OFF follows the journey of Avery, a misanthropic but brilliant Mindstyle Designer, and Gen, a self-ordained faith healer during the last few days before all power supplies are permanently disconnected. Guided by symbols from a science fiction novel she considers her bible, Gen believes she needs to save 10 more people in order to open a portal to a better dimension. Avery, a skeptic, reluctantly follows Gen with the hopes of supporting her chase for escapist highs and finding her old love along the way.
The relationship that develops between Avery and Gen and the situations the mission throws them into range from dark, touching to humorous and off-beat.
OFF seeks to explore our dependence on energy, the importance of access to information, our insatiable search for meaning and how people deal with the news that their world is imminently ending.
The WOrld BEFORE 'THE ANNOUNCEMENT'...
Set in the not-too-distant future. A world that looks familiar but marked with signs of decayed nostalgia, the harsh effects of climate change and a loss of order and civic behaviour. You get the sense of the brutality of a young totalitarian regime.
Every twenty or thirty blocks you’ll come across a queue of people waiting for their weekly Food Block rationing. There's little evidence of natural growth...a rusty old sign that reads 'Pussy Police Off Duty- Enter at Your Own Risk'... the streets are mostly dark except for a few street lights and a dim lamp emanating from an apartment block.
After a sun flare hit the Western Hemisphere four years ago there have been a series of massive global power failures. Whilst the fight for control of energy was not a new thing this crisis led to the rise of totalitarian governments around the world, including The Government*. Countries became increasingly isolationist as they cut off all contact, migration and trade.
In order to deal with the situation, The Government decided the only solution was to take over complete control of how it’s society uses energy. It first decided to halt all animal and vegetable agriculture in favour of the energy efficient Food Block production (a synthetic nutrient block made in a lab). Cities are kept functioning to the most basic levels (pumping a small amount of water, some street lamps, etc). Each household is allowed one lamp which they can keep on for 5 hours a day and are allotted a specific window of time where they have access to running water. Beyond that everyone gets 60 minutes of 'other' energy use per day. They can decide how to spend these 60 minutes however they like. Some might choose to spend their 60 minutes a day watching old home videos or listening to a favourite band on a record player. All travel has been 'temporarily' banned and there is currently no communication allowed outside zoned areas. There have been cases of unequal distribution of energy rumoured.
This so-called Government is more of a corporate conglomerate grown from a former kid media mogul. It has bought up all services available to people, controlling food production, housing, water and energy supplies. There is only one news organisation allowed to broadcast and it’s owned and operated by The Government, News Org.
Due to the state of things many black markets have sprung up. There are a few underground shops where one can purchase ‘real food.’ People in the black markets trade in energy- a portable phone charger would buy you a couple tins of beans. Several batteries might buy you some hydroponically grown lettuce. There’s also several underground printed presses free from The Government’s influence.
There has been a revival of analogue and hand-cranked devices that don't rely on power supply, lending this world a retro feel against a backdrop of discarded electronic devices.
The crisis has had a different psychological effect on people. Over the past several years some have turned to extreme religions or cults. Others turned to extreme forms of activism. Others remain apathetic. Some believe The Government has a secret alternative energy source which they are keeping for themselves whilst the rest of civilisation burns out.
The WORLD AFTER 'THE ANNOUNCEMENT'...
As soon as The Government announces that the world can no longer sustain itself and there will be a complete shutdown of all energy supplies in 10 days - a countdown clock appears on the top of everyone’s device screen. If there was any semblance of order before there definitely isn’t now.
The Government also announces there will be no more Food Block distribution and instead people can pick up their free Escape Pill to help them leave this world peacefully and quickly.
Our series opens with The Announcement being made. Each subsequent episode is a countdown day to the end of the world. We watch as the world starts to shut down bit-by-bit, the lights literally going out... and explore what people do to survive in a world that is due to end soon.