Episode #8 - Talking Cybersecurity with the Cast of MacGyver


Ron and Cyndi interview the cast and director of CBS's MacGyver about cybersecurity in entertainment and real life. Lucas Till plays MacGyver, Triston Mays plays a hacker named Riley Davis and David Straiton is the director. We discuss why cybersecurity is difficult to communicate to the general public and why it does not seem exciting. We also talk about how the entertainment industry uses tech and was impacted by the Sony hack of 2014. And lastly, we draw on the team's experiences with Star Trek, X-Men, and science fiction in general and talk about future technologies.


Ron Gula: [00:00:00] Hi there. This is Ron and Cyndi Gula, with the Gula Tech Cyber Fiction Show. Uh, today is another great episode. We actually have our first guest from the entertainment business, from, from Hollywood. Uh, we're going to be joined by David Straiton, who's a famous director, directed a number of TV shows, uh, and Lucas Till and Tristin Mays who are characters on, on MacGyver. Uh, before we get into that, I just want to remind everybody who's watching us to join us March 9th at 2pm Eastern for our Gula Tech Foundation, uh, uh, prize...
Cyndi Gula: [00:00:36] Award.
Ron Gula: [00:00:36] Award ceremony. Award ceremony. Right. You have to register for that. Uh, we're going to be giving away a million dollars to a variety of cyber-security non-profits who are helping African-Americans get more engaged with cyber-security.
Cyndi Gula: [00:00:50] And depending on what year you're watching that, that's 2021. So...
Ron Gula: [00:00:54] Yes. That's awesome.
Cyndi Gula: [00:00:55] ... make note.
Ron Gula: [00:00:56] All right. So I'm going to read a little bio, do some intros. We're going to get right to our guests today. All right. Our guests today are director David Straiton and actors Lucas Till and Tristin Mays, from the CBS, uh, MacGyver reboot in their fifth season. Uh, David has directed a variety of TV shows involving this season's MacGyver, House, Star Trek: Enterprise...
Cyndi Gula: [00:01:15] Which is our favorite, by the way.
Ron Gula: [00:01:16] ... which is... which is, which is good. Angel Charms, The 4400, Dollhouse, Fringe, which...
Cyndi Gula: [00:01:22] Oh, we love that.
Ron Gula: [00:01:22] Yes. Had some good stuff there, and Agents of SHEILD to name a few. Uh, Lucas plays... They say, this is from IMDb, all right, the "young Angus "Mac" MacGyver, who works for a clandestine organization within the US government, relying on his unconventional problem-solving skills to save lives." Lucas has also played in a variety of movies, including Alex Summers as Havok in a few of the X-Men movies. And for those watching, uh, this is where you were going after Apocalypse. Apocalypse materializes and the mansion blows up. Very iconic scene. And finally...
Lucas Till: [00:01:54] I blow it up.
Ron Gula: [00:01:55] That's right. I know. And finally, uh, Tristin plays Riley Davis on MacGyver, who was also a child, uh, model. Uh, played Nala on the Broadway, uh, Lion King production, and acted in a variety of children's and young adult shows, including not Gula Gula Island, right? Gullah Gullah Island.
Cyndi Gula: [00:02:14] Gullah Gullah Island.
Ron Gula: [00:02:14] Which is great. Um, and Tristin is also a business owner who operates Trizzio as a boutique in Riverside, California, right? So...
Cyndi Gula: [00:02:23] Yeah, we're very...
Ron Gula: [00:02:24] Yes.
Cyndi Gula: [00:02:24] ... excited for you to join us today. Thank you so much.
Ron Gula: [00:02:26] And you guys are all coming to us from Atlanta today?
Tristin Mays: [00:02:29] Yes.
Ron Gula: [00:02:30] Phenomenal, phenomenal. All right. Well, let's... that's enough me yapping. Let's get start, start talking. So, maybe David, let's start with you. How did you get involved with, with uh, directing, and how did you end up on uh, running CBS MacGyver this season as a director?
David Straiton: [00:02:45] Uh, thanks for having us, and, and also the famous people are uh, Tristin and Lucas. I'm just a humble servant of television production. So, let's start with that first. Uh, but the uh, you know, I started out like a, like a lot of, lot of people do. I started at the, as a, as a production assistant in television, or in commercials rather. And, uh, lied my way into directing. Uh, and uh, I started doing music videos and commercials, which uh lead to long format, which is anything longer than 30 seconds. That's just what we used to call it in the, in the commercial days. Anything longer than 30 seconds is long format. And then we segued into doing narrative television, ah, moved to Hollywood, and uh, you know, started to work on, you know, some fun, kind of interesting, dramatic stuff.
I think my first big break for television was an NBC series called Providence.
Ron Gula: [00:03:38] Oh, yeah.
David Straiton: [00:03:39] And uh, but then started to segue more into action and sci-fi. Not really sure why, because I thought I was going to be a comedy director, but ended up doing like, lots of sci-fi stuff and lots of, you know, sort of adventure, big, big action stuff which I really enjoy making. And uh, you know the MacGyver thing started, started as an episodic assignment. I went out three years ago, had such a good time on the show, it's such a fun show to make. Great cast to work with. Uh, it was fun to shoot in Atlanta, you know, we got to do really great things. And I, I just fell in love with the series. The following season, I was offered the job as the what's called the directing producer, which means in addition to directing some of the episodes, I was also able to produce, so work with other directors, uh, work with post-production, editorial, and help kind of sort of help shape the show. And that's continued into this season.
Cyndi Gula: [00:04:30] Well that's-
David Straiton: [00:04:32] There's the Reader's Digest version.
Cyndi Gula: [00:04:34] That's awesome. Yeah, it's very exciting. It's always great to hear how people get to where they are, because you know our paths are never what we expected them when we start, and especially in cyber and, and things like that. So that's always really exciting.
So Lucas, tell us about yourself. How did you get, uh, the acting bug?
Lucas Till: [00:04:54] Uh, I, I was, uh, I was in Atlanta. Grew up mostly in Atlanta, and um, we uh... You know, I was like 10, and uh, we got a call from a, it's an acting school. And they kind of like, go through the phone book and just call random people, and then those people come in and they give referrals, uh, of other people that they think would be ideal. Um, and you audition for this school, and then you pay lots of money to take these classes. But uh, they had auditions for local agents, and I got my agent from there. And then, I started doing commercials when I was, you know, that age, and then it lead to this. Lots of, lots of auditioning later, and now I'm working with Straiton. Straiton actually gave me my first job when I got to LA when I was 18.
Cyndi Gula: [00:05:36] That's great.
Lucas Till: [00:05:38] On House. I was a guest star on the show. So, yeah.
Ron Gula: [00:05:41] Did you pretend to be sick, or what were, what were you doing?
Lucas Till: [00:05:45] Oh man. Strait, do you remember this episode?
David Straiton: [00:05:47] Yeah, I do. You, you ended up being the, the father of Cuddy's, Cuddy's child, right?
Lucas Till: [00:05:54] No, the, the woman who ended up, the girl who ended up throwing up in the teaser. [laughs]
See how he's laughing? The problem is, too, basically what happened was the character I was playing was a, I think we were a private school or something, and I was getting alcohol for a girl who was, you know, not the popular girl, and I ended up getting her pregnant. No one knew why she was getting sick, but she ended up getting, I think the disease is called eclampsia. I know, it's not funny, but it's called eclampsia.
David Straiton: [00:06:24] I can't believe you remember that.
Ron Gula: [00:06:26] Only, only on the Gula Tech Cyber Fiction Show. Right?
Cyndi Gula: [00:06:28] Yeah, yeah.
Lucas Till: [00:06:29] So anyways, long and short hand is that she ended up, she ends up dying, but the baby ends up going to be the character's on the show. She adopts the baby. Cuddy, right?
David Straiton: [00:06:39] That is correct.
Cyndi Gula: [00:06:40] Oh, wow.
Lucas Till: [00:06:41] Yeah, so. Yeah. The baby that I had ended up being her adopted son or daughter.
Ron Gula: [00:06:46] Actually...
Lucas Till: [00:06:47] Anyways.
Ron Gula: [00:06:47] ... I want to talk a bit more about House too, because that's another show that made the diagnosing of medical stuff kind of, kind of interesting at the same time.
Lucas Till: [00:06:55] Totally.
Ron Gula: [00:06:55] So, that, that's very cool. Awesome. So, uh, Tristin. So besides Gullah Gullah...
Cyndi Gula: [00:07:01] Island.
Ron Gula: [00:07:02] ... Island, how did you get involved with, uh, with MacGyver and, and, and acting?
Tristin Mays: [00:07:06] I got started with acting before I was old enough to know what I was doing. I was two when I probably did my first print ad for like, little baby cash registers and stuff like that. Um, I did a lot of stuff like Baby Gap. I was with Ford Modeling Agency as a child. I was growing up in New York. Um, you know, trudging through the snow with my mom and a stroller, and my brother. And then I booked Gullah Gullah Island, uh, when I was about seven. And, uh, after that it was just kind of non-stop. Nickelodeon, Disney stuff here for like the next six, seven years, and then um, couple of movies, and then now I'm on MacGyver.
Cyndi Gula: [00:07:46] Well, that's great.
Ron Gula: [00:07:47] Excellent. Excellent. So let's, let's stay with you and talk about MacGyver. So you're in your fifth season. So congratulations to all of you on that. But when you were pitched this character, you know, it's a, it's a female hacker, you know, who's a law-breaker, you know, a force for good. You've had a really interesting, you know, kind of plot, um, through line. What were your reactions playing a, playing a hacker?
Tristin Mays: [00:08:11] Honestly those were the roles that I always thought were the most fun. Whenever I'd watch action movies and stuff like that. And, um, I just, I feel like I spent so much time mimicking lines from, you know, Tank and Link on Matrix. Great hackers, that I was like, "Oh man." When I, when I first got the breakdown for this role and it said, "Riley Davis, computer hacker with a chip on her shoulder and attitude." I was like, "Pfft. It's a wrap." But uh, I don't know. I remember just walking the audition. The day I auditioned for MacGyver was actually the day I quit acting, just because it was just so tough. Um, and I ended up booking the show, basically the same day that I went in for it.
And um, man. Everything's, everything's changed since then. But it's been an honor playing a role like that, just getting to be myself but also, you know, honor those who really are involved in this field. Those who really do those things. And every now and then when there's like a word or something I don't understand, I'll Google it, because I don't think it makes sense to just say lines I don't know what I'm talking about. I'll Google it and educate myself on what these terms and these things actually mean, because, you know, it helps me perform better if I actually know what I'm talking about. And then of course, I'm learning something along the way. And um, you know? I think, I think playing a computer hacker on a show, it's only right that I honor those who really do this for a living, and do it right.
Cyndi Gula: [00:09:38] That's, that's great, like... What's something that surprised you, that you learned? That you were like, "Oh. Yeah. I had no idea," or, "I never thought of that."
Tristin Mays: [00:09:47] You know what, I, I've been hacked a few times.
Cyndi Gula: [00:09:49] Oh.
Tristin Mays: [00:09:50] So getting this role was kind of exciting to me, because now I wanted to figure out how the heck they do this stuff. And, that was a couple of times in season one where I had to say something about a rainbow table.
Cyndi Gula: [00:09:58] [laughs]
Ron Gula: [00:10:02] [laughs]
Tristin Mays: [00:10:04] I Googled that, and I found out a rainbow table is basically like, a software that they use to just input passwords, and numbers, and letters over and over and over...
Ron Gula: [00:10:13] Ah!
Tristin Mays: [00:10:13] ... and over again, until each digit hits. And eventually that's how they can get your whole password, because this thing will just go for hours and hours and hours until each digit hits correctly, and then the next thing you know, they're in your email. I was like, "Holy crap!"
Cyndi Gula: [00:10:27] Did it change...
Tristin Mays: [00:10:27] So there's that.
Cyndi Gula: [00:10:27] Did it change your activity? Did it change how you actually, you know, operate in your personal life?
Tristin Mays: [00:10:33] Absolutely. I mean, I had already done a lot to keep myself from being hacked again. Using emails with crazy names that made no sense to anyone but me, and passwords that made no sense that even I can't remember, just so I wouldn't have that problem again. But, yeah. Definitely being on the show has, has given me a lot of insight on how deep this stuff actually goes. And I still don't even know the half. We're just scratching the surface. But, it's definitely made me a little bit more aware of, um, you know, security as far as emails, text messages, stuff like that. How easy it is for people to hack. You know, IP addresses. Making sure that no one ever sees those little things and that, so they can't have your IP address to your laptop. Like, you just, you just don't think about those things in daily life. So...
Ron Gula: [00:11:17] That's uh, that's phenomenal. We are trying to get people to think about that, which is, which is good. One of the things we want to get people thinking about is joining the cyber industry. So you came out as a child actor. Have you had young women, young girls say, "Hey I've seen you on TV, I want to go work for the CIA, I want to go work at the NSA."
Tristin Mays: [00:11:34] Uh, actually, about three years ago I was able to go to Boston... Or no, it was Philadelphia, to actually meet with a big group of girls who were part of the STEM, the STEM institution, where they are learning about science and engineering and coding, and stuff like that. And I, I spent the whole day with these girls at the Science Center in Philly. And, they had all watched the show. They all watched the show. They were huge fans of my character. And I got to talk to each one of them individually and find out, you know, what fields they're trying to go in. And it, it was a very diverse group of girls. And it, um, it made me happy to know that so many young girls were actually interested in coding and science and technology and stuff like that. And, for them to know that they're not any less cool by, by being interested in these things, and actually wanting to pursue these as careers.
And, um, aside from that, just our fans that watch the show, I get messages almost every day from girls who are saying that they started the show and they were just barely interested in coding, and now they're in different schools for coding. Some of them have graduated. Some of them have careers now in coding, just because they just feel more confidence now. They, they feel more confident that they can actually achieve that goal, and... you know? So yeah. I, I think that the... I've made an impact, and I didn't realize that, but I, I did.
Cyndi Gula: [00:12:56] That's awesome! That's amazing. That's, that's, that's why we really want to talk outside of our industry, because a lot of times what happens is, cy- cyber people talk to cyber people about cyber things. And the public is not engaged, and so we're really, um, trying to do different things in different ways to, to get that. So, that's incredible. That, that's great. Keep up the good work.
Tristin Mays: [00:13:19] Thank you. Thank you.
Ron Gula: [00:13:20] So, let's talk a little bit... this is kind of just a question, conversation for everybody, so... So MacGyver is the ultimate hacker. Whether he's putting together eggs to make sulfur and fly balloons, like hack in the traditional sense, but also cyber-security. Cyber-hacking is part of the show. So, how do you guys feel at this point about, you know, cyber representation just kind of in, in, in media, right? We, we don't have like the Top Gun moment, you know? Kind of asking people to be naval aviators at the same way that we were asking people to go be cyber. So, how do you guys feel about just how it's represented and what's what the plots are?
Lucas Till: [00:13:55] Are you talking about on our, on our show?
Ron Gula: [00:13:57] Yeah, on your show.
Lucas Till: [00:13:59] Yeah, it's um, yeah this is definitely a, I think Tristin can answer this better than I can, but it's um, I think it is. We do a really good job of it. It always is what's important is understand- I mean, you can't do our show nowadays without that character. Without, well back in the day...
Tristin Mays: [00:14:17] [inaudible 00:14:18], yeah.
Lucas Till: [00:14:19] What was that?
Tristin Mays: [00:14:20] Yeah, we can't do a show like ours without bringing in the technology aspect of it...
Lucas Till: [00:14:24] Yeah.
Tristin Mays: [00:14:24] ... because it, that's our world now.
Lucas Till: [00:14:27] Exactly. The original was in '85. They didn't have as much. I mean, they didn't have internet, uh, just floating around all the time.
Ron Gula: [00:14:33] We had a- Atari.
Lucas Till: [00:14:35] Right. Yeah, exactly. That was, that was it, so like uh, Riley's character is essential to the show. You can't have that without it. So I think uh, with that being said though, we, you know... I think we do a really good job, and I, but I agree with you that a lot of the times, like, like you're trying to pitch a real story line that happened. It just doesn't sound that great. And that's the challenge. And Straiton and I talk about this a lot. Like, how do you shoot something to make it look dynamic? And I think they, especially this, we have an episode coming up with uh, Tristin, and I was like, "Wow. That looks really cool and important." And I still don't understand exactly what she's doing, but I, but I still think it's cool.
Ron Gula: [00:15:11] [laughs]
So, in, uh, in one of the episodes, uh, Tristin's character Riley's mother is kidnapped, and she's forced to hack into the NSA...
Lucas Till: [00:15:20] Oh, yeah.
Ron Gula: [00:15:21] ... to steal the cyber-weapon called Cannibal, which then is being used to perhaps start World War III. So, I don't know. Maybe David, can you remember, you know, I don't think you were directing back then. You know, how do you set something like that up? Because that's very real world, right? That could happen.
David Straiton: [00:15:39] Right. That's crazy. Well, that was, that, that episode was so long ago, I was still a little baby when, when they shot that one, so...
Tristin Mays: [00:15:48] [crosstalk 00:15:48] for that one.
David Straiton: [00:15:50] That's long before my time on the show. But I think, I think the fact that you take that into... If you game that idea forward, where you could get into a system and cause a lot of havoc, I think that that to me is just not that super-scary. I mean, we, we take it lightly a lot of the time. Like, you know, bust open the back of a server and we hack into it. Or we, you know, Tristin's character dives in and plugs in. But the fact that, you know, someone can take control. You know, let me rewind.
The cool, the cool and dangerous thing about entertainment is we, we lay something, whether it's a rocket ship from, from Jules Verne, Voyage to the Moon, or whether it's the tele communicator on the original Star Trek, and somehow the world catches up to what we as sort of fiction people make. You know. We're talking now space tourism. These are all things, 20, 30 years ago were just science fiction. Now it's sort of science fact. So the fact now that, that even the concept of cyber warfare, it's so abstract, and yet we're in the middle of it, because in the middle of the pandemic, Russia hacked the United States. The biggest hack ever. That's an invasion of our country.
And it just sort of gets slid underneath the, under the carpet. It gets slid underneath the bigger news of the day, which is kind of real tangible stuff. So, although I'm not really answering the question specifically, the fact that you could, you could, you could create global havoc with cyber by using a laptop or a series of coordinated people working together to, to attack on a technical level, absolutely frightening. And, these are things which, you know, were written about by Philip K Dick, and now it's happening for real. Or, my, my favorite Heinlein or Ray Bradbury. All of those things, all written about in sci-fi, now it's happening for real, including cyber warfare. And I think that concept a long time ago was like, "What does that really mean?" But the idea of taking control of like a, a missile system or an aircraft carrier or a radar defense system, or even just basic stuff like actually taking control of, of a computer network. Super frightening. So...
Cyndi Gula: [00:18:01] Or a water supply. And, and you know, potentially wreaking havoc again in the critical infrastructure. So, yeah. A lot of this is...
David Straiton: [00:18:10] Wow.
Cyndi Gula: [00:18:11] ... true, and can happen. And shows actually, it, it's funny. David, I know we talked before, you were like, "I actually work on a, a show that's actually a verb. To 'MacGyver' something." And so I'm like, "Oh! I love that." You know, I was a big fan of, of the other, um, the previous show as well, and I, and I love watching what you guys are doing. And, so, so pushing that forward, again it's that, that, that futuristic fiction is catching up. How or what do you think are ways to, to get people paying attention? Saying, "No this stuff can actually happen."
Tristin Mays: [00:18:46] Talking about it more.
Cyndi Gula: [00:18:47] Yeah?
Tristin Mays: [00:18:48] [inaudible 00:18:48] talk about it enough. Um, you don't, you don't see that stuff on the news a lot. You don't see it on social media enough. That stuff is kind of buried and hidden. Um, I think if we just start talking about it a little bit more.
Cyndi Gula: [00:19:00] So, so one thing-
Lucas Till: [00:19:01] That's a good point. I mean, just having it. I'm, I'm watching it happen right now. You're talking to Tristin and talking about all this stuff, and me... And Tristin, I never heard that story before about you spending time with those girls and hearing those stories, and I think that is, yeah, you can't underestimate your impact as a, playing a character on a show. Like, I don't know what the hell I'm doing on the show half the time, but uh, people, people think it's really cool, and uh, but this is an example of, you know, get on this podcast talking about it, and, and playing the character and then making it look cool, because Tristin does a good job of that. So I think that's...
Tristin Mays: [00:19:31] Well, you know.
Lucas Till: [00:19:31] ... that's how it happens.
Tristin Mays: [00:19:32] Me and Lucas the other day, we, you know, a couple of people enlightened us to this kid on, um, TikTok, who...
Lucas Till: [00:19:40] Mmm.
Tristin Mays: [00:19:40] ... had to try one of Lucas's biggest hacks, which was these glasses that allowed him to get past security and they couldn't see his face. But he could just walk by like a normal person, no disguise or anything, but just as long as he had these glasses, it made the security camera... basically, it distorted his face. Um, he tried it. It actually worked. And those are things we have to be careful about on the show, because of this.
Cyndi Gula: [00:20:03] [laughs]
Lucas Till: [00:20:03] [laughs]
[inaudible 00:20:03].
Tristin Mays: [00:20:03] We are accurate only to a certain extent, and then we can't go too far, because we don't want people actually trying these things, but the people who actually know how to do this stuff are aware of that, so they don't, they don't really say anything. But they know that we're like, we're right there. But that...
Ron Gula: [00:20:17] Do you-
Tristin Mays: [00:20:17] ... was one of the experiments that he actually tried, and it worked out. So...
Ron Gula: [00:20:20] Do you have like...
Lucas Till: [00:20:21] Yeah. It's really...
Ron Gula: [00:20:21] ... either a technical advisory team, or somebody who says, you know, "You should try this, this, and this. It won't work, but maybe this, this will be good Hollywood." Do you have any advisors like that for the show?
Lucas Till: [00:20:30] Yeah. See that's this guy Rhett Allan.
Ron Gula: [00:20:34] Awesome, awesome.
Lucas Till: [00:20:34] I don't know if it's Allain or Allan, but anyways, yeah. The writers consult with this guy. He also will do a lot, like when we live tweet with the show, he'll, uh, he'll be up in that group, uh, talking about how stuff works. And yeah, so there's a guy who actually does all that.
Cyndi Gula: [00:20:50] Oh, that's great.
Ron Gula: [00:20:51] That's excellent. So there, there's a lot of stuff that the show gets right about cyber-hacking...
David Straiton: [00:20:57] Which is crazy.
Ron Gula: [00:20:57] ... [inaudible 00:20:58], which is kind of like, but there's some stuff that's like, like close. So you guys work at a think tank, but you're really working for the US government. And the funny thing is, most of the cyber think tanks we deal with, are just loaded with ex-government people, so it's like really, really close to reality.
David Straiton: [00:21:10] Right.
Ron Gula: [00:21:11] I don't think they do a lot of hacking in the basement, or send people out. But then other things, like every now and then, like hacking into the NSA and stealing 200 Gigs of data and not knowing the amount of da- that happens every day. You know? Like that's really, really, realistic. People get stuff stolen all the time and they don't know who took what.
Cyndi Gula: [00:21:27] Not specifically the NSA, just to be clear.
Ron Gula: [00:21:29] Well, yeah but [crosstalk 00:21:32].
Cyndi Gula: [00:21:29] Not, not every day on the NSA. We just want to be clear.
Ron Gula: [00:21:33] How about, um, like from social media, do you ever get people criticizing, "Oh, that's not realistic," or, "You can't smash a laptop and take the hard drive out and read its contents," or anything like that? Any haters out there? Anything like that?
Tristin Mays: [00:21:46] Pretty rare, honestly. And it's usually the stuff that we know. We already know it's ridiculous. That's kind of the part of, that's part of MacGyver.
Ron Gula: [00:21:53] Mm-hmm [affirmative]-
Tristin Mays: [00:21:54] You know, making a bomb out of bubble gum and stuff, that's kind of part of it. So, when they say that it's like, "Uh, duh." But, um, you know, the serious stuff, we really don't have haters. We kind of did at the beginning, people who were just skeptical about, you know, a reboot, but they've kind of fizzled out and have kind of become fans of the show, too. Um, I mean of course we do, we do some stuff that's not realistic, but who cares?
Ron Gula: [00:22:18] Wow.
Cyndi Gula: [00:22:19] But that's a-
Lucas Till: [00:22:19] Yeah, exactly.
Ron Gula: [00:22:22] So, a lot of folks who watch our show, you know, they, they work at, at banks, at universities, you know. Military and government. And a lot of times our industry doesn't really reach out to what I consider the rest of the country, right? Dentist's office, dealerships, movie people. So how do you guys use IT? Like, how do you communicate? How do you plan? You know, are you on Signal, are you on... give, you know, private Facebook pages? Like, you can't give us details, but, but how do you guys use it? You know? What do you guys do?
Lucas Till: [00:22:49] Well, I mean the biggest thing right now, we're talking on Zoom, and I... You know, all the production meetings, everything has happened on Zoom. I'm doing something for an organization called Shirts Across America, and they can't do a march, so they're doing a digital one. But, but because of that they then had to use Zoom, and because of... they can't do anything else other than digital. But that then wi- broadened their reach and then that made them, now people are asking them to make a curriculum. So it's interesting how, uh, in... Zoom, is the point that I'm trying to make. That's, that's like, the biggest thing that's, that's kind of blown my mind. It's not... and um, what, what its reach is, what you can do. You know? So, um, but that's... Zoom is one of them. Straiton, Tristin, pick it up.
David Straiton: [00:23:40] So, we're doing some really fun stuff now that I think is really, and I, I, I'd like to think we're being fashion forward. You know, to, to Lucas's point, obviously we're, we're doing Zoom, but we have one character who is based out of Los Angeles, and for a variety of reasons, uh, can't travel. So, what we've been doing is we, we hire a crew, and we film her, uh, on location sometimes against green screen, and we're directing via Zoom. That's a whole new experience to be able to talk to someone, write and direct, set up camera. The cinematographer and I are both on Zoom talking to a crew in LA, and we're giving notes and directing remotely. Super weird. Uh, it, it's, it's, you know, it's like, it's like running the Mars rover, you know? You, you, you make a move and, and then suddenly, you know, two seconds later something happens. So that's really cool.
The other... so that I think is brand new, and, and very tech oriented, and if it wasn't for Zoom and all these other applications, we wouldn't be able to do that. The other thing we're doing now is, uh, ah, Danny Davila, our production designer and I are really big into the Oculus. So we use... we use Oculus...
Lucas Till: [00:24:55] Oh, yeah. This is crazy.
David Straiton: [00:24:57] So we set up, what we do is, we'll scout locations where we're going to film, and then we'll send a guy out with a 3D camera, and he'll create uh, 3D models of... 3D photographs of the set. So we can sit back home afterwards and look at a set. We can go back to the set after we've scouted it or we're talking about it, and put on our Oculus glasses. So all our standing sets, like the, the home base you see on TV, the, the Phoenix Foundation, Mac's house, Riley's apartment, we have them all scanned, and we can, you can go into any of those rooms and walk around. And, uh, our, one of our cinematographers is really into it. So she comes up with ideas, ah, Tari Segal comes up with lighting ideas by just kicking back at night and going through all the different rooms and coming up with new ways to light.
That's really cool, and we're, I think, leaders in doing that. Um, and uh, you know. If we can save getting in the car to go and look at something using Oculus? Awesome.
Cyndi Gula: [00:25:57] Well, that's great. Yeah. We are, we are constantly finding the benefits of, you know, unfortunately we have the pandemic. However, now as, as technologists, everybody else is kind of catching up to the technology that's been available, that we've been able to take advantage of, and, and to that... But it's going to have such a ripple effect. People are not going to be traveling more. People are not...
David Straiton: [00:26:20] Right.
Cyndi Gula: [00:26:20] ... are going to be able to take advantage of those type of things. But in the future, do you see the technology pushing what and how you work even further?
David Straiton: [00:26:32] I hope a lot of this stuff gets better. I mean, last night... I'm in New York City right now. Uh, the colorist for the next episode, uh, that we're working on, uh, is in Los Angeles, the cinematographer is in Atlanta, and we had, we were able... We've got all our iPads, uh, calibrated so that we can do color grade. So, the fact that we can just sit here and play with the color and change things, and talk about things, and experiment with things real-time, that's only going to get better. And it means not having to drive across town to go to a color session. So those things, I think, are exciting...
Ron Gula: [00:27:08] Right.
David Straiton: [00:27:08] ... and one of the benefits which have come out of COVID. Being able to edit now, not having to go to the edit suite, I didn't like it initially, because you don't have that sort of one-on-one. But I like it now, because I can, I can sit with the editor and, again, work real time. And I just think that stuff's going to get better. I think the, the scouting using Google Earth and 3-dimensional scans of locations, that's all just going to become more and more available as files get created and that database gets bigger. So those are the kind of, the geeky things that I love, and if I don't have to get in my car and I can do a real time color grade on a calibrated iPad, awesome. I keep pointing to this because it's right here. See?
Ron Gula: [00:27:49] Ah! [laughs]
Cyndi Gula: [00:27:49] [laughs]
David Straiton: [00:27:50] Awesome. Look at this thing.
Ron Gula: [00:27:53] Tristin, you-
Lucas Till: [00:27:53] You're right though, Straiton. Isn't it crazy how much of that stuff, and initially like you said the one on one that you don't get to do, and I could imagine that would be frustrating at first, but I've gotten really used to... I mean, I just did ADR looping and voiceover in my closet the other day. The only problem I had was, I would get one queue done, and my internet would go down. So, but we, we worked faster. But I'm just really surprised at how much, um, and this relates to tech because of how much it will lend itself... We basically would never have practiced these practices, and now that we have, we're all kind of like, "Hey, I think we can make this work."
We still have the option after the pandemic is over, to go in in person if we really need that. But to be able to, ah, you know, delegate from far away, I think, is going to be a whole, a blossoming industry. That, or, it's probably already there, but I think it's going to get... It's going to be even more useful in the... Because we never would have leaned into it this hard before, but now everyone's kind of like, "I kind of like this."
Ron Gula: [00:28:46] Yeah, Cyndi and I really feel that this pandemic, although it's a horrible pandemic, it has really brought people together a lot more from and IT point of view.
David Straiton: [00:28:59] Yeah.
Ron Gula: [00:28:59] Mo- Mom and dad are now the IT department, and everybody's realizing that when they pass out these Zoom, you know, links, they can get, you know porn-bombed and all these kind of dif- different things, so it's much more forefront.
David Straiton: [00:29:10] Right.
Ron Gula: [00:29:10] Um, Tr- Tristin, you mentioned that you were hacked a couple of times. How, how are you securing yourself? I mean, do you have to get fake, you know, Twitter accounts, or, or you know, something that doesn't say your name, that kind of thing?
Tristin Mays: [00:29:22] Yeah. Yeah, I, I immediately just switched and made new emails with crazy names and passwords with stuff I have to write down, because I couldn't remember it. Stuff that just, they cannot figure out even with the rainbow table. So, um, I don't know. It's kind of awesome to do and of course, just um, I mean it was weird. They hacked me so far, they were sending me amber alerts on my phone, telling me that they knew exactly where I was.
Ron Gula: [00:29:50] What?
Tristin Mays: [00:29:50] You know when you get an amber alert on your phone that says, you know, uh, there's a car and a license plate. Keep an eye out for this car, and stuff like that. Or, or like a storm watch. They were sending me amber alerts saying, "We know where you are. Do this for us, and we will... we won't post all of your stuff." Like, and they were, these words were popping up big on my phone. It was like, ringing in my room.
Ron Gula: [00:30:11] This is nuts.
Tristin Mays: [00:30:11] Uh, yeah. It was absolutely nuts. I ended up finding out it was just like a bunch of 12 year old boys.
Cyndi Gula: [00:30:16] [laughs]
Ron Gula: [00:30:17] What?
Tristin Mays: [00:30:18] Yeah, so they ended up calling me over and over and over again, and I was really scared. I was in, I was in a different state, visiting a friend, and I was certain that it was just like a bag of people that were on the way to find me. And they called me over and over and over again. I ended up answering the phone, and they tried to talk in a distorted voice, kind of like Jigsaw on, on Saw. And what they said, they were like, um, "Tristin Mays, we've had our fair share of fun now, and we'd like to give you your life back. All you have to do is write these three words on your forehead and post it on Instagram, and we'll give you all your passwords back."
And I was like, "Why do you guys sound like The Purge right now?"
Ron Gula: [00:30:56] Yeah. [laughs]
Tristin Mays: [00:30:57] [inaudible 00:30:58] curious thing, and as soon as I said that, they all started dying laughing, totally broke character, and I was like, "Oh my Gosh, you guys are a bunch of little boys!" And they're like, "Yeah, yeah. This is what we do for fun." And I was like...
Ron Gula: [00:31:09] Wow.
Tristin Mays: [00:31:10] ... "You, you guys don't want to just like, go to the beach? Or like go skate boarding or something like that?"
Ron Gula: [00:31:14] Go work, go work for the CIA.
David Straiton: [00:31:15] Yeah.
Tristin Mays: [00:31:16] They were like, "No, we just want to hack more verified accounts. I think that's what we're going to continue to do." And I was like, "Wow. That's crazy. You guys are blackmailing." So I basically lied to them and told them that I found out... I did. I actually did find their location. I even found pictures of them and everything, because I'm kind of a hacker myself.
David Straiton: [00:31:32] I know.
Ron Gula: [00:31:33] You really are Riley Davis.
Tristin Mays: [00:31:34] I got photos of them, I knew exactly where they were. They were in the UK. I, I found everything, and I sent it back to them, and that's when they got scared. And they left me alone after that.
Cyndi Gula: [00:31:42] Wow.
Ron Gula: [00:31:43] Were you going to escalate, and call their mom?
Cyndi Gula: [00:31:47] [laughs]
Tristin Mays: [00:31:47] I don't know what I was going to do, because I was actually headed to the UK soon after that, but I decided to leave them alone. But uh...
Ron Gula: [00:31:55] So when, when famous people-
Tristin Mays: [00:31:56] So after that-
Ron Gula: [00:31:57] Oh, go ahead.
Tristin Mays: [00:31:58] After that I just, I just was a lot more secure with passwords, um, you know, phone numbers and stuff like that. If someone exchanges a phone number with me in like a direct message, I'll just delete it as soon as I save it, because what they did was they took everyone's phone numbers and started blowing up their phones and posting their numbers. A lot of my friends were...
Ron Gula: [00:32:16] Oh.
Tristin Mays: [00:32:16] ... were on shows and movies, and athletes and stuff like that. They, they took all their phone numbers. Um, and another crazy thing they did is they started writing all of my friends messages, which were security questions. So, as me, they're pretending to be me in my profile. They would've, they would've hit Lucas up and said, "Hey, what's your mom's birthday?"
Ron Gula: [00:32:35] Whoa.
Tristin Mays: [00:32:35] "Want to get her a present." And they, they were like, tricking my friends into actually giving them their security questions.
Ron Gula: [00:32:39] Wow. Dang.
Tristin Mays: [00:32:40] [crosstalk 00:32:41] into their accounts. That was, it was a mess, but we learned a lot. All of us learned a lot after that. Um, I had all of my friends change the way they were going about everything, their security protocols. I learned a lot. It won't happen again.
Ron Gula: [00:32:55] Yeah, that whole social engineering hits too close to home for a lot of people. Cyndi's father had somebody call up and pretend to be one of the grandsons. "Oh, you know, you know which one." That kind of, that kind of scheme, and he was able to figure it out. So after 20 years in cyber we educated somebody, which was, which was good. Um, but so, when people break in, and they steal documents, you know, we call that doxing, right? And it can happen to politicians, it can happen to people, famous, famous actors, actresses. Um, but probably the biggest dox of all time was the Sony hack. So, when North Korea hacks a movie studio and outs all that email from all that stuff, how did that, how did you guys react to that? How did, what was, what happened to the industry there?
Lucas Till: [00:33:35] I'll tell you how I reacted. Um, and it's pretty silly. And I keep this...
David Straiton: [00:33:39] [laughs]
Lucas Till: [00:33:40] ... there's a rule which is, don't, don't drink and tweet. Okay? Don't do anything on social media if you were having a few drinks. And it was the one time I kept it. And I've been looked back, and I never do really, but I got on, and I'm pretty sure, like what it had ended up being. Well, I immediately assumed that we were, there was something that was like, "Why are we giving in to..." because we had like, pushed the release date or something.
Ron Gula: [00:34:02] It was The Interview.
Lucas Till: [00:34:03] It was The Interview, and I was like, "Why are we... Ah, Kim Jong Un is a terrorist," blah, blah, blah, and I said all this stuff that was so ridiculous. And then, um, uh, the BBC actually requested I do an interview with me, about how I felt. But then it ended up, what it ended up being, um...
Ron Gula: [00:34:20] North Korea.
Lucas Till: [00:34:20] What did it end up actually being?
Ron Gula: [00:34:21] North Koreans.
Lucas Till: [00:34:21] So it actually was?
David Straiton: [00:34:22] Yep.
Ron Gula: [00:34:22] Yep. Yeah, I think it was...
Lucas Till: [00:34:24] So I was right?
Ron Gula: [00:34:24] ... it, it uh, see this is the funny thing. In cyber, like even now with the Russian, uh, solar wind stuff, you never really get like a, it was, it was the end of Clue, where so and so did it. And it takes three or four years later, and then they...
Lucas Till: [00:34:38] Right.
Ron Gula: [00:34:38] ... it's going to be, you know, something the Department of Justice kind of releases and says, "Here's who we want to indict," and, and, and whatever. But in The Interview case, they actually came out and they got the actual people in North Korea, they've got that kind of stuff. Um...
Lucas Till: [00:34:50] Wow.
Ron Gula: [00:34:50] ... but it's obviously not that exciting, because we don't remember their names or anything.
Lucas Till: [00:34:54] Right, that's the, that's what's so crazy about it. But I think, I think it's important to, uh, again, I sound like a broken record, but have people who are like Tristin playing these characters, make them more exciting. Also, that show that you guys have been talking about, um, Stray Dog and, and Tree. What's the one, the one that... the hacker show?
David Straiton: [00:35:12] [Tayron 00:35:13]. Tayron.
Ron Gula: [00:35:14] Yeah, we haven't watched that one yet. That's on our list. What are, what are some-
Lucas Till: [00:35:20] They said it makes the name more dynamic.
Ron Gula: [00:35:21] Yeah, what are some of the things in Tayron that you guys like?
David Straiton: [00:35:25] The, just, one of... You said something earlier that I think is important. You said two things. One, you said the Top Gun thing, and I'll get back to that in a second. And the second thing is, is, uh, uh... You might have to cut this part out while I have a senior mome- have a senior moment. Okay.
Ron Gula: [00:35:44] Top Gun? Tom Cruise.
David Straiton: [00:35:44] I can't believe... well the thing is, the, the thing that's what... And, and getting people interested and aware of this. You know, Top Gun. No one knew about fighter pilots and je- and aircraft carriers and all that stuff before Top Gun came out. Of course, Top Gun happens and everyone signs up to, into the, into the Navy to become fighter pilots. And I think that, you know, like say hacking is, and cyber world, it all takes place sort of at a desk with people typing, so how do you make that interesting? How do you make that exciting by... We did... Tristin and I did a shot the other day that I'm so excited about, where she walks in, where Lucas, Lucas's character and Tristin's character walk into this room. I can't give away too much, but this room turns out to be not what it's... what we think it is.
Anyway, we did, just did the shot that I'm so excited about where she's looking around the room going, "Holy crap! What is this place?" And the camera wraps around, and Tari Segal has lit it. It looks really bitching' and, and, and we just see her on her face take in this room, and it's like, "What is this thing that we weren't expecting?" And then she has to grab her rig and tie it in to the system, and, and extract information, and, and link it up to our guys back at the Phoenix. To me, doing stuff like that hopefully gets people excited about it, because we've got to take something that may not be visual... Like, it's easy to shoot fighter jets and make that exciting, so uh... That mean the time? My times up?
Cyndi Gula: [00:37:12] Oh, no.
Ron Gula: [00:37:13] [laughs]
Cyndi Gula: [00:37:13] Yeah, I'm not sure what that was.
David Straiton: [00:37:15] That says stop talking. Stop talking, we're boring you. Anyway, I just think you've got to keep working, looking at ways to make it exciting so that people lean into it. It's visually interesting, and also to your first, early question about how do you keep the conversation going, doing stuff like that. And I'm really proud of that little moment we did, because it just was sort of all three things coming together that were exciting.
Ron Gula: [00:37:38] So that's coming up on, can you say what episode that's coming up on? Or maybe not?
David Straiton: [00:37:43] Well, we've changed all the order of the shows...
Lucas Till: [00:37:45] Yeah, only because it's so confusing. Right? Nobody knows. Not because we can't.
Ron Gula: [00:37:50] So, somebody would have to watch all five seasons of MacGyver to find this one particular episode, which is, which is good.
Cyndi Gula: [00:37:57] Which we encourage everybody to do.
Ron Gula: [00:37:58] That's right, that's right. Uh, but David, when we were chatting before, you know when we were talking about how cyber security, as exciting and fun of a career as we've had, it's very boring to outside folks, and you had mentioned that The Queen's Gambit, uh, on, uh, Netflix, is something very similar, because chess has just as much moves and counter moves, and strategy, but it's pretty boring to watch from, from, from out there. And, and you were recommending maybe trying to take some of those approaches to, uh, educating people about cyber security.
David Straiton: [00:38:29] Well, I, I just think, you know, chess, which is binary and you're looking at, you know, you're looking at just moves on a table, I mean what could be... I mean, I mean, I love Searching for Bobby Fisher. One of my favorite movies, and Queen's Gambit, I just thought they took something that's really cranial and takes place on a board this big, and turned it into a world, and the way she visualized her moves by looking on the ceiling and seeing the pieces move around, I felt at the end of it, I was a chess expert. And, if you can do that with cyber, and I haven't cracked that code yet. I'm always looking for ways, to, to, uh...
Is my time up again?
Ron Gula: [00:39:07] [laughs]
Cyndi Gula: [00:39:11] [laughs]
Tristin Mays: [00:39:12] Unhook your wireless.
Cyndi Gula: [00:39:12] That's not us.
David Straiton: [00:39:12] Stop. Stop talking.
Ron Gula: [00:39:13] I don't know. It's weird.
David Straiton: [00:39:13] Those are the k- that's the stuff I'm always trying to decode, which is like, what's the cool way to tell that story, the way they did that with the chess pieces? And, by look, by doing that, you're like, "Oh..." as a viewer you're like, "Oh my God. I'm a chess expert. I'm amazing. I, I know the Queen's Gambit move." So I guess that's the part that we're always looking for, is how do you do, how do you do that? And, uh, doing stuff like what Tristin and I did recently, I think is something that's moving, moving more towards that.
Cyndi Gula: [00:39:44] No, that's great. I mean, unfortunately, one of the things in cyber is, we actually benefit when something bad happens. When the Sony hack happened, it made it personal to people who had no attention. When Tristin got hacked, it made it very personal. And, and to be able to react to that. So, in our industry, we have been saying, "These are the things, this is how you protect yourself," and everything, but until and unless we make that personal connection, it's very difficult for people to say, "Yes, I can do this." It's, doesn't take that long, and it's important for me to do. Just like brushing your teeth and you know, general hyg- hygiene, we're so much more on the digital domain, that we really do need that, that cyber hygiene, um, mentality.
Ron Gula: [00:40:32] For, for another example, uh, Benedict Cumberbatch, in The Imitation Game, you know, they made encryption and cryptography look very, very exciting. And it's got that same thing. Smart people, heads down, you know, working on math, working on algorithms, and it's, it's uh, it's going to be hard to get that Top Gun moment. Uh, you know, to get people to join, which is, which is good. Maybe let's close out and just talk about the future a little bit. So the future of entertainment, the future of your digital likenesses. How do you feel about your image and people like, you know, George Lucas, you know, resurrecting Carrie Fisher for, for Star Wars? Like, is there going to be a 20th season of MacGyver where, you know, a computer is, you know, doing your roles? You know, that kind of, that kind of stuff?
Lucas Till: [00:41:14] Yeah. I'm definitely torn. I mean, just logically speaking if there's any rate of progress, where stuff gets better and better, then I think that it, it's a conversation, but right now I'm not, I'm not very, "Oh, boy. Risk my whole career by [crosstalk 00:41:32]."
I'm not very impressed with what we have so far. I think it's very limiting to the performer. It's not really, it's not something that... nobody's going to get nominated for an Oscar for the performances they've brought out digitally so far. It's not something that I, it takes me out of it when Gran Moff Tarkin was in, um, the, uh, I think it was Rogue One. Or...
Ron Gula: [00:41:52] Rogue One, yep.
Lucas Till: [00:41:54] CG, man. It just takes my eyes off. It distracts me. So, it's like on one hand it's... And the other thing, too. Even if, like I think I saw something and I may be wrong, but even Little Mermaid, they had... I saw pictures and videos of them, you know, these actors dressing up in, they even dressed up, and they had either screens behind them that looked kind of like what they were doing, so that the artists could, they had something to draw after. MoCap, still involves a human being, uh, acting. So, I don't think that actors will ever... Obviously this is personal, because I'm like, "I'm never going to be obsolete." I'm never, but uh, and I would say that. But I think it's we at least have a really long time before anyone needs to be really worried about it. But also, when you see the Deep Fake stuff. The Deep Fake stuff, and on YouTube people doing it, it's crazy. It's so good.
Um, but yeah. But hopefully it'll be a long time. Hopefully we can all, uh, get our retirement funds ready before that happens.
Ron Gula: [00:42:51] Riley, what are your thoughts? I mean, you've been...
Cyndi Gula: [00:42:53] Riley. Tristin.
Ron Gula: [00:42:53] ... photographed... Tristin. Oh, my gosh. Yes, yes. You're in character, come on. I'm hacking you right now.
Tristin Mays: [00:42:58] [laughs]
Ron Gula: [00:42:58] Listen. Um, so your Riley character, I mean do you see that, you know, you keep going a lot further, there's spinoff, you know, concepts. There's things like that. But you've also been photographed as a model since you were, uh, a young, I can say, girl, right? Young girl. So, uh, how do you feel about this sort of digital footprint and managing that?
Tristin Mays: [00:43:17] It's kind of scary. Um, you know, sometimes they'll put celebrities or musical artists that have passed away like Tupac and Nate Dogg, they'll put like a hologram performance of them. They'll perform a whole show with thousands of people, and it's just a hologram. It's kind of s- it's kind of terrifying. Only because they don't know it, but I don't know. Like Lucas said, there's a lot of work to be done before we get there. With that-
Ron Gula: [00:43:44] You guys have... Oh, go ahead.
Tristin Mays: [00:43:46] If, if something like that ever was to happen with me, I would just hope that I have full control ahead of time of where it's going to go, how it's going to be used, what my family is going to get from it. You know. I just would want it to be done right, if at all. So yeah, hopefully it's a long time before I have to worry about anything like that.
Ron Gula: [00:44:02] Do you guys remember the Ready Player One movie?
Lucas Till: [00:44:06] Mm-hmm [affirmative]-
Tristin Mays: [00:44:07] [inaudible 00:44:08].
Ron Gula: [00:44:07] Yeah. Did you guys read the book?
Tristin Mays: [00:44:09] Yes.
Lucas Till: [00:44:10] No, I did not.
Ron Gula: [00:44:10] Okay, so... All right. So in the book...
David Straiton: [00:44:13] The book? What, what's the book?
Cyndi Gula: [00:44:15] [laughs]
Ron Gula: [00:44:15] There you go, there you go. It's something you, uh, can read on your iPad. Um, the uh... So in, in the book, there's this new type of entertainment where they combine virtual reality and movies like War Games, and the game is that you go in and you play a character, and you have to do the motions and the lines, you know, from that stuff. It's the ultimate kind of like, fanboy or fangirl kind of, kind of...
Cyndi Gula: [00:44:38] Experience.
Ron Gula: [00:44:38] ... experience. I think that would be a huge, kind of, kind of thing where your digital likenesses would have to be very realistic, and you know, sort of capture, you know for what you're doing right now. So that's really interesting stuff.
David Straiton: [00:44:49] Crazy. That's a great idea.
Cyndi Gula: [00:44:52] It is.
Ron Gula: [00:44:52] It wasn't my idea. I read it in a book.
Cyndi Gula: [00:44:56] [laughs]
David Straiton: [00:44:56] [laughs]
That's so true.
Lucas Till: [00:44:56] With, with what's...
Sorry, go ahead, David.
David Straiton: [00:44:59] No, no. Go ahead, Lucas.
Lucas Till: [00:45:00] Well, I was going to say, with what... I mean look at what you're doing with tech scouts, and, and I love VR. It took me until the Oculus Quest, the one that... I think, Tristin, didn't you buy one too? That one.
Tristin Mays: [00:45:10] Yeah, you made the one, and it's the best ever.
Lucas Till: [00:45:13] Okay, so, um, the uh...
David Straiton: [00:45:16] I'm going to [crosstalk 00:45:17] so you can see our sets.
Lucas Till: [00:45:18] ... [crosstalk 00:45:18] that. That was...
Uh, if you were to... all you would do is shoot with a 3D, camera, right? In the same way. I don't know if it would work that way, but something. You could do that, or at least that bit would be MoCapp'ed, then you could... You know what? I'm going to talk about this after, just in case anybody gets, steals this idea. Because I think it's cool. I think you could do that right now, at least in a, you know, primitive sort of way at first. That's such a good idea.
David Straiton: [00:45:43] The, the stuff that's where I, I think the actors are safe. Directors might be on the endangered species list. But, but I will sa- the one thing that we're starting to do that I'm also excited about, and this is the stuff that's just going to get better and better. We're, we're uh, you know we still do driving stuff, for example, with rear screen projection. I mean it's, it's as old as the Doris Day, you know, movies where you'd see her driving in a, across the, the Golden Gate bridge. You know the big old movie screen behind her. We still do that. And, it's, it's an economical way to do driving stuff. But now we're going to start using, starting actually next week, the next episode. We were using digital projectors, we're now going to full LED screens. HiRes LED screens that connect together like Lego so we can shape those around the car, and create reflections, and we can pump in whatever kind of backdrops we either shoot or create digitally.
Mostly right now, they're just shot background plates like cars, you know, driving through forests and deserts and so on. But the LED set extensions that, uh, will enable us to only build part of a set, and then be able to extend that world, and since we are a show that travel, let's say we just have to build a piece of a Roman aqueduct, ancient Roman aqueduct, and then we could create the extension with, you know, 50 foot digital, uh, LED screens. That's all realistic, and that's, that's technology that exists now, and we're going to start do- experimenting...
Ron Gula: [00:47:11] Wow.
David Straiton: [00:47:11] ... with that with our driving sequence, with our, our new driving stuff. So, we're, we're playing with stuff and hopefully, you know, we can put those outside windows, so it's not just a painting or a backdrop, or what we call a trans-light. We can just, we can put a live projec- a live screen out there. And change it, de-focus it, change the color.
Ron Gula: [00:47:29] That's crazy.
David Straiton: [00:47:30] That's stuff that really is going to help us.
Lucas Till: [00:47:33] So, it's so funny. I remember that was a meeting that I missed, because I actually had something to do. But I was like, "You know what? I think I can miss this meeting." That's what that meeting was about, wasn't it? LED screens.
David Straiton: [00:47:42] The LED screens, yeah.
Ron Gula: [00:47:43] Yeah. [laughs]
Now, which sounds amazing.
David Straiton: [00:47:45] Yeah, it's cool. And the cost is coming down so we can even afford, next season, season six when we get our next season we're going to have, we, we hope to acquire these [inaudible 00:47:56], because it's, it's just cheaper to own them than to rent, to rent the systems.
Lucas Till: [00:48:00] Wow.
Ron Gula: [00:48:01] I think they used that same kind of technique on the, The Mandalorian series, which...
David Straiton: [00:48:05] The Mandalorian, yeah.
Ron Gula: [00:48:06] ... which, you know, just gives stunning stuff. But then for Mandalorian, I go to The Mandalorian in, in Iron Man, where you have the state terrorist, and I always thought it would be interesting to have a plot where somebody pretends to be in front of Big Ben, or, or something like that, and it's totally, you know, one of these digital backgrounds. So...
Cyndi Gula: [00:48:22] Deep, Deep Fake, or...
Ron Gula: [00:48:23] Deep Fakes and stuff.
Cyndi Gula: [00:48:24] Yeah?
Ron Gula: [00:48:24] Yeah. Yeah.
Cyndi Gula: [00:48:25] I mean I-
David Straiton: [00:48:25] We're going to take... We're taking that idea. Thank you.
Cyndi Gula: [00:48:27] [laughs]
Ron Gula: [00:48:27] Oh, good. Yeah. Season seven, after season six is, is funded and renewed.
David Straiton: [00:48:31] No, we're going to do that. We're going to...
Ron Gula: [00:48:32] That's great.
David Straiton: [00:48:32] I like that idea.
Ron Gula: [00:48:34] Awesome. Well, hey. Let's, let's kind of close out and if you could just feel free to tell the viewers like, where could they go to find out more of you, if you've got Twitter handles. Anything else you've got going, like, like, um, uh, Tristin I never asked about your store in, in California. So, so where can people go to learn more?
Tristin Mays: [00:48:50] Well, you know what? That's not necessarily something I'm doing anymore. I did it for about 10 years straight when I did live in California. Um, but I kind of haven't wrapped it up when I booked the show and moved out to, to Atlanta. But yeah. I had a business. I had a store for a little while where I sold purses and handbags and jewelry, and stuff like that. And then we merged over to online. That was, had like a boutique online. But yeah, uh, I'm not really doing so much of that anymore. I'm kind of on the East coast now, so.
Ron Gula: [00:49:18] Where can people follow you online?
Tristin Mays: [00:49:21] Well, we're all on Instagram. Tristin Mays on Instagram, Lucas is Lucas Till on Instagram and Twitter. Uh, Triz- Um, I'm Trizzio on Twitter. Um, yeah we're around.
Lucas Till: [00:49:36] Yeah...
Ron Gula: [00:49:36] Awesome.
Lucas Till: [00:49:36] ... and she gave me a, she gave up on mine, and she's right. I already saw the names on there. [laughs]
Tristin Mays: [00:49:41] Yep, all your information.
Lucas Till: [00:49:42] Thank you. Uh, yeah. Now I'm scared.
Cyndi Gula: [00:49:47] Well, one of the things actually, before we, we kind of go out, is um, have you... You said you grew up in Atlanta. Have you been to Dragon Con?
Lucas Till: [00:49:55] Yeah. Uh, I always think that I do. I went to Anime Weekend Atlanta, which it happens at the same place. And I dressed up, we dressed up as Spartans. 300 had just come out.
Ron Gula: [00:50:06] Excellent.
Lucas Till: [00:50:07] So we dressed up as Spartans. We got kicked out because our nipples were showing, and because we had a... Oh, that wasn't the only thing. It was because we didn't have sandals. We were barefoot, and they got... Not, not the actual... We went through one time, and everyone loved our costumes but the people who run the convention center or whatever. They didn't like it. So, but anyways, that is not a Dragon Con story. That has nothing to do with Dragon Con. But I always, I always get invited to go, and we're usually working and, and I'm tired and I'm, I just don't have the energy to, which sucks because it seems like a lot of fun.
Ron Gula: [00:50:40] Yeah, we went once, and we were blown away. That's probably one of the better Cons on the, on the East coast for...
Lucas Till: [00:50:44] Really?
Ron Gula: [00:50:45] ... for that stuff. Yeah. Yeah. A lot of cosplay, a lot of cosplay.
Lucas Till: [00:50:49] Yeah.
Ron Gula: [00:50:49] Um, not a lot of nipples. So that's why you got [inaudible 00:50:52].
Lucas Till: [00:50:52] [laughs]
Cyndi Gula: [00:50:52] [laughs]
Tristin Mays: [00:50:54] I used to live in a building here in Atlanta where every year for Dragon Con they would group together at this hotel to take their photos, and so right outside of my window I'd be able to see where they'd all pose to take a photos. And they had like, times, when like, all the Deadpools would come out and take their photos.
Cyndi Gula: [00:51:10] Oh, yeah.
Tristin Mays: [00:51:10] Spider-Man, and [crosstalk 00:51:12].
Cyndi Gula: [00:51:11] I know, I know exactly. If there's a big, long steps.
Tristin Mays: [00:51:14] At the Hilton. Yes...
Cyndi Gula: [00:51:15] And they'd have...
Tristin Mays: [00:51:15] ... and oh my gosh, there was like, 80 Deadpools out there, and they all like, posed differently. Then they'd clear out and all the Iron Mans would come in and it was the sickest thing to watch. And I just, I literally sat there at my window all day and stalked them all. It was so good.
Cyndi Gula: [00:51:29] [laughs]
Tristin Mays: [00:51:29] One day I want to go. One day.
Ron Gula: [00:51:32] Excellent, excellent. David, as a director, do you have, uh, Instagram or Twitter? Do you put anything out there?
David Straiton: [00:51:39] I can be reached at Post Office Box 1159.
Ron Gula: [00:51:43] [laughs]
Cyndi Gula: [00:51:43] [laughs]
David Straiton: [00:51:45] You know, I was such an early adopter of technology, I was, I had, I had it all. And then I got rid of it all. I'm not sure why. I, I, uh, I have like three followers on Instagram. Um, no. I, I, and I don't think I foll- maybe I follow a few people. Uh, no, I'm just kind of old school.
Ron Gula: [00:52:03] Spielberg and Lucas?
David Straiton: [00:52:04] I would... I don't, I don't know. It's like, you know it's funny. I, I keep wanting to amp, ramp that up, and I, I keep not doing it. I'm not sure why. So I, I know that doesn't really make me seem very fashion forward, because I do love tech. I just, and I was such an early adopter, I, I built web sites back in the day when you had to write everything. You couldn't, it wasn't all plug and play. And now I'm just like, "Ah." So... Old school.
Ron Gula: [00:52:31] Awesome, awesome. Well, hey. Thank you very much, uh, I think the folks in the cyber industry are going to really hear, enjoy hearing what you guys have to say, you know, coming from out of the entertainment, entertainment industry. Maybe I'll learn to talk after a couple more episodes. Um, but also just thank you for, you know, being open about, you know, how you guys were approaching cyber-security and how you're approaching science. And uh, just best of luck to you guys on the next season, and thanks for everything you've done so far.
Tristin Mays: [00:52:56] Thank you.
Lucas Till: [00:52:57] Yeah, thanks buys.
Tristin Mays: [00:52:57] [inaudible 00:52:58] having us. This is great.