School laptop spying inspires a Philadelphia film

    The case of tracking students using webcams on school-issued laptops in Lower Merion is getting the big-screen treatment. An independent filmmaker in Philadelphia wrote a script inspired by the investigation of the Lower Merion School District – and it’s being filmed in 3D.

    It’s a tale of two teenage girls, one is popular, the other geeky. In real life, they would never have met.

    But Nikki and Emma do meet – online, through school-issued laptops. The school taps into the webcam feed when one of the girls is showing the other a grotesque drawing she made of a hated teacher, and a legal battle ensues.

    The writer/director, Ryan Suits, shot the real-life scenes in 3D, and the online world in flat 2D. But gradually the online world becomes 3D to portray the subjective mind of the teenager.

    “The online interaction becomes real for them,” Suits says. “To a lot of kids the line is blurred. I wanted to use 3D to explore that.”

    Suits is making the film for Project Twenty1, a contest to write, shoot, and edit an original film in 21 days. He holds down a full-time job while trying to finish the film for the submission deadline on Sunday.

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