Aussie hacker telemovie seeks geeky props

Aussie hacker telemovie seeks geeky props

Summary: An Australian telemovie currently in production for Channel 10 is in need of some sentimental geeks as it looks to replicate the Melbourne computer-hacking scene of the late '80s.


An Australian telemovie currently in production for Channel 10 is in need of some sentimental geeks as it looks to replicate the Melbourne computer-hacking scene of the late '80s.

Command line code

(Credit: cmd.exe image by n3wjack's world in pixels, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Janie Parker, an art director working on the new telemovie about hackers, called Underground, is currently building several set pieces, and needs the help of the local community to supply any period technology that has been collected over the years.

"To help tell the story, we need to accurately replicate the equipment that was used. We are searching for people that may collect this equipment to loan, sell or hire to us," Parker said.

The art director is looking to get hold of old Commodore 64 machines, Amstrads and IBM PCs for the production.

"In our story, the hackers get into various organisations, including the US military/police/university via the use of a modem. We will need to replicate this by programming codes to make these visuals.

"Also, in the project we have a scene where we are recreating a computer market. We will be making up several tables of equipment from the period. This is a scene where we would like collectors to bring along their equipment and be an extra for the day," she added.

Parker wrote to Linux Australia president John Ferlito today to enlist the help of the sentimental members of the Linux Australia community.

She told ZDNet Australia that any assistance that Australia's geeks can provide would be appreciated.

Underground is currently in production by Matchbox Pictures, and is being directed by Australian director Robert Connolly. Connolly's previous work has included direction of several episodes of ABC TV's The Slap, starring Melissa George, and the 2009 thriller Balibo, starring Anthony LaPaglia.

If you can help with the production, please email Janie Parker.

Topics: Open Source, Hardware

Luke Hopewell

About Luke Hopewell

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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  • i hope that Matchbox Pictures know that these machines dont make cool noises, or have fancy anaimations when you are hacking.
  • I've got an UltraSparc and an Indy somewhere, reply here if you're interested.
  • If it weren't for geography, I could lay Bondwells, Apple 2 series, telex machines and Sinclairs on them. I think the hardest challenge will be working CRT screens that are in sync with the camera.
    • You'd be surprised. You just lock shutter to 25hz and shoot - you do get a little bit of drift but can use a video retimer (on an advanced TBC) to get the sync matched. We shoot with monitors in the background all the time at demo parties and don't have issues at 25p.
  • I forgot to add: 80s' hackers didn't break into other people's machines. They tore their own machines apart to make them do things beyond the manufacturers' specifications. I remember a TRS-80 that was running 1MB of memory and sampling sound in real time when Bill Gates reckoned that no one would ever need to break the 640kB barrier on the PC.
  • This scene is still alive, it just morphed into more of a demo scene, with old school hackers still making gfx, music and code on the old hardware as well as the new. Syntax Party in Melbourne is the center of this scene with a new party called Flashback in Sydney.
    • ^ greets to onslaught ;-). One of our demoscene guys has also developed new firmware for a C64 network expansion cart... That will let you poke live information to a C64 screen (or probably other devices) for simulating modems, etc.