Guest: Jim Lewis; Topics: The state of the space industry on the Florida space coast plus a discussion on science fiction and Jim's Amazon Prime series, "Encounters of the Real, Unreal and Beyond."
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We welcomed back to the show Jim Lewis for a two segment 1 hour 44 minute discussion, first about the commercial activities and opportunities for the Florida space coast which was followed by a science fiction discussion with a focus on Jim's Amazon Prime series, "Encounters of the Real, Unreal and Beyond." A major part of the first segment was spent talking about the Florida space coast, rocket launches that Jim can easily see from his office location, seeing the SpaceX Demo-2 launch and more. I asked him to compare seeing an Atlas 5, Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch. Note how Jim described the differences from his viewing and hearing perspective. Jim mentioned many company relocations to the space coast plus others like SpaceX, Blue Origin and some traditional aerospace operations either expanding or moving to the Cape. At one point I asked if the commercial development was fragile, subject to political influence such as the election, impacted by the virus or resilient. Don't miss how Jim responded to this question.
Toward the end of the first segment, we turned our attention to science fiction and Jim's Amazon Prime series, "Encounters of the Real, Unreal and Beyond." We learned that there were three episodes but that there will soon be three additional for a total for Season 1 of 6 episodes. He explained the content and said it was a tongue and cheek series. We talked about casting, screenwriting, marketing the series, film target markets, and commercial success. For those interested in making films and marketing them, be sure to listen all of what Jim shared with us. Before expanding our topic, Jim talked about many classic science fiction films and writers, the science fiction genre and overall appeal/market.
One listener asked Jim to compare making documentaries to making science fiction as Jim has made both types of films. Jim had much to say on comparing the two, including the challenges making documentaries for kids. Fremont John called to confess that he was hungry for good science fiction. He asked Jim about stories with a positive outcome rather than bad, evil, destructive outcomes such as fighting an evil empire. Jim shared a lot of information about the types of science fiction plus he went into more detail about his Amazon Prime series being discussed on this program. Both John and Jim referenced "The Martian" many times during their conversation.
We started the second segment with a question to Jim asking if a book was needed first to make a good sci fi film. Jim said it always helps to have the rights to a good and proven sci-fi story as it helps with funding, getting good deals, casting, all of it. Jim talked about some of his earlier project including "Animal Astronauts" which we talked about on an earlier Space Show program. He then mentioned and described another project, "Ghost Secrets" which was meant for kids. I asked Jim if he though radio would once again be a good medium for science fiction like it was decades ago with "War of the Worlds' and other great programs. This led to an interesting discussion about presenting a science fiction scripted story as a Space Show program. Don't miss our conversation on this idea. I told Jim and the audience that I was open to the idea. If anyone has such a science fiction story with a script and some people to read the parts, let me know. One thing Jim suggested was starting out small with a 10 or 15 minute program, not a full 90 minute or 2 hour program.
Before the program ended, Jim talked about science fiction themes. He said lots was done on AI and robotics but he thought we could do better, especially on the positive side. I mentioned possible stories around nuclear propulsion, possibly even launching from Earth with nuclear power. A listener asked Jim how real science fiction had to be or how plausible. Don't miss his response to this line of questioning.
Before ending the show, I asked Jim about some of my friends at the Cape. A listener asked Jim if he had ever seen a launch explosion. Jim told us about a Delta II rocket that blew up years ago and he suggested a possible guest for the show on the topic. I'm working on that lead as I think that would be an interesting discussion. Listen to what Jim said about the launch explosion.
Please post your comments/questions on the blog for this show. If you want Jim's Amazon Prime series, make sure to leave comments on the Amazon Prime page. You can reach Jim Lewis through me here at The Space Show.