This is Day 2 of my journal shooting my history on computer hacking at HOPE X Conference at the Hotel Pennsylvania July 18-20, 2014. You can read day 1 here.
10:00am- First thing this morning I snorted one ritalin, drank one and a half cups of black coffee and I'm eating a red apple right now at the hotel. I slept like a rock after HOPE X day 1. My sinuses shut down during the night from yesterday's heavy drug intake, but a lovely nurse sorted me out at 5am. I was asked to be on HOPE's radio show today, which is a great honor. They are also looking for Phiber Optik. Maybe we can go on together. That would be fun...
I'm set up at the same spot at HOPE with my crew waiting for our first interview with Tiffany Rad. Tiffany is a high powered Washington attorney who is also a computer security analyst. I am slightly concerned about my questions, which I wrote on the fly at 9pm last night. What I find so hard about documentary filmmaking is doing all the research before every interview. I wonder if all of the people I am filming expect me to be fully versed on their body of work. I should make an attempt to be. I don't know anyone who does this much research.
My business partner John Torrani and Adam Torkel are setting up the lights and camera. Its almost showtime and I find their sober presence soothing.
12:01 pm-Finished interviewing Tiffany Rad, she was brilliant. Tiffany explained computer security from a very accessible and learned perspective, she studied it much in the way she studied viruses and bacteriology. There were definitely some excellent insights. We quickly flagged down Cheshire Catalyst for an interview. He was game and was a lot of fun. I can tell he has a few pre-prepared statements but more or less had some funny insights. He's one of these guys who caught on to phone phreaking early and stayed the course. His story runs from TAP to 2600 etc. I just ran into my pal Dave Buchwald (who designed miles of art for 2600 The Hacker Quarterly among other things) before the talk. We some loose plans to get together but he had to bail early.
Gotta go- keynote by Daniel Ellsberg and Edward Snowden. Mad hype.
1:25pm- I did my last dilaudid. Waiting for the keynote to begin. My crew and I got into the main room where the speakers are. This is really supremely lucky as there are quite literally people waiting outside the hotel trying to get in. All of this excitement has a lot of people on edge. John texted me from his location on the side of the ball room, where he has been regulated to film with the rest of the press. I'm nonplussed at this point. Thank god for Xanax. 2600 mastermind Eric Corley just started the intro. This is going to be great.
2:30pm- Everything running late. Ellsberg was fantastic. It was a stellar speech, the only black dot on an otherwise perfect experience were the two idiots sitting behind me who were voicing their mundane opinions. Loudly. I had to tell them to shut up and everyone in the immediate vicinity looked thankful that I spoke up. Ellsberg is a brilliant speaker. His words flow, his story is riveting. I'm sure you will be able to find his hour long inspiring and succinct speech online, and I encourage everyone to watch it. After the talk I saw Ellsberg coming out of the bathroom with Cheshire Catalyst. Next up is Ed Snowden in conversation with Ellsberg. I'm going to film this on my iphone now and post it to my NO SEC column in its entirety....
4:10pm- Nevermind it was streamed. You've seen it by the time you read this. I had a little bit of time with Ellsberg for an interview following the talk. He was gracious and patient despite having been through quite a lot today. I'm a bit star struck around him. Growing up with a father who was an art director at Hustler, you develop a great appreciation for what Ellsberg did with the Pentagon papers. Although my film is about hacking and not whistleblowing, we need a respected voice like his to address that subject.
5:00pm- Everything was pushed back an hour. We did a five minute pitch in the lightning talks. My producer John Torrani and I tag teamed it. I thought it was really good. Got some laughs.
7:00pm- I show up at Radio Stetler for my scheduled Radio Interview. Nobody is there. Oh well... tomorrow may work.
8:38pm- I've had enough. We pack up....we are all totally burnt. The room we have been in is so unpleasant, aesthetically speaking, and windowless, we are all suffering from a lack of oxygen and an overdose of stimulation.