Ships are always the first to go in Armageddon movies

20 July 2016
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Ships are always the first to go in Armageddon movies; 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, Godzilla, Poseidon (of course), Pacific Rim, this list goes on and on.

And the latest? Independence Day Resurgence. Why is it that block buster movies about earth in distress almost invariably seem to include dramatic scenes of ocean going vessels being destroyed?

Sure the images are spectacular, but then so are images of destroyed cities, motorways, airliners, etc. Maybe directors and graphic artists are simply looking for variety, but then what about trains? Trains rarely seem to face the wrath of computer generated Armageddon.

The Day After Tomorrow, 2004

Great movies tap into and, in turn, shape societal fantasies, ideas and notions of adventure. Our industry is sometimes portrayed as a polluting, cut throat sector in a race for the bottom, but despite the negative press, shipping still holds a very special place of romance and adventure in our hearts.

The vessels that carry world trade operate largely out of public view, but we still look to the oceans as the last great untamed frontier and we see the people who make their living on the sea as intrepid adventurers.

Journalists and members of the public are always excited by pictures of shipping incidents because there’s something oddly exciting about ships (an important point of consideration in any crisis communications strategy).

Journalists jump at opportunities to tour vessels. Around the world retired vessels are repurposed as popular tourist attractions. Even landlocked Kentucky, USA now has a prominent vessel open to tourists – Noah’s Ark. Ok, maybe that’s a little different, but then ask yourself why the story of Noah’s Ark is one of the best known stories in the bible and the recent subject of another one of those movies about earth in distress.

The simple truth is we work in an industry that still appeals to people’s sense of the unknown and their sense of adventure. So when movie makers want to impress their viewers with the awesome power of weather/monsters/waves/aliens our sector makes the perfect target for computer generated destruction.

Just remember, next time one of your vessels is in distress people will be strangely excited, but not because of your misfortune, rather because they secretly think your job is pretty cool.

Dustin Eno
COO & Crisis Response Manager

T: +44 (0)20 3326 8467

Twitter: @dustineno

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