Failure Is Not an Option. Lunar Landing. Badass. Policing. Confirming Sora. Pure Talent.

“The Worst Thing You Can Do is Nothing.” Fly Me to the Moon. Angelina Jolie. Hit Him Again. Tyler Perry Has His Say. Into The Night.

Quote of the Week: “In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” —Theodore Roosevelt

  • A few posts ago, I mentioned analysis paralysis. The act of not acting by hesitating to make a decision due to overthinking. I guess Theodore Roosevelt’s quote can be problematic, as we usually do not think that ‘the next best thing is the wrong thing’ as none of us want to make a decision that does not work out.

One of my pet peeves – people who do not act on a situation, thinking that if they wait and do not make a decision or act, the situation will just go away. As most of us have experienced, waiting and doing nothing usually makes the situation worse, putting your family, friends, and associates into a situation where they cannot act due to your indecisiveness and indecision.

Most of us remember Apollo 13, and the heroism of the crew and the decision-making of mission control. They acted quickly to save the crew, and most likely went through the same decision-making process we deal with in our everyday lives.

  • Identify the issue or problem that must be acted on and solved.
  • Quickly gather relevant information to weigh your options.
  • Consider the pros and cons (the + and the -) of your options and the possible ramifications, outcomes, and results.
  • Once you have determined the best option, MAKE your decision.
  • Evaluate your decision, understand the outcome, and garner feedback from others.

Ed Harris played flight control commander Gene Kranz in the docudrama Apollo 13. In a matter of minutes, Kranz and his team identified the problem, gathered information, considered the pros and cons, and made a decision that ultimately delivered the Apollo 13 crew home alive. As Roosevelt said, “the worst thing you can do is nothing.”

“Failure is Not an Option.”

  • I have discussed, ad nauseum, how the commercialization of space has made launches from Kennedy Space Center an almost everyday occurrence. The days are long gone when a launch was so unique and amazing, we all stopped working, classrooms stopped teaching, and all of us turned on the television to watch a launch, mostly from launch complex 39 at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Last Thursday, a spacecraft attempted the first U.S. moon landing in over fifty years. Though the descent and landing on the moon’s surface was precarious, slightly delayed, and fraught with communication issues, the first commercial vehicle did land on the moon, with NASA confirming that it may now be on its side. The payload included about $120M in NASA materials meant in part to lay the groundwork for a human visit in 2026 as part of the Artemis program. After 50 years, another outstanding achievement for the space program, another part of a much broader project to eventually send humans back to the moon’s surface for the first time since the 1970s.

Many just shrug the shoulders and ask ‘so what’ to NASA and their commercial space partners’ efforts to explore space. Many consider NASA’s 2024 budget of $27.2 billion to be a waste of money. I feel exactly the opposite as space exploration and advancing U. S. leadership in technology innovation in aviation and space will be key with enabling multiple commercial partners to build a robust space economy. The budget and NASA’s efforts allow a further build out of the Earth System Observatory, “allowing open access to actionable data and information on climate change and natural hazards for scientists, decision-makers, and the public.

The First U.S. Moon Landing in Over Fifty Years.

  • A random take for the last Sunday of February 2024.

The badass. Often adored by people around the world, the badass persona has usually been aligned with the tough and rough characters portrayed, for the most part, by men. Think about movies including John Wick, Crank, Pulp Fiction, Scarface, Django Unchained, Taken, Kill Bill, and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Most of these movies bring us adrenaline-pumping action, witty characters, inventive storytelling, and most importantly escape, reflection, insights, and revelations. For me, my vote goes to the first of the John Wick series, with Keanu Reeves seeking revenge after his beloved dog is killed by a group of thugs. Yes, it is incredibly violent, but it is two hours of complete unapologetic action cinema, with expertly choreographed fights and stunning cinematography. The plot? Who really cares about the plot? 🙂

Last week I needed to leave the sports-watching world and found the 2010 movie, Salt. Speaking of badass characters, Angelina Jolie was bar none in these two hours of fun. There are so many explosive scenes, a great cast, and a storyline we can all engage with as Jolie plays Evelyn Salt, who is accused of being a Russian sleeper agent and goes on the run to try to clear her name. You can talk Liam Neeson, Al Pacino, Clint Eastwood, and Keanu Reeves, but for my money, my vote goes to Angelina Jolie in the movie Salt. You only understand who Evelyn Salt really is when the great actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor, scrolls through Salt’s C.V. on his phone. A simple but eye-opening scene.

An RPG from a desk chair and a fire extinguisher.

  • The countdown, and we are so close. Two weeks to daylight savings time!

  • Police – in the United States, a most difficult and complex job. Heightened awareness, the ‘woke’ movement, and cameras everywhere do not make the job easier, especially when it comes to dealing with family disputes. I am not going to bore any of you with my take on parents and their relationship with their children. What I am going to say it that our children are a product of their environment, and that starts with their parents. Do not misunderstand what I am saying, I am not downplaying the cause and effect of children in a broken home, or even worse, without parents. What I am saying is that the police work shown in this video is a great balance of decision-making by that officer. He listened, evaluated, and took action. Police officers have a very difficult job. Maybe this scene should be made into a public service announcement.
A Great Scene from the show Southland.

  • A number of readers responded to last week’s take on the effect of OpenAI’s new text-to-video model called Sora. I tried to explain that this new AI model may cause havoc with movie and television production houses, as the technology could possibly take the place of studio production staff. Last Thursday, Atlanta filmmaker Tyler Perry had his say with the possible effect of Sora:

Tyler Perry has put the kibosh on a planned $800 million expansion at his 330-acre studio in Atlanta over fears that rapid advances in video-related artificial intelligence could reduce demand for traditional filmmaking.
Last week, OpenAI unveiled its new text-to-video model Sora with sample AI-generated videos that impressed and alarmed many observers.
“Being told that it can do all of these things is one thing, but actually seeing the capabilities, it was mind blowing,” Perry said Thursday in an extensive interview with The Hollywood Reporter. He said filmmakers may not need to do location shoots or even build out certain sets if the technology keeps improving.
Perry’s apparent pullback is notable because the prolific filmmaker not only shoots his own projects at Tyler Perry Studios at the former Fort McPherson, one of the largest filming campuses in the country, but he also reaps substantial revenue renting soundstages and backlot operations to other major studios.
Because as I was looking at it, I immediately started thinking of everyone in the industry who would be affected by this, including actors and grip and electric and transportation and sound and editors, and looking at this, I’m thinking this will touch every corner of our industry.”

Will AI and models like Sora change most aspects of creative thinking and development? You are damn straight it will.

  • I try to close my weekly post with what I call pure talent. I remember the song, Into the Night, circa 1980, but I never knew much about Benny Mardones. To all you young musicians…. this is a live performance in 1980, with 1/100th of the technical integration now used by live-performing bands. No auto-tune, no lip-sync, no ear-prompting. His band actually worked hard on the backing vocals. The song, Into the Night, is just pure talent.

Adios, pay it forward, be safe, and have a Sunday Funday.

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.