Private Project

The Collins Story - Connecting the Moon to the Earth: Moon Talk

In the days before personal computers, before the Internet and the worldwide web connected us to global information, before smartphones connected us to one another, before GPS guided our journeys…Before this technology was a part of everyday life, American astronauts explored new frontiers in space and on the moon. A half century ago, men on board the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space capsules talked to earth, navigated in space and to the moon and back, and exchanged critical data with mission control. How was this accomplished five decades ago? By the ingenuity and dedication of a company founded in the heartland of America – The Collins Radio Company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

"Moon Talk", the second chapter (but first to be completed) of a three-part series, tells the little-known story of the people who designed the space communication systems and how they did it. These systems were technical feats that had never been done before, and played a crucial role in America’s race to be first to land a man on the moon.

The other two chapters are 1 - "Steps to the Moon" ( and 3 - "Live from the Moon" (

  • Annette Juergens Busbee
  • Annette Juergens Busbee
  • Arthur A. Collins Legacy Association
  • Steven James
    Key Cast
  • Eric Dean Freese
  • Gerard Estella
  • Wired Production Group
    Production Company
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    35 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    December 20, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    50,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    1080 Digital, 16 & 35 mm
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Premiere
    Marion, Iowa
    United States
    December 21, 2018
    World Premiere
  • Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival 2019
    Marion, Iowa
    United States
    April 12, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Iowa Motion Picture Awards 2020
    Des Moines, Iowa
    United States
    May 1, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Dunedin International Film Festival 2022
    Dunedin, Florida
    United States
    January 15, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Space Faring Civilisation Film Festival 2022
    Watson, Australian Capital Territory
    February 5, 2022
    "Rocket Science" Theme Winner
  • Ogeechee International History Film Festival 2022
    Statesboro, Georgia
    United States
    February 24, 2022
    Certificate of Merit
  • Santa Barbara Shorts Festival 2022
    August 25, 2022
    Best Short Documentary
  • Raw Science Film Festival 2022
    Las Catalinas
    Costa Rica
    August 26, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Snake Alley Festival of Film
    Burlington, Iowa
    United States
    July 14, 2023
    Nominee, Best Iowa Made Film
Director Biography

Annette Juergens Busbee is an Iowa journalist and writer and executive producer of the documentary trilogy, “The Collins Story: From The Moon To The Earth.” The series brings to life the story of a small Iowa radio communications company that was an early pioneer in space communications and led the development of groundbreaking communication, tracking and navigation technology for the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions. She weaves together research, archival images, 16-millimeter film footage, and interviews with former Collins Radio engineers to tell this little-known story. All three documentaries have been recognized with festival awards and screenings. Annette worked in collaboration with the Arthur A. Collins Legacy Association, the sponsor of the series, and editor Eric Dean Freese.

Eric is Senior Editor and Videographer at Wired Production Group, a full-service event A/V and video production company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He produces regional and nationwide corporate and live event video, but has special interests in documentary production and motion design, and is a jib operator and certified drone pilot. Eric is also an independent film enthusiast, both as a crew member and filmmaking organization volunteer. He is married with two sons who have started making their own films.

Add Director Biography