Finally got to sit down and screen this last night. I was quite impressed with the filmmaking aspect. Front loading the pre-launch events by utilizing so much footage I've never seen was fascinating. It successfully created a feeling of what is was like culturally to experience this as it was happening. It carries you with it...or within it
. I was amazed at how much shooting was done of everything surrounding this event whether NASA, contractors, press/cameras and crews, and spectators. I loved all this new depth of detail behind the scenes and surrounding it.
I really enjoyed seeing all the backup astronauts and technicians in Mission Control. I was struck at how ruggedly handsome Jim Lovell was. Tom Hanks can't even come close.
I've often wondered who manned the documenting special cameras that capture the launch and assent. The skill of the compositions and simple but elegant camera moves (simple pans or tilts) of the 65mm shots indicate a skilled operator(s). In one shot the operator manning a special camera rig is wearing a pocket pen holder device that reveals his union affiliation, IATSE 666, which was the camera local of that region in that time. There were three camera local regions back in that day. 659 was western states, 666 was central and Florida, and there was another for NY/east coast, IIRC. I was at one time in both 659 as an operator and 666 as a director of photography. 666 forced me to join their local in 1995 as a director of photography because I had been in their region twice that year shooting The Tuskegee Airmen and Twister, and was a about to return for a third time to shoot second unit for A Time to Kill in Mississippi. I had to pay their $7K DP initiation fee. A year later the three locals merged to become 600. Bad timing for me and that initiation fee.
I enjoyed seeing Gene Kranz numerous times. I met him unexpectedly when we were in Iowa making Twister. On a Sunday, several of us went to the Des Moines air show that was underway. The same B-17 was there that I had been in earlier in the year on The Tuskegee Airmen. As we were admiring it, we come upon Mr. Kranz who was there as the volunteer flight engineer on that B-17. We chatted a while about...everything we could think of. Of course, Apollo 13
was about to release in a couple of weeks, so the importance of meeting Mr. Kranz was soon to make a greater impression. The next day on location I was telling Bill Paxton about meeting Mr. Kranz, and he was quite jazzed up about Apollo 13 about to release, so he was very interested to hear this.
I concur with all of you that the 65mm footage was stunning eye candy!
You guys all know me as a camera guy, but prior to that I served as a fighter pilot. Due to this, I was particularly impressed to experience the powered descent of the LEM in real-time and with the fuel remaining time and altitude read-out. I had no idea the actual temporal perspective; how long this took (or how quickly), and the flight profile of the descent. Notice that when begun the altitude is way up in the 30K region and the rate of descent is mild. I start looking at that altitude and fuel remaining and was shocked. Descent is mild until about 1.5 minutes of fuel remaining and altitude still around 25K. I'm going, "Holy s***, this is going to get exciting!" At about that point, the rate of descent increased incredibly...dropping like a rock down to below 10K feet, then shallows a bit until helicopter approach and landing profile below 100'. Amazing. Can you imagine being an airliner at 30000' and landing 1.5 minutes later. A fighter would be challenged to make that happen so quickly. I could be done but it would have to be with a flame out profile. Edit: I've learned, thanks to Art in post #28 that this is not real-time; much compressed. The real-time version in in the video he posts.
, thanks for the tip on For All Mankind
. I don't think I've ever seen it.