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Sean Michaels
February 3, 2014

On April 22, 1993 the Internet was introduced to the public as a tool that could help in everyday life. Now all information from something as simple as a person's birthday to deep dark military secrets are stored in databases and cloud storage that can be accessed by a simple device kept in ones pocket. The short film Watch Dogs Fan Film created by the team at infectiousdesigner takes the character and concept of the upcoming video game by Ubisoft of the same name and turns it into a short film highlighting how nothing is safe in this new technological age.

As the sun sets the film gives us an establishing shot of its protagonist Aiden Pierce as he walks through a cemetery. As he walks through the cemetery multiple cutaways highlight the most important tool he has in his arsenal a cellular telephone. After the title is shown one final cutaway to the phone reveals the text "You are connected, to everything." The protagonist receives an anonymous text "She's in trouble..." which prompts him to step into action.

Hijacking the nearest car he sees. The film then cross-cuts to another hacker looking into some files on a laptop. The main antagonists of the film are introduced through a POV shot from a security cameras perspective, which they hack to cut the camera to black. Aiden rushes to the scene using his cell phone to change traffic signals to allow his car to always have the right away. After one last cross cut the female hacker is warned that she is going to be attacked. While she tries to make her escape the group of antagonists catches her and threatens her with a gun until she relinquishes her data files.

After stealing her files one of the antagonists phones begins to ring. The protagonist Aiden arrives on the scene and a fight ensues between him and the would-be assailants. While dispatching them one manages to get away only to find that Aiden is hacking elevators and doors to keep him on the path that he wants. The final assailant does manage to escape the building leading to the films climax in which Aiden chases him through the streets while having a brutal gunfight. Aiden uses his hacking skills to make a nearby transistor explode incapacitating the final assailant. The film closes with Aiden learning that his phone is now being hacked by the very hacker that he tried to save.

Watch Dogs Fan Film is an interesting short film because it touches upon two of Dr. Davidson's Digital Literacies. On one hand it is a short film that showcases the privacy in our current digital age. Showcasing the many ways in which our technology is not safe and can be used as a weapon. On another it is the team at Infectiousdesigner taking an intellectual property belonging to Ubisoft and making it their own. By taking the characters and premise that Ubisoft has designed they were able to make something that is entirely theirs.



Watch Dogs Fan Film can be used as a prompt to discuss privacy and intellectual property.