This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

In Light Of The Recent Sony Hacking Scandal

In light of the recent Sony hacking scandal, I have to say that I'm not entirely surprised. Corporate cyber attacks have been increasing at an alarming rate in the past few years. Traditionally, hackers have been after databases and personal information that can be used primarily for financial gain. The attack on Sony went far beyond goals of pure financial gain. Its aim appears to be a politically motivated attack to cripple a major corporation into compliance by exposing not only company records but personal email correspondence between Sony executives-- correspondence that has proven to be embarrassing and in several cases, potentially career-ending. Additionally, the hack has exposed countless Sony employees and their families to identity theft. Many of these employees, we'll never know by name. I cannot imagine the frustration, anger, tension and fear they must have been feeling throughout this ordeal. That isn't to say it's over. No, the story doesn't end here. The vastness of this cyberattack is unprecedented in the film industry, make that any industry. (At least that I'm aware of.)

As someone who works in the film business, I'm well aware that certain factors that make our industry unique also give way to a corporate culture that isn't necessarily professional at all times. The entertainment industry is a billion dollar industry that attracts people of all different personalities, egos, levels of expertise and talent (or lack of it.) Add to the mix, the long hours (often spent away from home, on-location), the high stress levels and the possibility of wealth and recognition in a well-known, highly competitive and prestigious industry. At the worst of it, you witness those who are jockeying for position for the greatest personal gain despite where that leaves the rest of the pack. If there's anything to be learned from the Sony hack, it's this: Be careful with what you say in any electronic format, even if it is your personal email. (And really, what's personal anymore anyway?) Anything you say can be taken the wrong way if seen by the eyes of the unintended. This has always been the case, but the Sony story exposing the inner workings of some of Hollywood's top-level executives proves that none of us are immune to the consequences of cyberhacking.

The other lesson learned from this whole fiasco is that film is more than mere entertainment. Both film and television are powerful mediums. They can be used to disseminate propaganda, to make social commentaries, to change (or inform) public opinion about potentially controversial subject matter. Whether we like it or not, films are cultural phenomenon. What we put out there reflects back on us and informs how we're seen on the international stage. This is an incredibly important concept to understand. I personally won't miss "The Interview." I don't think any of us will. But the greater intrigue will be witnessing the far-reaching consequences of the film in the months (and years) to come. And whether or not a precedent has been made that will make it more difficult for films to be openly expressive without fearing retaliation and/or retribution.

Copyright © 2014 by KLiedle/@Cococaffeine

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