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Cockpit recordings fuel new film

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – News1130 is kicking off a week-long series featuring some of the films and docs at the DOXA Documentary Film Festival which runs from May 2nd to 11th in Vancouver.

We begin with “Charlie Victor Romeo,” which has been described by a New York Times reporter as “one of the most terrifying movies he’s ever seen.”     

CVR is adapted from a stage play based on the official cockpit transcripts from cockpit recordings from six different flights.

Co-director, producer and writer Patrick Daniels says they came up with the idea for the play after a conversation about millennialism and reality TV.

“In 1999, there was a TV program in the US called Cops and we had American Gladiators and the conversation was as we approach the turn of the millennium and Y2K, is this reality programming a reaction to this impending millennial shift?”  

Daniels says in thinking about that, co-creators Robert Berger and Irving Gregory found a book of transcripts of cockpit voice recorders.

“In looking through it, it looks on the page very much like a theatre script so we produced it into a theatre piece and it actually plays incredibly well as a stage piece.”

Daniels says Charlie Victor Romeo does not look like your average Hollywood airplane disaster movie with no expensive sets or special effects.  

“One of the things that we’ve been able to rely on thankfully both in the theatre piece and now in the cinema is that we have the most amazing special effects engines possible which are the audience’s imagination. Your imagination replaces those special effects far better than actual computer effects or anything like that,” he says.

Daniels says he’s often asked about the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

“It’s difficult to avoid conjecture. Nobody really knows what happened. I think that’s a fascinating thing about how news of this type gets reported. People want information or closure yet there’s nothing available. We may never find out what happened. There are planes that went down in the Bermuda Triangle. People are lost all the time, it’s pretty amazing,” he says.

By the way, the film’s title Charlie Victor Romeo is the phonetic alphabet for “cockpit voice recorder.” 

You can see it on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 5:00pm at Vancity Theatre.
Rogers is a DOXA Presenting Partner.