Pssst!!!! Last week we announced the release of Georges Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon in its original 1902 colors (and featuring a soundtrack by AIR) and Lobster Films‘ new feature length documentary The Extraordinary Voyage in a limited 2-Disc BD/DVD G2 SteelBook Edition. The restoration of A Trip to the Moon is a collaborative effort between Lobster Films, Paris, and two non-profit entities, Groupama Gan Foundation for Cinema and Technicolor Foundation for Cinema Heritage. This landmark film restoration won a 2011 Film Heritage Award from National Society of Film Critics.
Georges Méliès, one of the celebrated heroes of Martin Scorsese’s new movie HUGO, was a master of cinematic invention and enchantment. Flicker Alley, of course, is no stranger to Méliès, having first released First Wizard of Cinema in 2008 and Georges Méliès Encore in 2010. We are a small company and each publication is a labor of love. So, we are thrilled that our love affair, so to speak, with the films of Méliès can continue with A Trip to the Moon. We’ve also been pleased about the enthusiasm from you all, and appreciate the questions that have been pouring in via email, Twitter, and Facebook. There have been some really wonderful questions about contents and technical specifications, which we think warrant some public display. Here they are, along with their respective answers….
Q: What is the street date for this?
A: The day to circle in your calendars is TUESDAY, MARCH 27, 2012. We will ship out pre-orders on or slightly before this date.
Q: What size does the SteelBook Case come in? Is it DVD size (G1) or Blu-ray size (G2)?
A: It’s Blu-ray size, also known as G2. To clarify: both a Blu-ray and a DVD will be included inside of the Blu-ray sized SteelBook case.
Q: What’s the region-coding going to be on this?
A: Due to the very specific parameters in which this product was licensed, it is being made available in a Region A edition (North America, South America, East Asia, and Southeast Asia). Although we wish we could do more, we have to abide by our licensing agreement and be fair to our other distribution partners.
Q: Can you tell me about The Extraordinary Voyage? What is the total running time for it?
A: Serge Bromberg and Eric Lange of Lobster Films in Paris directed this documentary about the life of Georges Méliès and his most famous film A Trip to the Moon. It’s a tale about film history and film preservation. The total running time is 78 minutes.
Q: How will the black and white version of A Trip to the Moon on this release differ from your previously published versions?
A: The black and white version of Moon will actually be from a brand-new HD transfer that has not previously been available. The film materials utilized for this transfer come from a fine-grain master derived from a nitrate print made available by the Méliès family.
Q: Will your restored color version of A Trip to the Moon contain the audio narration written by Méliès?
A: The color version of A Trip To The Moon is a special case in that it will only be released with an original soundtrack by the French band, AIR. However, the black and white version that we described in the previous answer will have three separate audio tracks:
Audio Track 1: Robert Israel Orchestral Score track with an original spoken English narration written by Méliès,
Audio Track 2: A “troupe of actors” voicing the various characters as performed in the U.S. in 1903 with piano accompaniment by Frederick Hodges in the background.
Audio Track 3: piano accompaniment ONLY by Frederick Hodges (no voice actors).
Q: Can you describe the audio quality for the AIR soundtrack?
A: Correction: We previously stated that the audio soundtrack by AIR will be released in DTS HD. Please note that we are preparing AIR’s soundtrack in DTS 5.1 for this release.
Q: What will the subtitling options be?
A: The parts of the documentary and bonus features in French will contain English subtitles on the master. (The doc is half in French and half in English). As we mentioned earlier, because our legally licensed territory is USA, we do not have the authority or the rights to subtitle this in multiple language editions. There are financial considerations that we had to weigh carefully, as well, since this is such a limited release.
Q: Are you going to include some of Méliès’ other films?
A: Yes! Both the DVD and Blu-ray discs will feature other two lunar-themed films by Georges Méliès: 1. The Eclipse (1907), which was sourced from an original negative. 2. The Astronomer’s Dream (1898), which was sourced from the Lobster Films Collection. On the Blu-rary, these bonus features will be presented in HD.
Q: How will the SteelBook cases be protected and packaged to avoid damages during the shipping process?
A: We are taking the shipping and packaging of the SteelBook cases very seriously and are making a concerted effort to take extra care in this matter.
Q: How many copies will make up this limited edition publication?
A: There will only be a few thousand Blu-ray G2 SteelBooks manufactured, and the film materials will not be printed again in the future this way. We hope that the collector’s market embraces this, and will support our efforts to consider SteelBook cases for future Flicker Alley editions.
Q: Will there be an enclosed booklet in the SteelBook case?
A: Yes! As with all of our publications, this release will include a booklet with materials provided to us by the two Foundations working together to save this film heritage milestone. This is still a work in progress, but we can tell you that there will be an essay, which focuses on the original production of A Trip to the Moon and Méliès’ working methods.
Thanks again for your amazing support! For more information on A Trip to the Moon & The Extraordinary Voyage, check out our website.