WATCH YOUR WI-FI
Words, visuals, design BY
First things ﬁrst, thanks so much for bringing
me into the mix. This is a really exciting project.
Not just because it plays right up to my
strengths and experience as a prankster, but
also because it packs a pretty important
message. Like most everyone who shops and
banks online, I don’t have a clue how it all
works. Or how easy it is to steal personal info…
even over “secure” networks. We’re all blissfully
unaware until the day our luck runs out and
we’re suddenly, painfully aware of the effects of
cyber fraud. And being the standup guy I am,
I’d like to help educate people, and spare them
— and myself! — that day of reckoning.
That said, I’d like to dive into each spot.
We open in the back of a van loaded with high-tech surveillance gear. A team of hackers is busy
prepping for the prank, as our security expert, Andrew, introduces himself. He addresses the camera,
saying something like, “An unsecured Wi-Fi network is like inviting a robber into your house,” setting
the story in motion.
We notice something strange on one of the surveillance monitors and zoom in to see a “robber”
popping his head out from behind a tree. We cut outside to ﬁnd our hapless hacker on a leafy street in
a safe, suburban neighborhood. Since he lacks even basic computer savvy, he has to ply his trade the
old fashioned way, going door-to-door to drum up “business.” He carries an empty sack stamped with
dollar signs, and instantly reads as a cartoon criminal. More Hamburgler than, say, Henry Hill from
He walks up to a house and rings the doorbell. Actually, he walks up to a lot of houses and boldly asks
the unsuspecting marks if he can come inside and have a peek at sensitive ﬁnancial information and
such. It’s an outrageous request, and the absurdity of it is sure to draw a wide range of rich reactions.
Some will laugh, some will slam the door, and others will ask him what the hell this is all about.
Whatever the case, we’ll capture their interactions with hidden cameras, and mine the best moments
to create a clever and comedic montage.
As the ﬁlm pushes toward the climax, we cut back to Andrew in the van. He recaps the action and
offers useful tips on how to protect yourself against cyber fraud. And in our ﬁnal shot, we cut to the
robber walking down the street, dejected and with an empty sack, as we…
FADE TO BLACK.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of fantastic CASTING in a ﬁlm like this. Simply put, we need to
ﬁnd the perfect cartoon robber. The guy must be fast on his feet, have a great sense of humor and a
gift for physical comedy. (Note: I can help facilitate interactions by feeding him lines from the control
room via a tiny earpiece, but we’re really looking for someone with a natural feel for things.) The robber
should be an improv comic type like a John Oliver, and dressed in jailhouse stripes. And if he’s going to
get anywhere with our marks, he needs to be charming and disarming. Sure, he’s a scoundrel that’s up to
no good, but with a friendly face and an easy smile, our marks will be more willing to go along for the ride.
Speaking of our marks, we’ll try some random houses, but I think we should pre-cast some people in
our target demo (40s-50s) under the pretense of market research. This will help ensure that they’re
home to speak to one of our “representatives,” though it’s key that we’re vague enough so that they
don’t connect the dots when they see the robber.
COVERAGE is another important element. We need to make sure we have great coverage of our
robber and his marks. I see the hidden camera portion of this being shot long lens with digital cinema
cameras. This camera will be in a minivan that’s strategically positioned for a nice over-the-shoulder
shot of our mark. I’d also like to put two other handheld cameras just out of sight to focus on our
cartoon crook. And we’ll slap a couple of extra mics on him so we can get good, clean audio of his
interactions with our marks.
We open on inside a control room at the back of a coffee shop. A small team of hackers is busy creating
a fake Wi-Fi network, testing their hidden cameras, etc. Our trusted security expert addresses the
camera and explains what’s about to unfold. We zoom into one of the monitors and transition to the
The space is bright, airy and buzzing with customers going about their usual routine. With the help of a
slew of hidden cameras placed strategically throughout the café, we’ll keep a close eye on anyone
pulling out their laptop or tablet throughout the day. Our camera will zoom into their screens as they
select their wireless network. If they take the bait and pick the Evil Twin, a chat box will appear on their
screen with a message. Maybe a War Games-like prompt: “Would you like to play a game? Y/N.”
Our hackers could screw with them for a moment, before dropping the bomb that they’ve been hacked.
Whatever the case, our goal is to capture great reaction shots of our marks. We’ll cycle through shots of
their faces (confusion/shock/horror), the messages on their screens, and the hackers pulling the strings
in the back. And we’ll use the best reactions and moments to create a powerful montage.
As tension builds, and the marks become increasingly agitated, we’ll send our manager over to see if
everything is alright. (Assuming the mark hasn’t already demanded to speak to him!) He calmly asks the
mark to recount the story, and depending on the mark’s state of mind, the manager will either escalate
the situation by acting unsympathetic and indifferent, or — if it’s getting ugly — usher the mark into his
“ofﬁce” (aka the control room).
During the big reveal, we’ll capture the marks’ reactions with (visible) handheld cameras. We’ll see the
glorious details of their sweet relief upon realizing it was just a prank. And we can even cycle through
soundbites of our marks explaining what was going through their minds (more on that in a second). We end
with Andrew speaking directly to camera, giving us useful tips to avoid cyber fraud as we…
In terms of EXECUTION, my plan is to rig the café with several small robotic cameras so we have a 360-
degree coverage inside the shop. These cameras are about the size of a soccer ball, and can be controlled
remotely while still giving us a super clean 1080i HD footage. We’ll have complete pan, tilt and zoom
capability so we can crash in on the marks’ faces when they realize what’s going on. Also, one camera will
always be trained on the laptop/tablet screen so that the viewer always knows what the mark is seeing.
CASTING is another consideration. Though we’ll ﬁnd a coﬀee shop with a natural ﬂow of random people, I
think we should do some real people casting to maintain the momentum. We need to stack the deck to
ensure we get all the coverage and beats needed to make this ﬁlm sing. As much as I’d love to mess with
a bunch of Millennials downloading “Game of Thrones” oﬀ Piratebay, I think the piece will be stronger with
men and women who are 35-55. Real people casting will ensure we get enough of the right people. Also, I
envision our hacker as a Williamsburg/Silverlake kid in his late 20s. A computer wiz with a designer
hoodie, $200 diesel jeans and Air Jordan 3s.
With a prank like this, I always love to capture EXIT INTERVIEWS with our marks. And I have a hunch that
this one in particular will yield fantastic soundbites. I’ll ask them what was going through their heads when
we took control of their computer, what their worst-case scenario looked like, etc. I’m pretty sure their
imaginations will have run rampant, giving us comedic gold to weave into the ﬁlm.
HOW HIDDEN CAMERA WORKS
We’re not going to give away ALL of our secrets, but there are a few keys to success
that I’d like to touch upon. For starters, this kind of ﬁlmmaking is a numbers game. In
order to get the range of reactions, it’s incredibly important that we have enough
potential marks. And with a bit of casting, we’ll stack the deck in our favor. But all the
marks in the world won’t do us any good if our cameras aren’t in the right position to
capture their reactions. And we’re pros at subtly getting people to sit/stand where we
need them to. (Of course, having a wireless earpiece in our talents’ ear helps!)
All that said, I know this kind of ﬁlmmaking is diﬀerent than anything you’ve probably
experienced, which is great because we love bringing newcomers along for this wild
Thanks again for sending this my way. I really love both of these ideas. These ﬁlms tackle
Wi-Fi security in an unforgettably fun way, speaking directly to my passion for pranking
strangers. The more I think about this project, the more excited I become. I’m looking
forward to the chance to make some magic!