R.I.P. ARON (“Nog”) EISENBERG – 1969 to 2019

ARON EISENBERG, the actor who played Quark’s Ferengi nephew and Rom’s son Nog on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, passed away suddenly on Saturday having been taken to the hospital in critical condition. He was only 50 years old…survived by his two sons, Nicholas Lawrence Eisenberg and Christopher Eisenberg, and his recently-married wife Malíssa Longo (the hyperlink is to her announcement of Aron’s passing).

At times like these, people tend to talk about how the recently deceased touched their life or recall a personal encounter with them or simply say what a great person they were.

Although Aron didn’t touch my life in any way other than portraying a wonderful character for seven seasons of my favorite Star Trek series, that character was still an inspiration to me and many others. At first, I never really cared much for Nog. He seemed troublesome and headed nowhere, bringing his friend Jake Sisko down and potentially screwing up what was obviously a brilliant Starfleet career awaiting the son of the station’s Commander.

But then, slowly but ever-so-surely, Nog began to turn his life around. While Jake became less certain about his future following in his father’s footsteps, Nog became determined NOT to follow in his father’s footsteps and instead worked hard and earned his way into Starfleet Academy. The young Ferengi officer who emerged bore no more resemblance to how Nog started out than a tribble does to a targ. And yet, he was always Nog.

Now, I realize that Nog’s character arc was mostly due to the words written for him by the producers and writers, but Aron brought those words to life and made them (and Nog) real and believable to Trekkers and fans around the world. Who knows how many people, feeling aimless and trapped in their own lives, were inspired by Nog’s journey from bar-worker to Starfleet cadet to the first Ferengi Starfleet officer. In that way, I’m certain Aron touched many fans’ lives through his portrayal of Nog.

But fans also touched Aron’s life. In fact, we helped save it…

Continue reading “R.I.P. ARON (“Nog”) EISENBERG – 1969 to 2019″

WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND creates the best-named DS9 poster EVER!

What’s in a name? Actually, a better question might be: What’s in a poster? If you’re talking about the image of Captain Benjamin Sisko featured above on the new poster for the magnificent DS9 documentary WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND, the answer is…names. Thousands and thousands and thousands of names!

Back in March of 2017, nearly 10,000 backers donated a staggering $647,000 to an Indiegogo campaign for a look back at STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE made by the people who made the series itself (because neither Paramount nor CBS was interested in ta tackling such a project). Over the next two years, the number of backers grew and the donated total reached all the way to a million dollars!

Now the perks are being packed up and mailed out. And along with DVDs/Blu-rays of the documentary itself and the standard movie poster, the Niner folks have created a special, limited edition poster (shown above) with the names of every backer listed in alphabetical order. Don’t believe me? Let’s do a quick zoom-in…

Wait, let’s see if we can get even closer…

And there it is!

If you donated, then you can order one of these nifty posters for $25. But the deadline is this week, so hurry! Click here to order.

And if you didn’t donate, don’t have $25, or simply aren’t interested in a high quality 24×36” print of Ben Sisko made up of 10,000-plus names…but you still want to take a closer look and see if your name or the names of people you know are on it, just click here. The Niners have uploaded a super-high resolution, 1,742 x 2,606 pixel, 84MB PDF file for you to zoom into or download. How considerate!

And speaking of considerate, here’s IRA STEVEN BEHR, Executive Producer, prepping what probably feels like an endless pile of DVD/Blu-ray perks…

SHOUT! if you want a SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY SET of the DS9 documentary WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND…

If you’re a fan of STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE, then the crowd-funded documentary WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND is a MUST SEE! Actually, it’s a MUST SEE even if you never got into DS9 simply because it’s such a well done film. It’s funny, sad, whimsical, self-deprecating, nostalgic, exciting, captivating, and most of all, full of love for Star Trek, for its fans, and for a very special and groundbreaking TV series that was all too often dismissed as “the middle child of Star Trek.” DS9 was so much more than that, and this documentary lets us get intimate with the people who worked tirelessly for seven years to bring this unique Star Trek vision to life.

Have YOU seen it yet?

Probably not…unless you’re one of 9,552 backers who were given a limited-window streaming peek online two months ago or one of the few thousand folks who attended live screenings of the documentary in movie theaters around America on May 13. Oh, and if you’re in Germany, Ireland, or the U.K., you’ll get your chance to see it in theaters on June 26 (just click here to find a theater near you).

But what if you haven’t seen it yet…or you just want to see it again? Where and when will it be available to buy? Glad you asked!

The North American commercial release of the documentary happens on August 6 (not sure about international yet). Of course, backers who donated at eligible levels will receive their special edition DVD/Blu-ray set a month earlier.

However, The SHOUT! Factory (which is distributing the documentary) is offering their own 2-Disc Special Edition Blu-ray set with hours of bonus features:

DISC ONE

  • An Intro from Ira & the Gang
  • A Brief History of Deep Space Nine
  • What We Left Out(over 45 minutes of new stories!)
  • Behind the Scenes at the Variety Photoshoot
  • HD Remaster Discussion (a roundtable chat with the filmmakers)
  • More From the Fans” (YOU!)
  • Theatrical Trailer

DISC TWO: EXCLUSIVE BONUS DISC

  • A Musical Reunion(an extended conversation with composers Dennis McCarthy and Kevin Kiner)
  • Indiegogo Campaign Videos & Video Vault
  • Technical Trivia Track (a special subtitle text track with detailed technical info and listing of our HD Hero sponsors!)

If you want this Special Edition, folks, you need to hurry! Only 1,500 are being produced…and I already ordered mine (leaving 1,499). They’re available in the U.S. and Canada only (really not sure why), and you can pre-order yours for an August 6 ship-date by clicking below:

WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND – Looking Back At
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine [Special Edition]

From REEL to REAL: DS9 DOCUMENTARY wraps fans in a warm blanket of LOVE! (editorial review)

TEENSY-WEENSY SPOILERS (hardly noticeable)

“A warm blanket of love”??? Who writes this crap? Well, I do…and frankly, that’s what it felt like to me Monday night as I sat in a Los Angeles movie theater watching a special screening of WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND with 200 other Trekkers. It was love, pure and simple…from IRA BEHR and the cast and crew of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine to their fans and also to each other.

Most of you know the story of how an Indiegogo campaign in early 2017 with what seemed like an ambitious budget of $150K exploded into $650K in donations from fans of DS9. This would fund the documentary that Paramount and (now) CBS never made and were never going to make. All their effort went into remastering TOS and TNG. But DS9 was never seen by the studios as reaching the level of significance and commercial viability as the former two Trek series.

So if you want something done right…

I have to admit it: Deep Space Nine is my favorite of all the Star Trek TV series. That isn’t to say I don’t enjoy the others. I could watch “The Doomsday Machine” and “The Inner Light” over and over again. (“Spock’s Brain” and “A Fistful of Datas”…not so much.) And even DS9 had its share of clunker episodes. But overall, for me, the series that I feel captures Star Trek the most of all of them, the series that I’d take with me if I were ever stranded on a deserted island…that would be DS9.

This documentary was for ME. And if you’re like me, then it was made for YOU, too. If you never “got” Deep Space Nine or preferred all or most of the other series more, then this documentary is probably not for you…and that’s fine. The beauty of Star Trek is IDIC, and we’re all entitled to an opinion.

But if you are a “Niner” like me, here’s why I enjoyed this documentary so much…

Continue reading “From REEL to REAL: DS9 DOCUMENTARY wraps fans in a warm blanket of LOVE! (editorial review)”

DS9’s WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND is finally COMPLETE – will debut exclusively to backers in April and in theaters for one day in May!

It wasn’t even four weeks ago that I posted the HUGE news that the crowd-funded Deep Space Nine documentary WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND had been acquired by distributor SHOUT! STUDIOS. But now the news is even huger (yes, that’s a word!).

Shout! Studios opened up a whole new realm of resources and opportunities for both completing the production as well as exposing more of the fan community (and general public) to this high-quality look back at the history of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and into the minds and hearts of the people who made it all happen.

With Shout! on board, it was announced this week that the documentary has finally been completed and delivered. The recent delays had been mainly due to a decision made by show-runner IRA STEVEN BEHR and director ADAM NIMOY to digitally remaster into high definition all 20 minutes of footage from various episodes rather than only about 25% of the footage, leaving the rest in lower quality standard definition. Additional crowd-funding beyond the $650K raised from Indiegogo backers was necessary to acquire and remaster the footage, but Ira has assured everyone that the difference in quality is worth it. You can check out the comparison below…

The other major announcement(s) concerned when the completed documentary would be shown both to backers and to the general public. With Shout!‘s connections in theater distribution, in partnership with Fathom Events, What We Left Behind will be showing in over 800 theaters across the US for one screening on Monday, May 13th at 7:00pm. Fathom will be providing giveaway 11×17 posters at the door while supplies last, and this one-night event will include exclusive content with a new roundtable discussion following the film. You can order tickets here.

Of course, backers at levels of $15 or more were promised an early sneak peek, and so they shall get it! On Thursday, April 25th at 9:09pm EST, eligible backers will be able to stream the full documentary from home or on a mobile device for the following 99 hours. (Hmmm, there’s an awful lotta 9’s…oh, I get it!)

Backers will still have many more chances to watch the documentary when they receive their DVD/Blu-ray combo sets. More details for backers (instructions for how to stream, planned shipping dates, etc.) will be coming soon.

For now, the documentary team has just released this FANtastic new trailer. I challenge you not to tear up while you watch it (I got goosebumps)…!

Deep Space 9 documentary WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND gets picked up by SHOUT!

Sometimes it pays off to get backlogged on blogging! On March 1st, I received a donor update from IRA STEVEN BEHR on the current status of the crowd-funded Star Trek: Deep Space Nine documentary WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND. Although they held three theatrical screenings late last year in New York, Los Angeles, and London—where select donors and supporters got to see an early “final” cut of the film—things weren’t quite finished yet. In fact, they weren’t even close!

The delays in completion stemmed from a noble cause, however. Additional crowd-funding (over and above their initial $650K from fans) was generated to pay for remastering all of the 20 minutes of footage from the seven seasons of DS9 into digital HD quality to be shown in the documentary. Since CBS has no plans to remaster DS9 or Voyager or Enterprise (as they did TOS and TNG), this could be fans’ only opportunity to see any of DS9 in high definition. Here’s an example of the difference in quality…

The digital transfer process began with massive amounts of time in the CBS vault sorting through seemingly endless rolls of 35mm film reels looking for the footage they needed. Then a request was sent out to deliver 400 of those reels to CBS Digital, who would then digitally scan in the film into high definition for Ira and his team to color adjust, enhance, and edit into the final cut. At the time Ira posted the following video on March 1, about three-quarters of the requested film reels had been sent to CBS Digital for logging in and scanning…

I’d planned to share that update here, but in the last 13 days, I’ve published 9 other blogs (and two of those days were spent at Disneyland). So the DS9 news was pushed to the bottom of my “to do” list until this week. No big deal—updates about the DS9 documentary are not very frequent anyway. The news could certainly wait a week or two, right?

But then the BIG news broke…

Continue reading “Deep Space 9 documentary WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND gets picked up by SHOUT!”

So where’s that darn DEEP SPACE NINE documentary??? (update revisited)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. So there’s this fan film project that’s going to feature veteran Star Trek actors and production crew, and it’s going to be presented in documentary format. Although people are excited about the project even before the crowd-funding campaign begins, the show-runners are nevertheless blown away when donations blast through the initial goal and reach nearly $650,000.

Emboldened by this unexpected abundance of production funding, the show-runners decide to expand the scope of the project far beyond what was initially planned, and a year later, they go back to the donors and fans to ask for even more money.

But then stuff happens, and the release date gets delayed…and then delayed again.

Nope, not Axanar. This same sequence of events happened with the ambitious Star Trek: Deep Space Nine documentary WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND, directed by ADAM NIMOY. Crowd-funded in early 2017 with more than $647,000, the original release date was estimated as February 2018. But by April, with no documentary in sight, show-runner IRA BEHR updated fans with a written message that I featured in a blog titled “So where’s that darn DEEP SPACE NINE documentary???

Ira didn’t make excuses so much as provide reasons why things were taking so long…including the fact that there were over 100 hours of new interviews with cast and crew to go through, plus fan submissions, archival materials, animations, audition tapes, convention footage and more than 170 broadcast episodes…all of which needed to fit into a final documentary that was no longer than a few hours! Plus, they were remastering some of the original standard definition footage into beautiful high definition footage.

By September, there was still no completed documentary, and Ira posted yet another update…this time as a video and asking for even MORE money! Why would he “tap the well” again so late in the game?

Continue reading “So where’s that darn DEEP SPACE NINE documentary??? (update revisited)”

DS9 documentary is looking for a LITTLE MORE MONEY…for something REALLY COOL!

Ah, scope creep…

You’ve got your budget, the money is available, but suddenly you realize that you want to do something really AWESOME, and now you need more money.  It happens all the time in Hollywood.  It’s happened to Star Trek multiple times.  It happens for Marvel movies and other blockbusters.  It’s happened to fan films like Renegades, Space Command, and Axanar.  And now it’s happening to the Deep Space Nine documentary WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND.

It’s not like producer/show-runner IRA STEVEN BEHR and director ADAM NIMOY just squeaked by with their Indiegogo campaign last year.  Not only did they exceed their initial goal of $150,000…they more than QUADRUPLED it with nearly $650,000!  They even blew past four different stretch goals along the way.

So why do they need even more money now, just months away ?  I’ll let Ira Behr explain it…

So that’s the story.  The resampled footage looks amazing, incredible, AWESOME!  There’s five minutes of clips from various episodes that now appears in glorious, vibrant, and crystal clear high definition.

But there’s also 15 minutes of standard definition footage, captured from the same DVDs you probably have on your shelf or the episodes you watch on Netflix or All Access.  The problem is that, because the HD footage looks so good, the SD footage palls in comparison and makes the viewer think, “Why do some of the clips look so crappy?”

Unfortunately, although TOS and TNG were digitally remastered to HD from the original film negatives, the same treatment is highly unlikely for DS9.  The process is expensive (even more so for DS9as Robert Meyer Burnett explains in this interview), and the TNG remastered Blu-ray sets didn’t sell nearly as well as expected, so CBS is unlikely to throw more money down the Bajoran wormhole.

And thus, this is pretty much the one shot fans have to get more footage from DS9 remastered.  Sure, it won’t be all seven seasons, but even another 15 minutes sure would be nice.

The documentary makers are now taking new donations for the remastering exclusively through their website.  For $50, you get a special challenge coin.  But for $500—and this is REALLY cool!—your name will appear superimposed over the remastered footage.  Take a look…

Click to enlarge to REALLY see the difference!

To donate (or donate again!), visit their website:

https://ds9documentary.com

IRA BEHR says that DS9 DOCUMENTARY is DONE…well, “BASICALLY” done!

I’m not afraid to say it: I LOVE IRA STEVEN BEHR!  The former show-runner of STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE (my hands-down favorite of the numerous Star Trek TV series) never fails to delight when he releases updates on the progress of the crowd-funded DS9 documentary WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND.  Fans donated nearly $650,000 in an Indiegogo campaign in early 2017, blasting through the initial $150K goal and allowing for an amazing amount of extra content and features that Ira and director ADAM NIMOY never thought would be possible.

Ira’s last major update came back in April, explaining that editing was still going on because they had “…100 hours of new interviews with cast and crew to go through, plus fan submissions, archival materials, animations, audition tapes, convention footage and over 170 broadcast episodes…  Then, factor in the technical elements of licensing all our official footage, finding new archival elements and creating animations, working with CBS to scan film negative for presentation for the first time in HD…” and you can see why it’s taking so long.

In his latest update video from last week (see below), Ira announced that they have finally LOCKED PICTURE.  In the video, Ira doesn’t go into details of what this actually means, saying only that they’re now “BASICALLY done.”  (Locked picture means editing is completed, and now it’s time for post production.)  Of course, then the update video shows a series of clips of the production team listing all the elements of post production that still have to happen: sound design and mixing, music, HD remastering, animations and graphics, color correction, clip licenses, titles and credits…and the list goes on!  Take a look…

But Ira assures us that the documentary WILL be finished during this year, the 25th anniversary of Deep Space Nine!  There will also be clips to show attendees at this year’s Creation Las Vegas Star Trek Convention.  One of those clips was released last year as a sneak peek…

By the way, crowd-funding is still happening…albeit in a more direct way that cuts out the Indiegogo “middle-man.”  On their website, you can now pre-order the Blu-ray/DVD combo, pre-order tickets for premieres in New York, London, and Los Angeles, purchase a dinner with “Vic Fontaine and friends,” or for just $50, you can have your name appear in the credits.  (Yep, I did that.)

It won’t be much longer, folks!

So where’s that darn DEEP SPACE NINE documentary??? (update)

Has the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine documentary WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND been left behind?  Hardly!

Just over a year ago, IRA STEVEN BEHR, DAVID ZAPPONE, and ADAM NIMOY unexpectedly blasted though all expectations (an initial $150,000 goal) and ever-higher stretch goals to reach a staggering $647,891 in donations for their ambitious full-length documentary about the beloved Star Trek TV series Deep Space Nine.

Fans were excited about nearly every aspect of this planned project.  Clips, behind-the-scenes stories and footage, and round-table interviews with nearly all of the major cast members and many of the production team were, of course, a given.  But there would also be a special 20-minute “what if” segment in which the original writers would brainstorm a theoretical 8th season of the show.  There would be licensed footage, customized graphics, and an original score…all directed by Adam Nimoy, who has already given fans the excellent For the Love of Spock documentary.

But most exciting, though, was a promised HD remastering of certain scenes from the original DS9 series along with new CGI animations produced and overseen by veteran Trek VFX alum DOUG DREXLER.  And since Paramount and CBS have stated that they have no intention of remastering DS9 like they did TOS and TNG (yeah, sacrilege!) this will probably be our only chance to have at least at a small taste of what could have been.  Most of us “Niner” fans couldn’t wait!

And we thought we wouldn’t have to wait for too long.  Although the original estimates were February of 2018, that was before the campaign took in nearly 325% over its original goal.  So an update from last November said that February wasn’t gonna happen, and “[W]hile we still are aiming to have the film done in early 2018, it is likely these release timeframes will shift back (slightly) to accommodate.”

So now “early 2018” is rapidly turning into “mid 2018,” and fans are beginning to wonder where’s that darn DS9 documentary?!?

Two weeks ago, we got our answer when the team issued a new update with more information, a bunch of optimism, and a fair amount of good-natured humor.  Here’s a look at what they had to say…

Continue reading “So where’s that darn DEEP SPACE NINE documentary??? (update)”