'Star Trek: Discovery' Season 3 Post-Production Was Done From Home

Last week, word broke that Star Trek: Discovery had already been renewed for season 4, and that the new season would start production next month. This raises one big question: how? As we all know, the coronavirus – which is still very much around, with cases starting to spike again in the United States – has made production on TV and movies somewhat tricky right now. But Discovery has an ace up their sleeve: home-based post-production. At least, that's what was used to finish the recently-premiered season 3. Who knows what the future holds?

A new piece in Indiewire details how Star Trek: Discovery season 3 – which just premiered on CBS All Access – dealt with post-production work at home. "Our editors, miraculously and heroically, took their editing bays into their living rooms," producer Alex Kurtzman said. "And we cut the entire season, in collaboration, just the way I'm talking to you right now. We also scored the entire season, mixed the entire season, color timed the entire season, all from this laptop [over which this Zoom interview occurred]." For the music, series composer Jeff Russo "sent microphones to each of the orchestra members' homes so that they could record their individual parts and they could all be mixed together later on, as if playing in unison."

And it wasn't just the behind-the-scenes crew that worked from home, either. When certain VFX shots needed actors to appear, those actors were sent "motion-capture equipment to finish elements of their performance at home." Kurtzman explained: "It's an actual actor at their home motion-capture studio, which then gets rendered in the computer as a living thing. It's a real person...Each of our actors have been scanned, so we can actually impose their faces on a body, which is quite something."

Post-production work on season 3 is still ongoing. But now, Kurtzman and company are gearing up to start shooting season 4.  As the IndieWire story reports, the cast "recently traveled to Toronto to begin their quarantine before production starts, with full COVID safety protocols in place."

And now, Star Trek: Discovery can also take solace in knowing they have workarounds for at-home post-production should the show call for it. Star Trek: Discovery stars Sonequa Martin-Green stars as Michael Burnham, a female science specialist on the Discovery, leading a cast that includes Doug JonesShazad LatifAnthony RappMary Wiseman, and Wilson Cruz. It's now airing on CBS All Access, along with approximately 500 other Star Trek shows.