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Early in War of the Worlds (2005), it is made explicit that 'nothing was working' in terms of cars, electronics and mobile phones, for example, as the attacks began. A few minutes later, a handheld video camera is seen filming the destruction by the invaders.

Was this simply artistic, or was there a plot implication - since we need the cameras to work later on in the story, with the journalists.

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    They likely forgot... – morbo Jun 30 '20 at 12:08
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    Not to mention the giant ferry.......with tons of electrical systems........ – MissouriSpartan Jul 6 '20 at 3:12
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One of the characters, I believe Ray (Cruise), states that the bolts of lightning that "awoke" the pods was an EMP, which should have effectively killed the video camera the person is holding when the pod awakens, due to his proximity to the strikes.

To address MissouriSpartan's comment, it's conceivable that any parts that needed switching out on the ferry later has been switched out, just like when Ray tells the auto repair guy to swap out the solenoids, but it's more probable that the ferries were simply out of range of the EMPs and so weren't effected.

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