Not sure how that's the case. Carson, Frakes, and Abrams have done much more compelling work on TV than Baird has done on the big screen. Not to dismiss Baird entirely though, I think he's one of the best editors working in the business today and was happy that he went back to that profession after his brief run in directing.
The problem with Carson and Frakes is that on the big screen, their small screen influences show all too well...that's why, to me, the first three TNG movies look more like two-part episodes. Those movies look much better in full-frame than in wide screen. (Personal opinion only.
Abrams at least can project big screen feel, as did Baird.
(Baird also directed Executive Decision...another movie I fully enjoyed.
Could you elaborate on how Baird was able to bring something appropriate to "the big screen"? It's often a sentiment I see thrown around but no one ever really gets into how Carson and Frakes only made it seem "small screen" beyond "they come from TV". Like I said earlier, I'd argue their TV work alone has more going for them compared to Baird's work ("Yesterday's Enterprise" is just one great example). For the transition to the big screen, it's not like they merely stuck to the same ways they directed on TV. A good example for Frakes' transition is the opening shot of FIRST CONTACT where we pull back from Picard in the Borg ship.
If there's anything that makes the films seem more TV than movie, it's definitely the scripts as they don't do enough to really differentiate from the show (a sentiment that Frakes and Moore admitted). This is why one would feel NEMESIS is more cinematic because it does go bigger, it's just too bad it's clunkier and directed by someone who was out of his league. Baird may be a movie guy, but he doesn't transition well from editing in the same way like other editor-to-director transitions like Peter Hunt of the James Bond films who truly understood directing better.
....the action and cinematography of the first three movies all work far better on the full-frame, 4:3 small screen than in their 2.35:1 aspect ratios....the visuals are very much small screen oriented, even if the effects are mildly improved. Yes, the pullback of the camera from Picard to reveal the Borg ship interior was indeed beautiful....and as I recall, was considered to be the longest pullback in cinema history....at least up to that point....that was about the only thing that looked "big screen" to me in all of First Contact...and in truth, in any of the first three TNG movies.
When I was watching Generations on my TV several years ago, a friend of mine walked up and asked "what season is this?". Apparently, he had not seen Generations, let alone all of TNG's television run. When I told him it was Generations, he just kinda said: "Ahh....ok.". I was watching it on VHS in full-frame, as I did not have a DVD player yet. But, even when I did get a DVD player (in the form of a PlayStation 2), and was able to get the widescreen version of Generations, it still just looked like an overblown television ep, as did First Contact afterwards...and years later, Insurrection.
Another big problem was in the terms of space battles. The space battles in the first three movies were done exactly as they were in the television show....one or two exterior shots, and a lot of internal shots of the crew getting thrown around, announcing "incoming fire" or "shields down to 'x' percent!" The fast paced nature of the space-battles only accentuated this drawback.
Nemesis excelled in this area....in all of its action beats really, even on Kolaran during the Argo chase. But as far as the space battle went, the ratio of external to internal shots was much closer to 1:1....giving it that big budget, big screen epic feel. If I have but one bitch about it....the torpedoes looked about as plain jane as they did in First Contact. (one thing I loved about Generations is that at least the torpedo effects were much more reminiscent of TMP). The torpedoes in Insurrection looked like they were ripped right from a TNG episode...not very impressive. But, Nemesis torpedo effects were truly disappointing.
The big problem I have with all of the space battles ever seen in the TNG (and beyond) episodes, and in all four TNG films, is that the large, lumbering starships move too much like starfighters.
Sorry, I digress....but yes, just watch the first three TNG films in full-frame, and you might see my points. I will not pronounce this as fact, for everyone has their own visual opinions. But even as I am an amateur CG movie maker, the differences are really quite obvious.
To television's credit, visual effects have come a long way, even rivaling some big screen efforts. It's also a reason why I was disappointed in Serenity as a big screen movie. Shows like Firefly and the recent STAR TREK offerings are too big for the small screen, but their transition to the big screen is mitigated by their performance on television. As with the first three TNG movies, I was more satisfied with Serenity when it came to video.
Star Trek TMP looked like a big screen film because it had ten years of downtime, and with George Lucas' revolutionizing of the cinematic experience, to say nothing of the efforts of SW/Battlestar Galactica veteran John Dykstra, the differences were night and day.