I'm going to tell you a story. The story of a man who loved airplanes. His name was Howard Hughes. He built and flew many, but his biggest passion was to make movies with them.
Once, for one of his shots, he camped almost a month with his crew and an entire fleet of fighter-bombers in the desert of Escalante.
In the scene that he had to shoot, the pilots would perform a knife turn right after a cuban eight, so he wanted a clear, blue, serene sky that could be a testament of their elusive speed.
But the sky remained cloudy the whole time until pouring rain broke out. It should have been no surprise, considering that the desert Hughes had chosen to shoot his movie was an enormous piece of barren land in Utah, which every year got filled up with 330 mm of water and 180 cm of snow. But Hughes was not aware of this.
After a week of rain, the tents began to float as if they were big submarines, and the good spirits of the crew got washed away together with their dreams of the hot californian sun.
One day, finally, the sun began shining on Escalante again. "out of the blue, the bloody blue!", Hughes shouted coming out of his shelter where he had been for a very long time.
Finally, the sky was a perfect blue. Clear and serene. And the fighter-bombers, filmed by 10 cameras, performed their cuban eight and knife turn.
As soon as he returned to his movie studio in los angeles, Hughes, happy and anxious as he was, didn't even remember to take off his jacket, and with fast and expert movements, set in motion the projector to view his work.
But when the images started playing in black and white on the wall in front of him, he felt like he had a hearth attack.
His fighter-bombers were still. Literally still! They looked suspended in mid-air like large metallic butterflies. "What did i do wrong?" - he whispered, throwing open the windows. "no movement, no speed, what the hell's missing?"
He looked at the horizon in front of him. It had just stopped raining, the sky had blue and white spots. A flock of birds passed through them, performing a perfect knife turn and a wonderful cuban eight. It was at that point that he realized. "We need clouds!" - he shouted.
The birds scattered in fear, but he smiled because, finally, he knew what to do.
A week later, he hired 'cloud maker', (or so he called him), someone who as a living brought clouds. "because there always has to be a fixed point of reference - he said - to understand how fast you can go."