By Brian Cogan
A sneak peak at the upcoming promo video for the new warm and fuzzy, but cool and edgy National Security Agency.
INT. NINETEEN-FIFTIES STYLE OFFICE - DAY
Stodgy fifties/early sixties educational film music plays over stock B&W footage of a large office w/massive analog computers and men on phones. A deep-voiced NARRATOR speaks in voice-over.
For over sixty years, the National Security Agency has been there for you. Watching for national security threats abroad…
Stock footage of Stalin playing with a kitten
And at home.
Stock footage of a nineteen-fifties ‘party line conversation’ including a switchboard operator.
INT. MODERN OFFICE - DAY
The NARRATOR appears, with a suit and haircut appropriate for a man much older than his age. He walks by a dull office scene full of middle-aged men on headset phones working in grey cubicles with glowing computer screens.
We’ve been here for you since your grandfather’s time…working hard to keep America safe and secure.
The Narrator walks slowly past bored older men listening to headsets and jotting down notes on a pad.
Sure, we monitored your calls…
C/U of man barely listening on a headset phone.
…and read your mail…
WS: An older bored woman w/large IN and OUT boxes on her desk opens mail from the gargantuan IN box and glares at it before putting it in the almost empty OUT box.
But we did it for your own good. Someone had to watch and listen intently.
(to an OFFICE WORKER)
Hey Bill, Anything good?
MS: Bill sits at a desk looking bored. He glances at a dot matrix printout.
Still yapping on about Aunt Mary’s bunions.
Keep up the good work, Bill! And on behalf of the American people... thanks!
MS: Bill smiles at the camera.
Big Brother? I don’t think so! More like a big old goofy uncle. The one who’s always there for you!
VISUAL CUE: Screen starts to look like old scratchy film going off reel.
MUSIC CUE: Sound of needle scratching across record. A new NARRATOR with a younger voice takes over.
NARRATOR 2.0 (V.O.)
Big Brother? No way! More like…Jaeger bombs for all of my bros!
MUSIC CUE: New Contemporary hip-hop plays loudly.
INT. NEW OFFICE - DAY
A much younger NARRATOR 2.0 (same actor, now w/o makeup and wig) comes into frame (office still a bit obscured). He wears an expensive but stylish suit w/o a tie. PBTR office is now a contemporary office with an open floorplan. Impossibly young adults on skateboards and treadmill desks work on ipads and laptops around shared communal tables.
SOUND CUE: Constant cacophony and youthful exuberance.
Hello to all my Bronies and welcome to the NSA…2.0! We’re still catching the bad guys, but this time via apps, algorithms and bulk data aggregation! This is not your daddy’s NSA!
Two background actors high five, fist bump, exchange elaborate handshakes and body bump shouting ‘boo-ya!’
Look, we gotta catch the crooksters and the hamburglars, right? S’aright. But apparently, stealing your data for our own nefarious purposes isn’t cool anymore. You talked, and we listened!
Quick insert shots of the home pages of Facebook, twitter, Instagram, tumblr, snapchat, Google, etc.
You’ve told us that bulk data collection by itself is ‘wrong.’
(uses air quotes)
Nowadays, the American consumer wants value for giving up privacy and we in the NSA believe in giving back. That’s why we have all kinds of cool swag…for free! Like apps that tell you (and us) where you are on a map! How cool is that? And better yet, you get to be Pacman or Ms. Pacman!
Cut to graphic of Pacman on a map of Bushwick Brooklyn.
A souped up version of the eighties video game ‘Spycatcher’ appears as a graphic.
And our own improv group, the Patriot Act!
CUT TO: UCB stage with actors dressed like powdered-wig-wearing Revolutionary War soldiers, but with sleeve tattoos and hipster mustaches.
CUT TO: Three bored looking teenagers on a tablet, a laptop and a cell phone.
THREE TEENS (in unison)
We knew you kids would say that!
No, seriously. We knew.
CUT TO: Three mid-twenties kids on couch, same technology, looking more involved.
What people want these days is added value. That’s why we installed the Ask-NSA app to everyone’s phone! Iphone? It’s on it! Android? On it! Cheap Chinatown flip phone? We’ve got you covered!
INSERT SHOTS of various phones.
V.O. NARRATOR 2.0
Yes, yep. Yeparooni.
Return to NARRATOR 2.0.
But, we’re not here to spy, we’re here to hang! Say, how many times has this shit happened to you?
SPLIT SCREEN: Two BROS argue on cell phones.
Jeter batted at least .300 in 1998, bro!
No way cuz, even though I’m not really old enough to have watched or cared at the time, I disagree!
Only one way to settle this! Yo, NSA?
Screen splits in three: NSA operator in upper screen
A little help, bro?
Got it covered. Jeter hit .324 in 1998!
BOTH BROS (in unison)
Least I can do, citizen bros!
Back to NARRATOR.
But wait, there’s more! Act now, and we’ll throw in free monthly upgrades!
Well, even if you don’t act now you still get them, how cool is that? And for your folks, we still have a version of NSA 1.0 available!
WS: A Man in a suit and tie, dark glasses and an earplug sits watching older couple silently eat in a diner for two solid minutes.
And for our Muslim friends out there, don’t worry; we’re not targeting you in particular. Heck, we still only have two guys that can even read Arabic and Hank here barely even knows Urdu!
CU: Hank, a painfully white guy wearing an Iraqi soccer jersey, shrugs goofily.
EXT. WHITE HOUSE - DAY
All of the NSA employees are lined up outside the White House, led by Narrator 2.0.
So remember, bulk data collection is not spying. It’s just a cool new way to give you all kinds of free goods and services! Right, Zuck-meister?
PBTR Mark Zuckerberg in his trademark shirt w/NSA stenciled on it.
As scene fades:
NARRATOR 2.0 (V.O.)
So, how do you say that in Mandarin?
Figure it out for yerself, dude!
NARRATOR 2.0 (V.O.)
On it. We’re on it.