It's been an exciting week for me. The release of the Martin Scorsese film Hugo on DVD and Blu-ray confirmed at last that I was indeed included in one of the bonus features. I am one of the experts interviewed for a featurette titled The Mechanical Man at the Heart of Hugo.
The DVD edition includes only one extra feature, a nice behind-the-scenes piece titled 'Shoot the Moon: The Making of Hugo'. The Blu-ray special features include:
- Shoot the Moon: The Making of Hugo
- The Cinemagician, Georges Méliès
- The Mechanical Man at the Heart of Hugo
- Big Effects, Small Scale
- Sacha Baron Cohen: The Role of a Lifetime
The Mechanical Man at the Heart of Hugo covers the history of automata, examines the human drive to replicate life in mechanical form, and explores why we find them so compelling. Among the speakers on the featurette are:
- Martin Scorsese - Director / Producer
- Ben Kingsley - Oscar winning actor
- Graham King - Producer
- Dick George - Automaton maker for the film Hugo
- Thomas Kuntz - Artist / Automaton maker
- Dug North - Automaton maker
The featurette includes footage from the motion picture Hugo, drawings of historical automata, 3D animations, antique automata in motion -- some without their outer coverings so you can see what is going on inside, and automata by artist Thomas Kuntz.
Clips from The Mechanical Man at the Heart of Hugo can be found here:
- The drive to replicate life in mechanical form
- The automaton the inspired the one in Hugo
- Why people are fascinated by automata
Being in the feature, I may be biased, but I believe the final product to be an interesting and informative look at mechanical automata. Clocking in at about 13 minutes, it is all to brief and cannot claim to be a comprehensive treatment of the topic. I am honored to have been a part. I hope you will enjoy it too.
Here are the various version of Hugo that are currently available:
- Hugo - One disc: DVD + Digital Copy
- Hugo - Two-disc combo: Blu-ray / DVD Combo + Digital Copy
- Hugo - Three-disc combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy