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The entire Navigate the Chaos collection of all 365 blog posts is now available in a paperback entitled Navigate the Chaos (795 pages for $24.99). A smaller collection of thoughts from the Navigate the Chaos collection is available in paperback entitled Wonder (94 pages for $4.99)

How often do you take action compared to letting something get to you?

Today is January 8 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you take action compared to letting something get to you?” American politician and retired four-star general in the U.S. Army Officer Colin Luther Powell once noted “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.”

Those who navigate the chaos take action and understand magic plays no part in the translation of their dreams into reality. English film director and producer Ridley Scott and American actor and producer Charlize Theron are two people who worked hard and stay determined to take the necessary action required to keep their work alive.

When Scott decided to re-film 22 scenes in his movie All the Money in the World, he had only nine days. Scott made the decision following the news regarding disgraced Kevin Spacey who starred in the movie. Christopher Plummer agreed to take Spacey’s role while lead cast members Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg agreed to work through Thanksgiving to re-film scenes with Mr. Plummer.

As Scott said “You can sit there and let something kill you, or you can take action. I took action.” As the USA Today reported “Ridley Scott’s Getty kidnapping drama was hastily reshot the week of Thanksgiving after a cascade of sexual misconduct allegations were made public against Kevin Spacey, who had starred in the drama as billionaire J. Paul Getty.

Scott transfixed the film world by quickly assembling his actors in Europe, reshooting Spacey’s scenes with Christopher Plummer — and still making his Christmas release window.” The rush was mandatory since a trailer with Spacey in it was already on heavy rotation in theaters.

According to The New York Times “For nine days, Mr. Scott arrived at filming locations by 6:30 a.m. to eat breakfast and finalize planned shooting angles with his longtime cinematographer, Dariusz Wolski. Filming usually continued straight through lunch. As sequences were shot — Mr. Scott typically does very few takes — footage was digitally shipped to the film’s editor, Claire Simpson, who would start stitching it together. In the evening, Mr. Scott would make adjustments.”

In a December 2017 interview, Scott commented on his ability to create films in an abbreviated time frame compared to other directors. “You plan, you know exactly what it will look like, and I think it helps me enormously that I still do something as basic as storyboard my own stuff. It forces me, on paper, to make decisions. I’ll get a great frame, snap my fingers, and move on to the next one. You’re filming on paper before you even begin, so when I walk on set, I know exactly what I’m going to do. That gives me a confidence with the actors, and the actors smell it.”

Like Scott, Charlize Theron had to act and deal with a last-minute distraction on Bombshell, a film about the sexual misconduct scandals at Fox News that ended the reign of Roger Ailes. Two weeks before filming was set to begin, Theron, who was one of the producers, and director Jay Roach received news that their studio pulled out; effectively ending the project. “It felt like getting sucked out of an airplane at high altitude and just falling,” Roach said. “Has any film ever come back together two weeks out?”

Three of the film’s leading actors: Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie had strict calendars and were not exactly flexible with their time. An immediate fix was necessary. “Within 24 hours, however, Theron had found a lifeline in Bron Studios, a company that had earlier just been a small partner. Within 72 hours, Lionsgate was on board too. Not only did Bombshell hit its original start date. They wrapped on time and under budget.” As Theron said in an interview “Some movies are just meant to be, and the universe was not going to let this one not happen.”

On the need to act Catherine Pulsifer wrote the poem Move Past This:

When you are feeling down

And all you can muster up is a frown

That is the time to stop

And count your blessings until you drop.

Focus on all of life’s good And you will find things work out as they should Feeling sorry and just sitting around It is a sure thing to bring you down.

Take some action, make a move It doesn’t matter if others approve Nothing lasts forever You will move past this if you endeavor!

Scott and Theron took swift action instead of letting events out of their control kill their films.

  • Do you act when necessary or do you sit there and let it kill you?

  • When a serious distraction enters the picture, do you sit there and let it kill you or do you take action and find a way to move forward?

  • How often in your life have you let something kill your plans, stop you from moving forward, or get in your way?


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