Top Gun (the movie): You probably know the storyline cold and can name your favorite flying scene. You can even quote several lines from the film (e.g. “son, your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash…”), but how much do you know about the behind-the-scenes efforts necessary to get the movie from initial draft to the final product we all know and love?
On this episode, retired U.S. Navy Reserve Commander Jim “Jambo” Ray and former Navy Lieutenant John “Smegs” Semcken, two junior officers stationed at then-NAS Miramar, Calif. in the mid-80’s, explain their participation in the filming and storyline development of everyone’s favorite flying movie and, hint, it was a significant effort! Jambo and Smegs discuss filming flying scenes, such as the tower flyby and the time an F-14 pilot almost crashed into the film crew on a Fallon hilltop, as well as how they worked with Paramount to craft the movie (not “documentary”!) into a product everyone would enjoy.
Listener questions addressed on this episode include how aka Navy Fighter Weapons School. A US Navy institution that develops and provides graduate-level strike-fighter tactics. students take notes during syllabus academics and whether graduates return to their previous squadrons as was the case during the pre-1996 Power Projection course. Be sure to check out Jambo’s Rooster Racing organization and Smegs’ Land of the Free Foundation to support veterans. View the previous Top Gun filming discussion featuring Smegs here.
Episode artwork by Janek Krause. Top Gun anthem covered by Jaime Lopez / announcement by Clint Bell.