Posted June 29, 2012 by Stephen Lillie in Features
 
 

Survival Is Everything


Following hot on the heels of The Day After Tomorrow and 2012, Roland Emmerich returns to the post apocalyptic world with his latest survivalist flick, HELL. Carrying the catch tag: Survival Is Everything, HELL is set on an Earth baked, barren by the ravages of the Sun. The fight for survival is on. But, as Steve Lillie discovered, don’t drink the water …

By – Steve
Lillie

Following hot on the heels of The
Day After Tomorrow and 2012, Roland Emmerich returns to the post apocalyptic
world with his latest survivalist flick, HELL. Carrying the catch tag: Survival
Is Everything, HELL is set on an Earth baked, barren by the ravages of the Sun.
The fight for survival is on. But, as Steve Lillie discovered, don’t drink the
water …

With
the release of HELL this month,
Flimjuice was invited to some preparatory training for the apocalypse at a secret
London location. If you know nothing at all about the film, you might imagine
that the day would be all about demons, devils, the damned and how to combat
them, but it turns out that HELL (“Survival is Everything!”) is a film set in a
future where the Earth has been scorched dry by the Sun and the human race are
left, furtively scratching about in the debris, trying to survive.

The
training took place in a suitably urban warehouse. As a member of the pampered
paparazzi you might expect a lavish lunch to be provided, and we were not
disappointed. A veritable cornucopia of fruit, nuts, and berries were laid out
for our delectation on a large piece of brown paper. No extraneous etiquette
like knives, forks, or plates – we were roughing it! This was food we might
hope to forage for in the wild British terrain, or in this case Tescos.

Our
expert on survival in the post climate change world was Thomas Schorr-kon – a man who obviously knows his subject well –
and has spent years surviving in some of Earth’s most extreme environments.

Starting
with the basics, it was quickly down to priorities. Staggering from the
wreckage of your aircraft in the Amazon jungle, what do you do first? Well,
probably see if you have a mobile phone signal, but assuming that doesn’t work,
you need shelter, water, fire, and food, but not necessarily in that order. If
you don’t know the order you might not survive! You need training.

Thomas’
curriculum was an ambitious one, especially for a group of urban novices, and
it quickly became apparent that the average newt would have a better chance of
surviving in the wilderness than the average journalist (with no training and
no weapons). In brief, we covered how to obtain the four essentials mentioned
above, along with some skills you might not have thought of, such as making
rope, which rocks will make a cutting tool, and camouflage.
We also discovered that, despite what you may see in the film, you really
shouldn’t drink radiator water. At least not unless you’ve managed to make
yourself a Solar Still in which to distill it.

Thomas
has an excellent teaching technique (and many amusing stories) which is based
on explaining the underlying principals of a task, so that you then understand
why it works, and can improvise in any situation, to find your own solutions.

The
most unexpected element to the training, however was the mind set it needed.
Not just a positive mental attitude, but attuning yourself to the environment.
Thomas’ methods comes from Apache scout practices, tried and tested over many
generations. And these skills could make the difference between grass for
dinner, or deer. When we took our shoes off to learn “fox walking” (not to be
confused with fox-trotting) and twiddled our fingers in our peripheral vision
to change our brain state, the average urbanite would probably have thought
he’d stumbled onto a training session for the film Men Who Stare at Goats. However, everyone was much more opened
minded than that, and we were soon stalking the room with an expanded awareness.
Which was pretty amazing for a group who have never been more than 50 meters
from an espresso bar and can’t focus on an area larger than their iPone.

Some
of the things Thomas taught us might seem, in his words, “crazy” but, come the
apocalypse, we are now more than ready to survive in HELL. If only someone had
thought to ask how to make factor 4000 sun block from mud and leaves.

HELL is
unleashed on 2nd July on DVD and
Blu-ray.
“Survival is everything.”


Stephen Lillie