The first phase of my writing TRK (it’s got a new name, but I’m going to keep using TRK since I haven’t registered the new name yet), is plotting it out, making sure the whole thing makes sense. After that, I write what I call the vomit-draft. I get everything on the page as quickly as I can. The next stage consists of going over a script, again and again and again. When I can’t read it anymore I either take a break or, if I’m satisfied, I send it out to early readers (including tech consultants, and other filmmakers), getting notes back, and repeating the process until it’s so good everyone who reads it instantly wants to work on it. Only then do I send it to my producer.
One of the ways I go over the script is to read it and keep track of any notes or comments I get back from early readers or that I notice on my own. I work on the note, exploring each way it could possibly go, seeing if it matches the overall structure, the specific characters involved, and if it's technically feasible.
This month’s public journal is an example of those notes. I’ve removed any references that I think might be too big a spoiler with the word [REDACTED]. So, without further delay, here’s note #12, for version 2.1.1 of TRK:
12) Charles Martin's name needs to change to Robert Martin because there are too many people named Charles. Also, his address needs to become known prior to the reveal [REDACTED], thus on Will's conscience, in a way the audience can understand.
So, how do you make an address known in a way that isn’t conspicuous? Why does it have to be inconspicuous? Because if it isn’t then why show it? It might violate the limited view point we’ve established.
But, you already violate that when you show [REDACTED]. So, the limited viewpoint is out, at least, it’s not limited to Will’s POV.
The only way to get the address in is for Will to notice it somehow. Why would Will originally notice the address?
1) He notices all kinds of things. That means that the whole shooting style of the movie is constantly Will noticing things. Which is kind of something you wanted to do anyway.
2) He makes a note of the address after the incident. This has two problems: Will is too scared after the incident to notice much of anything; and, he has no idea that he’ll need the information later, so why would he care?
The fact that he doesn’t know he’ll need the information later means that his noticing it has to be purely coincidental, which gets back to reason 1 of why he would notice.
But, if Will’s noticing all kinds of things, then that would probably fill the audiences head with a ton of things too, their brains may not work in such a way as to allow them to store and reference as easily as Will—yours doesn’t.
3) Will and Bitchan could target a specific address. This has an upside and a downside. The upside is that they would know a specific address would have DSL service. The downside is, they’d have to figure out which set of wires connect to that specific address. The easiest way to isolate a specific address is to set up a tone generator within the house, that Bitchan could then simply listen to. The other way is to have a map of which connection goes where. That means Will and Bitchan would have to hack into the Telco and find the information: that is a lot of work for potentially very little reward.
Another way would be to set up a tone generator at the Telco substation, but again, he would have to know which line is which. There are codes that the telco uses. Perhaps the telco substations can generate tones on specific lines, that allow them to distinguish one house from the neighbors.
Either way, isolating a specific house is a lot of work, unless you’re the telco. That means it’s got to be a random address.
If it’s a random address, that raises another question: How does Bitchan know that line uses a DSL? She would have to tap the line and monitor the traffic. That means, she would have to have a way of distinguishing DSL signals from dial-up, from fiber (where the last mile is copper), from T1, etc.
Which gets us back to how Will notices the address, since it’s not targeted. Why not just let the abundance of information flow, since, as you mentioned, since you already planned it with the the camera work anyway? It might just be another way to show how the mind of a hacker works.