Star Trek Beyond, Barco Escape Case Study

Star Trek Beyond, the thirteenth and latest film addition to the sci-fi adventure franchise hit our screens this summer, directed by Justin Lee with screenplay from comedian producer and screenwriter Simon Pegg. With an eclectic cast of old and new, the third instalment in this reboot series was dedicated to Anton Yelchin and Leonard Nomiy, who both died before the film was finalised.

Featuring an extensive use of wide ranging visual effects, Star Trek Beyond’s VFX, action scenes and musical score work has been commended across the board since its release. To the untrained eye, the critically praised visual effects may seem less revolutionary than they are. LA based production company Bad Robot had a hand to play in the success of the visual work throughout. The J J Ambrams owned company was commissioned earlier in the year to provide a special version of Star Trek Beyond in Barco Escape, a new Cinerama-like theatrical format, which certainly contributed to making the film so visually impressive.

The Barco Escape format uses three screens mounted on the front and side walls of a theatre to create wider images. In order to create this, Ben Rosenblatt, producer and head of postproduction and VFX at Bad Robot needed to produce multiple versions of the film including 2D in digital and film, 3D, Imax 2D, Imax 3D, laser projection, immersive sound and many non-English language versions.

Creating the first film of its type in Barco Escape is an ambitious piece of work, and Bad Robot utilised their pair of Mistikas to aid with the exciting project, exploring the emerging technology that comes with a new format. As the Barco Escape footage is spread throughout the film, the movie had to be finished a multiple amount of times, which also meant the volume of data increased alongside existing terabytes of information that come with extensive VFX work on high end digital cinema.

After the first version of the film had been created, Bad Robot then completed work on the entire film again to involve all three screens of the movie, which included extensive colour matching. Being able to preview the format in post production so that the sizing and sharpening is consistent across the three screen view was important to fully implement the full theatrical experience that made the action scenes stand out.

“SGO has been incredible as a partner to us, even writing new software,” Ben Rosenblatt commented. “We are talking about adding standard features to Mistika so that anyone can use it for Barco Escape finishing.”

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