The Big Greek Video Shoot: Cultural Learning from Athens

By Matt Sebert
  • 07.26.22
  • 5 Min Read

Last month, cinematographer Mason Horacek and your correspondent filmed a video in Athens, Greece.
It’s a tough job, but someone had to do it. Here’s what we learned.

International Cybersecurity Challenge competitors

1. DSU is world class in the cyber department

Dakota State University sent three players to compete in the first-ever International Cybersecurity Challenge, in which the US team battled elite global competition. So, pretty much, you had 18-26 year-olds from Asia, Europe, Canada, Africa, South America and Oceania (Australia and New Zealand) completing challenges and hacking each other for points. It was like the Olympics of cyber, with 20 people representing the United States, and three of those being DSU Trojans. Pretty cool.

2. Cybersecurity is uber-important

There are more nuanced ways to describe how our world is kept safe by smart people behind a keyboard and a screen. That could be a blog unto itself, a blog filled with polysyllabic words and impenetrable jargon. Just know that cybersecurity keeps our world running, much like caffeine, roads and parking attendants.

Getting drone footage
International Cybersecurity Challenge competitors

3. Three is the limit for James Bond movies you can watch consecutively

Hamstrung by the United Airlines inflight entertainment, I embarked on something of a 007 marathon, watching Casino Royale (great), Skyfall (all-time great), Spectre (alright). I was somewhere over the Atlantic when I flipped on No Time to Die and “meh.” How it got an 83% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes should be under FBI investigation.

4. Athens is named after Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war

At least that’s what the tour guide told us.

Athens, Greece view

5. Greek coffees are small

If I had one gripe about Europe, it’s their teeny cups. At 7:00am I am trying to slug coffee, not have a tea party. The EU is great, and your money looks cool, but we must do something about the cups.

6. Tzatziki

For the uninitiated, tzatziki is a sauce made of Greek yogurt, lemon juice, mint, dill and cucumber, or some combination of ingredients like those. It goes on anything and everything and harrows me with desire.

7. Cyber kids rock

Not everyone is tickled pink to have a camera stuck in their face. Or have a film crew stalk you for a week. Or film interviews at one in the morning. The US Cyber Team, from the coaches down to every player, was more than gracious, incredibly patient, and refreshingly welcoming as they put up with all that stuff. In real life they are graduate students, NASA engineers, data system protectors and satellite watchmen. For one week they competed for the United States – and we were lucky to join them.

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