Saturday Matinee 2015 35: Uncertain Tomorrow (Web pilot, 2015)

uncertain_tomorrow-surveillance_overwatch

They do show surveillance in a defensive setting. Click to embiggen these photos (and see the detail in the dark).

This is something very different from the usual review, because it’s a review of a ten minute, all-but-dialogueless webisode of a video that’s meant to be sort-of infotainment for preppers and those considering making preparations for family survival in the event of disaster accompanied by failure of Rule of Law.

And further webisodes may never be made; it’s on Indiegogo now, and it’s dying on the vine there, perhaps from a paucity of promotion.

The show is also unusual in that it is sponsored by a gun shop, the Savannah River Armory from Georgia, and an unusual one in that its manager and workers are veterans of the recent unpleasantness.

Georgians now have the emergency survival problem that people in built-up areas like the Northeast and Southern California have long had: most of them live in urban environments that hang together only by the rule of law and its fair and firm enforcement. In the event of a collapse of lawfully constituted authority (which is not as far off as you think; in 2005 the New Orleans Police Department evaporated into nearly half no-shows and nearly half who joined the  looters) the dependent masses, particularly youth that are already feral, become a hazard to everyone in town and out.

Uncertain Tomorrow aims to show us, through the actions of a small band of determined survivors, how such a calamity can be survived with confidence and integrity.

The story begins with our survivors in sub-optimal positions. One, a former military sniper, is in the long chains of cars that have become stuck in jams leaving the city. He opts to walk to what turns out to be a preset rendezvous point.

Another has a problem — he’s not just trying to flee himself, but protect his womenfolk as well, as the city collapses into  riots. By the end of the episode, they’re established in the countryside, but now have to deal with unprepared people seeking help.

Acting and Production

Before we comment on it, we’ll embed the 10-minute pilot for your edification.

The acting seems okay for what appear to be amateurs, but there’s no dialogue in the pilot episode, which they tell us cost $1k/minute (and they also tell us, that’s about standard for a production these days. To us, it seems low).

The episode has decent production values apart from its unusual “silent film” nature (it’s not really silent, as there are sound effects, unintrusive music, and ambient audio). Edits are snappy, camera angles interesting, situations don’t stretch plausibility more than any of these films do. (For example, why did the solo guy have to give up his vehicle and walk, while the family were able to drive from the burning inner city out successfully?)

Accuracy and Weapons

By and large their guns are sensible for the situation, and their use of them is much more realistic than the full-zombie-assault movies that are currently in vogue.

uncertain_tomorrow-white_mans_fire

Right about now, this guy’s night vision is on a par with Stevie Wonder’s.

In some specific cases, the survival techniques looked unrealistic to us. The lone survivor, building a White Man’s fire and sitting staring into it? Not a real great policy; the forest is neutral but the people in it all have to be considered red forces until proven otherwise.

Also, snappy, squared-off patrol movements are easy to do in the first ten minutes after you pick up the gun. These guys never show what it’s like after ten hours under a ruck, and in this situation, ten hours is unfortunately a warm-up.

Driving right up to a building, even your own camp, that’s in an unknown security state? No; not in this situation. Your property may well be occupied by armed, scared squatters. You surveil it, then clear it, with someone providing support from a covered and concealed position. The folly of “just driving up” is driven (no pun intended) home later in the webisode, when Sumdood drives up and finds himself having to trust the survivors’ willingness to play, “Hand up, don’t shoot.”

 

The building-clearing techniques are asking for trouble against armed resistance, but to clear a building properly and safely you need more people and more training than these survivors have. If you don’t have that, you’re better off surveilling the building than trying to clear it. (A small band of survivors hasn’t really got the sand in its pockets to surveil a large building around the clock, either).

And the overall idea — when things go sour, drop everything and head to your woodland redoubt — may be a case of too little, too late with respect to sensible survival. A better approach, if survival in rule-of-law regressive times is your objective, is to do as James Wesley, Rawles practices (and preaches) and relocate now to a defensible remote location. Given that human beings are by definition social animals, very, very few people will do that. Instead, they’ll run the risk — also a reasonable decision, but know the decision you’re making.

Backing up the alley where you left the car, unsecured and unobserved; shuffling the womenfolk behind you? That's assuming a lot of risk. You might have no other choice.

Backing up the alley where you left the car, unsecured and unobserved; shuffling the womenfolk behind you? That’s assuming a lot of risk. You might have no other choice.

As we’ve pointed out, Hog Manor is six miles from a certain nuclear first-strike target generally to our north and about ten miles from another in the opposite direction, and is set between the grey Atlantic to the east and suburban sprawl to the west. We’re two days’ march (for shambling city folks) up the highway from a conurbation packed with people who already riot over sports scores, many of whom are on Year Eight of the Undergraduate Experience® and are about as societally useful as you’d figure, from that.

We’re running a hell of a risk in the event of societal collapse — but Your Humble Blogger is also a few months’ medication interruption from sudden death from one thing or agonizing disability from t’other.

Personally, we believe the best prep is gradual, realistic and risk-based. Remember that risk is a product of probability and severity, so start with being ready for the things that are very likely to screw your life up for a few days (loss of power, severe weather of the sort common in your area), then start planning for less likely and longer lasting problems. Yes, it’s intimidating to set aside rations for a year, but could you put three days’ foods (things that your family already eats) in some shelf-stable format in a Tuff Box in your basement? It wouldn’t be hard. (A kid can get adequate nutrition for a week from two or three cans a day of spaghetti, beef stew or hash, plus a multivitamin. And, if no power, can eat right out of the cans. The cans store damn near forever and if you pay $1 each you weren’t shopping the sales).

The bottom line

Uncertain Tomorrow is on Indiegogo and it is poorly subscribed to date; maybe they need to promote it more widely, maybe they need to shake up their campaign or up their rewards, or maybe the potential audience for this film has all their cash tied up in Krugerrands or something. We’ll consider this coming week whether we want to throw in on it; we’ll tell you on Friday or Saturday what we decided. Right now, we’re leaning towards a contribution, because we’d like to see more episodes of this. Yes, we’ve criticized some of what they show in the current brief episode, but they got us talking, didn’t they?

They are not, however, planning to make money with it, at least not directly, and that’s probably what’s going to hold them back more than any lack of contributions. Still, have a look at it!

For more information

None of the usual sites related to this particular film apply here. You’ve simply got:

25 thoughts on “Saturday Matinee 2015 35: Uncertain Tomorrow (Web pilot, 2015)

  1. Pingback: WeaponsMan: Uncertain Future | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  2. obsidian

    The plan here is to dig in, fort up, lock and load and lay low.
    No patrols, no going to the store for a week or more no checking on family or friends.
    The only time we will be out and about are to feed the horses and dogs.
    What happens in the road, street or next door is not our business unless it involves an actual seen assault and attack any assist will be by long range fires not by actual counter attack. Neighbors need to buy weapons, supplies themselves no help is expected from them.
    No evacuations, posse memberships or involvement with law enforcement personnel, we will stay away from LEO as well as Perps for the same reasons they are a danger to us.
    If the looters or rioters cross the property line action will be taken according to the observed intent of the trespassers.
    Anyone attempting to breach the dwelling or shooting at the dwelling will be engaged.
    No, I’m not a prepper nor a survival commando and I am too old to go running about playing one..
    Alamo defense, we ain’t got anywhere to go.

    1. obsidian

      We live thankfully in a rural country setting, have our own source of clean water, auxiliary lights, heat and stove. We keep food and such stored up.
      Our main danger comes from the interstate hwy crossing south of us between two small towns.

    2. JohnMc

      I generally agree with the ‘hole up’ idea. For me there are just too many unponderable considerations for a bug out plan to be fool proof. The one time you think you have the bug out plan perfected is the day the one thing you did not consider happens. It is best you already be there when it happens. That correlates to you are living there full time.

      However I don’t subscribe to the katy bar the door approach either. You need to know who is around you AND that they know you. Otherwise the singular time you do have to move about they might just shoot you because they don’t know you. The second thing to consider is, most situations it is better to engage at length. If there is trouble better to assist and engage on their property. It provides the element of maneuver and exit. Once you are locked down in your own home you are like the king in his keep. Your only strategy is to kill them all (but can you?) or die in the attempt.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Pretty common in training. Note blank firing adapter on the 249 muzzle, and that it looks like he’s on trigger. (Example of something you get away with in the school, where they’d have your ass in the Regiment. But everywhere, blanks do have a way of reinforcing bad habits). It is nearly impossible to conduct combat ops without flagging friendlies, but it definitely can be done without shooting them.

      This was probably in Florida, this photo, where everyone’s somewhat tired and possibly hungry (they get a lot more sleep and chow than they used to. Some General’s pointer kid must have failed a few years back).

      Fivecoat is a full-throated SJW despite his background. He’s full of diversity shibboleths and cant. Marked for a star by this Administration.

      1. Doug

        You fight like you train.

        Have a practical tip on that food storage for you.
        Buy a cheap white plastic bucket and lid each time you go food shopping, if you can afford it, as you shop, budget yourself 35 bucks to buy items to stuff the 5 gal bucket with. Having the bucket in your shopping cart helps, as you can determine the volume of $35 of goods which fit. One week I’ll go beans, rice, some condiments, canned chicken, something of a treat like a hershey bar or hot cocoa. Next week it can be soap, cleaning supplies, ball of string, strike anywhere matches, canning lids, block of paraffin, another week its essential preservative items, such as sugar, canning and sea salt, bag of Mortons Quick Cure, vinegar, more canning lids, jerky spices, spices for fermenting vegetables, another is socks and undies, or oatmeal, raisons, brown sugar, honey etc, another all the TP or ivory soap or laundry detergent that fits a pail. I take a sharpy, write on side and lid whats inside and date, add an oxygen absorber, stack those babies up.
        For 35 bucks, you can feed two people quite well with a 5 gallon bucket, or provide some very useful basic items.
        Sardines, canned herring, tuna in oil, peanut butter, corned beef hash, are the most energy rich foods, fat wise, and protein wise, in your standard food market. They are cheap but wholesome basic minimum processed foods that last long time.

        You need a cooking source, get a propane stove, the kind which doesn’t require electricity to run. It won’t auto light, but the rest works. We have two. One 100lb cylinder of propane lasts 3 people in our house 14 months. Get 4, fill them as you can afford. $75 bucks fills one right now.
        Its a heat source too.

        Lots more to that all. But it is basic common sense way to save back that don’t cost an arm and a leg all at once that is simple to do.

        1. DSM

          Buckets are always useful to have, full of goodies or not.

          Even if folks don’t subscribe to the “prepper” lifestyle or mindset a basic stock of supplies to be kept on-hand is just as simple as you mention. Many moons ago I read an article that described a plan based on 10’s or something along those lines. 10 cans of food, 10 bottles of water, 10 candles, etc, etc, will get a family through a small scale interruption like a storm related power outage lasting so many days or a minor post earthquake recovery. Multiply that by another 10 and you can go for a few weeks and so on. The key is to think about the most likely scenario(s) for your area and plan accordingly. Oh, and practice it too.

      2. "Greg"

        +1… sorry to be disageeable, but i would call that more of a momentary risk, than a negligent flag (yes, i agree it *IS* a flag) because SAW gunner is already set up in position, and “flag-ee” is taking that few seconds (actually, looks more like he is choosing/trusting his battle-buddy not to N.D. him) to get the boat pushed off the river bank… flag of the year was that cop sitting on the barrel of his shotgun (or was that last year’s? I lose track of the time!)

  3. Roger

    I’m a non military guy but have some in my family. I’m not dumb about weapons, survival, and all outdoor skills. I can’t disassemble and reassemble a AR or any of those other multi part guns. I shoot an AK. My sidearm is a Glock and some other spare hand guns too. I’m a good shot out to about 300 yards with my favorite deer rifle. I do have some stuff stored and am quite able to be self sufficient with our family. We live in a country setting and can be self sufficient when required, (did just fine during a duratio a few years ago for 20 days w/ no power).
    It will be difficult to know who to trust. How far they can get on your property. What is their intent. Do we join up with the local militia, group, neighbors, who are your friends, how long will “it” last,’t that have been done way before? when will it end, most of all I pray a collapse happens in my lifetime so I can be useful. Time will tell all of that.
    The guys in this video are a team, worked together before, set up stuff before. and all the rest. What do they do with the “Captives? Why is the guy chopping wood? Shouldn’t that have been done before? The sound of chopping wood carries far and wide.
    I’ll be looking for the next chapter.

  4. RTK

    This is going to really suck; no way around it.

    Stupidly chose to live in the People’s Republic of Durham, NC.

    1. "Greg"

      Has it gotten much worse than it was 10 years ago? (OMG, how time flies!) I can’t bring myself to believe that it is worse than CA, NY, CT, NJ, IL, MA, etc…

  5. Eagle1

    Hokey? Maybe not so far off track for an awful lot of people. Lucky? There is always an element of luck in most situations. Yes, you make your luck by being well trained and prepared, but in many situations there is always the black tail event possibility. Life is not lived under the 90 or 80 percent probabilities of the bell curve all the time.

  6. Paul B

    Since I am not now nor ever have had military training the biggest boo boo I saw was focus on the somedude with the walking wounded. He could have been lead elements of the roving biker gang. With out some obvious back watch that seemed to be the next thing.

    I can’t alamo here and I can’t get the wife to go anywhere else. She cites the last major depression (1929) and feels cash on hand and some food will suffice.

    I think with the current Just In Time warehousing and other speed things once the pins go things will get sporty quick. I would not rule out 10-20 years out things come back, but living through that time frame could be risky.

    I dunno the future, but I do think some stores on hand will be a good thing.

  7. lineman

    You don’t want a location to remote…You want one that is remote in the sense that its far removed from any large population center but within a 1/2 hr driving distance from your small local community…Like Hognose said people are social animals and you will want to start to trade and barter once things settle down a bit from the initial chaos…Its good to get to know your community now so you won’t be viewed as an outsider later which will cause you all sorts of problems…I live about 20 min outside of a town of about 8000 people…The nearest city of over 200k is 4hrs away and across some mountain ranges…Nearest bigger city is 1hr from me with a pop of 70k…I have all the things I need now to make life enjoyable and if something pops a place that is defendable and the ability to isolate if needed…There is plenty of jobs, housing, and land around if anyone is interested in hearing more you can reach me at lineman@iiipercent.com

  8. C. Ryan McAlister

    On behalf of SRA, we truly appreciate your critiques. We don’t really have any excuse, aside from lack of funding, to the points you made. There were definitely some mistakes made, and looking back now they are very obvious. Though the supporting cast was fairly decent at portraying years of practice, these ladies and others are your typical small town indie film actors. We hope to improve on some of these critiques in future episodes. Your perception of our fund raiser is unfortunately accurate as well. Fortunately we are in the works of securing a few corporate sponsors.

    Thanks so much for your time, and we look forward to future reviews!

    1. Hognose Post author

      Ryan, thanks for the response. Perhaps some of our readers here will step up and contribute. I am leaning towards throwing in myself. Let’s get the word out to the shooting and survival community. I try to do one of these reviews every weekend (some weekend are more equal than others) and feel good about the idea of supporting quality content that’s at least partly made by my fellow vets.

      ETA: while I had some criticisms, I also was very impressed with the production quality of your video. Some really nice, professional crane or drone shots, some Steadicam or equivalent, and you did a great job of setting up a “riot” for a budget-limited production.

      Suggestion: consider doing a teacher’s guide showing how, for example, the guy (Roman?) plays homeless bum, how he makes a prearranged safe-signal knock at the door. I really liked the way you showed the pick-up safe sign where the sniper guy joined the party. Didn’t TELL it, especially didn’t PREACH it, just showed it. As it is, even the 10-minute pilot is a good discussion starter: what did they do right? What is he doing wrong right here?

      1. "Greg"

        I wish i was more of an original writer, than just an enthusiastic commenter, but to quote popeye (appropriate enough in my case) “i’yam what i’yam, and that’s all that i’yam…”

        With that being said, i think it is an excellent production for the “sheeple” of the world. Although many of the technical criticisms may be valid (not driving directly to the front door of your retreat, etc) none of the sheeple would know the difference (heck, i might have done something stupid like that myself prior to reading this posting, etc etc) but simply seeing burning *AMERICAN* cities, and a few individuals who are prepared for such a disaster might get a few more NEW people interested in being able to protect themselves, and feed themselves, and help to restore some kind of order back into whatever is left of society!

  9. Pingback: Uncertain Tomorrow (Web pilot, 2015) | From the Trenches World Report

  10. Andrew

    I take Synthroid since I lack a thyroid gland, it was removed when I was 18 due to cancer.
    I have no illusions a long term “event” will include me, as I can only Stock so much of the stuff and I can’t make it either.
    So, if there’s any “long term thing” I’ll be out of luck.

    That said, I did think the “webisode” was decent for something “low budget”.
    I figured it piqued the interest at least, and I was hoping for more.

  11. James

    (moved from a later post) To Hognose: I thought your RV-12 was integral to your bug-out plan? You could reach Maine and most of Eastern Canada from your nearest airfield. If Canada, I don’t recommend calling customs upon landing in a true bug-out scenario ;-)

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