Alex Winter Delves Into His New 'Deep Web' Documentary

Alex Winter To Helm Bitcoin & Silk Road Docu; Seeking Kickstarter Funding

EXCLUSIVE: Alex Winter is staying online. Coming off Downloaded, this year’s documentary about the rise and fall of Napster, the Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure co-star is looking to direct a film about virtual currency and the dark side of the Internet.
The helmer is teaming with Bond360 founder Marc Schiller – with whom he worked on Downloaded — and producer Glen Zipper (Undefeated) on Deep Web: The Untold Story Of Bitcoin And Silk Road. Winter will be taking part of the docu from the headline-grabbing arrest last month of Ross William Ubricht, the so-called “Dread Pirate Roberts” and founder of black market website Silk Road. “The true story of Bitcoin has all the twists and turns of a cyberpunk thriller,” the team said in a statement.
“Through Bitcoin we will enter the secret world of Silk Road as we follow a group of computer hackers creating a ‘dark web,’ which has led to the rise of a new class of cyber drug lords that’s currently playing out in headlines around the world.”
True to the topic, the trio plans to use Kickstarter to fund the project as well as allowing people to contribute using Bitcoin, the fast-growing and unregulated digital currency. Winter is repped by APA, Russell Hollander, and Jackie Eckhouse at Sloss Eckhouse
http://www.deadline.com/2013/11/alex-winter-to-helm-bitcoin-seeking-kickstarter-funding/
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[Table] IAmA: Hey, Alex Winter of Bill & Ted here. Directing a new movie called "Deep Web: The Untold Story of Bitcoin and Silk Road." Ask me anything!

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Date: 2013-11-25
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Questions Answers
As someone who creates content, do you think there's a solution for middle class content creators? It seems that they're the most hurt by piracy, yet free-culture proponents almost exclusively focus on large corporations. Kickstarter, Indie Go-Go, and their brethren aren't picking up that slack- tales of success seem to be the outliers, and many of the poster-children (Radiohead, Amanda Palmer, etc.) rely on past success and marketing dollars. So, will this pick up, and will there be a middle class of creators? Or are we now living in a world of (sometimes skilled, but still) amateurs? This is a smart question and demands a much longer answer than i can give here. but the short of it in my opinion is that it's a misunderstanding to assume it's harder for 'middle class artists' in this climate. it's always been very very hard. there have always been obstacles and gatekeepers. the digital landscape has opened many many doors and closed some doors. it's in many ways easier, but you still need that magic combo of talent, tenacity and luck.
Man I'm sorry but I've gotta ask...what happened to you man? Why did Keanu make it out and why did you disappear into obscurity? Haha. not an offensive question at all. I quit acting professionally in 94, after Freaked to focus on writing and directing. I'd been acting professionally since I was 10 years old and I wanted out of the public eye. It's really only been in the last couple of years that i've intentionally been slipping back in front of the camera. But I think it's important for child actors to spend time away from constant exposure. I tell a lot of kids this in that field.
Be honest…has Keanu admitted his immortality to you? I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you. And then he would drink your blood and live for another millenia...
Did you buy any Bitcoins before they blew up in value recently? Haha, I did not. The Winklevoss twins got them all :)
Since George Carlin has died, will there be some new character coming in to replace Rufus in helping the Wyld Stallyns? We've spent a lot of time and thought on making this work. all i can say right now :)
On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely is it that B&T 3 will be financed and actually get made? I'd say 10 but it's Hollywood... so 9.9?
Did you ever use the SR before it went down? I honestly did not. I am a dull family man and most of what i need to purchase online can be found in the toddler section of Amazon :)
Your stepmom is cute. Remember when she was a senior and you were a freshman? Do You get BnT references constantly and do they annoy you? No, thankfully I like the movies a lot. I have some friends who acted in movies that they can't shake that they hated. that is an existential nightmare from which one can never awaken!
Thanks for doing this AMA, and for being part of one of my all-time favorite films. You've been quoted as saying "[Bill and Ted] was a happy accident. No one thought it would ever see the light of day." Could you expand on that? Both BnT movies were made independently. The first one was really low budget and kind of under the radar when we made it. then it sat on a shelf for a year after being made, when the producing company went belly up. So we kind of gave up on it. Then it was bought up and released and was a big hit :)
What was it like working with Mr. T? Is his public persona accurate as to who he really is? It is! Exactly! He's a really great person, into community outreach and helping people. A wonderful guy.
When will we have a new Bill and Ted to watch any plot details You can share? What got You so interested in Bitcoin? Also, Thank You for being so Excellent! Party On! I first got interested in Bitcoin in '09, when it magically appeared out of the ether. Much like Napster appeared out of nowhere 10 years prior. I recognized that Bitcoin felt like the next big thing to come out of peer-to-peer.
What can I do to get into the Bitcoin World. I don't know much about it. Start at blockchain.info. that will lead the way.
Do you think the Tor network is forever tainted due to the Silk Road takedown, or does it still remain a viable method of obtaining true anonymity on the Internet? Absolutely not. SR accounts for a tiny fraction of TOR use and is not going to impact Bitcoin much either in the long run. As Wozniak so perfectly put it, you don't shut down the whole highway when one car is speeding.
What was the funnest thing about making The Lost Boys? Having dirt kicked into my eyes by the two Coreys in my death scene. Actually it wasn't funny at the time; i had full eye contacts in and my cornea got scratched. had to go the hospital. Loved those guys tho...
Any cool memorabilia you kept from Bill and Ted? I had my evil robot head from BnT 2, but it eventually rotted. I used it as a doorstep. My kids loved it :)
What motivated you to be one of the first films to educate those about the online blackmarket? why exactly do you need the funding from the kickstarter? Because, like the Napster story, there is a lot of noise but not a lot of context. I think we need some context and our film will be one form of providing that. We are using Kickstarter for some of the funding in order to begin to build our community for the film. We want people's input, the changes occurring through the Web are part of a global movement.
Are you actually going to provide any information we don't already know from all that's been written about this? Is this just a movie version of a bunch of news articles? Our doc is an expansive examination of a movement that began decades ago and is now hitting a peak of global impact. we are interviewing the core players in this story. It's not the kind of thing news articles do in any capacity. join our kickstarter, be part of the process and of the movie's community :)
How did you do research for the script? How did you get a script just a few weeks after SR was busted? It's a documentary :)
Alex, as someone who studied Napster so much for Downloaded, what would Bill & Ted have thought of it: Most Excellent or Non-Triumphant? They would have said 'huh???'
Is a melvin a synonym for wedgie, or a completely different maneuver executed from the front? You answered your own question :))
Is there any fond memory that stands out from making The Lost Boys? Honestly the most fun i ever had 'working'. Joel Schumacher knows how to create an amazing environment to work in. It's one of my fondest memories of my crazy youth! :)
On the kickstarter page, under the "Silk Road" header, the phrase "trading mostly in drugs and weapons" is used. Don't you feel that claiming that weapon sales were a large part of the silk road's operations is misleading? especially since weapon sales were specifically banned from the site shortly after its creation? Certainly the part about mostly trading in drugs is spot on, but also weapons? Come on, that's just untrue. Sorry if that seems misleading. As the Armory only lasted a year. But SR was built for that purpose wherever it ultimately landed.
I don't know if you remember me, but I went to school with your son in LA, me and my brother stayed at your house a few times. Kinda funny how I never got to thank you for being so excellent in Bill and Ted back then, so I figured I'd do it now! Hey Dante! Hope you guys are well!
I suppose I should ask a question, so what drew you to the idea of the deep web? What made you want to make this movie? The Deep Web lies at the heart of the digital revolution, that has impacted every corner of our lives. There are huge changes that have occurred in the last decade, and many more around the corner. Examining the Deep Web in detail allows us to closely examine this revolution and its implications.
Do you think that the high prices that bitcoins are experiencing right now is actually a bad sign, since it indicates instability? Where do you think the value of Bitcoins will ultimately fall once the bubble bursts? No one knows where it will settle. It's not unlike gold in this regard. But once it's been around a bit longer and more people are taking it, the value will increase within that framework but not in such a wild manner. this form of currency is here to stay, of that there is no question.
How did people find silk road online? That always boggled my mind, because I assume it wasn't as easy as googling it haha Did you have to like, "know" someone in the business to gain membership? It's not hard to find these sites, it's just dangerous. don't go hunting for scorpions unless you are prepared to get stung.
So Deep Web... Do you have a script already? Are you dealing with the actual events, or fictionalizing them? If the former, are you worried about having to pay folks for rights? If you have a script, how does it toe the line between being too simplified to please the target demo/actually tell the story and too esoteric for the mass market? It's a feature documentary. please join our kickstarter :)
I don't think the story is too esoteric at all, just as the details of the Napster story weren't. These are universal stories about global communities.
How much about the deep web did you investigate? I have done some looking into it recently and there is some pretty disgusting stuff out there. To be honest I kind of wish I never heard about it. Silk road is only the tip of the iceberg and to me doesnt seem like that big of a deal compared to some of the other stuff out there like the hitmen websites and human dolls for sale etc. What is your take on the rest of it outside of silk road? There is a lot of dark and horrible stuff in the Dark Web. The Deep Web is a much broader world, and in my view needs to be understood as separate from the much smaller Dark Web, and in need of protection.
When did you get into directing? I realize I could easily find this out on IMDB but it's just cooler to ask the source! Hah, thanks for asking! I actually went to NYU film school to study directing before I acted in all the movies. It's always been one of my passions. I started directing professionally in about 86. Shooting music videos and commercials and then our show on MTV, The Idiot Box.
So I'm guessing MTV/Viacom or somesuch own the DVD rights to The Idiot Box? There was a fair amount of comedy from that era of MTV that I'd love to be able to watch again… MTV owns it... why no DVD... yet...
What was it like working with a big star like Larry "bud" Melman? He was awesome of course. RIP.
Wait, does Satoshi = Stations??? Ahhh you cracked the code!!!
Excellent job on Downloaded! I enjoyed remembering a time in the not so distant past when 'regular people' could not envision a world in which their music lived on a computer. Today, regular people cannot envision a world in which their money lives on a computer. I was also surprised to learn about your early connection with the world of MP3s. Could you elaborate on what you think we can learn about Bitcoin based on your experiences with Napster and the MP3 scene in the late 90's? The world is responding to Bitcoin and a new awareness of the Deep Web much like they responded to Napster, with fear and demonizing. Our film aims to put these things in some context.
What made you want to do this documentary? I've been following the story myself and it's certainly one worth following but how did you yourself first get interested in the topic? I have been interested in global web-based communities and emerging technologies since the mid 80's. There is a revolution occurring in global culture at the moment, that will change everything. and it's only just beginning. what's not interesting about that?? :)
I don't have a question but Excellent Adventure made me who I am today. Thank you. Fuck it, uh. Do you agree that Cinnamon Toast Crunch is hands down the best cereal? My kids do. it's evil.
off, I want to thank you for posting my Rasta Eyeball with a machine gun tattoo on your blog. It made getting it completely worth it. I just want to know which of the characters from Freaked is your favourite? Stuey Gluck!!
And your tat is amazing!
Hello there, thanks for doing this! I just wanted to ask if by making a movie that sheds light on the dark web/bitcoins etc. It will shed more light on an area of the web that generally dislikes the attention. In other words could it create a misaprehension of the mission and possible positive effects the darkweb community tries to provide? I think the current media spin has that effect; in that it tends to paint the entire deep web and bitcoins and cryptography with a negative brush. this is both inaccurate and destructive. Our movie does not paint dark things in a positive light, it gives context to the entire arena.
Will the Silk Road be back? Also, can you say hi to my smokin hot babe Sherry? It is back.
Hey Alex, A quick glance at your wikipedia page has made me realise you directed Knock Me Down by RHCP! Did you have much contact with the band? How was it working with them? Thanks for the AMA; Looking forward to B&T3! I love the chili's and have known them for decades. they are still great, but in the mid 80's when I had the fortune of doing some work with them, it is hard to quantify how amazing they were. the best live act on the road, by far!!
So when are you planning to bless the world with Bill & Ted 3? Soon as we get it up and running!
If you could star in any movie from any time, what movie would it be and what role would you have and why? Buster Keaton in anything probably. No one in the movies ever had a better time.
So what is the "untold" story of Bitcoin/Silk road? Isn't most of it public knowledge by now? Or we'll we have to wait and see the movie? You don't have to wait if you join our Kickstarter and become part of the making of the movie! It is hardly public knowledge as no one has framed this story up yet in one film, and the story itself is unfolding every day. :)
What was the most surprising thing you found out about the Silk Road? That's in the movie :)
Hey Alex, What will Deep Web be like? Sort of a CNN special or does it have a bigger ambition, i.e. are you making it on a scale for wide distribution in movie theaters? If the latter, what documentaries would you compare it to in terms of style and storytelling? Our doc has a broader ambition than reportage. We are making a film about a technological revolution that has been brewing for decades.
Hm, don't know you but this does sound interesting. When can we expect this movie to come out? Anything interesting about these topics you learned? Every day I learn something new and fascinating. We hope to finish within the next year. Join our kickstarter and be part of our community :)
What ''good'' is there in the deep web? I only hear stories about horrific things like drugs, black market stuff, assassins, etc. Also, were you fortunate enough to had invested in bitcoin in it's early stages? The Deep Web is being demonized somewhat in the press, which is a misunderstanding of what it is. DW represents all content on the web that is not indexed. this doesn't mean people are doing bad things. it means they are unseen. the Dark Web is a term that has come to characterize people who use the web for illicit means. the dark web represents a fraction of the Deep Web.
On your Kickstarter campaign, you say, "Bitcoin has the potential to create a level of global disruption that will make Napster look like child's play." Can you expand on that? BitCoin is a peer to peer crypto-currency. Like any peer to peer technology it is decentralized and operated by a wide user base spread across the net. As such it is here to stay, and being an unregulated currency that exists outside the control of banks and governments, it is poised to have a massive impact on the world. That's what I mean :)
Why are you focusing on the darker side of the deep web instead of the good side? Its virtues clearly outweigh the illegal stuff. As someone who appreciates the privacy benefits of Bitcoin, TOR and the Deep Web, I am concerned about the public's disproportionate focus on its negative and illegal uses. Do you plan to address this bias at all? Question 1: I am absolutely not only focusing on the dark side of the Deep Web. In fact one of my key points is that the Deep Web is misrepresented, and inaccurately represented. It is mostly just a reference to all the content on the web that is not indexed. Most of which is not dark and a lot of which is frankly boring private data :)
Are you accepting Bitcoin for the financing of this film? If not, why not? Again, thanks for doing this, but I am concerned that your focus on the negative side of TOR will continue to twist the public's perception in the wrong direction. 2: We will absolutely be accepting BTC for the movie. But Kickstarter does not accept BTC so we are doing that separately. Stay tuned!
3: Yes the bias is a big problem and we will debunk the myths, just as I did with Downloaded. People like to hold onto their preconceptions tho, so I have no illusions about turning the world around :) A lot of people loved my Napster movie, but there were many in the mainstream press who were outraged that I didn't spend more time castigating the Napster architects for being thieves who created piracy software, when clearly that is not the truth, just the well-spun myth. but myths die hard.
How concerned are you with getting all the details right? You plan to talk about things happening in the more obscure and less legal parts of the Internet. The people who use those parts of the Internet are often pretty knowledgeable about the fine technical details, and are annoyed when people get them wrong. Even the term "Deep Web" has a whiff of "Information Superhighway" or "Series of Tubes" about it. Aside from just wanting to get the details right for the sake of having an informative and accurate documentary, are you concerned at all with upsetting the wrong kinds of people by doing this? After all, the guy behind Silk Road is rumoured to have tried(?) to have people killed. Our film isn't a Silk Road movie but an exploration of the history and evolution of the Deep Web, as told by its architects. That is the story that I believe matters most :)
Are you covering other crypto currencies? Also, I didn't think porn hid on the internet. I am yes. This movie is largely about the crypto-revolution.
What are your thoughts on the rather dubious "hired a hitman" charges against DPR (Ross Ulbricht)? Do you think law enforcement used parallel construction to identify the SR server or otherwise make the case against SDPR? Looking forward to this documentary, and I'm a huge fan of Bill and Ted! It's a really fascinating case that is unfolding and changing constantly. No one knows the full story at the moment outside of the Feds, and I'm sure they're chasing some crazy leads trying to iron it all out!
Hey Alex I was just wondering if you used Silk Road for movie research and what the movie is gonna be about? The site used to pride themselves on anonymity so is it a lot of speculation about what goes on behind the curtain or were you able to actually talk to and interview the people behind the scenes of the website? I didn't use SR for research but am in contact with many people close to the world and story.
Can I donate to the Deep Web movie via Bitcoin? I loved the Napster doc, and am super excited for this one, since judging by your prior work I think it will be very high quality. There was no bitcoin address listed on the kickstarter page! Yes Kickstarter does not allow BitCoin pledges. We will have a BitCoin option soon!
Bitcoin is seen as a "dirty" term by the media as it usually relates to illicit activities, what could make it a more clean and friendly method of payment to Joe Smith who runs a small florist in a mid size town in Washington? Time. people need to get used to crypto-currency. it's here to stay and perfectly legitimate unto itself.
I've always been a fan of Bill and Ted, however this question does not related to your career. You actually grew up next to my Dad (His name is Nick) in St. Louis/Clayton. He said your family loved television, and that he always joked your television might blow up one day. As ridiculous as that sounds apparently it actually happened to you guys one day. So did this actually happen? Is my father a liar? How much television does it take before it explodes? Wow that is some ancient history! Yes when I was five my brother and I got into a fight and someone hit the tv with their body, hard (such is the way of fraternal skirmishes, my bro and I have actually always been super close). We didn't know we had blown some of the electricals inside the TV and the next time it was turned on it exploded into flames (for real!) and burned the whole house down (totally true story!!)
What are your thoughts on other cryptocurrencies like Litecoin? I think it is early days for crypto-currency and eventually one will rule the roost. Whichever proves to be the most stable, trustworthy and provides the best ease of use.
I just hope that it's objective and that it doesn't needlessly throw BitCoin into dis-appeal. I mean, there have been other digital currencies which had been used for drugs, hitmen, child porn, whatever else. Sigh. Just don't slander it, k? <3 I totally agree with you, that's the movie :)
Are you worried about how Deep Web will portray bitcoin? Us bitcoin folks are already rather irritated about how much people make the point that bitcoin is used for illegal things, without pointing out that cash is used for the same thing. Oh we are making very very clear all the legitimate uses for Bitcoin.
Alex, do you think that Satoshi Nakamoto has any sort of link or relationship to Ross Ulbricht? Yes some people have been saying that. There are other people believed to have created Bitcoin that we are talking to.
What are your personal thoughts on the deep web and how it operates? Do you think the bit coin business model is the future of personal commerce? I do yes.
Don't you think it is a little early to start writing a story before the truth is completely released? I've been following the take down since day one and there are still so many things that haven't been answered. Absolutely. Our movie is about the Deep Web, it's not a Silk Road movie.
What do you think about Silk Road 2.0 being open? Inevitable.
Have you been able to get any key actors in Bitcoin, Silk Road etc to go on the record unanonymously? BTW...San Dimas HS football rules! Yes we have :)
I live in San Dimas. Do you know what you've done to me any time I meet people from out of town? Sorry. truly. We didn't shoot there, we shot it in Phoenix, so I never thought about San Dimas one way or the other. Until many years later I made the mistake of taking my kids to the water park there without thinking about it. Very very very VERY big mistake for "Bill" to waltz into a water park in San Dimas...
What do you think George Carlin would have said about Bitcoin and Silk Road? Link to www.youtube.com
Can you please make sure that bitcoin ends up not getting the image of "crack dollars"? I'd like if people didn't associate bitcoins with just silk road. Agree!!
Bill& Ted 3: elaborate please! We have the script and our producing team on board, in finance mode now... :)
What is socrates like in real life. A windbag.
New Idiot Box sketches on YouTube please. Burrowing Bishop, If I Had My Way, etc.etc. I think everything we shot has made its way up there :)
I have yet to ever have a question answered in an AMA, not a question but a simple acknowledgment of my existence would be fantastic. Love BnT BTW. You exist!!!
We demand a sequel to Freaked. That is all. Me too! One day... many many eons from now... it will happen...
Can you give me 3 words that will best describe the movie to me. Join our Kickstarter! :)
Last updated: 2013-11-29 19:11 UTC
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Check out all the FreeRoss.org videos - YouTube Ross Ulbricht & The Silk Road Deep Web Official Trailer 1 (2015) - Documentary HD Bitcoin Tycoon Denies He's Behind Illegal Drug Marketplace Silk Road Deep Web -- The Silk Road Servers  EPIX

The first trailer for Deep Web: The Untold Story of Bitcoin and The Silk Road, a feature length documentary about online drugs site Silk Road, has been published online. Directed by Alex Winter. With Nicolas Christin, Cindy Cohn, Joshua L. Dratel, Andy Greenberg. A feature documentary that explores the rise of a new Internet; decentralized, encrypted, dangerous and beyond the law; with particular focus on the FBI capture of the Tor hidden service Silk Road, and the judicial aftermath. Deep Web: The Untold Story of Bitcoin and The Silk Road (tr/) Reviews but he says nothing of substance and his hatred of the film seems based exclusively on an objection to selling drugs. The arguments for Silk Road having some positives are fairly sound, IMO, and there are troubling facts around the way in which Ulbricht was apprehended The Untold Story of Silk Road, Part 1 And it was made possible by his flourishing online drug bazaar. Silk Road’s usage had exploded in June of that year, after a story on Gawker brought the Now Winter is trying to raise $75,000 on Kickstarter for his followup film. Titled Deep Web: The Untold Story of Bitcoin and The Silk Road, it looks at the mysterious rise of Bitcoin, its future

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Check out all the FreeRoss.org videos - YouTube

Silk Road revolutionized the world’s drug market. The widespread adoption of bitcoin and the invisibility of the Dark Web allowed Ross Ulbricht -- a bright, but misguided 28 year old libertarian ... Another person has been implicated as the possible mastermind of Silk Road, once the world's largest online marketplace for illegal drugs. While 30-year-old Ross Ulbricht is on trial for allegedly ... Explore the inside story behind notorious online black market, Silk Road, and the arrest of its alleged founder Ross Ulbricht with a new teaser trailer from EPIX's Original Documentary DEEP WEB! Alex Winter On The Deep Web, Silk Road and the Dread Pirate Roberts (Interview w/ Cenk Uygur) TYT's The Conversation. ... “Deep Web, the Untold Story of Bitcoin and the Silk Road.” ... Please Subscribe to My YouTube Channel Hunt for BitCoin & Silk Road Users http://rt.com/news/silk-road-bitcoins-us-britain-934/ http://www.peacefreedomprospe...

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