Security in the Movies

I was on the phone yesterday with an assistant of Simon Kinberg, the screenwriter who penned Mr. and Mrs. Smith and X-Men: The Last Stand. His assistant, a former writer for E! Online, is telling me that he's working on a movie plot in which in two brothers attempt to rob a mega-mansion somewhere in the desert. She's asking me about cool technologies that a multi-millionaire might put around their property if money was no object. Oh, man, we could dream up some cool stuff. So I rattle off some technologies like video analytics and fence systems using fiber optics that can identify intruders...definitely not your standard fare for a residential application, but if money was no object...

Hardy Boys movie to show high-end residential security?So then she asks, "Well, then how would you break it?" I told her, well, if these systems are set up properly and working, they aren't designed to be broken, but I tell her, yes, you could come up with some theoretical way to break these systems. Putting a video loop into the cameras so they don't see the "real" video? Been there, done that, she says. Well, I say, many of these systems today are running over computer networks, so you could set up a theoretical scene where the bad guys try to hack into a security system to take over the data. "Oooh!," she says. "Where do they put the equipment?" Well, I say, it can be in a variety of different places; most designs run the data on-site, but some move the data off-site for processing. I can feel the gears turning in her head.

Now, I'm not much of a movie buff, but I am a web researcher, so I searched for Simon Kinberg's name in the news, and came up with an article from April of this year which appeared in The Hollywood Reporter. Kinberg is apparently writing the script for The Hardy Men, a forthcoming movie about boyhood heroes "The Hardy Boys". I put two and two together and The Hardy Boys definitely fit the "two brothers" profile which Kinberg's assistant mentioned. The Hardy Men are to be played by Tom Cruise and Ben Stiller, as unlikely a pairing as anyone could expect, but one that should give its share of laughs.

My guess? When The Hardy Boys/Hardy Men movie comes out in 2008 (it sounds like a summer blockbuster release), all you security guys will be able to check out how Hollywood sees high-end residential security. I can't wait to stuff my face with popcorn and enjoy high-tech security on the big screen.