50 Years of 2001: A Space Odyssey - Stamp CollectionHello, Dave. Sorry. I mean, hello, folks. I do apologize for my slight confusion, but, to be honest, today has been one of those days where I'm not one hundred percent certain about life, death, and the state of the world in general. Well, I've just re-watched the 1968 Stanley Kubrick classic, '2001: A Space Odyssey', doing so in order to refresh my memory about the historical significance this movie has had on the film industry.

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It's been over 50 years since it first made its world premiere in Washington D.C., on the 2nd of April, 1968, and since that magical event took place, filmmakers around the world have tried their best to improve on the concepts, the techniques, and the technological advancements, both Stanley and the acclaimed science fiction writer, Arthur C Clarke, introduced through the making of this film. My problem with this, however, is that these improvements weren't always used with the intent of making a good story. Rather, they were used to highlight and showcase a bigger and larger cinematic-canvas or massage a directors ego.

Not all the time, mind you, and yes, I do admit, that there have been a number of occasions where the methods this movie introduced actually improved the quality of a film, although not always the story it was trying to tell. Either way, in order to commemorate the release of '2001: A Space Odyssey', The Isle of Man Post Office have announced that they will be launching a series of eight hi-tech stamps to celebrate the golden anniversary of this iconic British film, rated one of the greatest films of all time.

The 1968 Stanley Kubrick classic, '2001: A Space Odyssey'
The Isle of Man Post Office have worked in conjunction with Warner Bros., the Kubrick family, and the SKFA, to create a set of stamps that are respectful of the genre, the film, as well as anyone associated with this project. Plus in true Kubrick style, each stamp will contain hidden secrets and a message embedded for fans to find.

You also might like to know that these stamps have received Royal Approval and were designed by Glazier Design, a creative design agency based in London that previously designed the Stephen Hawking Gravitational Theory range of stamps for the IOMPO. Now for further information please check out the Isle Of Man Post Office website as well as the official '2001' facebook and twitter pages. But before you go off and do that, here, check out the stamps in question.

50 Years of 2001: A Space Odyssey - Stamp Collection

FILM FACT: This film took over 4 years
to complete and it went over budget by 7
million dollars. When Kubrick first
approached Clarke in 1964 he told him it
would only take 2 years to make and cost 5
million dollars, give or take a couple of
thousand. Not 12 million dollars which
was its actual cost when it was released
in 1968.
50 Years of 2001: A Space Odyssey - Stamp Collection

FILM FACT: Ronnie Corbett, who was one
half of the famous British double-act, 'The
Two Ronnies', was originally cast to play the
main primate for the prehistoric part of the
plot. But unfortunately, after getting
involved in the numerous makeup and
costume tests required, he turned down the
role simply because it took too long and
was very-very confining.

50 Years of 2001: A Space Odyssey - Stamp Collection

FILM FACT: There was an un-shot
sequence included in the script which
predicted the development of the internet.
Basically, it involved one of the astronauts
looking at a newspaper via some kind of
TV screen, brandishing the New York
Times logo, similar to an iPad type device.
50 Years of 2001: A Space Odyssey - Stamp Collection

FILM FACT:  In an early draft of the script
the character of David Bowman, originally
named Bruno, rides along the highway in 
"a computer-guided Rolls Royce", i.e. a 
driver-less car, with his child and dog in tow 
while bisecting the great 
"Washington-New York complex".

50 Years of 2001: A Space Odyssey - Stamp Collection

FILM FACT: After watching MGM's big
cinematic production, 'How the West Was Won',
starring John Wayne, Debbie Reynolds, and
James Stewart, both Kubrick and Clarke
privately titled their collaboration, 'How the
Solar System Was Won', and then 'How the
Universe Was Won'. Other possible titles they
also thought of included 'Universe: Tunnel
to the Stars', 'The Star Gate', 'Jupiter
Window', and 'Earth Escape', among others.

50 Years of 2001: A Space Odyssey - Stamp Collection

FILM FACT: Before deciding upon the
name HAL-9000, Clarke and Stanley came
up with two other possibilities for their
computerized creation: Socrates and Athena.
Funnily enough, you could say exactly the
same thing about the voice behind the machine.
They initially tried out such actors as Nigel
Davenport and Martin Balsam, before eventually
hiring Douglas Rain, who was the narrator of
'Universe', a black and white short that partly
inspired the creation of HAL.

50 Years of 2001: A Space Odyssey - Stamp Collection

FILM FACT: While MGM was drafting
up a contract for Kubrick's production company,
'Hawk Films', they included a clause where he
had to provide a short list of possible alternate
directors for his projects. The names he gave
them included three mavericks of the movie
industry: Alfred Hitchcock, David Lean,
and Billy Wilder.

50 Years of 2001: A Space Odyssey - Stamp Collection

FILM FACT: Unfortunately this film wasn't
successful when it was first released in 1968.
As a matter of fact, by the intermission of its
world premiere in Washington DC, attendees
were streaming out of the theatre in droves
because they didn't like it and thought it was a
disaster. Heck, even Clarke heard one of the
suits at MGM say: "That this was the end of 
Stanley Kubrick". But thankfully, within 5
weeks of opening in only 8 theatres, '2001' 
had grossed more than 1 million dollars
and gradually some critics began to see the light.

While releasing these stamps the Kubrick family & SKFA have chosen to highlight the work of the Jane Goodall Institute, which is a charity that encourages individuals to improve the environment for all living things. The Isle of Man Post Office is also pleased to include a profile of the charity to raise awareness of their important work.


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