Daily Archives: February 19, 2011

Space Nazis colonize the moon in fan-funded film

thelocal.de | Feb 14, 2011

What would have happened if the Nazis escaped to the Moon after World War II? The space fascists thrive and one day return to attack Earth, according to a fan-backed “science fiction black comedy” film set for release in 2012.

“It combines the satire of Dr. Strangelove with the massive scale of Independence Day,” Finnish producer Tero Kaukomaa told The Local recently.

Filming for the independent production of “Iron Sky” wrapped early this month. Now Kaukomaa is in Berlin promoting it to potential buyers at the European Film Market event – the industry exhibition organised in tandem with the Berlin International Film Festival each year.

“I’m very happy with the responses so far,” the 50-year-old founder of Blind Spot Productions said.

Naturally the idea came up in a sauna, “as we Finns like to do,” Kaukomaa said.

But he and his colleagues, including director Timo Vuorensola, have remained vague on the film’s surreal plot, revealing only that Nazis manage to escape earth in rockets in 1945 to settle on the “dark side of moon.”

There they build a lunar Germania and prepare to return to earth in 2018 and take over the world for a second time after landing in New York.

“When things are meant to be really evil in science fiction films, then characters who look and speak like Nazis crop up. The best example for this is Star Wars,” director Vuorensola told German broadcaster 3Sat in a recent interview. “We wanted to really push it…and see what happens.”

Perhaps more inventive than the plot in the Finnish-German-Australian co-production is the collaboration between the film’s producers and the online community.

With a budget of just €6.8 million, “Iron Sky” makers have turned to fans for funding and help creating parts of the film.

“It’s worked really brilliantly,” Kaukomaa said. “People have been doing bits and pieces, such as recently, when we shot a scene in front of a movie theatre and needed fictional posters for props.”

Through a Finland-based online filmmaking platform called wreckamovie.com, they have been able to utilise the talents of people around the world for such tasks, including creating graphics and writing the German lyrics to the “The Moon Nazi National Anthem.”

As for funding, fans of the film can start with donations as low as €1 for a chance to see a “sneak peek” of the film, buy merchandise, or invest in the film starting at €1,000. If all goes according to plan, €1 million of the film’s budget will ultimately come from crowdfunding.

The first film to pioneer this approach was the 2009 British film, “The Age of Stupid,” but it seems to be catching on, Kaukomaa said.

“It’s going to happen more and more,” he said.

Iron Sky Teaser 2 – The First Footage

Manchester Airport switches off face recognition scanners

bigbrotherwatch.org.uk | Feb 17, 2011

News has reached the Big Brother Watch team of a positive development at Manchester Airport – the switching off of their facial recognition scanners.

Now, before you get too excited, they haven’t been switched off because of some kind of epiphany on civil liberties has taken place but because they don’t actually work!

When passing through passport control in order to advance to their gate, a couple swapped passports and were individually ‘approved’ by the system as direct matches for the image held on the biometric passport.  Clearly, the fact two individuals of different sexes and, one assumes, different builds were able to cross an international border with such apparent ease makes a mockery of the whole system.

Full Story

Passengers pass through airport facial recognition scanners using swapped passports

Failures: The new biometric reader has been beset by problems

Husband and wife swap passports at Manchester airport – and make it past new biometric security technology

Daily Mail | Feb 17, 2011

By Sarah Gordon

Questions have once again been raised about airport security after two passengers managed to pass through facial recognition scanners using the wrong passports.

The scanners, which have been on trial at Manchester since 2008, use facial recognition to compare a passenger with their passport photo, eliminating the need for staff at passport control.

However, the UK Border Agency was forced to temporarily suspend the use of the machines after a couple accidentally mixed up their passports, but still managed to pass through the scanners without problem.

Luckily, due to the scanners being part of a trial, a security official was manning the gates and noticed the error.

However, if the technology is approved, there will not necessarily be staff monitoring the machines as they are supposed to be self-service.

It is not the first time the new biometric readers have been plagued by problems.

Just last a year a Border Agency whistleblower told the Telegraph that relying on the technology rather than well-trained staff would weaken our borders.

He claimed a scanner being used at Stansted Airport could not read Dutch or Lithuanian passports and said a man managed to pass through the gates at Manchester using his sister’s passport.

After the latest incident, the use of the scanners was suspended for an investigation, but they have since been reintroduced.

Brodie Clark, head of border force for the Border Agency confirmed the error but said ‘there was no breach of security or immigration control’.

The so-called E-Gates work with biometric passports which were introduced in 2006. They work by reading biometric and biographical data stored in a chip within the passport itself.

The gates are expected to cut queuing time at passport control, but issues have been raised after a Border Agency inspector found one set of gates which failed to work properly five times in the space of a week.

The new technology is currently also being trialled at London, Cardiff and East Midlands airports.

Mr Clark confirmed the gates had now reopened and said: ‘We will continue to monitor their performance to ensure they operate safely and securely.

‘To date more than 3 million people have used the E-Gates system.’