|Posted on Aug 31, 2011 04:30:06 PM | Jessica Nimon | 0 Comments ||
A Lab Aloft guest blogger Dylan Mathis, is the man behind the sensational “What Kind of World Do You Want” International Space Station YouTube video. Today he shares how this tribute to the Space Shuttle Program on behalf of the space station is his way of continuing the message of exploration to the world.
When people ask me why I put together the “World” video, I tell them it is a multimedia thank you on behalf of the International Space Station Program to the Space Shuttle Program for building the station. Without this fleet of amazing heavy-lift vehicles, it would not have been possible to launch and construct the various modules into the orbiting laboratory we have and use today.
I work at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, as the Mass Communications Lead for the International Space Station Program. This is an exciting career that allows me to use my imagination, talents and love of space together to create dynamic products, such as the “World” video, to promote NASA’s goals. I’m lucky to work on something I enjoy and believe in, which is part of why this video’s message struck such a chord with me—and I suspect with the viewers, as well.
Screenshot from “World” video on NASA YouTube showing the International Space Station crew with the visual question: What kind of world do you want?
The concept for the “World” video sparked when I was working with Expedition 25 Commander Doug Wheelock, or “Wheels”, on his postflight video. He asked me to see about getting song rights from a band called “Five for Fighting” to play along with his video. Typically that is not a simple process. I emailed Five for Fighting’s bandleader, John Ondrasik, explaining to him Wheels’ request. To my surprise, John replied 29 minutes later, saying he would be honored to grant us the rights to use the music. Evidently his dad had worked for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the 70’s and he himself was a self-proclaimed big space nut.
When I heard the song “World,” I was struck by the inspirational lyrical content. I knew this music had the potential to make a tremendous soundtrack for an outreach video. So, while we were working on Wheels’ postflight video, we negotiated additional usage rights at the same time. The final agreement allows for the use of this song for 10 years on NASA TV, NASAYouTube, NASA.gov and any official NASA event, including when astronauts and management speak to the public.
Screenshot from “World” video on NASA YouTube showing Expedition 23/24 Flight Engineer Tracy Caldwell Dyson enjoying the view from the Window Observational Research Facility, or WORF, aboard the International Space Station.
In making this video, I timed the imagery of both the space shuttle and the space station with the lyrics to describe them as the masterpieces that they are. These two iconic achievements of the aerospace industry are intermixed with imagery of children on Earth and astronauts working and living in space. My hope is that as viewers listen and watch the combination play out before them, they will think of space exploration with excitement and awe.
There are also images of the Earth from the space station and shuttle in the mix. I wanted to share a reminder of the benefits of space to life on our planet by including an Earth views. Reaching for the stars has yielded so many advances for current and future generations and I want younger viewers to consider a future in science and engineering. It is this very sense of wonder, which I tried to convey in the video, that drives so many real achievements in space.
I was honored by the reception the video received. In fact, there was an unanticipated spinoff from the production, as my connection with “Five for Fighting” turned into an onsite tribute concert at Johnson Space Center to honor the Space Shuttle Program. The show took place on August 27, 2011 for an audience of NASA employees, contractors and their families as a “thank you” for their support.
The key message that I heard from the lyrics in “World” is that history starts now. This video is an invitation to each viewer to take action and think about the question, “What kind of world do you want?” What can each of us do today to make tomorrow that much better? I ended the video with a reminder that even with the retirement of the space shuttle, the International Space Station will continue to operate and make remarkable discoveries to benefit humanity until at least 2020 and perhaps beyond. We are just getting started!
Screenshot from “World” video on NASA YouTube showing the planned operational duration of 2020 for the International Space Station.
Dylan Mathis is currently the Mass Communications Lead in the International Space Station Program Office of External Integration. He earned an undergraduate degree in Radio, Television, and Film and a Masters degree in High Definition Television and Digital Media from Baylor University. Dylan has worked at NASA in the International Space Station Program over 11 years.
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