While North Korea has openly denied any association with the recent cyber hack episode, Sony is in damage control mode trying to seal the walls of internet with tactical super glue.
Discussing details about a non-legalized, illegally retrieved data in a public forum as this is morally equal to making things worse with the proliferation of data. But it’s not just about leaked movie scripts and click-bait worthy exchanges about movie stars, it has a lot to do with how Hollywood, in this new age, still heavily poses an astonishing race gap and how gender influences pay discrepancies.
The Sony hacking group calling itself “GOP” (Guardians of Peace) has leaked tons of internal studio data from salaries of top execs, social security numbers of Sony employees including celebrities like Conan O'Brien and Sylvester Stallone to some highly classified inflammatory secret email discussions.
When the hacking group announced “Stop immediately showing the movie of terrorism which can break the regional peace and cause the War!”, it was obviously a clear reference to Sony’s upcoming comedy “The Interview”
Whatever the case is…
1. Fan interest in the movie has increased..
The aftermath of the hack saw a lot of people race over to watch the trailer of Seth Rogen's R-rated comedy movie which is set for release on Christmas Day.
2. Some Sony employees seem to hate their own movies especially Adam Sandler projects.
“We continue to be saddled with the mundane, formulaic Adam Sandler films.”
3. Via a Buzzfeed post -
Sony studio co-chairman Amy Pascal asked Producer Scott Rudin for advice before going to an Obama fundraiser hosted by DreamWorks Animation head Jeffrey Katzenberg, particularly what she should ask the President “at this stupid Jeffrey breakfast.”
“Would he like to finance some movies,” responded Rudin.
“I doubt it. Should I ask him if he liked DJANGO?” said Pascal, with Rudin replying “12 YEARS.”
“Or the butler. Or think like a man?” continued Pascal.
“Ride-along. I bet he likes Kevin Hart,” said Rudin.
4. The other major exposure was how GOP targeted Sony Computers to channel out the contact information of Hollywood A-listers - Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Emma Stone as well as Jesse Eisenberg's home address. Also leaked are secret aliases of celebrities used for booking hotel suites, availing exclusive car services et al. As revealed in the files,
- Tom Hanks goes by “Johnny Madrid” or “Harry Lauder”
- Jessica Alba goes by “Cash Money”
- Jude Law goes by “Mr. Perry”
- Natalie Portman goes by “Lauren Brown”
- Clive Owen goes by “Robert Fenton”
- Rob Schneider goes by “Nazzo Good”
- Daniel Craig goes by “Olwen Williams”
- Ice Cube: goes by “Darius Stone” and “O’Shea Jackson”
- Debra Messing: goes by “Ava Harper”
- Sarah Michelle Gellar goes by “Neely O’Hara”
- Tobey Maguire: goes by “Neil Deep”
5. Unreleased scripts
A lot of entry level scripts for upcoming movies have found its way into the data hack – scripts of movies like The Wedding Ringer, Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 & animated movies Pixels and Sausage Party have been made public.
TV wasn’t left behind either – the pilot script for Vince Gilligan's Battle Creek and an unreleased "Breaking Bad" pilot script made the list.
Five unreleased Sony movies -"Annie," "Still Alice," "Mr. Turner," "To Write Love On Her Arms," and "Fury" were unleashed into the hounds of fast seeding torrent sites and was downloaded more than 888,000 times in just 2 days..
7. Movies' financial data
One large file containing detailed financial data, including revenues and budget costs, for all of Sony's recent films leaked out.
8. The most introspective aspect of all was a plain-text file titled "Sony_2012_Comments” filled with a treasure trove of Sony employees feedback sidelining mostly in terms of negativity.
Gawker has synopsized a very, very large file into segmented points-
One email said - Perhaps it's a generational thing, but I've been disappointed with the content of some of the films we've been producing lately. I don't think people who know me would consider me a prude, but the boorish, least common denominator slate strikes me as a waste of resource and reputation.
Seems like we just reboot old product instead of coming up with new ideas like the Hunger Games. We need new fresh ideas that can drive franchise product. Go out and hire the best
In order to be the top studio, Sony needs to not release dark movies (i.e. Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) around the holiday season. No one wants to see a film like Girl (which is a great film by the way) around the holiday season.
Are you aware that Men In Black 3 may gross $600M at the box office, and yet will lose money for SPE? Shouldn't we question that strategy? Why are some studios making Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Twilight - and we are considering movies like Moneyball, Steve Jobs story, Captain Phillips Story, Evel Knievel story, etc. Are you aware that SPE only has 1 franchise - Spiderman. Yet, it took 5 years to generate a sequel? Spidey 3 was released in summer 2007, #4 in 2012. Don't harry potters come out over 2-3 years? Have you read the SEC annual report? Disney will make $300M on Spidey merchandise this year alone. We won't!
Stop making the same, safe, soul-less movies and TV shows.
9. Sony studio co-chairman Amy Pascal said Angelina Jolie was upset that David Fincher was set to direct “Jobs” when she wanted him to direct her big-budget “Cleopatra,” to which Producer Scott Rudin called the actress a “minimally talented spoiled brat.” (This was a time when the movie was still in the hands of Sony before it moved into rival territory Universal Studios.)
Sony hasn’t yet learned inspite of its 2011 PSN hack b’coz this time hackers came across 140 files containing thousands of private passwords, with many tied to financial accounts, stored in plain-text documents with no kind of secure protection.