Contact: Perseverance and the Pay Off in Contact

Hey there guys,

I’ve struggled a little bit as to what I’d write about Contact. Not because of the quality of the film but more so because during our episode, Craig and I discussed such a broad range of topics that I felt “what can I say that hasn’t been said already?” But reflecting on the episode and the journey that the film took what really stood out to me is that for Carl Sagan, Contact as a film was a passion project and one that took Sagan nearly 20 years to get to the screen. What’s even sadder is the fact that Sagan passed away a few months before the film was released.

During the episode we took a look, in greater detail, at the journey that Contact took. Aside from the extended time frame what really tells me that Contact was a passion project is that after the film stalled Sagan was willing to look into alternate ways in which his story could still be brought to the world. Sagan went on to write Contact as a novel which then, in turn, lead to a film being made based upon the book. It was the long way around for the story but after seeing the film, it was worth the wait. And, let’s be honest, who knows what sort of version of the film we would have received if it had been originally made when developed in the 80’s.

Time is such a fascinating thing to me. Time is such an individual and unique entity, our own priorities and passions determine whether time flies or drags. This is especially evident when we take a look at time in relation to something we’re passionate about. Just think about those moments in our own life when we’ve chased something we’ve wanted. It could be the genesis of a podcast or some other creative project, applying for a job or a potential significant other you wanted to ask out. There are all these moments in this pursuit where time is a struggle. We wish time could be sped up in order to reach something and then we wish it would slow down so moments could last longer. It’s just so intriguing to me.  

The creation of this podcast could be described as nothing less than a passion project for myself. I had idea after idea and some of them just didn’t come together, but my patience during development and creation, was fuelled by my passion for the project and for films. I don’t want to make a heap of assumptions but this is why I feel the 20-year journey was a wholehearted, passion driven project for Carl Sagan. But let’s take a moment and consider the highs and lows that Sagan must have endured during the 20-year journey of his labour of love.

I did a little research to see if there was any mention of Sagan getting to see Zemeckis’s version of Contact and stumbled across a letter written by Sagan and his wife/writing partner Ann Druyan. Throughout the 2 pages of what looks to be a much bigger letter, Sagan and Druyan pull apart a rewritten version of the script, undertaken during the George Miller years of the project, and give their notes. You can read those pages below;


But it’s evidence that shows that Sagan loved this project and wanted nothing but the best for it. He persevered through the early studio stalling, the wild/zany iterations during the George Miller years and in the end was rewarded with Robert Zemeckis’s vision of Contact.

There are always going to be moments where we’re disappointed or let down during the pursuit of a passion and sometimes all it takes is a little inspiration. For me, Contact will always be a source of inspiration as I believe it’s proof that if you passionately pursue something that great things can come. So keep chasing!

Big Love, Yeah