A Documentary Set In a Fictional Environment
Who are these strangers?
The people in Blackout represent a snapshot of a single subway car in New York. Since this isNYC, our group includes an illustrious international cast of underground performers, artists, educators and scientists.
The project began with in-depth interviews with a group of 27 people for our virtual train. Their stories and observations interweave to create a beautiful documentary portrait of a crowd of strangers struggling to find their place in the city.
Today more than half of the world’s population lives in cities. As the world’s cultures are displaced and newcomers flood urban centers, it is urgent that we not just educate ourselves, but empathize with the lives of strangers that surround us. Through immersive technology and raw documentary stories, Blackout shows how one stranded group of city commuters has more in common than they ever imagined.
What makes this project even more dope is the fact that it’s a virtual reality film. As a viewer you get to be on the train and explore 27 real stories. One of the stories is about a yoga teacher who teaches at Rikers Island (hint, hint). She talks about what it’s like have to protect yourself and your soul. I hear she’s cool.
All jokes aside, I love what Specular has done. They’ve found a way to take technology and humanize it. So often our experiences with technology take us out of the moment and into the land of self. Blackout does the opposite, it uses VR so people let go of ego and explore another person’s viewpoint. This is revolutionary. In a world that is being ripped apart, a group of creatives are finding ways to draw us closer together.
It gets me thinking….none of get out of this thing called life alive but we have a shot to make it a better trip.
Check out the campaign and get a peak at my thoughts.