Fan remasters STAR TREK: OF GODS AND MEN to HD quality! (interview with DAN ARMITAGE)

Last month, I released a compilation of what I determined were the very best scenes and sequences from the world of Star Trek fan films. (You can watch it here.) I grabbed about three dozen clips from fan productions spanning the last two decades, using an application that downloads videos from YouTube.

Unfortunately, the quality of the videos was all over the place. The most recent fan films like the ones from AVALON UNIVERSE, SQUADRON from the Czech Republic, and A LONG WAY FROM HOME from SAMUEL COCKINGS looked spectacular with High Definition (HD) quality. And even going back five years, stuff still looked awesome.

But when I got to fan films released prior to 2010, video quality dropped significantly because those productions were shot before HD quality digital video was available to the masses…both due to camera equipment and the size of video files and the cost of hard drive storage.

But hey, the show must go on, right? So I used what I had to work with, and the feedback to the video has been generally positive. Nobody seems to have an issue with the image quality of older fan films. But, man, if only…

“If only…” happened last week, about a month after I released my video. Without fanfare, a fellow named DAN ARMITAGE from a town near Liverpool, England released an upscaled version of STAR TREK: OF GODS AND MEN onto his YouTube channel! Originally shot back in 2006 and directed by TIM “Tuvok” RUSS, ST:OGAM was shot primarily on JAMES CAWLEY’s TOS sets at Retro Studios in Ticonderoga, New York and at Vasquez Rocks north of Los Angeles. The fan film was professional quality, starring a wealth of actors from the (at the time) rich 40-year history of Star Trek, including NICHELLE NICHOLS as Uhura and WALTER KOENIG as Chekov. All of the performances were amazing. (You can read more about the production here.)

The groundbreaking fan film was originally released in three parts between December 2007 and June 2008. Those segments were combined into one YouTube video a few years later in 2012, and here’s the way the film has looked to most fans for more than a decade…

Now take a look at the remastered version that Dan Armitage just released…

Pretty amazing, huh? Granted, it’s still not as pristine as the 80 episodes of TOS or the seven seasons of TNG that Paramount and CBS Home Video spent millions of dollars remastering. However, in fairness, those folks went back to the original film negatives, digitally scanned and color-corrected them, re-edited each episode from scratch, and had CGI artists spend thousands of hours creating brand new VFX sequences.

What did Dan have to work with? Let’s ask him…

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