Monday, August 10, 2015

And so faintly you came tapping...

Here are images from two films from 2014. First, from the movie "The Forger" starring John Travolta and second, from "Kingsman: The Secret Service" starring Colin Firth. In both films secret entries must be made to advance the plot. In the Kingsman it is ultimately to save the people of the world from destruction. In The Forger, it is to steal a Monet painting and replace it with a forgery. Each director accomplishes this entry by looking at the residue of fingers on the pin pad keys. In the case of The Forger, these marks of wear and use are highlighted with a spray liquid that is then observed under a black light. This narrows down a four-digit pin number to 1 in 10,000. But in The Forger, Christopher Plummer, who plays the father to Travolta's character, guesses the correct 4-digit pin, 4867, on the first try!

To me, the way the 6 key has a trailing pattern of use, I would have thought it would have been the last digit of the combination. But no. Was this a bad edit, or am I missing something that makes 4867 so obvious in the first picture? In the second image, from Kingsman, I seem to recall a more automated way that the main character ran through the 10,000 possibilities to come up with the correct pin of 8539. It's been a while since I saw that movie, and I can't recall the details.

Either way, patterns of wear and use either facilitate saving the world or robbing a museum. Your choice.

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