Hi everyone,

That’s a wrap for Season 2 of Mr. Robot, and what a season it’s been!

Join as at 2 pm ET when we’ll have Mr. Robot ‎Writer and Technology Producer Kor Adana joined by technical consultants Ryan Kazanciyan (Chief Security Architect at Tanium, Andre McGregor (Director of Security at Tanium) and James Plouffe (Lead Solutions Architect at MobileIron).

Kor is a writer and technical producer on the show, helping Rami and the others type the right keys during hacking scenes and using Ryan, Andre, and James’s technical knowledge to make sure the show is always realistic. Ryan actually built the hack featured in last night’s final episode, while ex-FBI agent Andre helped with everything from advising on investigation tactics and teaching actors how to hold a gun correctly.

Proof Andre: https://twitter.com/AndreOnCyber/status/778771762121093120 Ryan: https://twitter.com/ryankaz42/status/778783371115765760 James: https://twitter.com/MOBLAgentP/status/778765560578473984 Kor: https://twitter.com/KorAdana/status/778042539743981568


That’s a wrap for us today, thanks so much for all of the questions and hope to be back again. Stay tuned for season 3 coming soon… If you can’t wait that long, we’ll be holding a panel on Mr. Robot at Converge in October.

Comments: 988 • Responses: 37  • Date: 

foogama1478 karma

As an IT professional in the federal sector, I had entirely given up that technology and computers would ever be accurately portrayed on television or in film. The constant random beeping noises, the completely pointless lights, maps, and animations; it completely destroyed the 4th wall of storytelling for me. So “thank you,” doesn’t really even begin to describe my appreciation for your work or what Mr. Robot brings to entertainment.

How did you overcome the above precedent and why do you think no one else cared or was interested in making relatable, non-fiction ways of bringing technology into story telling? Were you ever scared that it was just impossible to make it interesting since no one else had done it before?

KorAdana1053 karma

Thank you for the kind words. Sam and I have always believed that the technology itself is inherently interesting. Your frustration with how it's been done up to this point is something that we bonded over early on. We wanted to do it in an authentic way and it feels like the time is right for this kind of storytelling. With more of the population using and depending on their smartphones and laptops, it's no longer necessary to dumb down or spruce up technical beats that people might not understand. I think our work on Mr. Robot has shown that people do understand and appreciate the technical detail worked into the show.

fuckswithducks479 karma

Thanks for doing an AMA! Mr. Robot is widely praised for its attention to technical detail and accuracy. From real hacking methods to specific tools like USB rubber duckies, the plot is always moved forward by realistic means. What is your process like when filling in the technical side of the story to fit with the high level plot? To what extent does the technical side guide the story or change the direction intended by the non-technical writers for the sake of realism?

KorAdana356 karma

We do our best to weave in the technical details with the stakes of our story. The technology sometimes steers the story in a specific direction. For example, we originally had a different hack planned for the season two premiere. Once we realized that it wasn't technically feasible, we had to change the specific beats of the story to match a ransomware attack on Bank of E. Most of the time, these changes are small tweaks to dialogue and major tweaks to screen content.

carraway375 karma

There was lots of speculation over in /r/MrRobot that the audio easter egg in s02e05, the "Hang in There" poster, was a direct message from Esmail to the fans to be patient with the show as all will be explained.

Basically, some folks here were saying Esmail acknowledged fans were a bit confused, and this was a "direct message" to the viewers: "We know things are confusing right now, but hang in there!" rather than a foreshadow to Angela's arc.

Is there any weight to this theory or are we reaching?

KorAdana332 karma

The intention with the audio easter egg was to foreshadow Angela's journey in a cool/interesting way that felt in line with our other easter eggs. Mac (our composer) and Sam came up with this idea and there was much discussion about which image to use. They decided it would be a fun time to plant the "Hang in There" poster because it would be a fun callback when Angela entered that room.

fksociety348 karma

Sorry if this isn't something you're in charge of but are there any tech related easter-eggs the audience hasn't found yet?

KorAdana517 karma

Yes.

willdroid8231 karma

Thanks for doing the AMA and for having a great social media presence with guiding along the ARG!
 
As far as the Commodore 64 emulator (which was pretty cool btw) is there something we haven't discovered on it yet or we found everything there is to know on it?

KorAdana267 karma

Thank you for the kind words. Re: the C64... if you spent enough time on those questions, I'm sure you could discover much about yourself. :) Due to the evolving nature of the ARG, there is something in all of the easter eggs that hasn't been discovered. I know that's cryptic, but it's true.

LearnedThief193 karma

Thanks for doing an AMA! CONTINUE ON FOR THE HOUR OF ENLIGHTENMENT IS UPON YOU!

How often do you watch us struggling on /r/MrRobotARG? On the flipside, how often do you sit back and have a good laugh on the tinfoil hat theories on /r/MrRobot?

KorAdana301 karma

I try to monitor /r/MrRobotARG as often as I can. If someone is going down a rabbit hole that leads nowhere, I do my best to steer them away from that. I do enjoy witnessing the hive-mind at work and I'm often impressed with how quickly our eggs get discovered. The theories on /r/MrRobot are defintely entertaining.

ihk82172 karma

Hi. I am a huge fan from Istanbul. Thank you for doing this.

How did you come up with the sit–com part? What was the process of writing it?

You obviously work more on the technical part of the show but I hope you can answer that as well.

KorAdana260 karma

Sam came up with the idea for the sitcom and Adam Penn did a masterful job of executing it. It was great way to convey how Mr. Robot takes Elliot to a happy/comfortable place in order to protect him from pain. I think Adam binge-watched entire seasons of Full House to prepare for that episode.

the_stoned_ape164 karma

This Goes to all of You...Are You a Giraffe or a Seagull?

KorAdana161 karma

I'd like to be a Seagull, but I'm probably a giraffe.

kiitsmotto142 karma

Do we have all the information to solve the 5 down 9 across? ; )

KorAdana128 karma

Yes.

firstnate82 karma

Are you aware of anyone having solved this yet? Can you confirm if the "It's not a crossword puzzle" clue was related to 5 down 9 across? A lot of use here felt that you guys were almost speaking directly to the /r/MrRobotARG community with that one!

p.s. I love you

KorAdana176 karma

No one has solved this yet. I can confirm that "It's not a crossword puzzle" was related to 5 down 9 across. We were speaking directly to you guys.

WebCypher118 karma

First of all, let me say excellent work by everyone there for the entire series, and thanks for taking the time after the big Season 2 finale to talk to us.

Personally, me being a computer guy, I love all the ARG you all are doing. This show has sparked something inside of me that has me up at 4AM looking up Nietzsche quotes, random journals about time, and learning so much more about Lolita puzzles, Cicada3301, and Defcon22. I've never done so much converting, decoding, and reading to understand every aspect of the show, Elliot's mind, and your minds. And I must say, the more and more I dig, the more and more I fall in love. The fact that your team is able to blur the line between reality and the show is sincerely breathtaking, and you have deserved all the awards you've received.

So now that my spiel is out of the way, I have to ask...

Do we have all the pieces?

KorAdana84 karma

Thank you. I love that you're enjoying the ARG! You do not have all the pieces yet. There is more to come.

Im1Guy36 karma

Is the book coming out part of the ARG?

KorAdana60 karma

No, but the book has its own world of puzzles that should be fun to explore.

bisesar91 karma

Kor, there's a scene in the Season 2 trailer that doesn't appear in any episode. Was this a deleted scene?

KorAdana175 karma

It was originally part of the scene where Price invites Angela to dine with him and the other two E Corp executives. We had some masked fsociety supporters dining in that fancy restaurant, but they refused to eat the restaurant's food. Instead, they pulled out some McDonald's.

two_off90 karma

How difficult is it to teach the actors how to "hack"? I imagine with being paid to do it that it can't be worse than helping all your family members with absolutely anything tech-related because you're a "computer guy".

KorAdana169 karma

I usually try to get some time with our actors before we film so they're familiar with the animation. It helps to know how many keystrokes they need to hit before closing a window or clicking the mouse in a specific spot on screen. The more complicated the animation is, the longer I work with the actor to practice it beforehand.

sentienthaze67 karma

This one is for Kor. Can you speak Turkish, even if bits and pieces? I feel like I need to know since I'm Turkish and whenever my friends and I are talking about the show and you come up, the conversation ends at "Damn, he's cool. 'As bayrakları as'. I wonder if he speaks Turkish." Thanks for making this summer an unforgettable one you all. :>

KorAdana95 karma

I can understand it okay, but I have a terrible accent and the vocabulary of a kindergartner. Growing up, my parents would speak to me in Turkish and I would respond in English.

aghast_pug7 karma

As a follow up question, are you from Adana? Selecting your stage name as Adana seemed curious to me. If so, enjoy this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiOl97ljsLY

KorAdana19 karma

I'm not from Adana. I was born and raised in Michigan. My mother was born in Adana, which is why I chose the name.

LearnedThief61 karma

I'm stealing from /u/Tim-Ferriss...

What are your favorite books to gift people? What is the last book you read?

KorAdana161 karma

I like to gift "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card to people. Even if they're not into sci-fi, it's usually a hit. The last book I read was "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline. I know... I'm behind. I have no life.

FrankPoole0151 karma

Congrats to the entire team for an amazing job with the most accurate tech portrayals in Hollywood and such a well thought out and immersive ARG. Kor, i read in an interview you did with THR that you had an obsession with lucid dreaming that ended up being a technique Elliot uses late in season 2. In your research and experience, did you find any success with actually lucid dreaming? What sparked your interest in this subject?

KorAdana65 karma

I have had probably 5 or 6 lucid dreams in my entire my life. Those experiences motivated me enough to devote a couple of years trying to induce them. Honestly, I haven't had much luck. I also wrote a couple shitty screenplays about the subject. I think I had my first one by accident in middle school, which spawned the obsession.

merikariu14 karma

May I ask what methods you used to attempt to induce LDs? There's a lively discussion of methods on /r/luciddreaming

KorAdana18 karma

I kept a dream journal, trained myself to do reality checks, and I even considered buying a novadreamer mask.

Abg_Fnz_Rfznvy_NZN36 karma

Hi Kor,

Thanks for doing this AMA. A few things:

  1. Does it really take you 10 hours to get everything technically right on screen?

  2. Who runs the "whoismrrobot" Twitter: you or USA Network?

  3. Do we finally have enough clues to solve the ARG (or possible ARG)?

KorAdana57 karma

  1. Yes, most of the time... it's more than 10 hours.
  2. USA Network
  3. Not yet. You will soon, though.

the_stoned_ape29 karma

Great work from you and the team, I have had an awesome time following the S2 ARG. Thanks so much for being so great about responding to our questions throughout the season.

  1. Do you think it's feasible that an ARG will be included in future seasons?

  2. Has the community been solving these puzzles at the rate you expected?

  3. How much did we miss!!

  4. Where do you think your career is headed next? You clearly have a passion for interactive media and I could definitely see you making some puzzles for other films/tv/whatever.

KorAdana36 karma

  1. Yes, I hope so.
  2. Faster than expected. You guys are hard to stump. I'm enlisting some more help to increase the degree of difficulty. :)
  3. A little bit.
  4. For now, I am happily committed to Mr. Robot. I have a pilot that I sold earlier this year that got set up at a studio/network. We'll see what happens with that.

YouareMrRobot27 karma

Hello Friend! Any hints to the meta game? edit to add-has anyone solved it yet? And what is the prize and how many prizes?

KorAdana35 karma

Hello, friend. Unfortunately, I can't give away hints related to the ARG. Personally, I think the prize is worth it.

diboox24 karma

Do you think that shows in general are going to move toward having fully functional ARGs, especially based on what seems is a successful foray into it by your team? I feel it especially encourages live viewing, along with old school commercials. I know this one helped draw me in, as it shows an appreciation for the fans as well as a second layer to the show. I really have had fun with it, and it allows for rewatches to be far more interesting. Thanks for the fun!

P.S. - Is there a "right" set of answers for Land of Ecodelia?

KorAdana43 karma

I hope that more shows move toward having fully functional ARGs. They take a LOT of work to build and maintain, though. Our ARG would not be possible without the support of the USA Digital Marketing team. Jeffrey Kaufman and Robin Fordham have been instrumental in brainstorming and executing these puzzles and references with me. Re: the Land of Ecodelia... from an ARG perspective, no. The questions are more important than the answers.

Luna_LoveWell23 karma

Do you all consult with mental health professionals to portray Elliot's issues in a medically accurate way?

I'm not caught up on the most recent episode so I'm going to have to avoid reading the rest of your answers until tonight.

KorAdana37 karma

Yes. We have a psychology consultant who talks through potential illnesses and symptoms with us. Her name is Jennifer Morey. She also reviews drafts of scripts and provides us with her input.

liamquane20 karma

What is it like working with Sam Esmail?

KorAdana54 karma

It can be challenging at times, but extremely rewarding. Sam has very high standards, attention to detail, and an insane work ethic. Those traits trickle down throughout the entire team on Mr. Robot. It's great to be a part of a series where everyone is so invested and passionate about the material. This is more than just a "TV show" for many of us.

tipsle15 karma

LostboY, /u/1o57, said he would love to do a puzzle on the show. Since you did use his DEFCON puzzle, would you invite him to officially do one for Mr. Robot? :)

KorAdana29 karma

We're already working on something together. Stay tuned.

liamquane14 karma

For everyone: What is the best thing a director can do for you?

KorAdana20 karma

Clearly establish expectations and direction. Providing feedback is also important.

bjorn199414 karma

What's your day to day operating system? Congrats on keeping the series on such a level, well done!!

KorAdana24 karma

OSX for day-to-day useage... and a bunch of Windows/Linux VMs for show research

ickthegeek11 karma

Do you plan to attend DEFCON again next year? Thanks for the amazing work you do and the committment to technical accuracy for us techies!

KorAdana14 karma

I am hoping to attend again next year.

AmandaMTB7 karma

Did you consider using the Rolling Stones' song Time is on my side or was it too expensive?

KorAdana15 karma

Sam and our editors make the music choices, so I'm not sure if they ever considered that song.

CourtofOwls47 karma

Are you working on any future projects?

KorAdana14 karma

I wrote a pilot that's set up a studio/network right now. We're currently in the middle of development.

rimenta6 karma

Should I expect something overwhelmingly impressive from the ARGS, does it have a end?

KorAdana16 karma

Yes, it has an end. I'm impressed by it... so I think you should be too.

V2Blast2 karma

Do you guys play any video games? If so, what games? (I assume at least one of you has played Watch_Dogs...)

What are your favorite TV shows (besides your own, of course)?

Also: what's your favorite flavor of pie?

EDIT: I forgot to ask - I know /u/KorAdana's been on /r/MrRobot before, but how about the rest of you? If not, you guys should stop by :)

KorAdana9 karma

I've been working so much lately that I haven't had time to play any video games. Last year, I played Metal Gear Solid V for a couple of weeks. My favorite TV show is Breaking Bad. Favorite pie? Apple.

santouryuu2442 karma

Have you ever cried during Sex? But seriously,great work on the show.keeping the show connected with hacking both logically and thematically consistent really creates an atmosphere never before seen.i wanted to ask does Mr Robot know any hacking or programming or is it only Elliot that is good at this stuff?also a related thing,we know all the F-Society members are hackers,but what are their respective specialisations?

KorAdana8 karma

No. I think it's safe to say that Mr. Robot knows most things that Elliot knows, so by that rationale, he would have a similar skill set when it comes to hacking/coding.