October Sky – “We didn’t start the FIRE” | The Synthesis

Lacey and Alex put a telescope up to the film “October Sky” starring Tobey Maguire. Based on a true story, did filmmakers do this tale justice?? Or will we have a lot of heavy sighs this episode? Billy Joel said it best, “we didn’t start the fire”, no but for real, the rocket boys didn’t start the fire. (spoiler?)

𝕋𝕙𝕖 π•Šπ•ͺπ•Ÿπ•₯π•™π•–π•€π•šπ•€ is a live talk show that aims to find the relationship between science and fiction in pop culture. We’ll discuss a book, movie, or show each week that’s science-focused and talk about just how realistic it is, where reality is cooler than fiction, and exactly where certain liberties were taken.

00:12

Hey folks, this is Alexander Winn and I am Lacey Hannan and you are here watching The

Synthesis, the show where we discuss real science being used in entertainment. This week

we are talking about the movie “October Sky” based on the book “Rocket Boys.” Yeah, it’s

it’s a good time. Yeah, I love this movie. This is this is one from my, like teenage years that

was sort of helped chart the course of who I wanted to be as a person this. Yeah, October

sky was big for for Alexander. Yep, a little bit a little bit. It’s the story of a group of high

school kids in West Virginia and West Virginia mining town who start making homemade

rockets and ended up going higher than any of them ever thought they could. And it’s

awesome.

01:04

It’s based on let’s see how long I can make him talk. That’s what’s happening over here. So

that’s a dangerous game, because I’m just gonna take over the whole show. He can talk

forever. That’s true. So a couple of things that were interesting that I found sort of behind

the scenes before we actually start talking about the movie. Let’s talk about talking about

the movie. So first off, it’s based on the book rocket boys. But it’s not called rocket boys

because the marketing team at the at the film studio when they were making the movie,

did some focus testing and found out that women over 30 would never go see a movie

called rocket boys. So they renamed it October sky based on the October skies a Sputnik

flew over. But interestingly, October sky is an anagram of rocket boys. And I was not able

to find anywhere. Anybody saying if that’s a coincidence, or did somebody like Alright, we

can’t do rocket boys. I guess I’ll make an anagram like, was that the thought? I don’t know.

But anyway, October sky anagram of rocket boys. That’s interesting. A little weird, right?

It’d be weird for it to be a coincidence, but I can somehow still see it being a coincidence.

Yeah, exactly.

02:11

I looked up to see you know how much money it made and all that kind of stuff. I I found

out that it made $34.7 million. And I was like, Oh, no. was October sky a flop? No.

Welcome to the 90s the whole movie only cost 25 million. So it was quite successful. I’m

just so used to like Marvel movie budgets. And and what we know right now is that

02:34

producers have told me this frequently that we don’t have midsize movies anymore, right?

And the audiences can see that we have all these indie movies that are made for under 5

million.

02:47

If they’re under three, it’s even better. And then big tentpole movies, right. And that’s your

your Marvel stuff or anything. That’s your blockbuster. And that’s what keeps all of the

other movies funded. But they don’t do the mid size movies are not very often right. And

which is unfortunate. Even when the stories could be a mid size budget, they often get

inflated. Yeah. So

03:13

yep. So a couple of interesting things. You know, as always, when you’ve got a story that is

being twice adapted from from real life to book and then from book to movie, obviously

things are going to change. There are a bunch of things like that, that we don’t need to go

into. Apparently, there were six rocket boys instead of four. Homer Hickam was a junior his

father’s name was also Homer. So in the movie, they changed it to john so people wouldn’t

get confused. You know, things like that. But a couple of interesting things that I found. In

terms of the legacy of this movie, I didn’t realize that this movie had like a legacy. I

thought it was just like a good movie from the 90s that if you’ve seen it, you probably

enjoyed it. But a couple of interesting things came out of this movie. First off, there are not

one but two festivals honoring the rocket boys. Yeah, annual festivals that are held every

year. One of them is in West Virginia, and it actually honors the rocket boys. It’s a thing

that they do every year. And then the other is in Tennessee, there is an annual gathering

about the movie. They filmed it in Tennessee instead of in West Virginia. And it’s like it’s

like when you go to New Zealand and you visit all the Lord of the Rings filming locations

there’s like tours and stuff of October sky filming locations, which I love that yeah, it’s

awesome. Like I was I didn’t realize that this movie was that big. We’ve talked not not us

with you guys. But Alex and I have talked a lot about the the different mechas that Yeah,

crop up, you know, like, okay, so people know that. The original Star Wars movies. There

were parts of them that were filmed in Tunisia, but there’s really no place to go. Yeah, I’ve

been to Tunisia. It was pointed out to me. Hey, that’s where that part was filmed. Well

okay, but

05:00

There’s like nothing there. It’s not like a Star Wars site in the same way that like when you

go to New Zealand, there is hobbiton, you can visit hobbiton. It’s got a visitor center with

a gift shop and they’ve got tours. And that’s like not the only thing like there’s there, you

can go to Mount Sunday, which is address address, but you also have all the tours that

take you there and one when we went on the tour anyway, the the bus driver had been a

sound guy on the movie, and he just liked to do the tours. Yeah. And so he was he was not

only talking about, you know, this is where they filmed such and such. He was like, this is

where we filmed this. And he’d like walk you through, he talks about like going to the

Oscars and stuff like that. I mean, it was so cool, right? And you’ve got a couple of

different places like that in New Zealand.

05:49

hobbiton is obviously like the big one. But you know, every so often we look up and we’re

like, Where are the rest of them? Because there’s so much fun. Yeah. And of course, you’ve

got, you know, backlots that you can see tours of Yeah, you know, and there are and there

are like locations again, like like Tunisia where there’s sort of no pomp and circumstance,

you know, you can go visit the Ghostbusters building in New York, you can go visit the

friend’s apartment building in New York, things like that. You can just sort of point out and

be like, Oh, look, that’s the that’s where they shot the thing. But there’s nothing there.

Yeah. And it’s so surprising it. It seems like if somebody I mean, I don’t actually know what

the the Ghostbusters building in New York is right now. It was supposedly a fire station. I

don’t know if it’s actually a fire station. But whatever it is. I feel like somebody could buy

that movie or buy that building and make bank. I mean, you’d have to get the you’d have

to get some sort of rights. But I don’t know why someone hasn’t. Maybe they’ve tried but I

don’t know why there isn’t a central park like that just doesn’t Yeah, make a lot of sense to

me. And he is in Turkey. Somebody started a central perk of love cafes in Turkey. Well, I mean, that’s one way to do it. Yeah. But so what I’m, what I’m saying is, it’s really cool that there is one for this movie, right? All things. Yeah. Amber cool, that it’s a science movie. And it’s based on a true story. I love I love that fact. Yeah, tell me more. So the other thing that really jumped out at me, there’s just, it’s just crazy

how history unfolds. It’s, you know, they’re just weird little wrinkles in how things happen.

07:26

October sky came out, I believe in 1999. And in the audience, there was a guy who saw the movie and was super moved by it and was really sort of powerfully motivated by the message of this film. And that person who was Jeff Bezos, and apparently, when he left the theater and went to go talk about it after the

screening, he was talking to a

07:59

he was talking to sci fi author, Neil Stevenson. And he mentioned that he had always

wanted to start a space company. And Neil Stevenson was like, Well, why don’t you? And

now Jeff Bezos has Blue Origin, which is a SpaceX competitor. So like, October Sky is the

reason that Blue Origin exists. I guess. That is That’s bizarre. Like I mean, it’s not bizarre. I

shouldn’t say that. It’s just Jeff Bezos being inspired by I don’t know, I guess I shouldn’t say

that either. Because he’s the one who who, quote unquote, saved the expanse. Yep. That

guy is a is a sci fi nerd. He is. Well, I mean, I’m glad he brings us a couple of good things.

08:47

I one of the other things that I will say just that we, that we think we’re right on is Laura

Dern is the one who plays Miss Riley. And what’s wonderful actress Yeah, Jurassic Park

and Star Wars and a whole bunch of great stuff. Um, she was the one who played Ellen

DeGeneres, his girlfriend on the episode, where Ellen DeGeneres came out on TV. And

because of that episode, Laura Dern was black listed from Hollywood for quite some time

and had to get security guards to go with her she was being threatened a lot. And this was

her first movie that she got after after all of that, and it took her she lost a lot of roles

because of that took her a couple of years to get back into Hollywood yeah after this and

so strange but man what a comeback role like this is such a great always said that she’s

never regretted doing the doing the roll in that episode of Ellen and she’s very proud of it,

which I think is wonderful and lovely. It’s amazing how much in

10:00

In some ways, how much Hollywood has changed, because that today would not be the

reason Hollywood would black. Hollywood will still blacklist you for things. Yeah, this is just

not one of those reasons. So well, and you know, it’s just it’s especially crazy because she’s

not like she played a gay character on a TV show and people from Hollywood who ought

to know how actors playing characters works. blacklisted, or it’s very strange. Yeah, yeah.

Very strange. So but what a great comeback roll October sky. Yeah, sorry, shall we get

into it jumping into I want to do a synopsis up front.

10:40

I think I think we handled it up top group of group of kids in a coal mining town in West

Virginia, start developing homemade rockets and eventually use it as a vehicle to get out

to go to college get out of the, the really crushing cycle of being locked into this company

town. For a man who likes to use 10 words when he could use one. He actually just did the

thing where he just used one. That was like, one long sentence. Look at me, I’m growing.

Oh, my God, it’s happening.

11:20

Okay, let’s. So let’s just kind of start with the scholarship conversation. I, you know, they

talk about how jocks are the only ones who get out of the town. They’re the only ones who

get girlfriends, and are the only ones who get scholarships. Yeah. And I will say that being

from a very small Midwestern town, that was an experience. Now, it wasn’t quite this bad.

But it’s not like, it’s not like the 60s and a coal town, like, but there was a lot of people

trying to get, you know, there, make sure that they have the best grades or, you know, all

of these all of these big accomplishments that people could do with music and, and whatnot. And

scholarships were just hard to come by, or you get like 1000 bucks. And it’s like, how far is

that really going to get you. But the jocks would go on to get full rides. And so hearing

that it just kind of broke my heart, it resonated, because that was absolutely a thing that

people struggled with. It broke my heart, too, because it didn’t resonate. I grew up in a big

city. And I you know, it was a reasonably well off neighborhood. And I actually have

written in my notes, I am so glad that I didn’t grow up in a town where the whole local

culture was oriented toward escaping. Like that. I grew up in sort of the opposite. I grew up

in the town that you didn’t want to leave people referred to it as the bubble, because

everybody just sort of stayed in and then you know, did their thing in this neighborhood.

And the idea that I wanted to move to LA was strange. See, whereas I came from a town

where pretty much everyone wanted to leave, except the the college or university that

most people ended up at, was we I’m from Yankton, South Dakota. So I went to Yankton.

High, there’s only one high school, and we called it Yankton. High, take two, because it

was 23 minutes, if you were speeding five minutes, or five miles per hour over the speed

limit. That’s how long it took you to get to the university. And anyway, there was a lot of

there were a lot of people trying to escape. Who that next town over was, as far as they

got. I actually didn’t want to escape. I just always knew that my career wouldn’t allow me

to stay as much as I can love South Dakota so much. But I can’t do acting work there. So

gotta go. So that one, that one, it broke my heart. But yeah, well, this movie does an

incredible job of justifying why this scholarship is so important, like the, the slow grind of

lifestyle in coal, wood, and just the sort of, there’s a quote that is, you know, quite famous,

but that I thought of a lot during this movie, which is it’s from Henry David Thoreau, which

is the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. And that is exactly what this movie is.

This movie is quiet desperation. Yeah. And

14:41

even like the happiest minor. Yeah. Which is Jake. We see him pretty early on. Yeah. And

then we see him a couple times throughout. He’s the one who, when Homer ends up

working in the mines, Jake is his manager. Jake is also the one that’s at the strike.

14:59

All right.

15:00

The Union meeting and then is a part of the strike.

15:03

I he even was like he was the happiest of Yeah.

15:10

Yeah. And even then it just still felt like run ragged, I guess.

15:16

I think I for not being from coal country, I felt like they did a great job of really delving into

the culture and the, the lives and the pride that goes into this world.

15:34

It and it wasn’t beautiful. But there it was a nice, it was really nice to get that glimpse to be

that fly on the wall for Staffordshire. Speaking of the setting, by the way, the very first

thing that jumped out at me about this movie is something that I really enjoy, which is that

it portrayed something that was very real, but that doesn’t really get committed to film

very often, which is that America was getting its ass kicked in the space race. Yeah, like,

you know, Americans love to sort of when the point just before the buzzer declare victory

and then retroactively be like we won that game and not mentioned the fact that you

were losing most of the time. But that is exactly what happened with the space race. If

you go through the history of the space race between the United States and the Soviet

Union, the Soviet Union had the first object in space, the first animal in space, the first

man in space, the first woman in space, the first space station, the first probe on Venus,

the first probe on Mars, you know, like, it just goes on, and on and on, and on and on. And

then Americans had landing on the moon. And we were like, done, victory finished moving

on. And so these days, a lot of people look back on the space race as Americans won it.

But this story is set at a point where there’s sort of a big question mark about whether we are ever going to catch up to the Soviets in space. And there’s a lot of incidental dialogue where people are talking about Sputnik and they’re talking about how their cameras up on that thing, or they’re probably bombs up on that thing. Spoiler alert, Sputnik was a hunk of metal that beeped Sputnik did nothing. It was an achievement that we got a beeping piece of metal up into space. It did not have cameras, it did not have missiles. It had nothing It reminded some of that dialogue reminded me of so one of the lines was,

17:24

yeah, they’re not going to why would they bomb us? Like Yeah, why stuff a bomb? Yeah,

exactly. And I remember after 911 there were, you know, all of these conspiracies. I mean,

theories of just like assumptions. Yeah. Where bombs would be dropped. And I remember

my town is right on a dam on one of the biggest rivers in the US. And people were like, it

could happen here. And I was like, yeah, nobody’s gonna, nobody’s gonna get that far into

American airspace. And no one wants to put in that time and effort guy. Yeah, that’s why

they are the targets of al Qaeda are going to be the biggest symbol of the American

military, the biggest symbol of the American government, the biggest symbol of the

American economy, and the dam in Yankton, South Dakota, it’s like, okay, so after 911,

they, they took Bush to Omaha, Nebraska, which is like two and a half hours south of

Yankton. And they told everybody where he was because I’m sorry, nobody’s gonna get

and nobody’s gonna get to the middle America. That’s just not how it works. And so they

don’t care. Yeah. And so that’s what that made me think of it was just like, they did a great

job with small town America.

18:40

And I, I loved that. The thing that I really liked about seeing Sputnik for the first time is you

have to, this isn’t something that would happen for us today. But looking up there and

seeing Sputnik would probably be scary for a multitude of reasons. But that’s probably the

fastest I’ve ever seen anything go through space? Oh, yes. You know, can you imagine

looking? I mean, we see it all the time. We see airplanes all the time, we see different, you

know, we see the space station and satellites. This isn’t going to be something that occurs

to us, but for the first time ever, seeing there’s an artificial satellite up there. There’s a new

star in the sky. Yeah, yeah. And it doesn’t blink. It just moves really fast. Oh my gosh, I think

that would be I think that would be legitimately frightening. Well and just awe inspiring,

you know, like depending on how you look at it I totally by Homer Hickam his response

which is just all he’s looking up and there’s there’s a new light in the sky. How amazing is

that? Is that not that to me? That’s like childlike. That’s the childlike wonder of it. Yeah. If

you’re an adult living in a time and you’re really frightened by the the Russians. Yeah, that

would be scary. You’ve lived Yeah, no, it just think of your life. Yeah, it just it comes down to

20:00

What is more important to you the fear of what that thing might do? Or the all of the fact

that it happened at all? Yeah, like, you can be terrified of the Nazis and still be like, wow,

they made a really good plains, you know, and I get that. I’m just saying, like, if you’re

someone in your 40s, or 50s, you’ve lived, you know, a good portion of that century. And,

and you’ve never seen anything like this, you’ve lived a good portion of your adult hood,

and never seen anything like this. And all of the context around it of the Russians versus

the US. And oh, my God, I just think that there’s, and then of course, then there are these

kids who are like, this is dope. Yeah. This is dope. I want to do that. Yeah. And which is, I

think, I think it’s so cool that it’s inspiring to that. So

20:45

it’s, I have exactly the same thing, just that that moment is, is so great.

20:53

There was an interesting little callback to something we’ve discussed earlier on the

synthesis here, which is pretty early, he starts writing letters to Verner von Braun.

21:03

And it reminded me of the conversation that we had during the national the natgeo, Mars

episodes about how these days SpaceX is the big sort of pioneer in space. And the guy we

know from SpaceX is a businessman. And nobody knows the scientists at SpaceX. But

back then, obviously, it wouldn’t be a businessman because NASA isn’t a company. It’s an

agency. But even so, he’s not writing letters to the President. He’s not right, even writing

letters to like, the administrative head of NASA. He’s writing letters to the scientist to the

guy who is making these rockets who’s doing the math behind these rockets? Because

that’s the hero. Yeah. And I feel like that’s an important difference between how it went

then and how it’s going now, you know, now that I really think about it, I feel like this

movie didn’t touch on real science so much as it touched on real history. That’s where we

get so much more of the detail. Yeah. And it’s just little nuggets that they put in there.

You’ve got von Braun, but and then you’ve got Sputnik, obviously, like, these are a couple

of obvious ones. But we hear about the Red Tails from World War Two, excuse me, airman.

And you also, you know, you get I don’t remember his last name Ike, the guy who’s the first

machinist who helps them and then go ends up in the mines.

22:31

You know, he’s talking about his family back home and in Europe, and what, presumably

behind the Iron Curtain? Yeah, exactly. And so I don’t know, they’re just these, these little

things that felt, you know, they, when they take apart the railroads, and the kid is like,

Yeah, because mines die out, and then they don’t need the trains. And so we, of course, we

can take these,

22:59

which is, I did not like that, that sequence at all, it was a little terrifying for me, but I think

they did a really good job. What I’m saying is that they did a great job of dealing with the

history of the time, giving us a lot of a lot of context, and giving us a really good reference

of where we are. And when we are, you can always put, hey, this is cold wood and the sick,

you know, I don’t know where these 1950s. And that doesn’t necessarily route you to that

until you have characters like and I don’t remember what the man’s name is. But the black

man who says that he’s he was in the Red Tails and World War Two, and you’re like, oh,

man, you’re not even very old. Like, I don’t know, there’s just something really lovely about

it creates these roots for the story that really placed it in an in an era and a time. And I

loved that. Yeah, yeah, historical accuracy. For sure. The other thing that this movie does,

which I agree, it doesn’t do a lot of real science in the sense of the nitty gritty of how it all

works. The closest that we get is a few montage is working on rockets, and then the

trigonometry sequence where he’s actually like walking you through. But even then, he

doesn’t describe the math too much. He just describes the conclusions of the math. But

the other thing that this movie does, which I really, I feel like makes it fit within the

synthesis is it is all about the attitude towards science. It’s about how people think about

science. And it’s even back to what we were just talking about that a town full of people

are looking up at this light in the sky and thinking threat. And one guy is looking up in the

sky and thinking achievement. And that is the scientist distinction. You know, he’s focusing

on the how not the the end result and there’s, you know, you were talking earlier about

capturing sort of the pride of small towns big

25:00

They there is definitely this culture in very small towns of like, we don’t need those big city

folk. And there’s a great moment where, where Homer is talking to his dad, and the dad

just dismisses Verner von Braun, like it’s a fad. It’ll move, you know, they’ll move on as soon

as they’re done. He even says, maybe then they’ll have to get a real job.

25:24

And then, shortly thereafter, he gives his own justification for why his life is important. He

says, this, the coal we mined, make steel, and if steel fails, this country fails. And I just felt

like that is such a great representation of how everybody has pride, everybody finds a way

to justify how their life is sort of the most important effort being made right now. And, you

know, yeah, yeah, you need steel for the 1950s. It’s, he’s not wrong, but at the same time,

like, You’re seriously gonna say that, like your job in the coal mine is the only important

thing that Verner von Braun has just needs to get a real job. Yeah, it really feels like the

way that at least in America, we look at CEOs. And we’re like, well, without them, we

wouldn’t have any jobs. Yeah, you know, and but then you have the working class going.

Without us, you wouldn’t have a company. Yeah, exactly.

26:20

You know, in some ways, both are correct.

26:25

So, you have, you have to have both, and both are being able to run a company and also

being a part of the working class. Both are worthy of praise and recognition and

recognition. And have you get to have pride about either one of those. And I so but that

stubborn need to, to diminish the others importance is just that’s very real. And I mean,

I’ve heard it, I have heard that exact line about like, when I’ll get a real job. I have never

forgiven that person. It’s like one of the few grudges that I am willing to hold. Yeah,

because Screw you, man. I’m working three jobs. Well, and that’s one of the things that I’m

very grateful to my parents that I never did hear that like, my, my pretty much my whole

family is lawyers. And I decided that I wanted to go to film school. And then I didn’t end up

making movies, but I did make video games and nowhere along the way that I did

anybody say like, Oh, well, you know, give it a few years, but then you should really think

about going to law school. like nobody ever gave me that speech. And I’m, you know, now

here I am with That’s awesome. Right? Yeah, very grateful. Yeah. I have to say real quick

on the science front, that montage where they’re just shooting off rockets and failing. Yes.

Oh my god. It’s one of the longest montages I’ve ever seen. Because like, oftentimes a

montage will tell you a story, right? It’s okay. They did this. And then they it’s like one step

after another. Yeah. No, no, no, this is not that. This is just failures. Yeah. And I like you

know how sometimes in comedy like, okay, the there’s the rule of three, you do it three

times. That’s the funniest. But then some people are really good. And they can take it past

that. And you can do something 10 times, and it’s hysterical every time. That’s what was

progressive. Yeah. funnier, because of how many times it’s happening. Exactly. Yeah. And

so that’s what this was, for me. I was like, this, it, there was a moment where I was like, Oh,

this is about this is going on too long. And then you saw the next one, and the next one.

And it just, I don’t know, there was Glee and the fact that they didn’t get it right the first

time. And they kept going. And it’s kind of funny how, like, how dedicated these kids are,

yeah, and obsessive. And I love it. There’s just something about it that I was like, oh, man, I

hope. I hope I have kids that do. Like, they don’t have to build rockets, but like, fail that

many times and keep going just try it. Well, you know, the other thing that that scene

does, that is sort of subtle, because this is a this is a type of montage that exists in a lot of

movies is like the the hero trying to do the thing and failing. He hasn’t figured it out, you

know, there’s, there’s a montage like that in the first Iron Man movie where he’s trying to

build the suit. And he keeps like, thrown himself up against the ceiling. And you know, he

keeps failing and all that.

29:23

But because this sequence is so long, I feel like a subtle but important message gets

communicated, which is not just, oh, they’re new at this. They’re figuring it out. It keeps

going. And what you walk away with is a sense that, Oh, this is hard. Yeah, this is not easy.

This is not something that you just do a few times and figure out No, you’re going to do it

again. And again and again and again and again, and you’re going to keep failing. And by

the time we come out the other end of that montage. We’re buying into the idea that he

really does need to go learn trigonometry.

30:00

Get a totally new kind of steel. And like all the decisions that the rocket boys are making

in this movie, they now carry the weight of expertise, they have figured out that this is

actually necessary. They’re not just playing with toys. I had a, a rocket section and a tech

class. Yeah. And I think that so I had seen an October sky before this, and did not enjoy it.

30:25

And why is that? Because it made me cry. And I don’t like to cry in public. Thank you, I’m,

I’m working on it. Crying is allowed for men and women, we should all be allowed. But I

did not have that mentality in high school. And I used my long hair to my advantage to

create a curtain because nobody wants to cry in front of their peers and so that’s, that’s part of why I didn’t like this movie. And so I didn’t really remember much going into it. But another reason why I think I wasn’t stoked about this is because I didn’t understand why rockets were so cool. I took I took the tech class, we all had to take and I took the rocket module that sometimes you just ended up taking because you didn’t get your first or second or fifth choice. And the rocket module is so lame and so boring. And

this movie made me go Oh, it could have not been Now it could not have been this. Like,

that’s just not how it could have. They’re not gonna let you blow yourself up. Yeah, exactly.

31:36

But simultaneously, this movie made it made me understand why these kids were

interested and intrigued and inspired and all of that. All of the eyes. Yeah. Speaking of

blowing themselves up, I really like at the beginning, the mom says, Just don’t blow

yourself up. And then he turns around, and nearly blows himself up. That’s when the fence

gets blown up. And I was just like, oh, kiddo, please don’t hurt yourself. did not tell you not

to blow yourself up. Yeah. And then they go on to not wear goggles. There’s a moment

where they you know, like through that entire montage and I was going oh my god, can

you just can someone put on goggles please. Like, I’m so terrified for your eye.

32:24

I am not telling you to not blow the things up. I’m just just yourselves and your eyes, just

the vulnerable bits. I will say I love his mom. I love his mom. Very sweet.

32:38

She’s She’s got through her mural. And her preoccupation with Myrtle Beach. I feel like she

is one of these characters that that you talk about in writing classes where she’s got her

own story that’s unfolding and this movie isn’t about her but she’s definitely got a thing

about Myrtle Beach and her relationship with her husband and wanting to go off. And so

at the end of the movie when they’re doing the sort of where are they now and it says that

she retired to Myrtle Beach. It’s not just trivia, it feels like the conclusion of some you

know, it feels like the culmination of her arc. And now is great.

33:14

We do we need to we need to talk about john, we need to talk about homers dad. Yeah.

33:19

I had actually filed him in my memory as worse than he was somehow. Chris Cooper.

Obviously, this is his brand. Like this is the kind of character that Chris Cooper does. And

he does it so well. which kind of sucks. I feel like for Chris Cooper, like, I don’t know what it

would be like to be a guy in the world whose whole job is like you get hired to be the

asshole abusive dad. And that’s just a look. It’s another script where I’m like punching my

son. Yeah, like that. I feel like that would be a bummer. But that being said, Chris Cooper

does an incredible job with these roles. And I feel like this is the ultimate one. This is so

that I think it felt very real. He couldn’t. It could have been taken in multiple directions, it could have

been far more abusive, or he could have been more of an alcoholic, and they still would

have lived in reality. But what I liked about this is he was just an asshole for so much. The

first thing we see is, hey, a guy nearly gets himself killed. And everybody is gathered.

Because people are coming up from the mind and something has obviously happened.

JOHN has saved his life personally. Yeah. And so they call him a hero and Homer says

that’s my dad. And then john yells at the man who who’s obviously hurt and nearly died

and it’s like you’re fired because I told you not to like screw up your screw up. And then

homers, like, that’s my dad. Yeah. And

34:55

you. I love that the first way we get introduced him is

35:00

That he does have good qualities, but he’s gonna follow it up with being an asshole. And that’s just the way it is, you know, there’s a thing that I have been I have become interested in in

the last few years, I am not an angry person, I actually struggle a lot to express my anger

like I, I err on the side of jovial too much. You may notice my wife sitting next to me

nodding gently and behind the camera is our producer also nodding gently.

35:33

But there are certain characters in fiction that I’ve become kind of fascinated by because,

at first, I didn’t like them. I categorically just wrote them off as assholes. These are

characters like john in October sky, but also like Roy, in the TV show, Ted lasso, if you’ve

seen that show. Also, you should, you should watch that last Oh, but Roy and Ted lassa,

also vorenus in the HBO and BBC series Rome. These are characters who are sort of only

angry, they only operate in the world through anger, but they’re not bad guys. They’re

assholes. But they’re not bad guys. And it’s fascinating to watch them struggle with their

anger, when they don’t want to be angry, you know, like, there’s a whole arc where

verbenas is trying to reconnect with his wife, who he hasn’t seen in like 10 years, because

he was off at war. And he’s an angry guy. But she’s his wife. And how do I do this? You

know, and, again, Roy in Ted lasso, dealing with his anger, but also trying to turn it into a

constructive force. And there’s actually a moment in the show where somebody calls him

out and is like, you’re not letting yourself get angry. And we need you to. And now with

john, the thing that I found interesting about john is a surface reading of October sky is

he’s an abusive father. But really, he’s not an abusive, like, he doesn’t beat up Homer, I’d

still say his visa. Well, I mean, he is cruel in a lot of ways. He’s emotionally abusive in a lot

of ways. But what he does is, it’s like he only has one emotion. And that’s anger. And he

will express it at you.

37:25

When you do something that makes him angry, he will get angry at you. But then we also

have scenes of him expressing love. And it’s in the language of anger, he, how does he

respond to,

37:39

to his son and his friends getting arrested, he bails him out, and he lectures him and he

gets up in his son’s face. And then he immediately turns around and protects one of the

other kids from his physically abusive father by getting angry. And he barely says

anything kind to the child, but you can tell he’s trying to be kind to the child by getting

angry at his abuser. And I’m just fascinated by this character who is trying to use anger

constructively. I so I have lots of feelings about john. I don’t have a lot of good feelings

about john, to be honest, like, he’s emotionally and

38:19

he’s emotionally abusive. He’s verbally abusive. And I have to be clear, I’m not forgiving,

john, I’m saying he’s an interesting character. And I don’t put him on the level of Roy. No,

no, because Roy has a lot more going for him in terms of good attributes.

38:41

Whereas this guy is willing to sit in his anger. And we see the difference, the way he treats

his sons, because I don’t remember what the oldest son’s name is. But he, that son does

not get in trouble. That son is clearly the golden child, clearly, and john is proud of him

and all of that stuff. Whereas he’s got this incredibly and you know, what? A child’s

athletic ability ability is totally worth being proud of. But having another son who’s

incredibly gifted at I won’t, I shouldn’t even say gifted. He is working so hard to be good at

something. And is.

39:28

I mean, we know from Miss Riley, that Homer is not good at math. Right. But he’s, this is

not the story of a wunderkind. Yeah, this is the story of a dedicated person. Exactly. And I

think that there’s should Why isn’t there pride for that? Yeah. And I, like I get it the the

moment that he pulls that stepdad off of one of the kids, and says, you know, he’ll beat

him. If he sees this happen again, and says to the kid, you know, your dad was one of the

best people I knew. I was like,

40:00

That is good and that it’s great that we’re seeing that we’re seeing it really far into the

movie. This is this is his save the cat moment. Yeah. But it’s like, at least halfway through

the movie. Yeah. And

40:15

I think although I would say, really has saved the cat moment is the scene that you

described because our introduction to this character is not. He’s yelling at our hero and

getting up in his face and all that our introduction to this guy as he saves people’s lives,

and then screams at them and appropriately. I don’t know that that’s a save the cat

moment, though. Because you’re not emotionally invested in it doesn’t make you

emotionally invested in him. Yeah, that’s right. I think that the point of a save the cat

moment is to be emotionally invested and root for someone, even if it’s just a little bit and

yeah, if it’s if it’s not literally a save the cat moment, I feel like it is a deliberate way of

introducing us to this character. And he’s, he’s being presented simultaneously as scary

and helpful. And that’s exactly like, that’s what I was saying when I was in when I was

talking about his introduction. Yeah, I appreciate that. We get both sides of him. But I

don’t think that we care about him at that point. And it you know, it takes until middle of

the movie, and then we kind of go back to Okay, he’s not as bad as he could be. Right.

Which is not how I feel about ROI, or vorenus. Yeah, where I, that is very much how I feel

about barinas. That’s not how I feel about ROI. No, I would put vorenus as sort of worse

than john. I mean, I don’t really remember Rome as well as you did. But there you do. But

yeah, I. And then at the end, you know, we see this, this moment where he mocks his son

for not recognizing his hero. And I was just like, excuse my language, but I’m gonna say

this, you shut the fuck up, man. Like, this kid is in shock that he won, like, and you couldn’t

just say something nice about being proud of him. You had to mock him for not

recognizing

42:15

his hero that it’s it’s not like today where you see these people on Instagram and TV. And

all of a sudden, no, he had a picture that was stolen from him. I was so so angry. Yeah. And

so I don’t I don’t think that that to me read as vulnerable, though it is. And therefore a little

more sympathetic. It’s still a dick move. But I didn’t hate him for it. Because I saw that he,

he was just he didn’t know how to process feeling like his son hated him. Sure, I get that I

think, I think this character really reminds me of a guy I went to college with who was a

year younger than me, who grew up on a farm. And his dad never once told them, I love

you, or I’m proud of you. And the way that it really,

43:07

it really messed with this guy’s life to feel like he wasn’t worthy of his father’s affection.

And I and you know, being in theater, you kind of get a little bit more into each other’s

backstories personal lives and emotional lives and all this stuff and how much in some

ways it like fucked him up to just not here and so I don’t have a lot of forgiveness for

someone who treats their kid like this. And like I said, I don’t have forgiveness for him

either. If this was a real person that I knew in real life, I think he was a fucking asshole, and

I would not want to associate with him. But as a, as a fictional character, I find it an

interesting way to go to take this fundamentally unlikable character and present them as

trying, you know, like, like, it’s, it’s an interesting arc for someone to start from a place that

is essentially a villain and then show how can they you know, this is not the story of

somebody who doesn’t want to connect with his son This is the story of somebody who

apparently really wants to connect with his son and simply doesn’t know how he himself

was raised by somebody like this so I don’t

44:25

know No, no I cuz I don’t think he’s trying so much as he’s got like these moral parameters

that you do not cross. You do not hit kids. You do not get anybody else on like any other

miners killed you, like people shouldn’t die in the mines. Like, these are the things that he

cares about. And that’s it so long as you don’t cross those lines. He’s gonna be an asshole.

Well, but you have to at least give that he struggles in this movie that like there are you

know, it’s not just

45:00

Homer who is unhappy with how these conversations go down, he, there are multiple

scenes where the dad is trying to, to,

45:08

like, like he’ll sort of start to do something conciliatory and then kind of recoil from it. And

you know, it’s not he’s not just sort of brushing it aside, ag Be a man and move on. This is

somebody who is looking for a way to connect, and

45:25

I can I can’t help you here. I can just I can see the chain of fathers stretching back. I know,

and I get it, there’s a there’s a history that has that really leans heavily on this man, and I

get that. But that doesn’t mean I going to be particularly sympathetic to his, his traumas.

It’s it’s a vicious cycle. Yeah. And we know that, that we know that that’s how this sort of

abuse works. But yeah, I, it doesn’t mean that I, I can just check that box and be like, that’s who you are, man. And I good on you. I’m not sayin that’s what you’re doing. Okay. Just, but I, I cannot just give him any sort of passes. And he’s sort of like extra sympathy or anything. I can’t give him anything. Yeah. So that’s, that’s where I’m with him.

46:22

Not wild about him. In In a similar vein of this movie, capturing how people really work. I

had to chuckle there are a lot of movies every year, there are a lot of movies that depict

some version of the awkward teen. But I feel like this movie speaking as someone who was

an awkward teenage boy, this movie did a really good job of capturing what it’s like to be

a genuinely clueless teenage boy. Like, it’s not just that he doesn’t know how to talk to the

pretty girl, it’s that he didn’t even realize that the pretty girl was talking to him. You know,

like, there’s there multiple scenes in this where there are, you know, girls that are flirting

with him or somebody trying to get his attention that he just doesn’t even clock that that’s

what’s happening. I feel like that is a subtly different thing. But that, yeah, that spoke to my experience. One of the other things that I kind of liked. So recently, I saw something about how clicks are

changing clicks and like high schools and middle schools and and in some ways for the better word, a lot of groups are intermingling in a way that in this movie you don’t see in my high school you saw a little bit of

47:33

and it you know, there’s a moment in here where

47:40

you remember, one of the kids is shooting his car? Because it’s dead again. And he’s mad.

Right? And they’re talking love that scene. Yeah, it’s a great scene. And they’re talking

about getting out of the town. And one of them says, you know, we’re never gonna get out

of this town route. We’re all hillbillies. Well, except for Quintin. Yeah. And then what you

see is that of all of them. quittin is the most hillbilly in terms of where he comes from

external variables. Yeah. And I loved I love getting that glimpse into his life. And the fact

that Homer didn’t make a meal out of it. The movie didn’t make a meal out of it. I was

wondering why Homer was talking to a prostitute. And then suddenly, we’re going

48:34

to the woods to the shack. Yeah. And, and Homer doesn’t care. He’s like, This guy has

become my friend. I, you know, he sat down at this table, and everyone was like, in shock,

which they did make a meal of that totally. But that was less important.

48:56

They’re not making a meal of where Quintin came from. And I loved that they did that. I

thought it was it was a nice touch on the director’s part that they did that and, and the

writers part for putting it in there.

49:08

Because quitting was obviously determined to at least try to not stay in town. Not that he

was probably going to get out of town. But right. Yeah, yeah. There were a lot of things in

this movie that were delightfully understated. They’d never made a meal about the fact

that Oh, della has a bad leg. Yeah, that’s a thing that that character has. And for all I

know, it was just a decision that the actor made because it was nowhere in the script. So

yeah, maybe it’s something that the actor has. And because there were times where it was

worse than others. No, and it was just a part of it. I feel like I don’t think it’s something the

actor has, because I’ve seen him in other stuff. So if it is, then it’s something that he knows

how to hide when he wants to.

49:53

But yeah, that there are a lot of things like that that were just very nice. Do you remember

the scene and the lab

50:00

Where they are mixing up something and then they pour it down? And do you know

exactly what happened? Yeah, so because I need, I need a little bit more play by play.

Yeah. So they’re, they’re sitting there as sort of a classic scene in in high school movies

about smart people, you get these in these scenes in Spider Man movies and stuff is the

the kids are in the back of the room. And they’re doing their own science experiment that’s

so much more advanced than what they’re being taught. In particular, it’s Quinten,

showing off a formula for essentially rocket fuel. It’s, it’s his version of what they’re going

to put in the rocket to make it blast off. And they’re working on it, and and examining it,

and then the teacher starts coming their way. So they very quickly, they pour it into the

sink, and then they run the water and wash it down the drain. Now you have to imagine,

all those desks have sinks, and they’re all going to feed into one pipe. So somewhere down

under the floor, all of those things are connected. And so they, they watch this rocket fuel

down the drain, and then they go back to their experiment. And a couple of minutes later,

one of the girls in the class strikes a match to starter Bunsen burner tosses the match into

the sink, and the fumes from the rocket fuel that they’ve made just explode up out of every

sink. Yeah. And I, I guess, really what I’m asking because that all made sense. And I caught

all of that is what did Do you remember what the chemical composition was of it? I don’t

remember the specific composition. That’s fine. I didn’t ask you before the show. But I, I

was sitting there going Wait, what? What is? What’s there? Yeah, that water wouldn’t

affect that it would still light up like that. Yeah. But it’s fine. It’s I did, I did appreciate in the

world of rocket fuel, I did appreciate that. They made the shift from solid fuel to liquid fuel.

That is the thing that they really use liquid fuel and rockets. And so it was cool. That was

one of the few moments where we get told a specific scientific principle that is executed

on screen sort of in the style of the Martian. And I really appreciated that, especially

because it had to do with Roy Lee saving the day with moonshine, which was one of the

most charming shots of the entire movie. Another example of using science and this is just

52:32

probably my favorite scene in the entire movie.

52:35

And the most synthesis moment in this movie is finding och 13. Yes, I’ve loved that

moment. That whole sequence of doing the math, learning the trigonometry, doing the

math, figuring out how far it could have gone, and then measuring it out. With the rope is

and the music. I listened to that I have the October sky soundtrack, and I’ve listened to

that song 400 times. Listen, I think my favorite part about it is they do the math. And then

they and then you know, they have to do the boring human part. Yeah. Which is alright,

one, two, like we’re gonna we’re gonna take the rope from here to here. All right, let’s,

alright, now you move. Oh, that’s two. This is three. Like, oh my god. That is. It’s it’s just it

felt so human it felt. So

53:30

I feel like probably what a lot of scientists feel like we get, we often see the cool stuff that

the scientists do in movies and TV and stuff like that. And, and kids are going to often be

inspired by how awesome it is. But then there’s the mundane that you have to do. And it’s

honestly a good portion of what you do. And that’s what we see here. And then I love

seeing the moment of like, what, what how did we go wrong? Yeah, the math is right.

What didn’t we consider? Yeah. And then they figure it out? And? And that just felt so real

to actual science as well. I don’t know. There’s, that was one of my favorite parts of the

movie. Well, I feel like, you know, we made an interesting distinction back when we’re

talking about the film, The Martian. And that is that the book of the Martian is the story of

someone coming up with solutions. And the movie is the story of someone presenting

solutions that we don’t actually see Matt Damon come up with the answer on screen the

way that in the book, we do see Mark working through the problem. And obviously, it’s just

a matter of screen time, you know, whatever. But most of October sky is presenting the

science Hey, look, they figured out how to make our rocket. But I feel like the search for

rock 13 is the one moment in this movie that really celebrates the process of science that

it’s not just about finding the answer. It’s about how do

55:00

Did you find the answer? And what led you to that? And once that is solid, you know, the

answer is going to be solid, you know, if you if you did the process, right, that is the

promise of science, the promise of math is if you did the process, right, your conclusion will

be solid. And it was, yeah.

55:24

I have to talk a little bit about the educators. Okay. Yeah, movie.

55:30

The principal is a villain.

55:37

He made me exceptionally angry. Yeah. So my grandfather was a principal for many,

many years. And you know, I know, I lived with him for for a good while. And I know what it’s like to be

around someone who is, you know, can be harsh, and who’s an educator and rigid and

can be rigid rate, but my grandfather would never, ever keep anybody from trying to learn

something. Yeah. And I, I,

56:19

the fact that this principle is so entitled, because he can, he’s allowed to go off to college,

and he’s allowed to get out of whatever city he grew up in, and be a principal here, but

everybody else, unless you’re a jock, everybody else, you’re gonna, you’re, you’re poor, and

you’re going to the mines. And that’s just the way it is. And you should, like, it’s, it’s fine. If

you drop out of school.

56:46

I was horrified by all of this, and it was, I really, really struggled watching him and Miss

Riley, not be on the same page. And like, thank God for the Riley’s of the world.

57:04

I think I hope everybody has had, like, Has everybody had a teacher like that? I hope that

you have, please tell me that you have. I was lucky enough to have a couple. I had a

wonderful English teacher, I had two incredible debate coaches, who also for the most

part, were in the English department that were phenomenal. And they never, they never

let you slip. But they always had they it always felt supportive. Right? Yeah. And this

principle is like, Oh, no, these kids are our bad kids, because they’re making rockets and

learning math and science. Shame on you. Also, I’m going to let the cops arrest you at

school. Anytime, anytime. Anything else happens. He’s like, What’s happening here? You

can’t make a scene and he lets the scene happen. He lets these boys be completely

humiliated. And so anyway, I wanted to drop kick him. Yeah, to the to me. So I am

frustrated by him. I don’t think I hated him as much as you did. But the biggest, most

damning thing that the principal does that I just, it makes me bear my teeth. Every time I

watch this movie, is when they have found Doc 13. And Homer is showing off the

trigonometry that proves that they couldn’t do it.

58:36

It very quickly becomes obvious that Homer is right. There is not a long time in that scene

where the where the principal is like holding his ground and insisting that Homer did it. No,

it’s like, oh, okay, well, you found the rocket, I guess you didn’t do it. But as soon as Homer

starts presenting the math, the principal makes a crack about how you learned more in

the coal mine than you did in high school. And that, to me, is just the most petty, like that

is the thing that makes me decide this is not somebody that I care to sympathize with,

because he knows he’s wrong. And he’s still lashing out at the kid for being smart for

having knowledge. That’s the crime that he’s ridiculing right now is that this kid learn to

something. And that is just inexcusable for an educator. Like That would be bad from

somebody who worked at the mine, but at least with that, I could write it off as like, Oh,

well, he’s like, sort of, he doesn’t have an education. And so he’s threatened by people that

he thinks feel superior or whatever, but like, this guy’s clearly educated. He’s clearly pretty

well off. He should be celebrating kids who go out and learn trigonometry on their own.

Yeah, you know, this scene also reminds me of I don’t remember what the statistic is, and I

don’t remember where it’s from, but I’m going to tell you about it anyway. So join me for the ride which is a How we talk about how the cops close a lot more cases than they used to. And we should

be proud of them for that, and all of this stuff. And I’m sitting here going, Well, that’s

because of science. And also because the work didn’t have to be done. If anybody had

showed those kids, the rocket that the cops had found,

1:00:21

when they found where the fire had started, the kids would have been like, we don’t know

how to make that, that has spring loaded fins. Like, that’s insane. This is so cool. We know,

we should have thought of that. And by the way, the principal was the one who took one

look at it was like, that’s not their rocket. That’s like, I know exactly what that is. That guy

probably served in World War Two. And he Yeah, yeah, like the lack of work that went into

things and the assumptions made, and the stereotypes that were used to, to convict I

don’t know, if it’ll, if it makes you feel better. One of the things that they changed in the

movie, that is not how it went down in real life, is exactly that. Apparently, in the real story

that actually happened in the 1950s with the rocket boys. The cop showed up. And they

were like, hey, somebody started a forest fire. And we heard about your rocket, and we

think it was you. And it was like, a couple of minutes before everybody was like, wait a

minute, you couldn’t have made this rocket. And they they were they never like, got

expelled or anything like that doesn’t make me actually feel a little bit better. But yeah,

yeah. Sort of.

1:01:33

Within the context of the film, it’s still frustrating. I was I, you know, there was a moment in

the movie where I was, you know, we learned that right? Miss Riley has Hodgkin’s

lymphoma. And I was sitting here going, Oh, man, was this just for the movie? Was this

true to life, because we know that this is based on a true story. But true stories always

have something that’s embellished, as seen by your example. And it broke my heart when

we saw at the end that she died at 30. And she died at 31. And I was just like, Oh, fuck no,

like the amount of kids that are losing out on a light in the school.

1:02:14

But by the way, I’m older than 31. And that’s weird, somewhere, like I didn’t notice. But

somewhere along the way, I passed the age at which people can die young and still have

like, done things with their lives. I’m still in the mindset of like a teenager where if

somebody died younger than me, then they like sort of didn’t get to live at all. It’s very

strange that somebody can be several years younger than me and the Billy Joel song.

Only the good die young no longer applies to us. I know. Right?

1:02:43

Who What have we done? Yeah, seriously. weird shit people, demonstrably. So. Obviously.

1:02:52

I, I, I don’t have a lot more to say. But bringing it home, I will. I will say I would like to talk

about a couple of the shots that we see that again, they don’t make a meal out of

1:03:07

I’ve got three of them, go for it. The first one is when Homer is going down into the mineshaft for the first time, and he’s on night shift, you can tell he looks up through the grate in the elevator and we see Sputnik go over Yes. And somehow it did not feel on the nose to me. And I was like, how did they do that? And I

think it’s this maybe the setup? Or the fact that it’s not commented on? I don’t The setup is

we’re going to they’re going to see it every night after sundown. And you’re going to be

able to see it like the hour before dawn. Yeah, something like that. Right. And we we’ve

already established that. And I don’t know, I think part of it is that they don’t do it a lot.

There’s the scene at the very beginning where they look up and they see Sputnik and then

the next time they do it is that scene two thirds the way through the movie. If it had been

like this recurring theme that like every night he’s looking at the sky and watching Sputnik

or something, then it would have felt more heavy handed when he’s going down into the

mind and he’s still looking up at the sky. But the fact that it just it’s played more casually

than that, like, yeah, that was the day that everybody was looking at it and then it was just

part of the sky. Yeah. But it’s still up there. It’s still up there. It was, it was a beautiful

moment like this. This sinking into his own personal hell and watching what has inspired

him further away, again, further out of reach.

1:04:36

It was beautifully done and a very literal hell, the whole mind sequence was just that as a

terrifying environment, not into that at all.

1:04:45

The number 723 that’s Ike Ike’s number when he gets sent to the mine. And we see that

they they show us an insert of of that and then we

1:05:00

He pulls it out later. Yeah, completely forgotten about that medallion. And he pulls it out.

What?

1:05:10

At the science fair? Yeah. And, you know, he has a moment within I was just like, Oh damn.

1:05:19

off day. I’m like, we haven’t seen him playing with it. I as an audience member forgot it.

And then you’re gonna do this. And I just like,

1:05:28

I loved it. It was so lovely. Yeah. And then my last one is, they’re going, they’re doing that

final launch. Right?

1:05:38

And, yeah, it’s cool that his parents show up.

1:05:44

They set off the rocket. And it’s, it’s me. But then when they pull out, and they do all of

these

1:05:55

super wides, and you see it from all of these other people’s points of view, yeah. And

getting and Miss Riley getting to see it through her hospital window and knowing what it

was. That was a shot, Okay, I’m gonna cry, I’m absolutely gonna cry. I didn’t, I teared up. 

But I did that last

scene, every time that I see that, like, I can watch that clip on YouTube. And I tear up that

whole last launch with the dad. And you know, counting down it is by the way, I lost track

at a certain point, but I’m pretty sure that that is the only launch in the film that actually

happens after one. The entire film there like 543 I think Yeah, there. There were a couple. I

noticed that too, that there there were not very many. It’s actually it’s it’s relevant to

another thing that I really liked, which again, in the understated, they never really make a

meal of it thing is they’re increasing infrastructure. Over the course of the film, they’re, you

know, at the very beginning, they’re like lighting the match and then running away. And

then a little bit later, they have like an erector set with a match and a string. And then a

little bit later, they have like a electrical sort of switch that they throw. And then at the

very end, it’s this very nice like wooden box with a light and I really appreciated that their

infrastructure improved over time. You got the sense that they aren’t just making rockets,

they’re refining their whole process.

1:07:22

Another thing that I broke my heart, but I liked how they played it off was him meeting

von Braun and shaking his hand and not even realizing that that was von Braun until he

was gone. Apparently, even that is wish fulfillment on the part of Homer Hickam who

wrote the book rocket boys by the way.

1:07:42

He never met him apparently, apparently in the real story. He went out to find Verner von

Braun at this conference because somebody told him that at the science fair Verner von

Braun was attending and that moment that he went out to go find Verner von Braun and

try to shake his hand was the moment that Verner von Braun decided to visit his exhibit.

Oh, no. And I hate that story. I could have I could have done without that.

1:08:10

very heartbreaking that you are leaving us with that. Well, no. Well, so the last scene with

the rocket launch, that is something that just gets me every time the music, we I could do

a whole nother episode of the sentences just talking about the soundtrack to October sky.

But there’s something

1:08:34

this is one of those things where I feel like I’m putting something on the film. I don’t know

that this is necessarily what they were going for with the shot. But it’s what I took from the

shot. This the scene that you were talking about with the the rocket being viewed from far

away and watching it go go up. And I just that shot gets me for a very specific reason.

1:08:57

That is a much better way to end this episode. All right.

1:09:03

So that is it for us on The Synthesis tonight. Tune in next week. We have a very special

episode. We’ve got one more episode this season on the synthesis. And we have a special

surprise. We are going to be interviewing Wait, wait, wait, are we actually telling people? Is

this how we’re telling people? I think we should we’re Yeah, we got it. We got to build hype

Right. I mean, yeah, I suppose. Guys. Yeah. I don’t know. You guys. This is a big deal. Yeah,

we worked hard to get this this and I don’t know it’s like it’s like a surprise party. I feel like

we’re supposed to be really quiet about it until it’s but that you’re right. We should. All

right. We should tell everybody so that they can get excited. But all right. So after reading

the Martian for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks, we reached out to Andy weird to

have him on our show. And we got him but we’re not talking about

1:10:00

The Martian. Oh no. Andy Weir’s next book. His third novel is coming out next week. It’s

called “Project Hail Mary”. And they sent us a copy. We read it. I read it in like 18 hours. And

it’s an awesome book. And we have Andy Weir next week for an interview discussing his

new book “Project Hail Mary”. So here’s the deal. If you there are spoilers in it. Yep. So if

you light spoilers, we don’t go through every single twist and turn. But there are things that

you don’t get from the back of the box. Yes. And so I just want to put it out there that I

would say that there are some lights and some midsize spoilers. So be careful if you are if

you are a big reader of, of Andy Weir, go on buy it. It’s a great book. It will be on shelves. I

think the day that our interview airs next week. So So get excited to, to me, Andy Weir and

his adorable dog. Yes. By the way, for those just to underline, this is a pre recorded

interview. So we’re not going to be taking questions from the audience or anything like

that we need to work around a year’s schedule, but we’re going to be releasing it at the

usual time. 5:30 pacific time on Thursday next week. I believe that’s may 6. So tune in and

check out The Synthesis interviewing Andy Weir. We talked about “Project Hail Mary” we

talked about his second book Artemus and we talked about the Martian. So tune in next

week. Bye, guys.