One of my compatriots over at the Space Opera Facebook group put me on to this (Thanks Roy!)
This is a short film / proof-of-concept for a future series or movie. The premise is that a group of people from a dying Earth have been sent to find a new home for humanity. When they arrive at the candidate planet, things go terribly wrong. Another species of alien was already there, and does not seem to be too happy about the human’s arrival. Also, did I mention dinosaurs? Well, megafauna, to be more precise, but still.
Check it out. http://www.thegardenshort.com
Both of SyFy’s new space opera shows for 2015 have been renewed. Great news!
The six-person crew of a derelict spaceship awakens from stasis in the farthest reaches of space. Their memories wiped clean, they have no recollection of who they are or how they got on board. The only clue to their identities is a cargo bay full of weaponry and a destination: a remote mining colony that is about to become a war zone. With no idea whose side they are on, they face a deadly decision. Will these amnesiacs turn their backs on history, or will their pasts catch up with them?
In the Quad, a planetary system on the brink of a bloody interplanetary class war, a fun loving trio of bounty hunters attempt to remain impartial as they chase deadly warrants.
Read the article from iO9 on new developments in the Honor Harrington Universe by David Weber.
By: Andy Weir
Some great new videos on the making of the Martian, as well as trailers and interviews with Andy Weir.
Haven’t heard of The Martian? Seriously?
During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.
This is a movie that would have been THE science fiction movie of all time. Alas, it was never made. But we can content ourselves with this documentary, a lens into what might have been.
I admit, based on Alejandro Jodorowsky’s earlier movies, I might have been dubious. He wrote, directed, and starred in, some pretty crazy shit. He was a surrealist. What I loved about him and they way he came across in the documentary was his burning passion to make this film. He said that he was willing to sacrifice an arm, or even his life to make it happen. There are very few artists of that intensity around these days.
Jodorowsky collected a team of what he called “spiritual warriors” to make the film.
Some notes I made when watching the documentary:
(just to highlight the potential awesomeness of this film)
The script was written in a castle in France which they rented
- Salvadori Dali (the painter) as the Emperor?
- Orson Wells as Baron Harkonnen?
- Mick Jagger as Fayd Rautha?
- Jodorowsky’s son trained 6 hours a day for 2 years in martial arts to play the part of Paul Atreides. Jodorowsky said that he wanted to prepare his son just as Duke Leto would have
- The Script was a huge book, filled with detailed drawings and storyboards of every scene in the movie
Some of the amazing artists went on to do cornerstone movies like Alien and you can see the influence their two-years on Jodorwosky’s Dune had on their future work.
H.R. Giger’s rendering of Baron Harkonnaen’s fortress
Giger’s work on Alien, a few years later
from the movie website:
This fascinating documentary explores the genesis of one of cinema’s greatest epics that never was: cult filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s (EL TOPO) adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic Dune, whose cast would have included such icons as Salvador Dali, Orson Welles and Mick Jagger. In 1975, following the runaway success of his art-house freak-outs EL TOPO and HOLY MOUNTAIN, Alejandro Jodorowsky secured the rights to Frank Herbert’s Dune – and began work on what was gearing up to be a cinematic game-changer, a sci-fi epic unlike anything the world had ever seen.
Jodorowsky enlisted an elite group of artistic mercenaries, including French comic book artist Moebius, who illustrated the storyboards; screenwriter Dan O’Bannon (DARK STAR, ALIEN); artist H.R. Giger (ALIEN); and sci-fi paperback illustrator Chris Foss. For the cast, he lined up icons ranging from Salvador Dali and Mick Jagger to Orson Welles, and even his own son, who was put through two years of gruelling martial arts training to prepare for his role. Unfortunately, the film was never made.
Director Frank Pavich tackles one of cinema’s most enthralling “what could have been” stories, weaving interviews with the charismatic Jodorowsky, his collaborators, and supporters (including DRIVE director Nicolas Winding Refn), together with animation to bring Moebius’ storyboards to life. Even though the project exists only in the imaginations of its creators, and as the hundreds of illustrations they left behind, Pavich’s documentary chooses not to dwell on failure, but rather celebrates the ways in which the creative dreams of Dune planted seeds for many other iconic films that came after it, from STAR WARS to ALIEN to countless more. This is an inspirational story about the power of the creative spirit, one that establishes Jodorowsky as a master of cinema and a true visionary of our time.
© COLIN GEDDES, TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Selections from the PRESS Kit:
The story of legendary cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s staggeringly ambitious but ultimately doomed film adaptation of the seminal science fiction novel DUNE.
In 1974, Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky, whose films EL TOPO and THE HOLY MOUNTAIN launched and ultimately defined the midnight movie phenomenon, began work on his most ambitious project yet. Starring his own 12 year old son Brontis alongside Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, David Carradine and Salvador Dali, featuring music by Pink Floyd and art by some of the most provocative talents of the era, including H.R. Giger and Jean ‘Mœbius’ Giraud, Jodorowsky’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel DUNE was poised to change cinema forever.
“For me, Dune will be the coming of a god. I wanted to make something sacred, free, with new perspective. Open the mind!”
For two years, Jodo and his team of “spiritual warriors” worked night and day on the massive task of creating the fabulous world of DUNE: over 3,000 storyboards, numerous paintings, incredible costumes, and an outrageous, moving and powerful script.
“In that time, I say, if I need to cut my arms in order to make that picture, I will cut my arms. I was even ready to die doing that.”
In the words of Jodorowsky’s producer, Michel Seydoux, “It should have been enough. But it wasn’t.”
Through interviews with legends and luminaries including H.R. Giger (artist, ALIEN), Gary Kurtz (producer, STAR WARS) and Nicolas Winding Refn (director, DRIVE and ONLY GOD FORGIVES), and an intimate and honest conversation with Jodorowsky filmed over the course of three years, director Pavich’s film – featuring never-before-seen realizations of Jodo’s mind-blowing psychedelic space opera (animated by Emmy Award nominated Syd Garon) – finally unearths the full saga of ‘The Greatest Movie Never Made’.
Director / Producer Frank Pavich is a Croatian-American, New York City native, currently living in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1995 he directed the cult-underground music documentary N.Y.H.C. when he was just 22 years old. Following that, he co-produced DIE MOMMIE DIE! (Special Jury Prize – Sundance 2003) and has spent years in feature film and television development. JODOROWSKY’S DUNE is Pavich’s first feature and it had its premiere in Cannes at the 2013 Quinzaine des Realizateurs.
Producer Stephen Scarlata worked with Frank Pavich on N.Y.H.C. Since then, he has focused on feature screenplays; recently winning a Hollywood Scriptwriting Institute contest with his original script, POACH. Scarlata’s recent writing credits include the Tyler Shields directed horror film FINAL GIRL starring Abigail Breslin and Alison Eastwood.
Executive Producer Donald Rosenfeld, from 1987 to 1998, was president of Merchant Ivory Prods, producing the critically acclaimed and award-winning films HOWARDS END, MR. & MRS. BRIDGE and THE REMAINS OF THE DAY. He also produced Chris Munch’s COLOR OF A BRISK AND LEAPING DAY (Cinematography Award – Sundance 1996), FORTY SHADES OF BLUE (Grand Jury Prize – Sundance 2005), as well as the award- winning documentary films, NEW YORK, ANDY WARHOL and EUGENE O’NEILL directed by Ric Burns. His most recent productions include Terrence Malick’s TREE OF LIFE (2011 Palme d’Or winner), and the upcoming fall 2013 release, EFFIE GRAY, starring Dakota Fanning, Emma Thompson, Derek Jacobi, Robbie Coltrane, James Fox, Julie Waters and Claudia Cardinale.
Co-Producer Michel Seydoux and his company Caméra One have over 40 years of experience in the film industry, producing such classics as CYRANO DE BERGERAC starring Gerard Depardieu and Peter Greenaway’s PROSPERO’S BOOKS. They produced Alain Cavalier’s film PATER, which premiered in competition at the 2011 Cannes International Film Festival. In 2013, Seydoux premiered two films at the Cannes Quinzaine des Realizateurs: JODOROWSKY’S DUNE as well as Jodorowsky’s first feature in 23 years, the highly regarded LA DANZA DE LA REALIDAD.
Cinematographer David Cavallo shot the acclaimed feature documentary NOTHING CAN HURT ME: THE BIG STAR STORY as well as the upcoming independent feature, ANCHORS. In addition, he has shot many US television programs, music videos and commercials.
Editor / Associate Producer Alex Ricciardi edited THE STAND UP (Official Selection Austin Int’l Film Festival 2011) as well as the upcoming independent features ANCHORS and TURTLE ISLAND. He has also edited several US television programs and music videos and is currently serving as director for the upcoming web-series, GOOD WORK JOHNSON.
Animator Syd Garon directed the film WAVE TWISTERS (Sundance 2001; Best Midnight Movie prize at SXSW). His second feature, N.A.S.A. THE SPIRIT OF APOLLO, was co- directed with Sam Spiegel. In 2012 he was nominated for an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Graphic Design & Art Direction category for his title design and animation on the HBO documentary, SUPERHEROES.
Composer Kurt Stenzel founded the New York Hardcore band SIX AND VIOLENCE in 1985, notorious for theatrical stage shows involving actual violence, the smashing of televisions and the chainsawing of drums. Stenzel moved on to performing with vintage analog synthesizers with BEYOND-O-MATIC and SpacEKrafT, an ambient live music, video and tactile interactive performance art experience. JODOROWSKY’S DUNE is his first feature.
Alejandro Jodorowsky speaks with director Frank Pavich. Photo by David Cavallo
The story of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s journey to make his version of DUNE intrigued me for many reasons. Every day, countless film projects wither away and die before being fully realized. Usually all that’s left are some screenplay drafts and perhaps a wish list of actors. Rarely do you encounter a project that was so very close to being fully realized.
The tale of Jodorowsky and his DUNE is a fascinating trip through creativity and imagination, a story about the relentless pursuit of a dream, and the necessity of art. This is not the story of a failure. In fact, it’s just the opposite – it is the story of an artist who turns a potential negative into a grand success and moves forward with an unending evolution of ideas and drive, well into his 80s.
This is a film about a unique ambition: the ambition to change the world through art.
A new comic out Sep 9’th from Image Comics
In the very near future we discover the secret of faster-than-light travel. Suddenly the universe is wide open to us, but are we ready for it? With all the idealism of the original Star Trek and the grit and immediacy of Gravity, the story of humanity’s first thrilling and terrifying adventures to the stars takes
FASTER THAN LIGHT #1
- Story By: Brian Haberlin
- Art By: Brian Haberlin
- Art By: Geirrod Vandyke
- Cover By: Brian Haberlin
- Cover By: Geirrod Vandyke
- Published: September 9, 2015
- Diamond ID: JUL150557
BUY A COPY
Indie Artist/Author Spotlight
A weekly post featuring an Indie Artist or Author in the Space Opera genre. I’ve seen some amazing work come out of the Indie community.
Evan Currie is a fellow Canadian who started writing Fanfiction. He was originally an Indie, but the success of his Odyssey One series got him picked up by Amazon’s Publishing arm – 47North.
Jennifer Foehner Wells, one of my Facebook buddies, has created a virtual empire with her Indie release Fluency. It’s an award winning hit and was one of my two favorite books in 2014.
There are countless other quiet Indies out there. Let’s give them a voice!
Imagine a website where you could immerse yourself in Space-opera. Books, Movies, TV, Games … you name it. Lots of sites cover Space Opera, but very few are dedicated to it. I love Space Opera. I think about it most of my day, I write about it, and I read about it.
What is Space Opera?
Wikipedia sums it up nicely.
Space opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, set mainly or entirely in outer space and often romance (heroic literature). It usually involves conflict between opponents possessing advanced abilities, futuristic weapons and other sophisticated technology. The term has no relation to music but is instead a play on the term “horse opera“, which was coined during the heyday of silent movies to indicate clichéd and formulaic western movies. Space operas emerged in the 1930s and they continue to be produced in literature, film, comics and video games.
Notable space opera books include the Foundation series (1942–1999) by Isaac Asimov et al. and the Ender’s Game series(1985–present) by Orson Scott Card. An early notable space opera film was Flash Gordon (1936-present) created by Alex Raymond. In the late 1970s, the Star Wars franchise (1977–present) created by George Lucas brought a great deal of attention to the genre.