Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Star Trek: TNG - Next Level Out Now; Season Sets Comings

Today is the release of Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Next Level Blu-ray sampler that shows off the HD improvements made to TNG. The disc is four episodes used to test what is now the plan to release all 7 seasons in HD over the next three years. The season one set is expected to be out later this year but the cost is likely to be high if the DVD sets are any indication. CBS Home Entertainment GM Ken Ross spoke with StarTrek.com about the project and the work being done to prep the season sets.
How massive a project was/is it?
Ross: It was and continues to be an enormous project that will take several years to complete. From a manpower perspective, we have more than 20 people working on this project full time in three shifts 24 hours a day. It’s a huge commitment to transfer all seven seasons to high definition.

Give us a sense of what we’re talking about – how much footage needed to be sorted through? How many effects shots? We’ve heard about salt mines?
Ross: Paramount/CBS did a great job preserving the original film from TNG. For years, it’s been stored in salt mines in Pennsylvania. There were 2,500 cartons with at least 25,000 reels of film in them – and that’s a conservative estimate. Once we decided to go forward with this project, it took months to truck all the boxes out to Los Angeles. The number of VFX shots varies depending on the season, but to give you an idea, the first season had more than 1,700 VFX shots to recreate.

What, if any additional extras will be on the full first-season TNG Blu-ray set?
Ross: There will be a nice complement of extras and some really cool stuff, so stay tuned!

When will it be out?
Ross: Late summer or early fall 2012.

What’s the game plan in terms of releasing seasons 2-7 of TNG?
Ross: We’re aiming to release two seasons per year.

Everyone is asking about DS9, Voyager and Enterprise. Enterprise was shot on HD, but how about DS9 and Voyager? What are the plans for those two shows?
Ross: Our focus right now is on TNG, but we will certainly consider all of the other Star Trek series.

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