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STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION Was Made to be Seen in Cinerama

STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION Was Made to be Seen in Cinerama

This is the screencapped adventure of the United Starship Enterprise. Originally presented in a smaller, boxier format, one man as made it his mission to make Star Trek boldly look as it has never looked before.

Nick Acosta loved the original series of Star Trek, but he didn’t love how it looked. He always felt that the show’s scope was hampered by television’s puny 4:3 aspect ratio. To change that, Acosta took frames from TOS and stitched them together in the style of “Cinerama,” producing some stunning portraits of the series.

Now, at the recent Bay Area Science Festival for an awesome live event put on by our friends Adam, Jamie, Will, and Norm of Tested.com, he engaged his stitching skills with shots from Star Trek: The Next Generation:

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Click to engage!

Acosta’s cineramas are in the style of the old movie theater technique using three synchronized projectors to show a widescreen movie on a gigantic, deeply curved screen — Cinerama. This technique was complicated and has fallen out of use, but the cinematic vistas it was able to produce are still unparalleled.

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Using HD versions of the original episodes, Acosta waited for the camera to pan across an episode and captured those frames, later stitching them together. The results let you see so much more of one of the best sci-fi shows of all time, more than any 4:3 aspect ratio could reveal:

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You can really get a sense of how much love was put into the sets, the staging during scenes, and the interplay that the actors had with each other:

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Even typically shaky action sequences — which came off a bit dull in the show — look fantastic as cineramas:

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It makes you long for a kind of cinema long gone:

102714_StarTrekCinerama_5You can check out Acosta’s TOS cineramas here.

Kyle Hill is the Science Editor of Nerdist Industries. Follow on Twitter @Sci_Phile.

Images: CBS Television Distribution

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Comments

  1. df says:

    OMG i couldnt do it worse. did you saw Rikers hand? baad overlapping!!!!

  2. ulric says:

    you can tell Tasha Yar is going to die.. her second appearance in the picture has no shadows
    photoshop is hard 😛

  3. Stoker says:

    Have you noticed Tasha Yar is in the picture “Encounter at Farpoint” twice? 😀 😀

  4. Moviefan2k4 says:

    Denise has actually been married to an actor named Ken Sylk since 1995. They have a son named August.

  5. Andrew Bowman says:

    Umm. Really? What a shitty thing to say.

  6. Tag says:

    In the ST:TNG, are all seasons completely HD & widescreen(cinerama)? If not then which season/episode?

    • Ian says:

      Like most shows, TNG was shot on film but not always framed for widescreen presentation as well as the standard 4:3 all TVs at the time were made for. The full 16:9 framing of many a famous shot would likely feature booms, c-stands, unfinished sets and empty spaces where normally you’d see an extra. Some artificial camera movements were done in post production, created by utilizing full 16:9 frames and then moving the smaller 4:3 area across them, simulating a camera pan.Remember this was the same time as Pan and Scan VHS when even a Letterboxed movie was a rarity. So any attempt to make TNG a 16:9 screen or a lovely Cinerama would mean cropping many shots the way Seinfeld or The Simpsons have done to many a purist’s ire.

      • Andrew Bowman says:

        TNG was shot in wide format, but most of the post-processing was not applied to the full frame since it was only meant to be viewed on a standard television. If you watch the bits with the Okudas on the season 1 Blu-Ray, they talk about it a bit.

        Interesting aside: I have heard that TOS (and probably all Trek, therefore) was shot in wicked-high def (they didn’t call it that at the time). So the Blu-Ray editions of the shows don’t necessarily need to be remastered, and neither will the next release on the thing that kicks the crap out of 1080p. Of course, when they do the Blu-Ray releases, they remaster all the effects and that’s awesome. But as far as the actual film is concerned, it’s as high-definition as anything produced today.

        Again, I heard that somewhere. I have not done the homework necessary to verify it, but it seems reasonable.

        • Dave Finkbeiner says:

          I have the original series on bluray and they allow you to view the episodes in the original format  or in the remastered and the remastered is incredible.  The Enterprise and the planets look real.

  7. Brian says:

    Its TNG not STNG and not TOS

    • Nick says:

      If you read it properly, you’d see that right after it says “TOS”, there’s a link to all the original stills he made…which are all of TOS. The paragraph later says “Now he is doing it with TNG”

  8. I want to hang a framed print of that last one of the Enterprise in my house. Is that from All Good Things…?

  9. I’m about to have a heart attack!! This is so fucking brilliant!!

  10. Claire says:

    Great article on great work, but this is STNG trek not TOS trek 🙂

    • Nick says:

      If you read it properly, you’d see that right after it says “TOS”, there’s a link to all the original stills he made…which are all of TOS. The paragraph later says “Now he is doing it with TNG”

  11. Duck1897 says:

    Paramounth needs to pay this guy whatever it takes for him to do this to the entire Next Generaton series. I don’t care if it cost billions.

    • Gene in L.A. says:

      There’s not enough to make the entire shows that wide, unless you crop from the bottom and top of the pictures. What he has here is the result of sideways pans that he fused into one shot. Even then, as the two Tashas in the one shot prove, it’s not always possible.

  12. Don says:

    Two Tashas in that one cinerama. Sloppy work.

  13. Eric says:

    I’ll watch it the way it was filmed, thanks!

  14. Mak Bird says:

    funny how some regular guy with a regular computer can pull this off… but the major studios with millions of dollars and special equipment claimed they couldn’t

    • Tolano says:

      These are stills, not video. The studio can do stills – in better quality too, as some of these are pretty sloppy. Besides, the studio only ever made a statement about not releasing the show in a widescreen format, as the material simply does not exist for every shot to pull that off. Most shots used every corner of the film frame, instead of a center crop like many other productions. Even on the shots where center crop was used, the extra image information on the sides added nothing, and in a lot of cases had c-stands, lighting rigs, camera equipment or crew members visible (source: I know people who worked on the restoration).
      Also – the director and cinematographer framed the shots for 4:3, not anything else. Converting them to a wider format changes the focal point of the image and can affect the storytelling in ways not intended. Best to leave it alone. I’m as opposed to “widescreening” old full screen material as I am opposed to “fullscreening” widescreen material.

  15. Tad says:

    Beautiful 

  16. For the record it should be stated this is not TOS “The Original Series” it is TNG “Star Trek The Next Generation”. I’m sure I will be made fun of for clarifying and being a nerd however this is the Nerdist!