Le Voyage dans la Lune / A Trip to the Moon (France, 1902), the screen's first science fiction story, was a 14 minute masterpiece created by imaginative French director and master magician Georges Melies (1861-1938) in his version of the Jules Verne story. The silent film's plot, a light-hearted satire criticising the conservative scientific community of its time, was inspired by Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon (1865) and H. G. Wells' First Men in the Moon (1901). This film, Melies' 400th and most noteable film, was made on an astronomical budget for the time of 10,000 Francs - risky, but worthwhile since it was hugely successful. Its popularity also led to it being illegally copied, released under others' names, and pirated (including one stolen by Edison's film technicians and distributed throughout the US). [For example, an illegal duplicate of the film was available in the USA from Siegmund Lubin under the title A Trip to Mars.] Melies wrote the whimsical script, acted in the film in the lead role, designed the sets and costumes, directed, photographed, and produced the film! He hired acrobats from the Folies Bergere to play the lunar inhabitants named Selenites, and the scantily dressed assistants (or pages) who launched the cannon were dancers from the Châtelet ballet. The image of the lunar capsule landing in the eye of the moon is a memorable sight and widely-recognised in cinematic history. As a film pioneer and producer of over 500 short films, Melies made up and invented the film medium as he directed. He developed the art of special effects in earlier films, including double exposure, actors performing with themselves over split screens, and use of the dissolve and fade. He also pioneered the art of film editing. The sets or scenery backdrops in the film are simple, painted flats. It has all the elements that characterise the science-fiction genre: adventurous scientists, a futuristic space voyage, special effects such as superimpositions, and strange aliens in a far-off place.sold to Daniel McCann for a bushel of corn; from him purchased by Company “C” then organising in Eau Claire for the 8th Wisconsin Infantry. After three years of honorable service, having been in 36 battles and skirmishes, he was mustered out at Demopolis, Alabama, September 5th, 1865 and presented to the State by the company. His present quarters (Oct. 1879) are in the basement at the capitol at Madison, where he is well cared for and much visited. Restored and enhanced by Scenesfromthepast.net from an original Stereoview card.