This week’s video, The NASA Conspiracy, may have only had one real shot, but that shot took a lot of setup.
As we say in the video, this was originally written back in September as one of our Whole Story series. At least, it was supposed to be. During the writing it turned into much more of a conspiracy theory than Nigel Fitzgerald Brouwer usually dispenses, so the question became, who does tell us this? We thought about a narrated video with lots of graphics, or even using the Rex Carnegie conspiracist character from ENN, but we settled on these basement-bound hacker caricatures.
We’re pretty sure no basement hackers like this ever existed, but who are we to argue with classic sketch comedy shorthand? We blame the movie Hackers (and if you haven’t seen Hackers, it’s wonderful in a 1990s way), and thusly inspired by that film, we determined that James’ ridiculous 1980s hacker nickname is Backsplash, for whatever that’s worth to your LRR trivia. He is assisted by the hilarious hackertyper.com which lets you hammer away at the keyboard while appearing to type code. It’s very similar to what they use in movies so all the “hackers” are just typing aslkhldkauhsjflakjsdfhkuh the whole time.
Over the course of the shoot, the role and relationships of the spokes-hacker and his two compatriots developed, and most of their involvement was worked out just prior to or during the shots. We really took a shine to these characters, so I’d expect to see them back, even though that was never the original plan. We even shot a couple mini-shorts with them that might appear on our site in the near future.
Lastly, the stinger was all Cam. When we him told about the original idea, it just came to him in a flash and we all laughed so hard we knew it had to be included. When we originally wrote the script I hadn’t expected to animate Curiosity laser-crushing Mars rocks, but here we are.