As I near the halfway mark on my first edit of SOS United States, I take the same process with the edit of a novel as I do with my screenplays. With the first draft of anything I write, I reread the copy at least twice so when I complete a project, it’s relatively clean—at least that’s the goal.
But sure enough, when I let a draft sit for a few days before I go back for a first edit, I pick up a variety of things that have been missed, don’t make sense, or just need to be reworked. But this, of course, is a good thing. Generally, my aim is to have a solid manuscript complete before it goes off to an editor.
I cannot stress the importance of retaining a good editor. This should be a person who is great at their craft, enthusiastic to read your work and will provide solid feedback (good, bad, or indifferent). Nothing is worse than reading a book, screenplay, or article that you can tell hasn’t been properly edited. Many years ago, I withdrew from an acting project as the filmmaker missed a glaring plot hole in his screenplay. When I brought it to his attention, he didn’t want to hear about it. It wasn’t worth being part of that project just for the sake of getting some footage for my reel.
Speaking of film, Facebook reminded me of a memory from my first feature film Justice Is Mind. In the movie, one of the primary characters states that “Thought Identification Procedure,” aka mind reading, was approved by Congress in 2023. Although Congress has yet to approve such a procedure, I must wonder just how far along this technology is from a science fact point of view.
When I do my weekly search on “mind reading technology” articles for Justice Is Mind’s Facebook page, it’s clear that this technology is pretty far along. Even if the video memory component isn’t as developed as it is in the film, it’s certainly moving in that direction. Perhaps, at some point, I will revisit with the experts researching this technology. The sequel to Justice Is Mind, In Mind We Trust, addresses numerous ethical issues that these present-day articles are reporting. But one thing is certain, we know that science fiction has often led to science fact.
Finally, while visiting Newport yesterday for a Cars & Coffee event, I found I had some extra time on my hands and visited a museum I’ve never been to before – The Newport Art Museum. This architectural gem with its variety of artwork in numerous mediums, is a must-see. I was particularly impressed with the Conflict and Remember exhibit along with galleries at the Cushing Memorial Gallery. Although I only had an hour to explore, plan to spend two.
The Future Today
I was inspired to write Justice Is Mind back in 2011 when I first saw a 2009 segment on 60 Minutes titled Reading Your Mind. The story focused on advances in fMRI technology and rudimentary “mind-reading” that was being researched and studied at Carnegie Mellon University. We had the honor to screen Justice at Carnegie in 2014 in front of the scientists and students that were spearheading this new technology.
As I postulated in Justice Is Mind, imagine the day your memories can be read by a machine. But also imagine the day when your memories can be used as evidence in a court of law. From what I have recently learned that day is apparently here in technology if not soon to be in court. This article in PetaPixel titled, ‘Mind-Reading’ Technology Translates Brainwaves into Photos,” is just one of several recent articles discussing this technology. This article states in part, “The researchers then fed this information into a computer’s artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm which could build an accurate image based on the information from the fMRI scan.” Let us reflect for a moment on what this truly means.
We can certainly look towards many films and TV series on what the future may bring. Star Trek is often referenced as accurately predicting future technology. Frankly, it’s still pretty amazing to me what our “smartphones” can actually do. As has often been discussed, today’s smartphones have thousands of times more computing power than the Apollo era computers. Technology, however, is one thing, but what about the UFO phenomenon?
When I wrote First Signal in 2017, the premise was relatively straight forward. The story was a prequel to the events in First World. Those events were the revelation of an alien presence on Earth. While UFO sightings have been claimed since biblical times, governments have been relatively loath to acknowledge even the slightest possibility of their existence. Oh, there are the countless investigations, public and otherwise, along with more documentaries than I can count, but never before has the government began to embrace the possibility that UFOs, or as they prefer the reference UAPs, exist.
However, over the last year, and just recently, there have been countless articles on the very subject. This article in Space.com titled, “NASA ‘going full force’ to gear up for UFO study,” certainly seems to ask the larger question, “Are they preparing us for some sort of revelation?” Some of the comments on First Signal’s listing on YouTube state, “I really hope this movie is a prophecy” and “It all could be possible and with that if it was or did happen our gov. officials could keep the truth from us all.”
As for whether government officials know more or not on the subject of UAPs, one definitive thing I can say, is that they know about First Signal. One of my marketing priorities was to make sure all the relative agencies knew about the film. From NASA to the Air Force, to members of Congress and The White House, all were on the distribution list.
I truly feel with the James Webb Telescope we will soon learn more about our place in the cosmos than ever before. In First Signal the famed telescope is mentioned in relation to its “future” parking position at Lagrange point 2 (L2). The same place in space that an alien satellite was spotted. Just last week the telescope discovered carbon dioxide on a distant world.
“This is a time to study and investigate.” – Cedric Yonah in First Signal.