Exciting way to write computer research?



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  • Exciting way to write computer research?

    My character is a junior associate in a law firm. He finds a papertrail leading to one of the clients. The facts are that the firm is advising a politician-client. While conducting due diligence the lawyer notices that a real estate company put a large sum in an account that is going to the politician-client. The lawyer tracks the papertrail to find out that the real estate company is owned by another politician and that this in fact is a bribe.

    In real life the associate would sit at a computer and scroll through sites jotting notes down on a pad until finally jumping up and say "aha!." This of course is not very exciting on the screen, especially considering this is a spec pilot.


  • #2
    Re: exciting way to write computer research?

    Is it the whole of your pilot's plot, or just a smaller but integral plotpoint, i.e. is it more a montage or does it need to be full on in depth scenes?

    Maybe explain what the "paper trail" is. What leads him to this paper trail and why is he following it? Maybe the paper trail initiates a question that he says out loud to his wife? Maybe the question makes him chat with a friend who knows about banking? A lot of investigations require that one go somewhere, talk to someone, google sh*t (not that exciting either, but different than pouring over bank statements).

    (Don't forget with his laptop, he could be doing the investigatory work in an interesting setting too...)

    Maybe watch some investigative films like SPOTLIGHT wherein investigations are done successfully.


    • #3
      Re: Exciting way to write computer research?

      technically, in real life, the attorney and law firm would likely engage a title company to do the title search on a piece of real estate. but the purchaser of the real estate would also likely be a shell LLC that would give little or no indication who the true owner of the property is.


      which could then be motivation for the associate to get out of the office and do the legwork of trying to run down a real live person who would have that information, e.g., whoever drafted the LLC and/or sale docs at the buyer's own law firm. or try and hack an offshore bank like they did in the Panama Papers case, which revealed many identities behind the shell companies


      • #4
        Re: Exciting way to write computer research?

        Erin Brokovich had a ton of research scenes. They usually showed snapshots of key words.


        • #5
          Re: Exciting way to write computer research?

          may be able to have them need to get off the computer and...go after leads, talk to people, etc. make a clock start ticking. like the reporters ('woodstein' as bradlee called them) in ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN. there was a tremendous sense of urgency and more than a hint of danger in that movie. that could have been a really boring movie but wasn't at all, i think. edgy.

          THE PAPER CHASE is a good movie. lot of conflict in that story. not like big waves in the scenes or sharks in the water, more like sunny skies but rip currents and undertow. that professor in that movie was great. he was like if you smashed bob newhart into the north pole, that's the character. ice cold dry wit. the hero of the story tried so hard to stand out in his class. at the end, the professor didn't even seem to recognize him or know his name. good stuff.

          one problem with any technology is it gets dated so quickly. michael douglas using the huge cell phone which now looks like an antique something or another on the beach in WALL STREET. now looks like ET couldn't phone home on that thing, etc.

          maybe can have things happen so they can't use the computer, the data has vanished, etc. or, could tighten up the computer stuff while they peck with shaking hands, etc, and they yell ahha and go tell somebody (the audience) what they discovered.
          good luck!