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Old June 16 2013, 06:45 PM   #6
Co-Executive Producer
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Re: Phase II "The Holiest Thing" Publicity Photos

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Not trying to open a can of worms here: What is the technical difference between Phase II and Continues? Phase II, in stills and footage, looks quite digital (you know, that "video" look). Continues looks MUCH closer to the film look of TOS. Do they use other digital cameras than Phase II, other post processing techniques, or do they even use film?
We're shooting our current episode with a RED EPIC, although over the course of our ten years, eleven full-length episodes, and four vignettes, we've actually used a variety of cameras.

The above publicity shots were done using a digital SLR camera and they were posted right after being taken, so no post-processing was done to apply a "film grain look."

Generally, the addition of an artificial film grain overlay is one of the last steps done to the footage once the final edit is completed, so if you see early sneak-peek trial balloon releases that we put out, they often haven't yet gone through that final "addition of film grain" step. It's actually a dial it up or dial it down feature on the software, and I'm hearing that you would like it dialed up a bit on our final releases. It's actually a bit of an artistic choice we make. I think Continues might be honing a bit more closely to The Original Series by making their footage more closely resemble Eastman 5251 (and the third season 5254) color negative film stock. I think our two productions actually make a variety of different artistic decisions regarding how much to resemble TOS. A similar example is the aspect ratio: Continues seems to be using the traditional television aspect ratio of 4:3 for "Pilgrim of Eternity." But ever since our episode "To Serve All My Days," with Walter Koenig, New Voyages/Phase II has been shooting in the newer 16:9 HD video standard.

I think not everything about TOS is worth emulating. (Shhhhhh. Don't tell anyone I said that: I might have to watch out for God striking me down with a lightning bolt for daring to say such a thing.) I'm thinking, for example, of this shot from "Charlie X:"

I don't know if I'd be all that flattered if we got comments like "You Phase II guys are great! I like how you can see crappy wood grain on the cheap painted plywood on your set that is supposed to be providing access to some 23rd century plasma conduit-thing on the Enterprise--just like on the 1968 sets! That cheap-ass quality you've captured looks MUCH closer to the original Desilu studio sets! What a classic look you've been able to successfully emulate!"

So how closely to make our respective series resemble TOS and in which regards, and to which things we should be faithful, and which things could or should be improved upon are just artistic choices we all make.

But we hear you: you're one of the viewers who'd like to have the footage post-processed to more closely resemble old Eastman 5251 film stock.
Greg Schnitzer
Co-Executive Producer
Star Trek Phase II

Last edited by GSchnitzer; June 17 2013 at 08:40 AM. Reason: Typos
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