USNA Cyber Lecture Series – James Clapper on Cyber Threats

February 1, 2016
Last Friday I attended the Cybersecurity Lecture series at the
US Naval Academy where Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James
Clapper spoke to midshipmen that are studying and training up to be
future signals intelligence (SIGINT) and cyber intelligence (CYBINT)
officers in the Navy and Marine Corp.

The lecture series is open to the public, so no state secrets were
shared, but the perspective of our highest ranking intelligence
officer on current Cyber-related events, cyber threats and future
threats was interesting and informative. DNI Clapper has been in
government service for the better part of 50 years and shared a few
of his war stories, and his personal loyalty to the Marine Corp,
although he has also proudly served in the US Air Force.

Well-prepared midshipmen posed a range of questions including what
ethical/moral standards are considered when the US is determining a
cyber-attack or cyber-retaliation; and there was a request for his
personal response to the perjury allegations from his 2013
congressional testimony on national security matters. The
Midshipmen were not shy to ask.

Several important highlights came from his talk. One was more
philosophical than technical, where he talked about his role in
briefing the President weekly on all national security matters. In
the context of inspiring and informing future intelligence officers
he said there will come a point where you will have to tell “truth
to power,” and that that can be a challenge. To give bad, terrible
or unwanted news to people that are not only your superiors, but in
positions of power, like the President of the United States.

Building on that came the first revealing fact–Cyber is the first
of all threats reported to the President of the United States right
now. Not terrorism, not financial markets–Cyber. Remember that
all threats have a priority. Just because an attack on Sony
Entertainment from a nation-state (North Korea) is big news at one
point in time, doesn’t mean that all other current threats get
marginalized. Each week he reports on all threats, and the one that
gets 1st priority is Cyber. Part of the challenge with CYBINT is
that the actors (individuals, terrorist organizations, nation
states, cooperatives (like Anonymous)) all have varying levels of
scale, capacity, incentive and impact.

There are actors that have the scale to do real harm and damage, but
they don’t. And there are other actors (e.g. ISIL, Hezbollah and Al
Qaeda) that have no qualms or moral compass to hesitate to use a
cyber weapon that has extreme collateral damage. This type of actor
would attack energy infrastructure, cities, hospitals with the hopes
of death, destruction and any added brutality–but because they lack
scale they are left with only wishful thinking to use a cyber weapon
to do real harm.

These 2 types of actors are the main focus of intelligence efforts.
One who has the capability to do real harm, but lacks the incentive;
and the other who has the incentive but lacks the scale to do real
harm. The challenge is that these two types of actors are the two
big black holes in the Cyber Domain that our intelligence operations
monitor and research. And every day these two holes are
converging. The challenge of cyber analysts, threat analysts and
intelligence officers, both in government and industry, is to be on
the front line of that war–to be prepared to identify, defend and
potentially retaliate against real threats that can also potentially
cause real physical harm.

Imagine if the United States retaliated at China for the OMB breach
by using a cyber weapon (my example not Clapper’s) and one of the
unintended consequences is that the power grids in Shanghai and
Beijing shut down. Hospital generators run until empty, life
support and critical care equipment drain all available batteries,
and Chinese citizens die as a result. Would this be a cyber-attack
or an act of conventional warfare?

Scenario two: A cyber-attack is launched and it must travel through
core internet routers in surrounding counties to deliver the attack
to the intended target. Has the United States inadvertently
involved other counties in their focused attack? What are the
geopolitical implications of this act? Is it an act of war?

The Cyber Domain is an official theater of war. They include: air,
sea, land, space and cyber. And we are in a war time. But the
risks, the unforeseen risks, of using what power the US Government
has could cause far more damage than intended. As a result, the
United States monitors events closely, and evaluates each attack and
threat as them come, but only time will tell how private industry
and governments, not just the United States, will act on and
perceive acts of war in the Cyber Domain.

What can you do to protect your systems and your computer? Step 1:
Patch, patch, patch. And that came from the top.

These lectures are open to the public and are posted

Bryan Deehring
February 1, 2016


Junction Now Available on iTunes!

I’m thrilled to announce that Junction is now available on iTunes as of today, July 14, 2015!   International markets will find “Junction” released as “Hostage.”  But don’t worry, if you rent “Hostage” and end up watching Bruce Willis as a washed out police negotiator that is ok…Miramax will thank you, but you won’t get the same experience as enjoying 4 strung out meth-heads cruising into Verterra Hills for a B&E that will change their lives’ forever.   So, be sure you are watching Tony Glazer‘s film not Florent-Emilio Siri’s, and I will be sure to thank you personally.

I received a few comments on social media regarding today’s release, and the comments boil down to this question, “Didn’t you already release Junction?”  I’ll explain and give you a summer reading assignment.  Summer Crockett Moore shared a great article on film release windows (originally posted by a few weeks ago on social media.  Many people “liked” the article, but did you read it?  It gives some information on basic film releasing and some good reading about the challenges we face in finding our market and making money, especially with the impact of Netflix as a major market disruptor for film releasing.

For Junction, we released in select theaters–and earned great reviews and amazing press.  That was our first release window.  Our second window was making it available on select platforms for DVD rental.  And consistent with the article, we needed to make the best use of distance between release windows.  Finally, we are where we are today, completing the digital drop to VOD platforms and giving a worldwide audience access to enjoy “Junction” via iTunes and other VOD platforms.

Thanks to FilmMovement and iTunes, Junction can now be seen everywhere.

Enjoy Junction and keep checking back….we have more movies coming for you!

-Bryan Deehring

SOHO International Film Festival – Why it Matters

I always look for a great story. One that gets me laughing out of my chair, or keeps me grasping on the page…furiously pushing through to the end. The kinds of stories I like…I hope you like.

I had the opportunity to read a wonderful script on Tuesday that Tom Hanks had given notes on–a story so funny and enjoyable that I made a note on page 34 that I’ve never made before.  I wrote, “I fell in love right here.” –and I drew a line across the page.

So far, I have been blessed with great stories that have found me. I haven’t had to go looking. Junction, which most of you know, found me. Trust Me, I’m a Lifeguard also found me. And the other two projects I am working on this year also found me.

Now, I can speculate that this is because Siri (yes, the voice of the iPhone) is following me on Twitter and she is secretly planting messages on your phone and email to call me when you have a great idea.  Or perhaps it’s because I was quoted in a major newspaper and one of those 1.5 million readers had my phone number and pitched me a story. (Thank you, Baltimore Sun.) But no.

That would be just another story.

You see, these stories found me because I am surrounded by talented, industrious and passionate people. People I love–that are my friends. No magic trick required, no advanced degree in particle physics or an MFA from Julliard. (I’m not knocking it either Harris, Taylor, Stephen and all my alumnus friends!).

It turns out that these people happen to be artists, actors, writers, composers, directors, producers, mechanics, electricians, foodies, bankers, inventors, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, investors, and captains of industry.  I have a friend who is partnering with NASA on the use and development of transparent flat screen televisions.  Another who is selling a new advanced motor design to the oil and gas industry that will change the way crude oil is pumped to the surface of the earth.  And another who is creating disruptive technology to compete with Google.

So what does NASA, crude oil and the people I love have to do with SOHO?


First: SOHO is a top film festival.  It is ranked by MovieMaker Magazine and it brings out the stars!  I’ve hit my quota for name dropping, so look to their press (Get Googling!) to see all of the amazing people coming out to celebrate #SIFF2014 this year.  It also welcomed Junction last year…so we are kindred spirits.

Second: Do your research.  You’ll be surprised how many movies have walked away from SOHO with not just an award, but with distribution.

Finally:  Everyone I described, above, has been involved with movie making– from the foodie to the mechanic.  And there is one thing that they have done which I have emulated…and that is simply being around them.  They are some of the most fun, dynamic and interesting people–and they are never short on ideas…or opportunities.

So come out to SOHO International Film Festival to celebrate Trust Me, I’m a Lifeguard; The Story of Milo and Annie; My Cross to Bear, Tiger Liley Road, and Tammy.  There will be no shortage of talented, industrious, and passionate people.  Whether you are an actor, writer, looking to contribute your skills or cash, or just a big fan…

I will be there.  So should you.

Virginia Tech, Thank’s for the Hokie Highlight!


Thank you to the Virginia Tech Monthly for thrusting our PRISM nomination around the country to several hundred thousand loyal Hokies!   As a result some of you learned I am a Hokie, I reconnected with some of my college buddies that I haven’t talked to in years and “us” engineers got to cheer in our corner because so often we are not considered artists…yet some of the most amazing engineers I know are gifted pianists, writers, guitarists and performers.

Let it be known that engineers are not just problem solvers…they are solutionaries…(solution-makers, visionaries, artists)…artists that create solutions that continue to change and improve our world!

Check out the PRISM Awards live-televised on the FX Network in September.

If you are up for a read…check out the article at:

Hokie, Hokie, Hokie Hy!


Destination: New York/LA

Tribeca Film Festival 2005

Ground Speed: 0 mph

Distance to go: 2997 miles

“Yes Mom.  Yes.  Are you sure?   I know I’ve told you about—well…ok. Okay.  OKAY.   How about this, I’ll start writing an email to friends and family so that they will know what is going on.   Great.   I gotta’ go.  Yes.  Absolutely.  Love you too.  Nite.”

That conversation occurred 8 hours before my alarm clock would stir me from well needed rest at the crisp hour of 3:30 in the morning.   My producing partner Vox’ed me only a couple of hours earlier.  What is Voxer?  A Vox is an instant 2-way radio message that is recorded on my phone I can respond to whenever I want to.  The Vox I received picked up music, a crowd, and some muted conversations as they navigated a festival party at one of the world’s highly respected film festivals.  A festival that I would be joining in less than 12 hours.  My phone chirped, ding’ed and vibrated with Facebook messages, Instagram posts, tweets, re-tweets, text messages and yes: Voxes.

A very assertive cellular device that is attached to my hip gets upset when it’s on silent, or turned off.   And, as if in retaliation from being at rest, the moment I turn it on it has to share with me every detail of the dreams it had the night before.  Ding! Chirp! Ding! Ding!  The endless chatter of fun of the new photos, likes, shares, and comments on an event so far removed from my Thursday evening in the suburbs that I put down the phone and wait for when I arrive in person.

Ding! Ding! Ding!

3:30AM arrived sooner than I thought.  I wasn’t expected at the office for an early meeting.  I didn’t have a deadline or a report to write.  In fact, depending on the time of year, I don’t even have an office to go to.   So why in the world would I ask my alarm clock to help me start my day less than two hours after my producing partner’s had ended their’s?   There wasn’t a mandatory training, no important investor meeting, no sit-down with a department or staff to tackle some new problem or task.  No.  Nothing like that at all—yet the momentum of my work week to come was already fueled by the assistance of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Voxer; and the energy and excitement of the first event on my itinerary that had started without me: The 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.

I looked at my printed schedule for the next nine days, a rainbow-blocked sheet of paper detailing my whereabouts from 6am-2am.   I looked at the times that my days would start-and-end over this trip, and my eyes widened.  The entries were color-coded to show me my meetings with friends, agents, studio executives, and press.  Purple owned the page–highlighting two important events.  They read as:

Tribeca Film Festival – Trust Me, I’m a Lifeguard Premiere, New York City, and

PRISM Awards Show – Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles.

In only a few short hours I would be racing up the coast at 150 miles per hour sitting in the cafe car of an Amtrak train staring out over the undeveloped coast of Maryland, zipping over the Delaware River, and arriving at Penn Station for something that I can’t resolve to call a business trip, nor anything I would call ordinary.  Nine days buttressed between two cities, two coasts, and two movies in a frenzy of events, meetings, and lunches.  Shuttling from place to place, new meetings popping up, and running into friends around the city.  It will be a trip complete with it’s own story of fun, adventure, and surprises.  I keep telling myself it’s just another trip.

“Dad, Dad, Dad…you are going to wide the big twain into the city?” My son asks from his bed with the l’s and r’s still struggling to find their place in his words.  He continues with his unbridled excitement, “We wode a train! We wode a train, Dad!  Wemember?

“Yes.  We rode the train at Dutch Wonderland. You and me and Mom.”

“Yaaah!”  He pulled on my shirt and continued, “Dad, I want to wide the big twain with you!”

“The big train that goes to the city?” I asked.

“Yaah!”  He beamed.   He was ready to leave.

“In the morning I will already be gone.  I will be getting on the big train and then a plane.”  And then, in his words, I’d be “faw, faw away.”

“You are going on a pwane, Daddy?”


“Alright!  You will be getting on a pwane and going Zooom! Way, way, fast, Zoom!” He continued with his hands simulating take-off with all five fingers extended and launching off his other hand.  “And then you will be faw, faw away?”  He asked with a tilt of his head.

“Yes, son.”

“Ok, Daddy.”

He was more excited that I was going to be able to go zoom, not as concerned that I would be away for a while.  But to his credit, travel wasn’t new to him, nor was Dad leaving for a business trip.  It was just another trip.

Yah, he’s probably right…just another trip.




Junction Lands PRISM Award Nomination

I’m proud to announce JUNCTION has been nominated in the feature film category in the 18th Annual PRISM Awards; produced by the Entertainment Inustries Council (EIC) which honors accurate storytelling around mental health and substance use issues. 
The Prism Award’s announcement went wide and had more than 300 pickups by major media from outlets nationwide from such as Reuters, LA Business Journal as well as Business Journal nationwide, CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, CW, Maxim, Daily News (Nationwide), Jack FM, NERD, FLM TV Indie Films, Star-Telegram (Nationwide), Bloomberg, Boston Globe, LA Times, CNBC, Paris Post Intelligencer, Wall Street Journal, Broadway World, and many many more.


Happy Babylonian New Year!

The tradition of the new year’s resolution is quite ancient.  In fact, can you remember when there wasn’t some cultural reminder of the New Year’s Resolution?  I can’t.  It’s before my time.   So I did some digging, turns out the tradition goes back to the ancient Babylonians as they made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts.

I think if I held myself resolved to those goals–my mortgage lender would be happy and my father-in-law would always get his tools back.  I’d be satisfied that I honored my resolutions, the bank would get it’s interest and my father-in-law wouldn’t be scouring around his basement looking for his circular saw all-the-while cursing my name.

Seems we have altered the ancient ritual a bit…and the result has left us laughing at our own resolutions and wondering why we don’t fulfill them.    So I will raise a glass to the Babylonians, offer my promises and share with my friends and associates across the globe this simple note.

May this new year give you something more than you had before.    Now don’t get me wrong.  More doesn’t mean more money–which maybe some of us could handle–but it also doesn’t mean anything in excess, except maybe a really good bourbon.  It is but my hope that you find yourself resolved to create moments of joy and time with friends…for that is more than I could ever ask for.

2013 brought many successes: Junction released in theaters, I’m becoming a regular at the casting offices for House of Cards and VEEP, I have the opportunity to work on a movie packaged by one of those big talent agencies, and just last week I was pitched a script from a veteran studio scribe that has written some of my favorite movies over the past 15 years–in which case my response to the pitch was, “yeah….maybe we could do this.”

Happy New Year!   I hope 2014 is what you make of it.


Bryan Deehring