The unstoppable progress of the network of networks during the last decade and the possibilities that it currently offers – for better or for worse – in terms of the handling and dissemination of data of all kinds is concerned, stands as a double-edged sword in terms of regarding its increasingly close relationship with the film and television industry.
In contrast to the revolutionary advances in audiovisual consumption modes , championed by the rise of video on demand platforms , and to the advantages for creatives around the world when it comes to making their work known, the internet —or rather part of its users— is showing its darker face in the face of intellectual property, not as an evil entity per se, but as a tool that, if it falls into the wrong hands, can be used for all kinds of causes of dubious ethics and legality .
Information kidnappings through computer hacks, leaks of graphic material and scripts, and unwanted publications of spoilers and secrets that large companies try to keep safe until the premiere of their productions are sadly the order of the day thanks to an increasingly large number community eager for this type of content .
But what mechanisms do the industry giants use to combat this almost endemic evil?
The measures are very varied, and range from the obvious security applied to the distribution and exhibition of the works, as well as their online storage in the various VOD platforms, to the shooting itself, where a controlled management of the human team when driving scripts and work environments is absolutely essential.
Let’s review in more detail the mechanisms that defend our favorite series and movies from the sometimes fearsome clutches of the inhabitants of cyberspace.
If we wanted to compromise the security and secrets of an audiovisual production, the most obvious target to attack in the first place would be its very heart: the film set.
On the one hand, a human factor as unpredictable as it is persistent must be taken into account when sabotaging productions of all kinds on site, whether in a more or less conscious way. This concerns not only people outside the shoot who want to bring out details of their future favorite films, but also workers who, day to day, handle huge amounts of sensitive material.
The ingenuity and media used by curious and information professionals to uncover secrets and capture snapshots of upcoming blockbusters is limitless. From the simple use of a properly hidden mobile phone to the use of drones like those that flew over Pinewood Studios on the set of ‘Episode VII’ of ‘Star Wars’ , the resources seem endless.
Within the microcosm of the set, the risk variables increase considerably . Clueless actors who can get out of hand at any moment, call sheets full of names of performers and episode titles that mysteriously disappear, team members who “forget” to return a copy of the script that later appear posted on a website …
There are a thousand and one obstacles to face, and a thousand and one solutions that are intended to be applied to solve them, some of them boasting an ingenuity equal to or greater than the problem they are trying to amend, finding a curious precedent in an already far 1980 .
The filming of the unique ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ sheltered in its guts a clever maneuver , replicated today, to safely preserve one of the most memorable plot twists in film history.
For much of the production, only George Lucas and director Irvin Kershner knew the true identity of Luke Skywalker’s father officially — Mark Hamill would find out on his own. When it was time to shoot the scene, the director gave David Prowse – the actor who played Vader – a bogus line in which the well-known “I am your father” was changed to “Obi-Wan killed your father.”
Mark Hammil , in an interview for Sound and Vision, commented the following about the great anecdote:
“It was an incredibly difficult secret to keep. Kerhsner, the director, took me aside and said, ‘I know this, and George knows it, and now you’re going to know, but if you tell someone, and that includes Carrie or Harrison or whoever, we’re going to know who it was, because we know who knows. ‘”
If Mark Hamill was surprised by the technique of Kershner and company to hide the relationship between Luke and Vader, he has probably hallucinated with the protective measures taken on the set of ‘The Force Awakens’ .
As we discussed earlier, the sequel to the galactic saga directed by JJ Abrams was harassed by a series of drones that sneaked into Pinewood Studios and stole juicy aerial images of the shoot , as well as the built models of the Millennium Falcon and the Xs. -Wing Fighters.
Far from sitting idly by, the study decided to order a “DroneShield” : a device that, according to the company, “alerts to the presence of helicopters and drones commonly used by paparazzi and the media.
Notices are sent by email or SMS and can be linked to alarms and security equipment, collecting the data to be used in future legal proceedings . ” From DroneShield it was commented that Pinewood Studios, located in England, never received their order, since the company is not allowed to ship abroad . Surely, more than one —and two— production filmed on North American soil is using the device in question.