Patrice Girod appointed Exhibitions & Collection Manager
Patrice Girod, former publisher of the French Lucasfilm Magazine, has been appointed Exhibition & Collection Manager of ScienceFictionArchives.com. "I am delighted, " said Arnaud Grunberg, Director of ScienceFictionArchives.com, "that the rich experience, drive and dedication of Patrice Girod contribute to achieving the objectives of ScienceFictionArchives.com, especially internationally where we are offering our archives to a wider audience. In this exciting period in our evolution, we wanted to strengthen our structure to reinforce our actions both internally and externally."
Aged 43, Patrice Girod has spent 15 years in the magazine publishing industry, which he joined in 1995 by creating his own company (Courleciel s.a.r.l.) and publishing magazines on evergreen franchise such as Lucasfilm/Star Wars Magazine, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Spider-Man 2 and the movie magazine Starfix New Generation. In 2000, he created a second publishing company that specialized in TV series licenses and published official magazines of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Smallvilleand Heroes. In parallel, he produced, at the Grand Rex cinema in Paris, the only two official French Star Wars conventions, Star Wars Reunion in 2005 for the theatrical release of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Reunion II in 2007, for the 30 years of George Lucas’ saga. In 2004, and for two years, he became an expert for Paris museum “Cité des Sciences & de l’Industrie” in order to write the script and selecting the objects for Star Wars The Exhibition.
On the occasion of his appointment, Patrice Girod said he was "particularly pleased to join ScienceFictionArchives.com as Exhibition Manager, at a time when the company decided to accelerate its development in the field of exhibitions. I'm going to work, mainly on the collection’s inventory and marketing. Then we'll see how to diversify ScienceFictionArchives.com activities, since science fiction is a broad topic that can be explored in various ways such as publishing or organizing events!”
Patrice, can you explain your special relationship with the science fiction universe for so many years?
Like many people, I fell into it when I was little! I had the chance to see the first Star Wars at the age of 10 in 1977 and it was a real shock. Not only the film was a true cinematic achievement but, more broadly, it redefined how to approach movie in terms of editing, special effects, music, and design ... a real revolution! At the same time I watched the show “Temps X” on TV and I started reading magazines such as cinema magazine Starfix and Heavy Metal in which I discovered the fantastic world of artists like Moebius and Druillet. In 1987, when the Lucasfilm Fan Club magazine was launched in the U.S., I had the idea to contact George Lucas’ company in order to publish a similar magazine in France. This became reality in 1995, when Lucasfilm Ltd.. allowed me to publish theLucasfilm Magazine for all French-speaking territories. Subsequently, I have always has a special relationship with Lucasfilm collaborators. And as publisher, I had the privilege of meeting George Lucas on numerous occasions, including during the shootings of the prequels.
You have been en extra in one of the films?
Yes, it was Lucasfilm’s gift. I spent ten days on the set of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace in England to conduct interviews of the teams, and three days were devoted to be an extra in the film. I was a citizen of the planet Naboo and as I used to say, I am a green pixel in the final scene of The Phantom Menace! I also had the chance to do one or two voices in the French version of all three movies, being respectively a Battle Droid at the beginning of Episode I, a member of the Senate in Episode II Attack of the Clones and again a Battle Droid against General Grievous in Episode III Revenge of the Sith. This makes good memories!
What are for you the greatest works of science fiction (whether it’s literature, television or film)?
In movies, Star Wars and Star Trek are unavoidable works, but I especially like Blade Runner, Outland and 2001 A Space Odyssey. Moreover, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner remains for me the greatest science fiction film ever made. Lately, I likedDistrict 9, which redefines the genre!
What few people realize is that you also love Star Trek. How do you reconcile that with your deep passion for Star Wars?
I have watched both sagas during my youth, I love them both for different reasons. I have as much admiration for Gene Roddenberry as for George Lucas, the two helped a wider audience to discover Sci-Fi. And let’s not forget Stanley Kubrick, who with 2001 A Space Odyssey, gave science fiction movies undeniable respectability!
Are you a collector, a lover, a curious or all at once?
I am not a collector. I think I can say that I am, above all, a movie buff, for whom the Sci-Fi is an important genre.
All of ScienceFictionArchives.com team is very pleased to officially count you among its active members as director of exhibitions and collections. Can you explain your role and relationship with other team members?
I am fortunate to have known Arnaud Grunberg for more than 25 years, our common passion for movies made us meet at that time. Today, I join ScienceFictionArchives.com, but the irony is that I was with Arnaud when he bought his first original prop in London, in a little comic shop near Leicester Square. It was an Alien egg from the movie Aliens by James Cameron. Destiny is amazing!
Today, my first goal within ScienceFictionArchives.com is the marketing of collections in museums around the world and, in parallel, to finalize the inventory, which is a huge task since the Archives consists of more than 1500 objects. The current exhibition at the “Cité des Sciences” is the first step towards Arnaud’s will to share his collection with the public. At a later time, I will try to rationalize the archives. Again, the challenge is daunting given the magnitude of the collections. I will also work in collaboration with Benjamin Fleurier to expand the website from an editorial point of view and try, in the long term, to offer documentaries to share our love of Sci-Fi and original movie objects.
Robet Watts is ScienceFictionArchives.com’s Honorary President. What is your relationship with this great movie maker?
I first spoke with Robert Watts when I was preparing an article on the 20th anniversary of Return of the Jedi forLucasfilm Magazine. That was in 2003! Since that day we have become friends. I am very happy and proud to work with him today.
What are, today, your objectives and those of your partners?
I think our goal is to work with passion and to communicate this passion to people who come to see our exhibits. We have an educational mission and we must meet it through our exhibitions. Arnaud Grunberg is dedicated to save all these objects so that they do not disappear and we will put everything in place for the public to discover them in the best possible conditions.
What does ScienceFictionArchives.com means to you from a personal point of view and for the national or international world of science fiction?
I am very impressed by what Arnaud has done. I think that, 20 years ago, when he began this collection of original Sci-Fi movie objects, he had a real vision! He began long before the Internet and therefore had to make a real expert work and research that is close to a detective job. ScienceFictionarchives.com provides an alternative for museums because our archives cover a wide spectrum of science fiction movies from Metropolisto Avatar. Science fiction can be enjoyed and discovered as a whole!
You must be one of the lucky few to have a global view of ScienceFictionArchives.com’s collections. Can you tell us more?
It's huge! It is the work of a lifetime! When you are in the archives it’s like Proust's madeleine, except there is not just one Madeleine but a huge box of them available. All the objects were made for monuments of the science fiction genre. It’s very impressive, even intimidating!
What are the three most iconic objects from the collection?
Once again, this is a difficult exercise because I must choose among 1500 objects. It's very hard! But I will choose Luke Skywalker Ceremony Jacket fromStar Wars, because it is a very unique artifact in many ways. Then, Harrison Ford’s costume from Blade Runner and, finally, the Viper from Battlestar Galactica because it’s the biggest piece of the archives.
Does ScienceFictionArchives.com, have or will have relationships with other celebrities,directly or indirectly with the world of science fiction?
Fortunately, we have many friends and supporters but we always want to expand the circle Friends of the Archives. Today, we have famous people like producer Robert Watts or graphic artist Jean-Claude Mézières on the website, but in the long term we will feature more people who share our 'mission' to preserve science fiction’s heritage.
How is ScienceFictionArchives.com organized and how does it work in terms of acquisition, conservation and development?
Regarding future acquisitions, we're trying to see what the needs of our archives are. However, Arnaud Grunberg, who has a global overview of the collections, remains the final arbiter of acquisition policy.
Can you tell us a little more about the goals and future projects of ScienceFictionArchives.com?
The first objective is to support its collections by making them travel wherever there is potential and interest. For the long term, we are beginning to think about other ways to share the archives’ mission and passion for science fiction. I come from the world of publishing and events such as official Star Warsconventions, and I'm starting to have ideas on what we could do in the future. I’ll keep you posted.