This is a short film based on the events of Edward Joseph Snowden, a former CIA and NSA employee who leaked a top secret mass surveillance programme from the US and UK.
We have never met or been in contact with Edward Joseph Snowden.
We are a band of independent and amateur filmmakers in Hong Kong who were both excited and puzzled as to why Snowden chose to come to Hong Kong. While nearly every media outlet wanted to get their hands on him, we decided to produce a short fictional video to depict his experience in HK, and how it would have affected certain parties: Namely, the CIA contingent based in HK who would be tasked to find Snowden. The Hong Kong Police who would be stuck in between the US and China. And the journalists who want to get the scoop. It was also important for us not to ‘twist’ Snowden’s character. We really knew little about him. Although he is a central character, he is not the most prominent. It is more about the maelstrom of events surrounding him.
The idea was hatched two days after he revealed his identity, and principal filming began on June 20th. We were also filming on the same day (23rd) when we learned Snowden had left the city. Therefore we ramped up production efforts and published our short film ‘Verax’ on the 25th. ‘Verax’ was the alias Snowden used when contacting journalists via encrypted chat services. We loved the idea of having Snowden here and the media frenzy it created. We really wanted to make a film based on such real-life news events, especially as it continued to develop. This project really tested our mettle especially when most of us had day jobs.
To reiterate, we made this for fun and for the love of filmmaking. We had no commercial or political motives.
Cassandra Chan (Slate Takes: www.slatetakes.com)
Directors of Photography
Andrew Cromeek as Edward Snowden
Guo Aibing as Wu Xingwei
Edwin Chin as Security Wing officer Tsang Tak-long
Thomas Easterling as HK CIA Station Chief Carl Hamilton
Justin Lau as Security Wing officer Vincent Lee
Shi Yi Ng as Lecia Lau
Gabe Ostley as CIA Analyst Owen Fielding
Robert Hinson as HK CIA Operations Manager
Cindy Wong as Security Wing officer Vanessa Wu
Simon Zeng Hao as Ministry of State Security attaché
Music composed by
Gareth Coker (audiojungle)
Thomas Vo (audiojungle)
Canon 5D Mark II and III
Zeiss 18mm, 28mm, 50mm, 85mm