Walter O'Brien Talks ConciergeUp with One West Magazine
February 9, 2016 Chief Editor FEATURES
Walter O'Brien (second from left) at BritWeek Red Carpet Launch (PRNewsFoto/Scorpion Computer Services)
Walter O'Brien is the founder and CEO of Scorpion Computer Services, Inc., and one of the Executive Producers behind the hit television show on CBS, . The show chronicles the earlier life of a man named Walter O'Brien, who teams up with seriously nerdy computer hackers on team Scorpion to help the U.S. Government thwart cyber hackers, government villains, and other computer-savvy foes with a penchant for scheming money-laundering and ransom plots.
Walter O'Brien approached producer Scooter Braun- known as the man behind musical mega-star Justin Bieber, about making a show based off his earlier life and his real-world team at Scorpion Computer Services. At O'Brien's urging, Scooter Braun approached CBS. Now the show is in its second season, airing in a prime-time spot at 9/8 Central.
His real-world Team Scorpion counterpart, Scorpion Computer Services, Inc., exists to solve problems for people. The company regularly consults on cyber security issues, on anti-hacking and counter-espionage, and goes off the "geek end" with smarts. "Being smart is cool," Walter told me. The company also has a private concierge service, ConciergeUp.com, for wealthy and business clientele that solves just about any problem. I had a chance to chat with and vet Walter O'Brien, now an A-lister on the executive producer circuit, about what it's like to provide concierge services to other celebrities and life as an executive producer of CBS' number-one rated show.
AO: As Executive Producer of CBS TV Series "Scorpion" what are your duties?
As an Executive Producer of the show that means making broader decisions about where the plot goes, and helping the script writers make the show a bit more real. CBS balances technical details with making it to the end of a show with a real plot in between. I generate story-line ideas by telling them about some of the problems we solved and how we solved them throughout the late eighties, nineties, and 2000s. From there, the scriptwriters just run with it.
Credit is due to the writers and the actors for making it all happen. And other Executive Producers-Nick Santora, Danielle Woodrow, Danny Rose, Scooter Braun, Heather Kadin, Justin Lin, Nicholas Wooton, Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman- all very capable people. Everyone's enthusiasm for the show has made it a 36-episode success. And the show has legs.
AO: Did you have any input on casting the role of Walter O'Brien in the CBS T.V Series "Scorpion"?
Yes, I was part of the decision making process for who would play what role. It was a team effort. That said, I'm very satisfied with Elyes Gabel's role as me, Walter O'Brien. He had to balance the lack of emotion and EQ- emotional quotient- that I embodied in my earlier days. In the same breath he has to connect emotionally with the audience- an audience of 26 million people. He's one of the finest young actors I know.
AO: Do you work one-on-one with Elyes Gabel (Fictional Character of Walter O'Brien) and have to give him any pointers on how to portray you in the T.V series?
Yes, Elyes was the closest to understanding my young self from the very first audition. He's a dedicated actor who has truly studied me. His curiosity has prompted many questions- all pointed at helping him get into my head- in to my mindset- when I was younger. He's as realistic as it could get. Sometimes I've watched him act as Walter O'Brien and said- wow, this is a reflection of me. He's an acting mirror image of my behavior and tone from my past.
AO: How do you feel about "Scorpion" coming back for Season 3?
I'm optimistic that it is Season 3 of many more seasons. The show has been a success because it has a very successful team behind it. And CBS has been very supportive. I'm happy. The recipe is there for many, many more episodes that engage audiences for years to come.
AO: Tell us about the public-facing arm of Scorpion Computer Services, Inc., ConciergeUp.com. What can that do for our readers?
ConciergeUp.com originated, in part, due to Scorpion Computer Services own needs. It resulted in the Scorpion television show.
At Scorpion Computer Services, Inc., we wanted to continue recruiting top talent. We aim for IQs above 150, and, for others- what we call "supernannies"- who liaise between clients and our technical team, we look for people who have high emotional intelligence. Pairing high IQ and high EQ works well. There are however, not too many people with the characteristics we're looking for.
We asked ourselves: How do we find more people to work with us? We "Concierged Up" our own problem, and decided a television show would be the best approach to help us recruit talent over the long haul. In contrast, if we wrote a book not too many Millennials would read it. And a movie would be forgotten 6 months later, but a recurring TV show sticks and influences a whole new generation as CSI did.
We take that same approach to solve problems and find opportunities for other people and companies through ConciergeUp.com.
How does ConciergeUp.com work?
People come to us with a funded need, and we solve it. The ConciergeUp.com team takes on projects that are $5,000 and up, though the typical project budget is well in to the six figures. We can solve largely anything. And why do people come to us? We work with brilliant people from all walks of life and with expertise in practically every subject area. There's not a funded need we haven't been able to come to an elegant, efficient, and budget-conscious solution for.
What are some cool examples of your clients have used ConciergeUp for?
ConciergeUp.com has been deployed to help business build software systems, organize sales teams, and break into new markets in the U.S. and overseas. It has helped people manage assets and identify business opportunities. We've secured valuable financial or other personal information, and helped people take their music, film, and business careers to the next level. We've solved technical challenges in the oil and gas industry, personal privacy, software, internet e-commerce, residential security systems, healthcare information systems, and of course, cybersecurity.
AO: How can people find more on ConciergeUp?
The best move is to visit the website at ConciergeUp.com. Bring us a problem that you've had difficulty solving. Something pressing and something you have a budget for. Or something you think only a genius could solve. We'll have the answer and walk through a solution for you.
Writer: Antoinette Ortega