After watching Tobias Lindholm’s A Hijacking (see Review HERE), I thought it would be interesting to ask a few questions of the Hijackings consultant used for the film, a guy by the name of Gary S. Porter (LinkedIn Profile). A British Ex-pat living in Denmark, who is a Corporate Security Manager for the Clipper Group and an expert on piracy subject matter. He was involved in the successful negotiation and safe return of crew on the Clipper Group owned CEC Future, back in 2009 (See the Huffington Post article). He also had a starring role in Lindholm’s film, playing a fictional version of himself. As you’ll see in the Q&A, Porter must be a real bad-ass, but that doesn’t stop him from using the occasional smiley face, when answering questions.
I’ve also included a clip, from the film, with Porter and the rest of the cast below.
What are the pirates themselves like? (I get the impression that many of the Somali pirates are very profit oriented, and so relatively business-like.)
Not the sort you would invite to dinner
When did you start consulting film makers on hijacking experiences? (TV, Film, etc.)
I Didn’t, this was the only time, and that was by chance – my wife was on the internet looking for a friends address and noticed someone was intending to make a piracy film, she called out to me, I was making my kids lunch boxes in the kitchen at the time, so I just shouted out if he wants a hand tell him to call me – next day he did and it went from there – pure chance.
Was it strange to play a role in a film, in which you are essentially playing out your real-life experiences?
That bit was easy – I am no actor so I just played myself and knew the answers to the questions from previous experience.
In the scene between you and the CEO, Peter, you tell him to appoint someone else to handle the negotiations and he goes against your advice and decides to handle it himself. Was that something you experienced in your professional life and gave to the director to use?
In that scenario, who would have been advised to handle the negotiations? You? –
As I explained in the film in this instance (each situation will be different) the decision would be made by the company board & myself – then passed to a nominated 3rd party who is never present at any meetings or discussion – reason being need to know basis.
He/ she can only present the facts given to him via us so no slip ups – this also helps him as he can take a detached view, always state he is just the middle man with no direct responsibility thus not directing any anger at him when emotions are running high.
Do you ever think we’ll see private ex-military contractors (Backwater style) protecting ships from potential pirate raids?
Have a look around you
[Ref: Bloomberg Article May 9th 2012 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-08/shooting-to-kill-pirates-risks-blackwater-moment.html]
Finally, do you have any other film makers in Hollywood seeking out your expertise? I see that there is a similar film with Tom Hanks coming out this year, based on the Maersk Alabama hijacking called “Captain Phillips”. Did you have anything to do with that?
No, the Maersk film will be “Hollywood style”, I think ‘guns & guts’, as to other involvement I don’t suppose so unless someone reads your article and think “he’s a man I could use”