I was absolutely floored at the effects and battle scenes. This was an amazing production, what was the final cost? (Part I & II)

Wiki states that "using the digital set is more expensive than any other set created for the series, including the practically-built ones," so episodes with heavy CGI will cost the most. The shuttle bay doesn't even exist - it is entirely computer generated. With this in mind I believe these two episodes will be far more expensive than any others, with Battle at The Binary Stars coming in second.

I'm certain the shareholders have asked this question when considering the direction of season 3, and probably set the budget when CBS Television Studios asked for an army of CGI animators! What do we know?


The average cost per episode of STD is around $8-8.5m. Taking the average cost of an episode, doubling it because it was a feature-length two-parter and taking into account that it was the season finale, the total cost of production was likely around $20-25m(ish)

Like a big sci-fi feature, “Discovery” hasn’t been cheap: The average episode costs $8 million-$8.5 million. “It was like shooting a movie, the scale of it,” Yeoh says of making the pilot, which was directed by David Semel, who clashed with Fuller. “It wasn’t just ‘Quick, let’s get the shot. Move, move.’”

Variety: Can ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Help CBS Boldly Go Into a Streaming Future?

Since these shows are not being filmed in sequential order (like a network show would be), but as a single monolithic entity which is released simultaneously when all of the footage garnered from their 'block shooting' has been cut into episodes, it's quite hard to point at a single episode and say "it cost x" because the cost of production is shared amongst the entire series, but certainly it was a more expensive episode than normal.

We always have a lot of meetings on Discovery. Nevertheless, Patrick Tidy (first assistant director) and I knew that due to the size of 213/214, and the fact that we were block shooting, we were going to have many, many more meetings than we were used to — on set, at lunch, and even after we’d wrapped for the day. Visual effects meetings were a big part of the load. We had endless meetings with Jason Zimmerman (VFX Supervisor) and Ante Dekovic (VFX Supervisor) about the Red Angel, space battles, and Enterprise bridge screen and wall extensions. Rob McCallum (storyboard artist) and I generated 145 pages of storyboards to help these discussions along.

The first day of shooting we overlapped with episode 212, “Through the Valley of Shadows,” which Doug Aarniokoski was directing. As a producer/director, we usually try to make sure we’ve got hyper-experienced directors we trust going before us or after us, and Doug is easily one of those guys.

Director's Log 213.214: Behind the Scenes of the Season 2 Finale

  • I would argue that the number of pyrotechnics, smoke machines, and stunts in these episodes alone were far and away more than average. How many animators were employed developing those battle scenes (plural)? Just the flight of the angel required amazing amount of cgi modeling with the close-up Enterprise fly over. Hundreds of pods and drones coordinated too. I don’t think using an average will get an accurate account. But maybe the best we have for now. – Vogon Poet Sep 29 '19 at 11:38
  • @VogonPoet - The problems is that there's no agreement on how to cost block filming. If a set is used in episode 21 and 22, does the cost go to episode 21 or 22? Is it split evenly if I only use it for a day on 21, but 2 days on 22? What if I film for an entire day but only end up using a few seconds of the footage but it gets recycled into a future episode? What if I'm using effects from an earlier episode that have been reversed and re-coloured to make them look new? – Valorum Sep 29 '19 at 11:43
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    @VogonPoet - All bets are off when a show is being measured by subscribers rather than viewing numbers. We don't even know at this stage whether it's made a profit and how many people have seen it – Valorum Sep 29 '19 at 13:08

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