Behind the Scenes of Blackout

As early supporters, you are part of a growing community surrounding this exciting project and we're happy to introduce you to some of Blackout's subjects and team.


Documentarian & Mindreader

We caught up with Charlotte Kaufman at the New Museum's NEW INC Incubator space on the Bowery to ask her some questions about the process of conducting the interviews. Listen to her insightful take on the project's approach and significance. 

“In 2015 there’s a lot of talk about connectivity. But how often do we stop to think about how we’re observing the world?” - Charlotte Kaufman

Documentary Filmmaker

We also spoke to Hannah Jayanti who is editing the Blackout narrative. Hannah discusses the challenges and freedom she's discovered moving from documentary editing into the interactive realm.

"A lot of the themes in Blackout — like the private and the public, or performance, or the way that we share our identity in public spaces — are really wonderful, but I think they have more to do with day-to-day being human, and that’s what excites me..." - Hannah Jayanti

Singer / Songwriter

The son of Crowded House and Split Enz frontman Neil Finn, Liam Finn succeeded in making a name for himself, first as the teenage frontman of the quirky rock band Betchadupa and, several years later, as a talented solo artist in his own right. 

"Performing in front of an audience who doesn’t know who you are is my favorite thing. It's the most freeing and liberating way to perform because you can be whoever you want to be." -Liam Finn

National Geographic Emerging Explorer

Ella Al-Shamahi is a paleoanthropologist and archaeologist with a knack for communicating science through stand-up comedy. Her specialty is Neanderthals. But working in Yemen, her family's country of origin, poses special challenges, from wearing a burka to security issues.

"I’m a Neanderthal specialist. I specialize in cave-digs and hostile territories. I’m also a nerdy standup comedian. There’s loads of Star Wars knock knock jokes that I’ve got." - Ella Al-Shamahi


A NYC Based Collective Of Talented Dancers Whose Works Include Music Video Appearances, TV Commercials, And Countless Battles Within The Litefeet Nation.

"At first the goal was to make just 10 bucks to go to a dance battle so we didn't have ask our parents every weekend. We became young entrepreneurs! I feel like a lot of people don't understand that and probably are afraid of us but we're just trying to be great, peaceful people." - Blue Waffle Goofy, W.A.F.F.L.E Life

AKA Unicorn Smack, Club Performer

Ess Strago is one half of Unicorn Smack, a New York based dance music duo. The founders, Julian Razor and Ess Stargo, are both classically trained musicians gone rogue. Their debut Ep has already been embraced by an elite group of incredible humans and it is now being released into the wild. 

"There are like five couples on this subway right now that look exactly alike. I'm not quite sure how I feel about it but it's super weird to date someone who looks exactly like you." - Ess Stargo



René Pinnell

As a filmmaker & designer, René produced the acclaimed comedy show Backpack Picnic, directed the feature documentary The King of Texas, sold a TV pilot to MTV, designed 5 products & founded 2 companies.