Netflix's Bird Box Film Also Includes Real Disaster Footage

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Sandra Bullock film is third to use real disaster footage after live-action Death Note, Travelers series

Earlier this month it came to light that the live-action Western film adaption of Death Note on Netflix includes real footage of a train accident that occurred in Belgium in 2010, which killed 19 people and injured 310. The National Railway Company of Belgium claimed that Netflix had never asked for permission to use the footage and none of the families of the deceased or any of the survivors were notified beforehand, either.

The current situation doesn't appear to be a one-time occurrence, as Netflix's Bird Box film starring Sandra Bullock also uses footage from another train accident, this time the 2013 Lac-Mégantic rail disaster that killed more than 40 people. Death Note, Bird Box, Netflix's series Travelers makes for three separate incidents using real-life disaster footage. Both Bird Box and Travelers specifically use footage from Lac-Mégantic rail disaster.

The train disaster took place in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec and involved an unattended freight train carrying crude oil. The 74-car train derailed into the town itself, caught fire, and exploded. Nearly half of downtown Lac-Mégantic was destroyed and over 40 were announced or are presumed dead. It is the fourth-deadliest rail accident in Canadian history.

Since the use of the footage was revealed, Lac-Megantic Mayor Julie Morin has asked Netflix to look at its catalog to ensure footage doesn't appear in any more of the streaming giant's productions. Morin asked for assurance from Netflix that it would remove the footage.

A high school ethics teacher was the one to discover that the sci-fi series Travelers made use of the Lac-Megantic disaster footage. According to Carrie Mudd, president of Toronto-based Peacock Alley Entertainment, the Travelers production obtained the scene as stock footage from New York-based stock image vendor Pond 5. Mudd apologized for the scene's use in Travelers and stated they were working to remove it. Pond 5 said in a statement to BBC that it deeply regretted the footage being "taken out of context and used in entertainment programming".

However, Netflix has been less cooperative when it comes to removing the footage from Bird Box. Multiple news agencies are reporting that Netflix confirmed the footage shown at the beginning of Bird Box is Lac-Megantic disaster footage but that it will not be removed.

Source: Vanity Fair (Laura Bradley), BBC, North Shore News (Giuseppe Valiante/The Canadian Press)

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