In World War Z when Brad Pitt's character is trapped in the WHO bio lab room, why doesn't he attempt to better communicate with the scientists outside? You could see from the expression on his face he was not sure what items were best to select. His character obviously thought the scientists were watching via the remote camera as he held up the sign, "Tell my family I love them." Yet, despite being the best and brightest of the WHO field agents and able to overcome all the other insanely difficult situations he didn't try to make even the simplest attempt to reach the scientists outside to ask some important questions.

e.g. I would think that would be critical to not only ask what pathogen vials to select, but if he needed to be sure to not only get the pathogen but the matching anti-disease injection for whatever he selected. I.e. wouldn't do much good to select a pathogen to start "dying" to provide camoflauge then not have the antigen to prevent one from really dying!

The scientists outside could have possibly manipulated the camera to go to one side or the other for yes/no, maybe up/down. Or, even turned on/off the camera to make the red LED on it go on/off. Heck if the last option was available, they might have even been able to use Morse code to send more complex messages (assuming Pitt's super field agent character could understand it.)

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    It's just one of several idiotic plot devices in that movie. – jfrankcarr Dec 25 '13 at 4:21
  • Don't have a copy with me right now. Did they show the camera move before? Perhaps it was stationary? – Meat Trademark Dec 25 '13 at 5:54
  • @Meet Trademark. From what I saw in the film, they only directly showed the camera twice. Both times not moving, but with a Red LED on the front indicating it was active. At the least, from the board they could have turned in on/off. Though they never show the cameras moving, at time marker 1:26:04, the film shows the control board for the cameras when the actors switch from one camera view to another. The control board has a joystick on it. That usually means the camera(s) controlled by it can be moved. – beichst Dec 25 '13 at 15:52
  • @beichst - I thought my answer to this was fairly comprehensive. Is there anything else you'd want addressed before considering an acceptance? – Valorum Dec 11 '15 at 8:39

As far as I'm aware, there's no indication that the scientists outside have any way of reaching him. The camera isn't "steerable" since it's fixed onto a ball joint and there's no indication that they possess the ability to remotely shut down the camera from their control room.

Even if they could somehow make the light blink, there's a low chance that any of the scientists would be among the tiny percentage of the population who actually know Morse Code so their only chance would be to hope that they can develop a blink code (once for 'yes', twice for 'no') in the very short time they have available before Brad gets eaten by a zombie.

In order for this plan to work you'd need a whole bunch of assumptions to come right;

  • That those in the control realise that the camera has a light on it
  • Those in the control room know how to turn the camera on and off
  • Brad to notice the tiny light blinking on and off
  • Brad to realise that someone is controlling it
  • Assuming that the light goes straight on and off when the camera is powered down (my camera takes a good 20 seconds to reboot)
  • Assuming that Brad is able to work out a simple blink code.

World War Z Camera

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    Thank you for the comments. I suspect you are right about the low likelihood of the scientists knowing Morse. However, virtually everyone knows the basic S O S flashes and could use that to catch the Brad Pitt character's attention. From there it would be relatively simple to work out one blink for yes, two for no or vice versa. Regarding the movement, a ball joint by definition implies movement capability. Too, as I noted in my other comments to Meat Trademark, you can clearly see a joystick controller on the camera control panel which also implies ability to move the camera. – beichst Jan 25 '14 at 23:38
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    You can't move that kind of camera mount remotely, no matter how many joysticks you've got :-) – Valorum Jan 25 '14 at 23:41

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