Filming again

Production continues. We return to Facebook shortly to pick up on some very exciting cases we began filming two weeks ago. Can’t divulge details right now but know these have widespread impact with international implications and will make for very exciting film.

We plan to travel to Las Vegas July 26-29 to film at DefCon, the largest gathering of hackers and Internet security folks in the world. Many folks we are filming will be attending, including Brian Krebs, our on-camera journalist/investigator.

Filming at Facebook. L-R. Alan Barker (sound), Walker Koppelman-Brown (co-producer), Joan Churchill (cinematographer).

Filming this Monday

This coming Monday we begin filming at Facebook in Menlo Park, California. Walker (Co Producer), Joan (Cinematographer), Alan (Sound Recordist) and I will be spending two days filming with the security team.

We’ll be seeing investigations underway, observing internal briefings and meeting new folks who’ve come on since we were last there. We also get a peek at Facebook’s “bug bounty” program which rewards hackers for reporting vulnerabilities and malware.

The goal is to latch on to live cases and investigations we then follow in real time, filming it all. These could involve financial fraud, international espionage, personal threats and so on — taking us on a trail wherever it leads, worldwide.

Look for another update next week with a couple of photos.

Distribution US and Worldwide

Good news flew in yesterday from Magnolia Pictures — Mark Cuban’s film distribution company — in the form of an offer! Magnolia is ready to commit to distribute the film in the U.S. and to also help generate foreign pre-sales. This is significant because it means the film will be sure to get marketed and seen — and that’s what it’s all about.

(And their documentary Marley is out now. What could be better than that?)

Magnolia’s acquisitions staff made reference to Cuban during our preliminary talks. “He really, really wants to do this. And we rarely get involved this early. He’s excited!”

Plus Magnolia likes to partner with BBC Storyvile. And since that deal is already in place, everyone’s happy.

It all began when I pitched Cuban directly by e-mail. I had heard he likes to deal directly and somehow was able to find his email address. He and I went back-and-forth by email for a week or so starting last November. His first reply to my pitch: “What is your budget?” And so it went from there.

Now it’s a matter of due diligence and a few negotiating points. This is all good. The way forward opens up into full-strength production.

BBC, Kickstarter and Me

A BBC story emanating from the Tribeca Film Festival showed up today. About how  independent films are increasingly getting financing from crowd sourcing, Kickstarter in particular.

Feels like a double to me: the BBC is co-producing our film, and we have an active Kickstarter site going that has raised 20% of our goal with 37 days to go.

Here it is:

Indeed, it’s a different world now for independents. Though I did send out solicitation letters to friends and family for my first documentary, “Squatters” in 1983. And it pulled in around $1500. New technology, proven concept.


Heckuva Day on Kickstarter

The post about the film by Brian Krebs on his website, KrebsOnSecurity, is golden. We’ve had quite a good run the last 16 hours since it went up: now just shy of $3,000 toward the $20,000 goal. His blog post tells the tale of our trip together with the crew to Texas (Note to self: better motel next time) where we located and tracked a money mule in real-time.

What the money mule saw on her computer screen.

Here’s the Kickstarter link. Big thanks to all.

Brian Krebs making first phone contact with money mule, Webster, TX.