A Trip to The Moon (1902) (Colour Version)

Lobster Films   |   France

Everyone knows the image of the moon with a rocket in the eye. The face of Bluette Bernon (she is the actress in the "moon") appeared for the first time in this 1902 classic, one of the first science fiction films in the history of cinema, and certainly a milestone in special effects. A group of astronomers decide to organise a trip to the moon. They enter a shell, and a canon sends them on the moon, where they meet the Selenites, the inhabitants of the moon. Problems occur, and they fall back from the edge of the moon into the sea, bringing back a Selenite with them. Melies' Trip to the Moon (1902) is the first blockbuster in the history of cinema. The miraculous discovery of a hand colored print, unfortunately decomposed, was the beginning of a 20 year adventure in cinema resurrection. This is possibly the most ambitious restoration ever, and the most expensive one (more than half a million dollars for a 15 minute film) that involved labs in France, Holland, USA, from the chemical process in 2001 to the latest digital technologies in 2011. A restoration that also includes deposit of 30 prints in all the major archives thoughout the world, a world premiere in the opening evening of Cannes, and a new sound track by AIR (not compulsory) made to appeal to the younger audiences. A feature film, the Extraordinary Voyage, also submitted to the FOCAL International Awards this year, is dedicated to showing how unique the adventures of that "Trip" has been through the 20st century. Further Information 1. Describe the element/s used for restoration, stating gauge and nature and specfic problems associated with them: All 35mm preservation, starting with a decomposed nitrate prind hand colored, a vintage BW print off the camera neg (circa 1915) and a 1929 dupe neg for other missing parts. Partners of this restoration are Lobster Films, Groupama Gan Foundation for Cinema, Technicolor Foundation for Cinema Heritage, Madeleine-Malthete Melies (the grand daughter of George Melies), and the French Film Archives. From chemical melting to reconstruction from shreds, using opticals, chemicals, digital processes over 12 years (from 1999 to 2011), this restoration involved more than 25 persons. It ends up with two 35mm negs (one with sound, one "state of the art" full aperture neg), and the deposit of prints in all the majors archives in the world. 2. State the original aspect ratio and format: Original 1902 nitrate elements, 1.33, nitrate. Restitution in one 1.33, full aperture neg, one 1.85 neg, and a DCP. 3. Outline the restored aspect ratio and format: See 2. 4. Explain where the work was carried out for each title (including labs and facility houses) and broken down where there are multiple titles in an entry: Chemical operation : Haghefilm (Holland 2001/2002) and Lobster Film (Paris 2001/2003) Scans : Eclair (France, 2002), Archives du Film du CNC (Paris, 2010), Technicolor (USA, 2011) Opticals and internegatives : Haghefilm (Holland - 2002) Digital restoration : Technicolor Creative Services (Hollywood, 2010/2011) Supervision / Tom Burton (Technicolor) / Serge Bromberg-Eric Lange (Lobster FIlms / Paris). Severine Wemaere (Technicolor Foundation) and Gilles Duval (Groupama Gan Foundation). 5. What methodology was used?: Step by step. The decomposed print was put in gas using strong chemicals that melted the print for a few hours, bit by bit, and every bit was hotographed (2 years of waiting, 2001/2003). Bits and pieces could be put on a wet gate step printer in haghefilm. The files obtained, made with a 2001 digital camera, were stored until 2010. In 2009, the original nitrate BW elements were scanned on Sacha (2K), and sent to Technicolor digital services where digital correction of each frame war carried out, plus integration of BW elements with artificial colorig (for the 8-10% where the original color had not survived). Digital restoration took 10 month for 15 minutes of film at 17 frame per second, with a crew of 6 persons. New soundtrack recording and composition is also included in the plan, plus a book focusing on the restoration, and a theatrical feature film, available in English, to explain the different steps (65', The Extraordinary voyage). 6. What preservation elements have been generated and where will they be stored?: Two negatives have been made. - One in 1,85, stored at Technicolor Hollywood, speed corrected for printing. - On 1,33 state of the art neg, without speed correction, will be stored in the French Archives du Film of CNC - The digital files (2K) will be stored at Archives Francaises du Film of CNC - 30 prints will be manufactured, and deposited in the major FIAF archives throughout the world (this film is in the official registry of UNESCO since 2002)