Welcome to the Moonscape project

Moonscape is a free and freely downloadable high-definition documentary about the first Moon landing, funded and produced by space enthusiasts from all over the world.

It will show the full, unedited Apollo 11 landing and moonwalk, using only the original TV and film footage and the original photographs, rescanned and restored from the best available sources. Its expected release date is July 20, 2011, with early previews around Christmas 2010.

Here's the first trailer for Moonscape:

There's also a prequel to Moonscape, called Contact Light, which covers the actual landing, i.e., the descent of the Lunar Module to the surface of the Moon, and is almost finished. You can preview a rough cut of Contact Light here:

Moonscape will allow you to experience the Moon landing through the eyes of the astronauts. Photographs taken in sequence will be assembled into panoramic views; the TV and color film footage will be shown in sync with the radio communications and with the photos, allowing you to see rare and unusual details of the historic event from multiple viewpoints and with unprecedented clarity. Most documentaries during the past forty years have used footage whose quality was degraded by multiple analog transfers: Moonscape instead gets as close as possible to the sharpness and richness of the original images.

We're purchasing the amazing restored and retransferred 16mm footage of the moonwalk from Footagevault.com, the same source used by documentaries such as In The Shadow of the Moon. The photographs have been sourced from NASA's GAPE (Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth, eol.jsc.nasa.gov) with a resolution of 4400 x 4600 pixels. The complete restored TV broadcast will also be included. All the astronauts' communications will also be available in subtitles for clarity.

Differently from many other documentaries, Moonscape will not "cheat" by using footage taken out of context or from other space missions. Every picture and every sound will be true to the actual sequence of events, as documented by NASA's Apollo Lunar Surface Journal. The only special effects allowed will be image stabilization, color correction and digital processing to generate high-definition panoramic views from the photographs.

When Moonscape is completed, it will be freely available for download at no cost, with no copyright restrictions except those provided by its Creative Commons license: basically, you'll be free to copy it to any medium, so long as you give credit to the authors. Yes, this kind of distribution is legal.

Moonscape is a free documentary, but making it doesn't come cheap. We're all devoting our time to this project for free, but buying the HD digital transfers is a big expense (several thousand euros/dollars) but it allows us to have the rights to distribute the documentary for free. And then there's the video editing software and hardware. So if you feel like donating some money, no matter how little, to the Moonscape project, you're most welcome: click on the Paypal link on the left. The names/nicknames of all donors will be included in Moonscape's end titles.

You're also welcome to contribute with work: we need graphics, subtitling, proofreading, fact-checking, translations, music and professional voice-overs (in multiple languages for international distribution). If you have any of these skills and are willing to contribute to the project, contact me, Paolo Attivissimo, in English or Italian at paolo.attivissimo@gmail.com.

If you like what you see and want to make a donation to help and complete the project, click on the Paypal button below and don't forget to specify in the online form how you want to be mentioned in the credits (name, alias, company name, whatever). Any amount is welcome.

Moonscape FAQ

When will it be available? That depends a lot on when all the footage becomes available. NASA hasn't yet released the final and full restoration of the TV broadcast. Also, editing and subtitling are time-consuming, and we're all working on the project in our spare time. So be patient, but we hope to have a rough cut by December and a final cut for July 20, 2011, the 42nd anniversary of the first Moon landing.

Will it be available in my language? Moonscape is multilingual. The first version will be in English, followed by Italian and by other languages depending on whether we find people willing to translate the subtitles into those languages. If you can help, contact us at paolo.attivissimo@gmail.com.

What format will it use? The high-definition version will be downloadable as a .MKV file and as ISO image from the Internet, via Bittorrent and other peer-to-peer networks. It will also be available on DVD (as a standard DVD playable on any player and as a DVD-ROM) and in streaming via Youtube, Vimeo and similar files. A Blu-ray version is unlikely due to the cost of a DVD burner and of the media, but we're keeping all options open.

Will it be copy protected? Absolutely not. Our aim is to disseminate it as widely as possible.

I can't download a huge file, will it be distributed by mail? No, Sorry. We have no time to manage mail distribution right now. But you can legally copy Moonscape from anyone who has downloaded it, and if you feel uneasy about getting it for free, you can still send a donation.

Will it deal with the so-called "moon hoax" theory? No. Simply viewing this footage, in its original quality, should be enough to dispel any fakery theories from the mind of any sane person. Moonscape is meant to celebrate courage and ingenuity, not to debunk doubters and lunatics.

Will it be possible to see Moonscape grow? Yes. Low-resolution rough cuts will be published periodically to allow anyone to check and review the work and offer suggestions and criticism.

How long will the fundraising last? Indefinitely. We will be updating Moonscape as newly restored material becomes available to buy. Also, if this first documentary is successful, we'll be making similar videos for all the other Moon missions.

How's the fundraising going? So far, quite well: we've got enough funds to buy nearly all the currently available Apollo 11 footage HD transfers. But we still need funds for any future footage that might become available and for the documentaries that will cover the other Apollo missions. We'd like to get the astronauts themselves to do some commentary, too, and that might be costly. The details are available here.

How much money are you making out of this? None so far. Apart from being the proud owners of full, unedited HD transfers of the Moon landing footage, we're not making any profit out of this project. Actually, we've spent quite a lot to buy technical reference books and other reference material. If we do get any money from TV rights or the like, we'll reinvest it for future projects. We're in this for the pleasure of sharing an incredible moment of history, not for the money.

Is this project sponsored by NASA? No. A few people who work(ed) at NASA are giving us a hand informally with the technical reference and fact-checking, but we're not funded in any way by NASA or any other agency.

I represent a TV station. Can I broadcast Moonscape? Yes, provided that you broadcast it in full, make a reasonable donation and don't slap any copyright restrictions on the documentary.

Who's "we"? I'm Paolo Attivissimo, British-Italian science journalist and longtime space enthusiast. Photographer Andrea Tedeschi is in charge of photograph restoration and color-correction. Rodri is managing the accounting. Fozzillo is handling the digitally rendered panoramic shots. Giancarlo dalla Chiara is providing the music. The veterans of Project Apollo are lending their technical skills.

How can I help? By donating funds via Paypal (click the donation button on the left) or by working on the project. We're looking for someone who can lend a hand with graphics, subtitling, proofreading, fact-checking, translations, music and professional voice-overs.We also need people to spread the word, so if you have a blog, website, newspaper, magazine or TV station that deals with space news, tell your readers and viewers about Moonscape.

2 commenti:

  1. Hi there. I can't wait to see the finished products - this is a great project! With regards to the still photographs you mention are taken from NASA's GAPE website - are you aware that more accurate tif files are available for a number of the mission photographs via www.archive.org? You can run a search such as: as11-40 tif

  2. Most promising, if there's a rough cut to see in December, i will certainly donate!
    Goodluck with the moonscape project and Merry Christmas!
    Saluti da Hollanda.


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