Making of The DEFCON Documentary

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Early in 2012, to commemorate the 20th year of the conference, Jason Scott was asked if he would be interested in filming a documentary about DEFCON, whose policies and attendees have traditionally rejected media scrutiny and access. He was interested. Working with his producer, Rachel Lovinger, and a crew of six, Jason filmed for most of 2012, including five 20-hour days in Las Vegas last year, and then spent another 9 months editing 278 hours of footage into what has become DEFCON: The Documentary. The finished film premiered at DEFCON XXI.

Jason and Rachel also gave this talk, which provided a look behind the scenes: discussing the planning and production process for this immense project, the ups and downs, and the learned lessons. [During the talk we showed clips and outtakes - those are not in this presentation].

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Making of The DEFCON Documentary

  1. 1. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> Making of The DEFCON Documentary Jason Scott & Rachel Lovinger DEF CON 21, August 2, 2013
  2. 2. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> e f gh I. HOW IT BEGAN
  3. 3. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
  4. 4. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
  5. 5. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
  6. 6. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> e f gh I agreed to do it, but some questions remained...
  7. 7. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> How do you film hundreds of activities, happening simultaneously over 4 days?
  8. 8. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> How do you film people who have traditionally rejected media attention?
  9. 9. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> How do you capture the spirit of DEFCON – past and present?
  10. 10. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> How do you put it all together in 6 months?
  11. 11. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> e f gh II. PLANNING
  12. 12. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
  13. 13. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
  14. 14. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> DEFCON 18DEFCON 16 DEFCON 19
  15. 15. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> Jason’s High School Yearbook Photo [Photo taken by Rachel!]
  16. 16. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> e f gh How do you film hundreds of activities, happening simultaneously over 4 days?
  17. 17. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
  18. 18. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
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  20. 20. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
  21. 21. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> e f gh How do you film people who have traditionally rejected media attention?
  22. 22. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
  23. 23. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
  24. 24. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> e f gh III. PRE-PRODUCTION
  25. 25. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
  26. 26. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> e f gh Meet the crew
  27. 27. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> Alex Drew Eddie Kyle Rick Steve Jason Rachel
  28. 28. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> Prepping them for DEFCON • Start walking a little every day • Watch “Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope” • Bring comfortable clothes and shoes • Look over the schedule from last year • Respect security and privacy concerns • Stay fueled and hydrated
  29. 29. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> Eddie Codel
  30. 30. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> e f gh Meet the equipment
  31. 31. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> The Gear • 3x Canon Vixia HFG10 • 2x Canon 5D • 1x Canon 7D • 11x Kodak Playsports • 4x H4N Zoom recorders • 5x monopods • 3x tripods • 2x dual battery chargers • Power strip • USB chargers • Card readers • Hard drives • Segway
  32. 32. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
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  34. 34. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> e f gh Social Media
  35. 35. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
  36. 36. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
  37. 37. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> e f gh IV. PRODUCTION
  38. 38. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> e f gh How do you capture the spirit of DEFCON – past and present?
  39. 39. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
  40. 40. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
  41. 41. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
  42. 42. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
  43. 43. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> e f gh The crew assembles at DEFCON
  44. 44. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
  45. 45. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
  46. 46. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
  47. 47. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> “Film School” bootcamp • Cameras DOWN near the casino • Expect the unexpected • Defer to the Goons in all things • Mid-day check-ins to recharge batteries & copy footage & audio files • Stay hydrated • Communications: TBD • Give me your receipts
  48. 48. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
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  53. 53. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
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  55. 55. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> e f gh Then we started filming…
  56. 56. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
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  68. 68. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
  69. 69. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> e f gh “We can’t have you shoot from that angle. This machine violates the patriot act.”
  70. 70. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
  71. 71. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> e f gh Frequently Asked Questions
  72. 72. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> FAQs: Pretty straight forward • Who are you working for? • When is this documentary coming out? • How will it be made available? • Will there be a feelie/challenge coin? • What if I don't want to be in it? • How much have you guys shot? • Are you guys getting any sleep? • What kind of equipment are you using?
  73. 73. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> FAQs: Let’s talk about these • If I agree to be in it, will I be embarrassed? • What kind of badge is that? Can I scan your badge? • I need help. • Who do I have to roofie to get one of those vests? • Do you want a drink? • You guys should do this every year.
  74. 74. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> If I agree to be in it, will I be embarrassed?
  75. 75. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> If I agree to be in it, will I be embarrassed?
  76. 76. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> What kind of badge is that? Can I scan your badge?
  77. 77. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> I need help.
  78. 78. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> Who do I have to roofie to get one of those vests?
  79. 79. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> Do you want a drink?
  80. 80. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> You guys should do this every year.
  81. 81. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> e f gh No breakage, no lost equipment, no lost footage.
  82. 82. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
  83. 83. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> e f gh V. EDITING & FINALIZING
  84. 84. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
  85. 85. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >>
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  89. 89. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> e f gh How do you put it all together in 6 months? You don’t.
  90. 90. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> Download at http://media.defcon.org
  91. 91. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> e f gh VI. CONCLUSIONS
  92. 92. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> Documentary making is hard, DEFCON Documentary making is doubly hard
  93. 93. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> If all else fails, include a Segway
  94. 94. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> Alex will always get in a shot
  95. 95. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> Alex will always get in a shot
  96. 96. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> Aim high with the goals, especially when nobody has tried something like this before
  97. 97. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> e f gh Ok, now who want to see some bonus footage?
  98. 98. >> 0 >> 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4 >> Thanks • Contact us: documentary@textfiles.com • Twitter: @defcondoc • Most images shown were shot by our crew • Additional photos from amishrabbit (Dateline reporter fleeing), vissago (various DC19 & DC20), hackerphotos.com (various DC20), Thomas Hawk (Walgreens), Nicola (drugstore)

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