Folks, this is Harry here.... MAN, this sounds like Cameron is up to his next tickling with brilliance. Personally from the sound of this, I would guess that he’s probably using these projects as a bit of R&D for his AVATAR project that is just awaiting to be made someday. Keep your fingers crossed. Ol Roger Ramjet here... Man, I tell you. It always pays to be courteous to folks wherever you are. He really didn’t know much about film other than the final product, now look... He’s a spy. Cool. Personally, I don’t know about you, but I’m dying to hear more on these projects. Well... Here’s Roger...
Hey there Harry, you might remember me from your visit a while back to Nasa when you came to visit the ARMAGEDDON set. I was the one that asked you why they kept shooting the same scenes 15 to 20 times. I realize now how stupid that must have sounded. After a year and a half of reading your site I think I have a better grip on what goes into making a movie.
I bet you are wondering what I’m going on about with this email, so I guess I better get on up to the point.
There’s a bunch of us NASA guys here in Houston that are really quite pissed about the whole bunch of ‘MARS’ projects on the horizon in Hollywood. You see you have those two projects at Warner Brothers and Disney that are just so full of baloney that we NASA types just want to throw our hands up in the air and form a revolt. One has the remains of giant dinosaurs on the surface of Mars, they all have government conspiracies that make us out to be the bad guys. In fact they even have the same sort of unlikely bullshit as was in that FIRST MEN ON THE MOON bit, complete with pulsating domes that encapsulate alien towns.
And let us not even go into the actual science of the space travel. We really did think after the success of APOLLO 13 and that mini-series of Tom Hanks that we’d see an explosion of real hard science fact being spiced into our science fiction films.
I know this sounds really negative Harry, but there is a point to all of this. I was hanging out at a bar with some of my fellow NASA workers and as the night wore on, one of our project managers started getting really open. This is why if you people think we are covering something up you are wrong. We are people just like you. We can get fucked up and vocal about secrets and blow it like anybody else. Keeping secrets in this world is not as simple as saying it is a secret. This man, who I’ll call John Glenn just cause he’s a real hero, began detailing a real Hollywood project, actually two of them, that do care about the reality of space travel and the future of man.
Turns out both projects are sitting in the lap of James Cameron. One is that 5 hour mini-series detailing the first manned mission to Mars that will be not unlike that Tom Hanks HBO thing. Cameron’s take is to treat the Mars mission as though it has already happened. John Glenn was calling these projects Science Fact, but that is kind of stupid since it hasn’t happened yet and is fictional, it is by definition Science Fiction. It’s just paying a real close bit of attention to the hard SCIENCE part.
The other project is a 3-D IMAX movie that will cover the same basic subject matter called DESTINATION MARS. Now John really started going into how much Cameron really cares about the reality of the mission. He’s talking to all of our people here in NASA about the space suits, equipment we’ll need, the mission plans. He wants to know every step we will need to take to get there, just like when we went to the moon. John says that Cameron really is listening to the scientist as opposed to just paying them for their ‘consultant’ names autographed on the project for validity’s sake. (ahem, ARMAGEDDON anyone?)
When I say he’s really listening to us, I really mean it. I’m talking about him including details like the “In-Situ Resource Utilization Nuclear Powered Fuel Plant” Most people really don’t care about that sort of thing, but that piece of equipment and mission is what will assure the astronauts the ability to have supplies waiting for them on Mars. You see it extracts elements from the atmosphere that we’ll need to manufacture all the water and fuel and oxygen for the return trip, as well as the stay on Mars.
There is so much more that I can go into with you Harry, but for now why don’t you run this and see if your audience wants to hear more about the project. You have my email, just contact me if there is any interest. The two Cameron projects are what we NASA folks are excited about. You know, we’ve had a century of science fiction melodramas and a lot of us scientist want to see the movies done with the same degree of care and effort that we put into the real thing. By trivializing space travel and inter-planetary voyages it makes what we do seem and feel to kids out there as being archaic and silly. By taking it seriously and showing the real thought and team effort and the drive and passion of meeting each of a thousand different goals I really feel that kids and people in school will redouble their efforts and go back to dreaming a lost dream we have had.
Wow, I really did not intend to turn this into a Gettysburg Address, but you know me. Just get me talking and try to shut me up. I love what we do here, I just want more people out there to love it too.
This is Roger Ramjet zooming out