Julian Assange’s 7 Lessons For Filmmakers

Julian Assange was born in Queensland, Australia in 1971 and experienced a difficult home life, having to move house many times, and even going into hiding with his Mother, following a custody struggle with her ex-husband over Assange’s half brother . He has a long history of hacking into websites and computers. At the age of 16 he was arrested for accessing an Australian University’s computer, and also computers at the Canadian company Nortel, which he was then convicted for. After attending the University of Melbourne, Assange worked as a computer programmer before founding the website WikiLeaks in 2006. He has been holed up in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London.

Like any good filmmaker Julian Assange has launched his project, and his career, by following these 7 rules:

1. He’s put together a good team

Wikileaks is a networked enterprise, using social media, bit-torrenting and cutting edge internet technology to share information. It is not just Julian pushing everything out by himself – as much as those calling for his imprisonment or death would like to think so. Don’t aim to be an auteur, when something goes wrong (ie you end up in prison without bail), you won’t have anyone to pick up the slack. Like Assange, you should develop a network of people who will put in excellent, if perhaps behind-the-scenes, work.

2. He understands the politics of the industry and he is fearless

Julian Assange knows what he is doing and he knows the risks he is taking. He knows exactly who he is riling and the effects that his actions will have. Each cable is published with journalists’ redactions after it is published in one of 5 newspapers including the Guardian and NY Times.

Knowing the politics of the film industry isn’t the same as participating in them – don’t be afraid to work outside, or even against, the system, just know what you are doing (and be prepared to take the consequences).

Read More in the full article