IT attacks around the world often make the headlines or are the subject of urban myths or even everyday conversations… but could they be the storyline for a film? Nacho Vigalondo shows us how in a film that hits the screens in Spain on July 4.
The Spanish film director first became an international name when his short film, 7.35 de la mañana, was nominated for an Oscar in 2004 and since then his films rarely leave anyone indifferent.
In Open Windows, Vigalondo takes the hacking of an actress’s webcams to weave the plot of a real-time thriller that will make all users think twice about the security of their devices.
But let’s hear it in his own words…
Panda Security: What was it like making your first full length film in English?
Nacho Vigalondo: Really exciting, above all working with the actors on the set in the U.S. Other than that, the team I worked with were pretty much the same as those that have worked on my previous films.
P.S.: How did you come up with the story and why did you choose cyber-security as the central theme of the film? Did you base it on a true story?
N.V.: I wanted to tell a story about a world in which someone could be observed without knowing it. Really, it’s not based on a true story, though while I was writing the script, the theft of the personal photos of some celebrities made the story more authentic.
P.S.: One of the most difficult phases of making the film was the post-production, above all, how the film is narrated. How did you decide to tell the story through the screens of different devices and not in a more traditional way?
N.V.: Actually, that was really the starting point, something agreed between the producers and myself. They wanted to make a film that strongly featured a computer screen. I just took it to extremes and suggested making a film told entirely through this screen.
P.S.: Computers, tablets, smartphones… Our lives are inextricably linked to technology and films like Open Windows or Her reflect this. Do you feel that people should become more aware of rational uses of technology?
N.V.: People need to rediscover the benefits of not being permanently connected, or rather exposed, through technology. This is something the film talks about directly, above all in the ending.
P.S.: You are very active on Twitter. What is it you most like about this social network?
N.V.: I have a fairly simple relationship with Twitter. I’m interested in the same as everyone else, being in touch with people, getting the news from a certain point of view, saying stupid things…
P.S.: Have you had any bad experience with followers?
N.V.: Nothing serious. The trolls and haters are really totally harmless. And it’s not all bad sometimes to face entirely unconstructive criticism.
P.S.: Are we really unaware of the loss of privacy we suffer by revealing our lives on social networks?
N.V.: No, we are perfectly aware. What’s surprising, and this is something no science-fiction writer could predict, is that we don’t give a toss.
P.S.: How do you protect yourself online?
N.V.: I have a very primitive method, based on having practically zero presence online, other than Twitter.
P.S.: How do you get on with IT technologies? Do you use an antivirus?
N.V.: I’m quite clumsy and make a lot of beginner’s mistakes. Yep, I’m one of those that clicks the wrong link only to find some multi-colored new taskbar installed on my browser. As you can imagine, I’ve ended up using an antivirus.