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Catch Me

The movie Catch Me If You Can is based on the true-life story of Frank Abagnale. He was the youngest person to ever be put onto the FBIs most wanted list. The movie tells his story. Frank Abagnale impersonated many people and forged many documents (many to include paychecks) over the period of 5 years. He was said to be the worlds greatest liar. Some of the documents that he forged included, but were not limited to, false identification cards, birth certificates, and of course paychecks. He got into the forgery business by learning from his conman father. Frank traveled around the world impersonating doctors, airline pilots, and even the assistant attorney general. The FBI was always on his trail, but seemed to be one step behind him. The final showdown, or rather when he was caught, was when the FBI found him in his warehouse mass-producing paychecks. The lead detective was so vastly impressed with his skills at forgery that he was able to work out a deal with Frank and got him out of prison after only five years. This was done on the stipulation that Frank would come to work for the FBI to aid in the measures to identify forged documents. Many of these practices helped with the security measures still in place today. This was the end to the movie, thus telling a great tale of one mans life, and the FBIs weakness for forgery at that time.


This movie has a great deal to do with our Graphics Representation class. The forged documents Frank was making could still be made today, given the right equipment and know-how. Take for instance the paychecks he was producing; these designs could be scanned onto the computer and imported into Adobe Photoshop where the lines could be sharpened up, and a watermark added for security purposes. Another example would be the ID cards. Once the design template was made and the picture scanned in, the ID could then be printed, using a sublimation printer, onto PVC cards thus making them appear and feel real. As for the holograms, a vinyl cutter could be used to cut out a design, the design applied to the ID card, and a topical reflective agent adhered on top. If necessary, a lamination machine could be utilized to protect the newly formed hologram and card itself. With a little practice and work, anyone could produce a perfect fake ID, just as Frank Abagnale figured out.

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I would not recommend showing this movie to a class learning about graphics, or the graphics process. It comes off in a way that says if you know howgo for it. For example: a high school student sees this movie in class and then a week later is taught how to use Photoshop and the vinyl cutter. Whats to stop that student from taking the newly acquired knowledge and applying it, just as he/she saw in the movie. Im not saying that every student would, but there are a select few who would, and in my opinion showing this movie and giving the know-how is almost like condoning the act. I would rather show the students the movie The Paper staring Michael Keaton. This movie shows the process needed to run a paper and some steps involved in printing the paper. That way the graphics could be taught without introducing illegal behavior to young impressionable minds. That is just my opinion, and Im sticking to it

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