Vulture Festival 2017: Black Mirror

Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker and producer Annabel Jones stopped by the 2017 Vulture Festival on Sunday, May 21, for a panel conversation with New York magazine columnist Andrew Sullivan about the anthology series centered around the horrors of technology. Here are three highlights:


1) A Trump Episode

The first ever episode of Black Mirror was about the British Prime Minister being forced to have sex with a pig on live television. Brooker thinks a Donald Trump version of that story would be even crazier. “If that was Trump, he’d say, ‘Show me the pig! I’m gonna make that pig come! … And then, as it was happening, he’d be shouting, ‘This isn’t happening! This never happened and you all know it didn’t happen!’” Brooker joked.

2) The Creative Process

Interestingly, Brooker and Jones kept referring to the show’s episodes as “movies”. Jones explained her job: “Charlie comes up with the preposterous scenarios and then gets terribly worried. My job is to reassure him that it’s not going to happen, and then challenge him into depicting what would it look like and what would it feel like? Then I’ll stop crying, and we’ll start to make it. It’s back and forth.”

3) Necessary Optimism

Black Mirror is usually pretty pessimistic about the future. Despite that, Brooker revealed himself to be an optimist about technology and society: “I don’t hate technology. We’re only just starting to comprehend the sociological impact of social media. It’s altering our discourse, but I don’t think it should go away! Wow, suddenly I’m an optimist. I think it’s a generational thing. It’ll take the next generation who have grown up with this stuff to sort it out.”

He even found something positive about the Trump administration: “Imagine how good it will feel when it’s over. Like taking your shoes off after a long day at work, or finally taking a s— after a long flight. The stuff dreams are made of.”