TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding



Lee Thomas

United Kingdom


A non-linear narrative loosely exploring the hacker culture of past, present and future. A combination of film, photography and audio all intended for the web. Hack is most clearly defined as an ARG (Alternative Reality Game) with elements of a web series. There are also portions of the experience that exist in isolation. A packaged dice game or a collectible card game that function as pieces of content in their own right, designed to exist outside the narrative, are intimately linked to the world of the project’s story.

“ (...) without a World Encyclopedia to hold men’s minds together in
something like a common interpretation of reality, there is no hope
whatever of anything but an accidental and transitory alleviation of any
of our world troubles.”  - H.G. Wells introduces his dream of a ‘World
Brain’ (1936)


“When you cut into the present the future leaks out.” - William S.

Hack is a non-linear narrative delivered within a non-linear medium. It
is a historical exploration of the hacker culture, a non-linear science
fiction thriller, and poses the potential for a generative story world that
would live on beyond it’s plotted elements.

The story of Hack concerns the development of a technology in the
1990s that would allow for any piece of information submitted to the
early Internet to have been catalogued and stored. A harmless student
project, more a proof of concept than anything else, never the less
a piece of software that records everything ever written, uploaded,
encoded, decoded - an entirely accurate record of everything. It just
so happens that due to a set of unfortunate circumstances the team
of students who put this all together soon fell out of sorts with one
another. An end to the story maybe? Except no one ever turned this
piece of software off.

It’s still running of course. It’s finding, indexing and storing just about
everything. That last email you sent - it’s already in there. All that
information continues to amass. By next year it’ll already be petabytes
of information. Can you imagine how large it will be by 2023? Hack
continues on to imagine such a scenario. A rumoured digital grail
containing every lie, every truth, every moment for the last 33 years.
Hack imagines the conflict between individuals and entities, between
friends and lovers, and between one’s own agency and imposed
thought control.

If we can know everything, would we choose to?

If we were to consider Antonioni’s Blow Up, Coppola’s The
Conversation and De Palma’s Blow Out as a trilogy of discourse on the
nature of perception, surveillance and the machination of truth, then
Hack would aspire to be it’s fourth part.

“Time past and time future what might have been and what has been
point to one end, which is always present.” - T.S. Eliot

Disrupt, disrupt, disrupt.
Lee Thomas

Film Festival, Production

production notes

original title