Who writes the "computer" lines in movies!?


I can’t take it anymore, seriously. I’m watching an old episode of NCIS, and the character Gibbs is visiting a naval “computer” facility with the “rookie” McGee, who has been identified through a very loose implication as some form of “geek”. 

Anyway, during one of the bouts of inane dialog, where Gibbs is having a conversation with one of the naval computer guys, McGee is acting as an “interpreter”, because Gibbs, being the kind of mans man that puts Chuck Norris to shame, doesn’t understand the “techno” babble being spewed forth by the naval geek. So at one point, McGee translates to the naval computer guy a sentiment of Gibbs’ which is along the lines of “horses for courses”, and puts it ever so eloquently as “one man’s Linux is another’s OS/2”, to which the naval computer guy responds emphatically in the affirmative. Now, any geek/techi/coder/spoon/etc. who has worked a day in his life in the industry knows these kinds of things never happen. I mean, yes, we tend to geek out every so often, and may make the odd reference to some obscure technobyte to pepper in a little humour, but seriously, do the Hollywood boofheads honestly believe the stereotypes they’ve concocted for the technical community?

And don’t even get me started on the “software”. I mean, I was watching CSI the other day, and everytime they cut to a scene where they are testing something, they have a purpose built, GDI+, 3D application hooked right into some custom piece of appliance. Based on the amount of custom hardware/software these labs have, they should be launching a space shuttle or something. Come one, you can’t tell me some software team sat down and wrote the code that allows the CSI investigator to somehow bang in any piece of information or data, no matter how remotely ambiguous, and suddenly pull up a map, or case file, or recipe to a bomb! FCS, it’s doing my head in!

So I propose that just like the movies and TV series that hired real police or doctors to consult on the aspects of authenticity (for example, compare Trapper John MD to ER), they should also hire real geeks and computer boffins to provide authentic software props, dialog and styling (FYI, I’ve never seen a geek who looked like Antonio Sabato Jr. with thick glasses in my life!). Face it people, there are more of us than before, and the last thing we want to see on the big screen are crapola images of ourselves! Make it real, I mean, nothing is impossible, Arnie stepping out of Collateral Damage and into the Senate is a clear demonstration of that!


Comments (8)

  1. What scares me completely is that maybe they did use a geek to get the techospeak right and they just happened to hire someone who says that one man’s Linux is another’s OS/2.

    I think a more important question is how much would a geek hired by a movie production team earn. I am assuming that geeks probably get paid more to code rather than help script writers so I guess you get what you pay for.

  2. I just saw Dave saying his bit about representation of geeks in movies and TV. Overall, I think geeks…

  3. James McCutcheon says:

    The funny moment I saw on NCIS was when McGee was fighting a "hacker" trying to enter NCIS, although he was typing very fast at about 300 words per minute he claimed he was losing the fight. With that the Goth scientist Abby jumps onto the keyboard at the same time, as in two people one keyboard, and together they beat of the hacker attack.

    Its no wonder phishing scams work 🙂

  4. Hi Dave – When I read your entry I had to laugh…you hit the nail on the head with the almost offensive portrayal of geeks in Hollywood 🙂

    One example I’ve noticed that is probably closest to reality is "The Office" where the 3D pipes screensaver is on pretty much every shot of a PC screen.

    I seem to remember that "The Bourne Identity" goes the other way in one scene at CIA HQ with what seems to be a looping video of a "busy screen" – about 3 or 4 apps partially overlapping each other on the screen, no app maximised, the start menu displayed – shown on a group of monitors.

    Do they think they can fool us geeks?

    Cheers,

    Thomas