I work in film and TV because I like to tell stories. In fact, before all forms of written communication, the human race used storytelling to convey our history, how to find game for food, and build the moral and ethical future of our species.
The power of storytelling come from one's ability to related an idea, even foreign, to someone else. It is why we laugh at a comedy, jump at a horror film, and cry when a story touches our deepest emotions.
My passion for filmmaking is not just for the beauty of great cinematography or impactful characters but together, with the audience, share in a journey. Many stories have been told and while it is said there are only twelve storylines, human ingenuity brings us together time and time again through new ways of these stories.
With the tumult of our current global affairs, Donald Trump beats his chest with "fire and fury" and "locked and loaded" as tension builds with North Korea. This cavalier attitude toward military conflict is not the answer. It is the wrong play.
To be fair, I am not currently in fear of a nuclear conflict with North Korea. Frankly, should anything escalate to military conflict, the United States and its allies could easily wipe North Korea off the face of the Earth. But even the notion of a nuclear weapon being used today (or ever) is one that strikes both fear and sadness in me. Fear because these weapons don't kill a few hundred or thousand but millions. Fear because nuclear weapons impact not only ground zero but the lives or everyone and everything on the planet. And sadness, sadness because our world is so precious but we so carelessly destroy it and ourselves.
I have always had a fascination with the Cold War. It is truly a magnificent story worthy of Shakespearean recognition. However, in my time exploring the Cold War, the understanding of nuclear reality sunk deep in my mind. Even a "limited" nuclear skirmish could devastate the planet. And while the story of the Cold War is long since over, the number of times that we humans came within moments of nuclear annihilation was too frequent and far too close.
Few who I have spoken with know of these incidents. As we hear in History class about the Cuban Missile crisis in 1962, nearly at the same moment was the U-2 Spy Plane Incident when a U.S. pilot's confusion during the Northern Lights set in and passed over Soviet Airspace. Maultsby, the pilot, successfully navigated his plane, having run out of fuel, back out of Soviet Airspace minutes before two Soviet fighters would have downed his plane, starting what could have been a significant escalation during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Further is the Able Archer Incident when the Soviet Union mistook Nato war-games for actual preparation for war. Or the 1979 NORAD computer malfunction which erroneously indicated that the Russians had launched an attack on the United States.
In 1983, it is by sheer bravery and integrity that one Russian Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov ignored procedure when Russian tactical systems misinterpreted clouds over the United States for a launch of nuclear weapons. It is only by his grace that you and I are hear to have this pleasant exchange. The human race was literally moments away from extinction and turning our precious planet into a radioactive cinder.