Thea von Harbou invented the countdown. 10, 9, 8…
It focuses the attention of everyone involved and ensures that we’re truly alert for what’s going to happen next.
It helps that the numbers go down, not up (because up might never end). And it helps that as we get closer to lift-off, tension goes up, not down.
But what really matters is this: There’s a commitment.
When we get to zero, we’re actually going to do this.
The commitment has to happen before the countdown can.