Channel 4, Smithsonian prepare for Terror in the Skies

UK terrestrial Channel 4 and US net Smithsonian Channel have ordered local indie Arrow Media to produce a 4x60mins series about near-collisions in air travel.

Terror in the Skies will launch on Channel 4 in June and Smithsonian later this year. It will use video and audio captured on passengers’ phones and camcorders to illustrate how close planes often come to colliding in mid-air.

However, the Channel 4 version will employ a presenter, while the US one will focus on the user-generated content.

This innovative series could not have been done until now. It springs directly from the proliferation of cell phone cameras. Often it’s not just one person filming but also multiple people capturing the action from different angles. What you’ll see is quite remarkable,” said Smithsonian Channel’s executive VP, programming and production, David Royle.

Terror in the Skies extends and reinvents the disaster genre to include the iPhone generation – new technology, new pressures, new engineering challenges, and crucially, new visual insight through user generated content. We hope [it] will set the standard for disaster programming in the modern age,” added Tom Brisley, Arrow’s creative director.

Exec producers for Smithsonian are Royle and Charles Poe, while Jill Fullerton Smith does the same for Channel 4. Brisley and Thomas Viner exec produce for Arrow.