By Sandra Kraisirideja
On Oct. 27 National Geographic Channel will air a two-hour original movie that imagines what could happen in the wake of a nationwide blackout.
“American Blackout” combines user-generated footage from real blackouts, and natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy, with news reports and dramatic first-person footage shot by the movie’s cast.
During the 10-day blackout the audience sees the effects a loss of power has on the nation through several different scenarios, which were all filmed on video cameras or cell phones.
There’s a group of college kids are stranded on an elevator; a couple with a young daughter and a baby on the way; a single mother and her teenage son; a family of four with a survivalist dad who wait out the blackout at their full-stocked compound; and a wealthy New York couple hole up in their penthouse.
Although this is a fictional film, “American Blackout” follows the same narrative structure used by the National Geographic Channel for its documentary features on topics like Hurrican Katrina and 9/11. Those documentaries also used user-generated footage and news reports with informative text displayed now and then to emphasize a point, like after the college kids are stuck in the elevator the statistic appears that there are over 900,000 elevators in the U.S.
It’s not real, but “American Blackout” does make one think about the possibility and how best to be prepared.
“American Blackout” airs on National Geographic Channel on Oct. 27 at 9 p.m.
Photo credit: National Geographic Channels/ Stewart Volland