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How To Write A Screenplay AND Develop Software

June 26th, 2011 by Seth Kenvin

Character Empathy Is Key

Flying Virgin America, laptop on tray-table, DishTV showing above that on the screen built into seatback, watching makingof, and struck by what’s at ~7 minutes into this video, thoughts from screenwriter Craig Mazin about how he practices his craft.

For me, the best way to write for characters is to be a little crazy yourself, the way actors are a little crazy, because actors have to sort of subsume their own sense of identity into somebody else’s, an imaginary person’s. When you’re a writer, you don’t have to do that quite so publicly, but you do have to sort get a little schizoid about the work, because when you’re writing characters, you have to think like they think. The only way you can think like they think is if you understand who they are fully, and the only way you can understand who they are fully is to really, really create another person.

This is just an extension of what we did as kids and made up imaginary friends or took little action figures and created desires and motivations for them and conflicts. Then you just be real about them as best you can, if you’re writing that sort of movie. Try and be true to the person that you’ve created, and they theoretically will turn out interesting if you’re true and real to them, but you have to do the work. You have to do the work, and you have to understand people, be a little bit of a psychologist

Such empathy in core to software product management as well, in our case concern with the perspectives, motivations, capabilites etc. of  various user personas in parallel Craig Mazin’s thoughts about characters being written. Providing software for media production, we love these sorts of opportunities to relate our respective crafts.

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Meaning Of T-Shaped People To Employing Companies & Resulting Products

November 26th, 2009 by Seth Kenvin

T-Shaped People, Rectangular Companies, Cubed Benefits To Our Customers

T is for “turkey”, “Thanksgiving” and, and to some, a special kind of “person”. The case for hiring & working with “T-shaped” people is one I’ve encountered a lot lately. I think it’s a good description of the sort of person with whom I most value working and engaging. If you want to know what it means, and why I think it’s so great, including for our customers, watch the video that follows this paragraph. You can even play a little game: see if you catch my mistake, revealed below the video. Also stay tuned for Shannon’s cameo at the end. In spirit of holiday, I’m thankful for him always being on-the-spot with video equipment for recording my takes. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Seth’s mistake revealed below

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a little lower

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As integration among our modules rises, I don’t anticipate too many users will “write a script about the task” as I mistakenly said on-camera.  I meant more that benefits accrue when our software can allow contextual assignment of a task-about-a-script from within that script’s page instead of having to navigate away from it to a Tasks module page.

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