If you’re 1/512th as fanatical about Mr Robot as we are, you’ll already know who Kor Adana is, but now he’s a friend of Mr Robot Hacks, we thought we’d introduce him to y’all.
Friend you say? How so? Well, can you keep a secret? We spoke to him just last week, meaning we hope to liaise closely with him to bring you exclusive news, content and much, much more from our man inside the show. If you’re good haxors and spread our message, we may even have a competition or two where you can win Mr Robot goodies in a couple of weeks.
In the meantime, let’s bring all y’all up to speed on this evil genius! (Only joking, buddy!)
If you’re making a New York crime thriller you’re gonna need an ex-beat cop of 30 years who knows those precincts like the back of his hand to add to authenticity. But imagine if you also brought in a hardened criminal to show the other side of the law…
In a show about hacking, you could get any old I.T. consultant onboard, but imagine if you could get your hands on a real-life ex-hacker as Tech Adviser. Imagine the mess!
Enter Kor Adana, who may have a name like a Sith Lord, but is, in fact Mr Robot’s Mr Robot!
Born and bred in the ‘burbs of Detroit to an engineer father, while the bourgeoisie were being carefully massacred in sorority houses, he underwent his initiation ceremony by building his own computer from scratch. When he’d mastered the dark art, he went on to dabble in hacking until “a prank went horribly wrong and I had a close call with the authorities” which helped him turn from the Dark Side of the Force to the Light.
Kor’s title on the show is listed on IMDB as Technology Producer, a role that “doesn’t really exist on other shows” It hasn’t gone to his head though, as when asked what it was like to have this amazing role he quipped “It feels surreal. This is the kind of show that I’ve always wanted to work on and it’s a dream come true for me to be able to contribute to it in this way.”
I’d sound like a big kid if I did his job too!
It’s a safe bet, then that everything that makes it out of The Writers’ Room (of a techy nature) that makes it onto your screens has been passed over by Kor. He performs Elliot’s hacks himself before they are filmed to make sure they’re achievable, or if he can’t go that far creates “detailed breakdowns of how each hacking screen behaves and how it operates” before Flash animator (the amazing Adam Brustein) creates animations for the actors to interact with.
But Kor’s role doesn’t just see him sat in a blacked-out room at a terminal, supping nothing but Mountain Dew and eating room-sized packs of Cheese Doritos for months on end (sorry – I was confusing him with me for a second) he’s just as likely to be found on-set working with Rami, Carly, Portia, Christian et al; “After we go through some revisions, I work with the actors to practice running through the animation. For example, I’ll work with Rami to make sure he’s typing the right keys at the right time (i.e. an alt/tab when we see him change windows).”
So that’s a large part of his role, but what else does he do for the show?
If you’re anything like me (but hopefully can physically make it through doors, unlike me) you’ll also hate it when other TV show and movie characters use made-up products and search on made-up search engines like Finder-Spyder. Mr Robot would not only be less authentic if it did this, it would be far less enjoyable.
Dream job it may be, but it sounds as though the toughest part of Kor’s role is battling with USA Network’s legal department to obtain clearance for featuring the right pieces software or hardware…
As far as we can tell, as well as every hack being actionable and every line of code legit, every piece of kit is real. From the Raspberry Pi install at Steel Mountain and hacking Gideon’s Android in S01 to Angela’s Femtocell pwning the FBI’s cell phones on the 23rd floor of Evil Corp and even down to her Apple Earbuds™ with Darlene’s voice on the other end, guiding her through last week’s mission.
Even though it’s obvious Showrunner Sam Esmail can tell the difference between a Snow Leopard and a Mountain Lion, presumably all the tech info we hear also goes through Kor.
Let’s hope we see more of Kor Adana’s work in the coming weeks, and we’ll try to get you up close and personal with the man himself very, very soon!
Finally, we’d like to send out a big 7H4Nk U to Kor for helping make our favourite show even better than it already is. Which is quite some feat.
We hope that Kor’s dream of writing an episode comes to fruition – he deserves it for all his hard work.
I gotta run… my monthly Doritos and Mountain Dew delivery is here. See you after this week’s episode.
*Quotes from Paste Magazine and Kor’s AMA on Reddit.