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)”

DS9 show-runner IRA STEVEN BEHR discusses the FAN FILM GUIDELINES! (audio interview)

Last year, Justin Lin and J.J. Abrams both went on record as being supportive of Star Trek fan films and that the fans should be encouraged to make them.  A month later, CBS and Paramount issued a set of fan film guidelines that shocked many fans and angered others with their restrictions on length, shutdown of continuing fan series, and moratorium on participation by anyone who had previously worked on any studio-authorized Star Trek project…from movie and TV series to video games and even package design.

On the one hand, it was nice to finally have a set of guidelines that clearly defined what the fans would be allowed to produce without the fear of getting sued.  On the other hand, a good number of fans familiar with fan productions felt that certain of the guidelines (like the ones I just listed) had overshot the mark, landing in a place of being too constraining and unnecessarily Draconian.

However, unlike a year ago when big names like Abrams and Lin spoke out on the fan film issue, no major names in the world of Star Trek have commented on the new guidelines other than John Van Citters (who was one of the people responsible for writing them).

But now that has changed, as I was able to interview Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Executive Producer STEVEN IRA BEHR and ask him directly, on the record, how he felt about the guidelines.  Granted, I don’t expect Ira to rush out and rally for the guidelines to be revised and loosened.  But I was curious if we fans who feel so negatively toward some of these guidelines are justified in feeling that way or not.  Would Ira agree with us….or would he think that we’re just being petulant (or crazy!) to have any problems with these reasonable studio rules?  You can find out below…

And for anyone curious how a small-time blogger managed to score an interview with Ira Behr and get him to speak on the record, I donated to the Indiegogo campaign for his Deep Space Nine documentary “What We Left Behind,” which blew through its initial $150,000 goal to reach nearly $650,000!  (Click on the above link to learn more about this exciting project.)

The perk I donated for was a 10-minute call with Ira Behr where I could ask him anything.  I cleared with his assistant beforehand that I’d be able to record the call and post it on my blog site, and last week, we spoke for more than 15 minutes.  It was a really great conversation.

And here’s what we talked about…

UPDATE – DS9 Documentary unveils $500K stretch goal: REMASTERED HD FOOTAGE!

Yesterday, I reported that the new Deep Space Nine documentary WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND had just crossed the $400,000 milestone on their Indiegogo campaign (with 9 days left).  This amount is well more than double their original goal of $150,000 and has allowed them to reach certain stretch goals.  Among these are a longer running length (from 60 to 90+ minutes), an extended writers room feature, original music performed by an orchestra, and new 3D graphics and animations.

Their next goal is $425,000 (allowing for more interviews), but there was also a $500,000 stretch goal that was left a mystery…at least when I wrote yesterday’s blog entry.  Now the veil has been lifted and the mysterious half-million-dollar stretch goal revealed:

When Star Trek: The Next Generation was remastered into high-definition (HD), it took several years and cost millions of dollars.  Original film negatives were meticulously re-edited while entirely new VFX sequences were modeled and rendered by computer.  But in the end, sales of the remastered ST:TNG Blu-rays were disappointing (to say the least), leaving CBS and Paramount quite hesitant about ever trying to remaster DS9.

Now, before anyone starts drooling about this Indiegogo campaign resulting in a complete HD-remastered Blu-ray collection of all seven seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, that’s not going to happen…and certainly not for a measly $75,000.  But their next stretch goal level will potentially allow the producers to remaster the DS9 clips that they’ll be showing during the documentary.  This involves getting access to the original archival masters and original film elements from the Deep Space Nine series. The documentary team announced yesterday that they have, in fact, officially been in talks with CBS Television Studios to do just that.

And if they manage to hit or surpass $500,000 in the next 8 days (right now, they stand at $413, 374–so it’s certainly within reach!–click HERE to donate), they will be able to use that footage along with CGI effects rendered by DS9 VFX alum Doug Drexler to give fans a taste of what DS9 could look like if it were ever to be remastered.

And it might look something like this video (created by Trekcore.com):

DEEP SPACE NINE DOCUMENTARY crowd-funding campaign crosses the $400,000 mark!

When last we checked in on the new Deep Space Nine documentary WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND, their Indiegogo campaign had kicked off with an initial goal of $150,000 and zoomed past that in less than 24 hours to $170,000 with 29 days still to go!

Well, now there’s just 9 days left to go, and the project has just crossed the $400,000 milestone!!!  This has allowed them to reach a couple of exciting stretch goals…

CROSSING $250,000 –
Allowed them to extend the length from 60 to 90+ minutes and add in a whole bunch of new, cool 3D graphics and animations.

Crossing $350,000 –
Allowed them to now have an original score and hire a live orchestra to perform it.  It will also allow them to extend their “Writer’s Room” feature where the original DS9 writers will reunite to brainstorm a story-arc and episode ideas for what a hypothetical season eight would have looked like.

And if they cross $425,000 (almost a certainty at this point!) –
They will be able to film additional round-table interviews with DS9 crew members and fans.  Oh, and it will unlock an additional bonus item for donors, as well.

And if they reach a half million dollars???  Well, we don’t know yet, but the milestone is there on the Stretch Goal graphic above.  (Just click to enlarge it.)

You’ve still got 10 days to make a donation of your own (or increase the one you’ve already made) to show CBS that DS9 is truly loved by us fans:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/what-we-left-behind-star-trek-deep-space-nine-doc

And make sure to watch this hysterical video featuring Ira Behr and “Mr. F”–it is the FUNNIEST crowd-funding video EVER!  I kid you not!!!

DEEP SPACE NINE’S “What We Left Behind” takes in $170,000 in donations in just 24 hours!

If you’re like me, whenever someone asks you, “What’s your favorite Star Trek series?” you don’t even hesitate before answering with a confident smile, “Deep Space Nine.”  And then you usually get one of the following three responses: 1) “Really?  I never got into that one and didn’t even watch most of the episodes…”; 2) “Are you kidding?  That show was so dark!  Next Gen/Voyager/TOS was sooooo much better!” (they never seem to say Enterprise); or 3) they immediately get it because they agree completely.

(And usually when we encounter a member of the first response group, we beg them to binge-watch the series in episode order!)

People like me find it inconceivable and frustrating that DS9 is so often seen as the “bastard stepchild” of Star Trek…the series that, instead of boldly going, boldly stayed in one place.  But that was the point.  By not having to constantly introduce and explain a new culture and/or alien threat or spatial anomaly each week, it left much more time to fully develop certain key races like the Bajorans, Cardassians, Ferengi, Kligons, Vorta, Jem’Hadar, and Founders.  And of course, it made room for so many more intriguing characters who got to develop slowly and compellingly over time.  And hey, if you just want to see space battles…just wait’ll those last three seasons!

Despite its critical success among reviewers and a growing appreciation from the fans, as the years have gone by, DS9 seemed to be fading from the Star Trek totem pole.  TOS and TNG each got remastered special edition DVD/Blu-ray sets with new VFX and all sorts of wonderful extras.  But with DS9 next on the list, no remastered addition was ever announced, and it seemed the love-fest was finally over.

Would Ds9 ever get the credit and recognition that it deserved?

Well, not from CBS or Paramount.  But as 50 years of fan films have proven, if you want something decent from Star Trek, sometimes you just have to do it yourself!

Continue reading “DEEP SPACE NINE’S “What We Left Behind” takes in $170,000 in donations in just 24 hours!”