MISSION INTO THE PAST: CALIN CAZAN ON “DELTA SPACE MISSION”

We sat down with Delta Space Mission‘s  to reminisce about the making of the 1984 Romanian space epic and get a recommendation for where to eat in Bucharest.

Mr. Cazan provided some additional notes and links post-interview:

“Romanian cinema had several studios: for live-action films there were several studios in Buftea (near Bucharest); for documentaries, there was a studio, Sahia, with two offices in the capital; for animation, there was Animafilm, with two offices.

About 300 people worked at Animafilm. The animation was best for the budget, because it made series for children (6 to 12 years old) that sold well, for television, bundled in Europe, Asia, and Africa.

I studied architecture at the Ion Mincu Institute of Architecture—after my internship, I went to Animafilm. After graduating from a course taught by Victor Antonescu, I joined as an animator. Because my architecture studies were not recognized, I also attended courses at the Institute of Fine Arts.

Victor Antonescu initiated a sci-fi series, based on which the General Manager launched a kind of promotional contest for a new series. Together with Mircea Toia, we assembled a team to work on the first episode, which was a success. The management asked us to continue the series.

Delta Space Mission was intended for ages 12-20 years, and over. The destination was also international, targeting the countries with which Animafilm already had commercial relations.

Of course, we were influenced by the sci-fi movies that were on the market at the time. But also the books and publications. George Anania, who was the director of Animafilm, was also a writer of sci-fi novels.

For a meal in Bucharest, I recommend, for young people, ”Curtea Veche,” and for those close to my age, any restaurant in Charles de Gaulle Square or Herăstrău Park.”

Literary influences on Delta Space Mission:

  • Jules Verne – “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”, “Around the World in Eighty Days”, “A Journey to the Center of the Earth”, “From the Earth to the Moon”
  • Isaac Asimov – Foundation (1951), Foundation and Empire (1952), Second Foundation (1953), I Robot (1951)
  • Arthur C. Clarke – 2001 – A Space Odyssey (1968), “2010 – Odyssey Two” (1982), “Rendezvous with Rama” (1973)

Movies cited as influences on Delta Space Mission: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968); Meteor (1979); War of the Worlds (1953); Solaris [Solyaris] (1972); Stalker (1979)

Other movies discussed/subsequent favorites: Spaceballs (1987); Up (2009); Inside Out (2015); Zootopia [AKA Zootropolis] (2016); WALL-E (2008)

Calin Cazin’s personal homepage

Victor Wegemann’s paperback science fiction covers that helped inspire the look of the film

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