Bad news from Arrakis

I just received some sad news this morning in response to the Dune production diary I have posted here on my site. Jerome Wybon, a director of numerous “making of” and behind-the-scenes documentaries for French DVD releases, just sent me the following e-mail:

I have just began reading your blog about your work on Dune and I can provide you some informations about the footage of Dune. In 2003, I produced a bonus disc for the french dvd of Dune and I was in contact with Paul Sammon. He helped me to obtain the original featurette Destination Dune (6 minutes).
When I asked him where are the footage you shot with M. Pacanowski, here was his answer:
“Godwin & Pacanowski did indeed shoot a lot of video. All these tapes were turned in to the studio before the film came out. But once DUNE was released and became a box-office flop, the studio destroyed all the tapes by either throwing them away or by “blacking” them. I know this because I spent months looking for these tapes back in 1984/1985 before I discovered what had happened to them. Needless to say, I was very disappointed!”
Best regards,
Jerome WYBON

Although I had been pretty certain that this was the case – if the material Anatol and I shot in 1983 had still existed, it’s almost certain that some of it would have surfaced by now – I still felt pretty sick when I read this. But in an industry which over the years has mutilated and destroyed numerous films, I guess 75 hours of behind-the-scenes footage of a box-office failure didn’t seem worth keeping to the office boys at Universal. Though I do wonder, in light of David Lynch’s subsequent career and accomplishments, whether anyone there in the black tower occasionally has a twinge of regret.

Jerome’s blog can be found here: Forgotten Silver.


One thought on “Bad news from Arrakis

  1. Hi George

    I’ve just found out this entry on your blog. Oh man, I am also quite sick about this; what a mess…

    Hope everything’s ok on your side, I also hope we’ll be able to meet again in France one of these days 🙂

    Have a nice week end

    Roland K.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Blasts from the past

Leonard Cohen, Robert Altman and an elegy to a national myth

I love a deal …

CarFree premiere

Death Hunt (1981): entertainment vs. history