and redone CGI effects to create HIGH DEFINITION version of all of those treasured episodes. These special editions looked glorious…unbelievably better than when they first aired on television in standard definition.

Sadly, the owners of Star Trek lost their enthusiasm for this expensive process of remastering after the completion of the seven season of TNG in late 2014. No announcements were ever made regarding similar projects for Deep Space Nine or Voyager, and as it’s now been nearly a decade since work began on the TNG remaster. With CBS putting all of its considerable financial resources into producing (currently) FIVE different first-run Star Trek series, it’s unlikely any other pre-CBS Trek series will be getting the remastering treatment.

But all hope is not completely lost…!

When IRA STEVEN BEHR and the folks at 455 Films were making the DS9 documentary WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND—which was initially crowd-funded back in 2017 and released the following year—they were disappointed with the low SD quality of the footage. They had hoped to spend some of the nearly 650K that they had raised in their Indiegogo remastering a few of the clips that they’d be including. But seeing the quality of those crisp and vibrant HD scenes only bummed them out whenever they saw a lower quality clip.

Unfortunately, the process for remastering is quite costly, both in terms of time and especially money. You have to look through seeming endless reels of raw film, find the takes you need, digitize those segments, and spend painstaking hours adjusting light levels, color balance, and a ton of other details. The results are amazing—they just cost a ton of money…

SD to the left versus HD on the right…what a difference!

With nearly all of the money raised from their Indiegogo already accounted for, the folks behind the DS9 documentary held additional fundraisers to cover the costs of digitizing the rest of the more than 20 minutes of footage they were using, at one point even offering “sponsorships” of specific clips. In the end, the addition crowd-funding was successful, including live action scenes and some amazing remastered VFX sequences.

Now, it looks like Star Trek: Voyager might get the same HD treatment!

With ten days left, the Indiegogo for the new Voyager documentary by the same folks at 455 Films is already hundreds of thousands of dollars above their DS9 predecessor’s campaign. In fact, they’re nearing a MILLION DOLLARS (which will set a new record for crowd-funding a documentary film on Indiegogo).

There have been ample stretch goals—revealed one-at-a-time as previous stretch goals were unlocked—but when they crossed $750K, they revealed three more stretch goals, and two of them are for remastering footage…

Already, they’ve passed the first of these goals, with the next one in sight. It’s very possible that this documentary will indeed take in over $1 million in donations from nearly 10K backers. Click below if you’d like to be one of them…

2 thoughts on “STAR TREK: VOYAGER documentary will include HD REMASTERING!”

  1. One thing you I’ve wondered, that you probably know the answer to, is how do they get hold of the raw film to remaster it? I guess there’s not a lot that Paramount can do with it, but are they really prepared to trust it to an outside party? Even one backed by considerable donations? Then there’s how much time it must take to dig out the film they need, given that they want to show specific clips. That’s a lot of access to their film vault that’s required. I suppose there’s a hefty insurance agreement involved to guard against screw ups.

    Or maybe this is a non issue and I’m just over thinking it! 🙂

    1. Oh, it’s totally as complicated as you imagine…and even more so, Alastair! There were behind-the-scenes features on the first couple of seasons of the the TNG remastered Blu-rays. They literally had to hunt through shelf after endless shelf of film reels (some mislabeled) looking for what they needed from each episode. Then they needed to find the correct take(s), and give them to CBS Digital to digitize and convert to HD computer files that could be edited together–from scratch!–back into the way the episodes looked to begin with. And that’s just for starters!

      Here, watch this video for what came next…

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