Should Babylon 5 be remastered?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Gotham Central, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    And while we're colorizing Casablanca, how about replacing that TERRIBLE model shot at the end of the airplane taking off, with some nice modern CGI.

    Oh, and, Bogey and Bergman? Really? They're so 1940s. How about digital face replacement with Shaia Lebouefffff (whatever) and Jessica Alba so today's moviegoers can relate?
     
  2. Butters

    Butters Captain Captain

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    B5 is my favorite of all time series. The cgi at the time was amazing and attention to physics added an extra dimension. Trek's model ships we're beautifully detailed, but watching B5's graceful motions only served to ridicule TNG with its three-point turns in space, or DS9's use of tractor beams in battles to deflect disruptors. At this point, Trek battles made the Power Rangers seem plausible.

    Despite the perfectly adequate special effects, for an upgrade to nuBSG standards and a HD release, I'd sell a kidney to fund a blue ray player!
     
  3. Tyson

    Tyson Fleet Captain

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    This. More and more people these days don't have the brainpower or the patience to appreciate older shows and movies because "da speshul effeckts r LAME!11."

    Then again these are usually the same idiots who are blown away by shit like Sanctuary so I don't even know what the fuck anymore.
     
  4. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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  5. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Honestly, I probably wouldn't be in favor of it as a pipe dream if the difference in resolution wasn't so damn dramatic between live-action shots with and without visual effects in them. If it were just the space shots that were low-resolution, I don't think I'd consider it such a big deal.

    My point is, though, making jokes about "colorizing Casablanca" and replacing the dinky model airplane with some shiny CGI obscures the issue. It's more like proposing to colorize that first version of "The Cage" that kept switching between color and black and white. When Babylon 5 was made, it was by no means intended that the picture should make like the 1950s every time someone fired a gun or looked out a window.

    While I, personally, would love the opportunity to give Babylon 5 a new layer of polish, if this actually be came about, I would by no means consider it a waste of time if every effects shot was recreated exactly as it was made in the 1990s, just rendered in high definition.

    I've been thinking about doing something like this as an exercise. Maybe I can put together a few images to illustrate the different approaches that could be taken.
     
  6. Snatcher42

    Snatcher42 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    B5 is 4:3 on Netflix Instant Watch, and imo looks a heck of a lot better than on DVD.
     
  7. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I tend to agree with this stance, at least in principle. I just don't think that in the foreseeable future it'll be affordable. For that matter I'm not even sure some of the original film stock (essential in order to re-composite certain shots) even survives. I think there was some negligence by WB in their storage. Something involving rats.

    Incidentally (and since there's no point starting a new thread for non-news.) Something B5 related is progressing. JMS isn't saying what it is, in what direction it's progressing or when we can expect to hear more. Apparently B5 is in a state of quantum decoherence at the moment and if he says anything or anyone else becomes aware of it, the wave function will collapse and the project will have been scrapped six months ago already. So nobody think too hard about it or you may alter the balance of probabilities and Schrödinger's cat will have died for nothing!
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011
  8. Butters

    Butters Captain Captain

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    I see this argument lots and its universally wrong. TV is a visual medium and should therefore be visually interesting. New material is continuously being produced and naturally it looks better than the old stuff, and the older is regarded as being as dated and irrelevant as it looks. If the visuals weren't important a lot less money would be spent on them, and more would listen to the radio.

    Having an appreciation of vintage productions doesn't make you superior to those 'idiots', who would rather invest their limited time in something better presented, it won't won't bring you greater health, wealth or more sex either , probably the opposite.

    If you really believe that choosing bleeding edge HD special effects over the 1990s limited tv budget effort is the mark of an idiot, then I would suggest you need to take a step back and see where the real idiots are sat.
     
  9. lennier1

    lennier1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Why are so many people so keen on cramming half-assed new CG shots into old shows?

    B5 is a cornerstone of modern TV entertainment, not only because of its pre-planned multi-year story but also because of its pioneer role of in the adoption of CG effects in TV productions. Some of the things which are nowadays common in CG packages were literally included by NewTek because Foundation Imaging asked for it back then, like lens flares or presets analogue to real-life filming.

    Might as well screw around with the model shots in Metropolis while you're at it.
     
  10. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, we need new camera angles! The original ones are becoming old!
     
  11. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^Or, you could restore the missing and degraded footage in the movie that's marked by summery title cards now.

    Did you guys all flip your shit about those animated reconstructions of original Doctor Who episodes where scenes or even entire episodes that only had the soundtrack remaining had the missing footage replaced with cartoon illustrations? "If those young dummies can't make do with just listening to television like they did back when fans recorded episodes on audiotape before home video existed, then they're obviously morons underserving of the televisual greatness of Doctor Who! In fact, I say all the episodes before home video should be released audio-only, so we can enjoy the original presentation!"
     
  12. lennier1

    lennier1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Nice attempt at trolling. Come back once you're sober again.
     
  13. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    No, u!
    :p
     
  14. BlobVanDam

    BlobVanDam Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Usually I am all for preserving original footage exactly as it was originally released, although I view television a little bit differently to film.
    The main difference is that since movies are all on film, it's straightforward to create a high resolution archival version for release on high definition formats on current and future mediums. When this is possible with television shows, that's exactly what I'd want them to do (no screwing with aspect ratios just because people think 16:9 looks prettier). Unfortunately the current problem with shows such as Babylon 5 and TNG is that obviously they're not high enough quality to release on these newer formats because of the editing for effects.
    The options are either to be forever left with the low resolution poor quality tape versions, or to redo them somehow for high def. I can see the argument for both. It would suck to lose the original versions as they were supposed to be seen and remembered, but it would also be a shame for extra possible detail in the original footage to never see the light of day too. I think both should be preserved. But we have examples like Star Wars to forever haunt us with the possibilities.
    Now, take your example of Metropolis. That went through a buttload of digital editing to restore it as closely as they could to the original version, despite how much they had to go through to get it all. They even re-comped some shots from the original effects film layers to clean up the visual effects. Perfect example of how to do it right.

    I personally think it would be a ripoff to release shows like B5 as is on BD. The resolution isn't there, and upscaling will not justify a Bluray release. But remastering it all at high def would be a huge task to do properly, and near impossible to do faithfully, and I don't see it being worth the time and money for them to do.

    Personally I'd just stick to the DVDs, and hope that one day they can find a way to release it on Bluray properly.