Updated: Oct 1, 2019
RECREATING THE APOLLO 13 STORY FOR CAPT. JIM LOVELL
In 2007, before Youtube was widely used, I scoured libraries searching for various VHS tapes and any historic footage I could find about the Apollo 13 mission. My goal was to create a brief highlight summary of the historic event for an audience of around 5,500 and then to introduce Capt. Jim Lovell to the stage (hence the long music and graphic at the end). If you saw the Ron Howard movie, Apollo 13, Capt. Jim Lovell was played by Tom Hanks.
I pieced together historic news and film clips from about 20 different VHS tapes and DVDs, chose individual audio clips from the Houston audio feed, mixed the music for impact, and decided to use Walter Cronkite's iconic voiceover from his 2-hour documentary to explain the event.. in just under 5-minutes.
When Astronaut Capt. Jim Lovell saw it, he said it was one of the best shortened versions he’d seen accurately depicting the Apollo 13 disaster, and asked if he could use it for his own personal promos and for his upcoming stage presentations, which of course we said yes, and he did.
My brush with space history doesn't end there. When I was a rookie, I just began creating videos for real estate mogul and motivational speaker, Brian Buffini in 2002. Brian convinced Astronaut Neil Armstrong to join him on stage at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in front of about 5,000 people, and have a chat. After decades of keeping a low-profile with his family, Neil finally agreed. When NASA heard there was a brand new interview of Neil Armstrong talking about the moon landing, I was asked to make a copy at no cost to NASA, since it was historic footage.
Shortly after I sent NASA the copy of the Neil Armstrong interview, I was walking through the Orlando airport when I saw the same interview I just sent NASA playing on multiple screens at a Discovery Channel store in the airport mall.
Coincidentally, I later learned that my father's best friend and neighbor of 30+ years, Hal, was deeply involved in early space exploration and was contracted by NASA for historic missions, like Apollo 11, Apollo 13, working with Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Capt. Jim Lovell, John Glenn and other legends. Hal's name, with many others, are on a plaque on the moon. Recently, my dad and Hal have been looking at planets through their telescopes, which I have enjoyed participating, especially with my new passion for astrophotography.
I guess it was written in the stars . . . 🙄