Life After People

Synopsis: Visit the ghostly villages surrounding Chernobyl (abandoned by humans after the 1986 nuclear disaster), travel to remote islands off the coast of Maine to search for abandoned towns that have vanished from view in only a few decades, then head beneath the streets of New York to see how subway tunnels may become watery canals. A visual journey, LIFE AFTER PEOPLE is a thought provoking adventure that combines movie-quality visual effects with insights from experts in the fields of engineering, botany, ecology, biology, geology, climatology, and archeology to demonstrate how the very landscape of our planet will change in our absence.
Director(s): David de Vries
Production: History Channel
  Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 nomination.
108 min

What would happen?

If every human being on earth



At some point in the future,

This could be the fate

Of our planet.

This isn't the story

Of how we might vanish.

It is the story of what happens

To the world we leave behind.

The disappearance of humans

May seem like science fiction,

But eventually,

There will come a day like this;

A day when people

No longer walk the earth.

it's no great stretch

To imagine humans disappearing

From the face of the earth.

Every generation has its tales

Of Armageddon or apocalypse.

We're the first generation

That could,

By deliberate actions,

Cause its own doom.

What will life be like?

After people?

We're tantalized by our myths

About our own destruction,

But also tantalized

By the notion,

"hey, maybe it's the turn

Of someone else."

What will they do?

If we're gone?

What will the earth do?

When I'm gone?

It's the most natural question

In the world.

[alarm buzzing]

Time has run out for man.

Our hold on the planet is over.

Welcome to earth,

Population zero.

Within hours after we're gone,

Lights start going out

Around the world.

More than 70 percent of power

In the United States

Is generated by the burning

Of fossil fuels.

the plant will only continue

To produce electricity

As long as the fuel

Takes to be consumed.

If there's no one around

To provide the new fuel

Into the generating plant,

Then it'll be quite quick

Before the lights

Start going out in cities

All over the world.

Nuclear power plants

Are unlikely to melt down.

The average reactor

Holds enough fuel

To keep running for two years.

But without humans

Consuming the power

Generated by the plant,

The reactors will automatically

Shut down into a safe mode

In as little as two days.

even wind generation

Can't last forever.

The turbines require bearings

And lubrication

Of those bearings

In order to keep operating.

If there's no one around

To maintain the turbines,

The electricity

Doesn't get produced.

as generating plants go down,

Outages on the power grid

Contribute to a cascade

Of failure worldwide.

After a few weeks,

The planet is plunged

Into a deep darkness.

It has not experienced

Since humans first huddled

Around campfires.

Perhaps, the last glow

Of artificial lights on earth

Will be seen

In the American southwest.

Here, the mighty hover dam

Hydropower plant

Takes little notice

Of the absence of humans.

Its source of fuel

Is virtually limitless.

at hover dam,

Our fuel supply

Is actually the water

In the reservoir in Lake Mead

Behind hover dam,

So as long as there's water

In the reservoir,

This power plant

Can keep running.

There's water in the reservoir

Keeps supplying the water

To the hydro turbine generators.

These generators

Are operating automatically

And that would continue

As long as all of the systems

Are functioning normally.

If I and my staff

Were to leave tonight

And not come back to hover dam,

Say just in the condition

Of the plant is in right now,

This would continue operating

Without us here.

That would still be true

After about a week,

Several weeks, several months,

Maybe even a couple of years,

Everything would still be

Running normally.

In a life after people,

It is possible that hover dam

Would be one

Of the last power plants

Still running.

as the power goes out

Around the world,

Other systems

Are quickly beginning to fail.

beneath all the major cities,

There's a complex network

Of underground tunnels,

And these are there

For drainage purposes

Or for cabling purposes,

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David de Vries

David (Dave) de Vries (born 1961) is an Australian film writer, director and producer and a comic book artist and writer. David de Vries was born in Wellington, New Zealand, in 1961, growing up in the inner suburb of Ngaio, before emigrating to Melbourne at an early age with his parents, where he lived until he was eighteen. After studying painting at RMIT he started his comic book career in the early 1980s with work for OzComics, Phantastique, MAD Magazine and Penthouse. Together with Gary Chaloner, Glenn Lumsden and Tad Pietrzykowski he established Cyclone Comics in 1985, to ensure that their characters could be published while remaining under their Vries and Lumsden entered the American market through First Comics, Nicotat and Malibu Graphics with The Southern Squadron, a superhero team that had taken over the Cyclone title. Together they have drawn a new look version of The Phantom for Marvel Comics, have worked on Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Star Trek comics for DC Comics, The Eternal Warrior Yearbook for Valiant Comics, The Puppet Master for Eternity Comics and Planet of the Apes and Flesh Gordon for Malibu Comics. de Vries also worked on a number of projects as a writer, including The Thing From Another World for First Comics, Black Lightning and a Green Lantern annual for DC, as well as recreating the origin of Captain Boomerang with John Ostrander in an episode of the Suicide Squad. de Vries currently lives in South Australia where he founded the Barossa Studios with Lumsden, David Heinrich, Rod Tokely and David G. Williams, doing artwork for magazines like Picture, People, Ralph, The Australian Financial Review and The Bulletin.In 2009 de Vries wrote and directed a feature film, Carmilla Hyde, which won 'Best Feature' at the South Australian Screen Awards in March 2010 after winning 'Best Guerilla Feature' and 'Best Supporting Actress' at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival. Carmilla Hyde has won nine awards, which also include 'Best International Feature' Swansea Bay Film Festival, 'Best International Feature' International Film Festival South Africa, 'Best Australian Feature' Sexy International Film Festival and 'Best Foreign Film' Minneapolis Underground Film Festival. de Vries has written a number of live action and animation scripts for such film and TV. He is course coordinator of the Advance Production Projects for the Third Year Film & Television students at UniSA, and the Festival Director for the Barossa Film Festival. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Life After People" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 17 Apr. 2021. <>.

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