Arrow Pictures has made Extreme Rescues, a 6x60 returnable series, for National Geographic Channel (broadcast as Rescued in the UK). Through the innovative use of User Generated Content (UGC), the series tells the stories of some of the most gripping, real-life rescue situations told for the first time.
Ludie Ridout, Executive Producer, says: “Dashcams, body cams, helmet cams, GoPros and drones enable us to capture second-by-second detail of some truly perilous situations. What our viewers see is the actuality of real-life events unfolding, getting closer to the action like never before. By using UGC we are also able to take the viewer to some of the most remote parts of the planet, without roads, phones, or emergency services to hand, by having access to the UGC that was recorded by people at that moment. It’s an extremely powerful series.”
Each programme allows viewers to experience the story from the moment tragedy strikes, following every beat of the rescue operation as it unfolds. The UGC content is intercut with powerful interview footage of the rescuers, the survivors and the helpless and anxious family members who waited to hear news of their loved ones.
John Smithson, Creative Director, Arrow Pictures, says: “The challenge with survival programming is how to put the audience in the raw of the moment as something goes wrong. They want to experience as much of the jeopardy and heightened emotion as possible. This series draws on our extensive experience in this genre, giving the viewer even more of a front-row seat because of the exceptional UGC we have used. This isn’t about using UGC clips, this places UGC at the heart of each and every programme. No matter how rough the quality of the UGC, it’s the real deal and packs so much more power than by using recreation.”
Arrow is a leader in the survival genre with programming including: Nightmare on Everest for Channel 4; feature documentary Sherpa for Universal, Screen Australia and Discovery; and Mayday: The Passenger Who Landed a Plane for Channel 4. I Shouldn’t Be Alive, the hit returning series for Channel 4 and Discovery Channel; the multi-award-winning box office hit Touching the Void; and Oscar-nominated feature film 127 Hours are all part of John Smithson’s creative portfolio.
The series is Exec Produced by Lucie Ridout for Arrow Pictures and John Smithson is Creative Director.