Even though Mike and Denise Okuda have experience with remastering Star Trek, remastering Star Trek: The Next Generation offered its own set of challenges.
In an interview with TrekMovie.com, The Okudas explained their role in remastering The Next Generation, which is a bit different than when they worked on the original series remastered project. “On the original series remastered we were creative producers along with Dave Rossi,” said Mike Okuda. “Here we consultants to CBS and we are dealing with visual effects, but we are also helping them on an overall basis.”
Mike Okuda explained the differences between remastering for the original series and for The Next Generation. “At their heart, they are very similar,” he explained. “That is to take the highest quality film you can and to present it in the highest quality possible. With respect to the visual effects, there is a substantial difference. With the original series, the original film elements were not available – only the composites. And so scanning into HD did not look as good because the state of the art optical printers at the time had limitations. For Star Trek: The Next Generation, Paramount lovingly preserved virtually all the film elements, so it is possible to recomposite the visual effects – thereby coming very, very close to the original shots.”
Some parts of the remastering are more difficult this time around. “For the original series you basically took the cut negative and scanned it in,” said Mike Okuda. “Whereas here the actual original camera negative was never cut together, so all the pieces have to be scanned and reassembled. That part of it is hugely more complicated.”
A Star Trek: The Next Generation sampler will be released next week. It will include the pilot episode, Encounter at Farpoint, as well as Sins of the Father (S3) and The Inner Light (S5).