Abandoned Building: Will (the main character) finds an abandoned building inside the Tenderloin. He crawls through a door or boarded up window and finds a small room where he lines the walls with aluminum foil and hacks some software. So, we’re gonna need a dodgy building exterior. Remember, this is the movies, so the interior, or inside, doesn’t actually have to be the same place as the exterior, or outside. Will enters the building at just before sunset and leaves long after dark.
Al Jazeera News Room: A reporter gets an email. We need a news room, so desks, computers, reporters, preferably with a Middle Eastern decor. We also need a news studio where an Al Jazeera anchor reports some plot-critical news.
Back Door: This is actually a club/bar/coffee shop, owned and operated by Sudonym, one of the main characters. We need an exterior shot. We also need a conference room, a hallway, and a dining area. A good portion of the movie takes place at this location, so it’s pretty important. Of course, most hackers are nocturnal, so most of the shots can be at night, when the real bar/coffee shop is closed.
BBC News: A reporter gets an email. We need a news room, so desks, computers, reporters, preferably with a conservative, refined decor. We also need a news studio where an Al Jazeera anchor reports some plot-critical news.
Bitchan’s House: A large part of the movie takes place here. Bitchan is a 2nd generation Japanese. Hopefully, this will be somewhere not too far from Japan Town. Ideally, the inside of her house will reflect that. She’s also a cluttered geek, so, it’s a flexible idea. We need both interior and exterior shots. We need a living room (a couch and a coffee table), a restroom, a kitchen, an office (with maker/hacker decor (desk, soldering gear, etc)), a hallway.
Black Room: While this location is, according to the script, inside the abandoned building, it would probably be smarter to film it someplace a little safer. I mentioned it in the Abandoned Building section, but it’s basically a small room where he lines the walls with aluminum foil and hacks some software.
Cell Tower: There’s a shot of a cell tower, staring from the top and craning/tilting down to the bottom. But, the really cool part is when Will picks the lock and gets access to the cell tower base station, which is a small shack filled with servers. Again, it’s the movies, so the inside doesn’t have to be the same place as the outside. And, the likelihood of one of the major Cell providers letting us use their facility to show people how their hardware can be hacked, probably not gonna happen. So, think a little outside the box on this one. For instance, the Cell Tower, and the Cell Tower Base Station, are definitely two different places.
Decimate’s House: Decimate’s got money. Like… millions. Ideally, this will be in the Richmond district. We need the outside for several shots, and also a living room, an office. Ideally, the living room will have a fireplace, be near the back, with bay windows leading to a view of the pool. If you’ve got anything like this, you’ll find my vision rather flexible.
Dempsey’s House: A nice, multi-story house preferably in the Sunset/Twin Peaks area. Will talks past it at night and tosses something onto the roof. In a series of rooms and cuts, we show Dempsey watching TV, in his home office on his computer, and the wireless router. We also show Mrs. Dempsey’s office where her computer turns itself on as Will remotely hacks it.
DHS BUILDING: A lot of the movie takes place here. Going from the outside in, we need a nice entrance plaza, corporate lobby, hallways, an elevator, an office, a tech center (a room with a lot of monitors, and a police style interrogation room (There needs to be one door, no windows, a table, three chairs, 1-3 lights. This room should be largely concrete, since there’s a scene where some water might splash… a bit.
Golden Gate Park: Will meets Hash at a bench on Golden Gate Park, probably the pan-handle. Together, they talk about hacking, while Hash breaks into a wifi network. I’ll work this out with the city.
Grocery Store: Will walks in, buys a bunch of aluminum foil, has a brief conversation with the cashier, and leaves. This is actually one of the trickier shots because I’ve got to get permission to shoot every product that appears in the movie. If I don’t have permission, I’ve got to move the product so the registered trademark isn’t showing (this happens so often in movies and on TV, there’s a term for it: Greeking).
Market Street: Will walks from his apartment South of Market, across Market to get to the Tenderloin. We’re probably just going to do this as casual as possible: Me, and Will.
Muni: N/Judah: Will boards the N/Judah line at Market, and rides it to the Sunset, exiting near Fifth and Irving, just after the tunnel.
Neighborhood Park: Ideally this will be Alamo Square Park, on Steiner & Hayes. We’ll need it mostly after sunset. I’ll get this taken care of with the city, but I wanted it here just so the location list is complete.
San Francisco Newspaper: A reporter gets an email. We need a news room, so desks, computers, reporters.
Novak’s Office: Nice, corporate. Business casual. These guys are government contractors, so, considerably more straight-laced than Facebook. Windows, a desk, and a computer.
Park: I’ll work out the park itself with the City. However, I also need an adjacent house, where some DHS guys break in and kidnap someone. I’ll also need access to a hole in the sidewalk (like where they load supplies for restaurants) deep enough for someone to be in, preferably while they’re standing upright. It’s supposed to be a telephone company router, but, again, there’s no way the telco would actually let us film their stuff. In fact, they have rules specifically prohibiting the photography of the inside of their boxes. This is both at night, and during the middle of the day. Since we’re limited to how late at night we can film, this will probably need to be a several day shoot.
Public Library: Ideally, this is going to be the main branch in downtown San Francisco. It’s just too gorgeous not to use. But, that might not work out. Regardless, Will walks in, places a screen protector over the monitor, and hacks into several different computers. He then walks out. I’ll almost certainly work this out with the City.
Russia Today: A reporter gets an email. We need a news room, so desks, computers, reporters. We also need a news studio where an Al Jazeera anchor reports some plot-critical news.
The Tenderloin: This leads up to the Abandoned Building scene, but the place is so colorful, why not use it.
Upscale Coffee Shop: You were probably expecting more coffee shop scenes. Trust, me, this one will be enough. It’s where Will meets Dempsey. I’ve actually got a coffee shop in mind, on Irving in the sunset, next to the N/Judah line, but I’m not sure that one will work out yet, and I’m always open to suggestions. This meeting is at night.
Will’s Loft: Will rents a room, or more probably a studio, South of Market. Ideally, it will be facing east, so the sunrise can shine in and wake Will. Anyway, it doesn’t have to be nice. Just a window, and a futon/couch/disheveled bed (listed in descending order of preference). We will also need exterior shots of this, as Will leaves his apartment, and tries to return, but mitigating circumstances stop him.
We need your help!
So, if you, or known someone you known, has access to any of these locations and wants to help make an amazing movie, send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org