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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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Communication Production Breakdown

June 24th, 2010 by Mark Lasser

Someone and Somebody

When I used to produce and production manage video, I’d hire hundreds of crew members and contract with dozens of vendors.  Eventually I got to the point where I established relationships with certain crew and companies and they became my preferred production team.  After ten years producing, I had a great set of resources to call on for each project.  Unfortunately, there were two crew people who always came on board that I could never get rid of.  They had odd names.  One was called Somebody and the other was Someone.  I never did meet them in person, but they were always around.

Once I looked out onto the set at wrap and saw the security guys were no longer around.  I called over the 2nd Assistant Director who would normally know what was up.  She informed me that Somebody told them they could leave early.  I of course asked who, only to be told again, it was Somebody.

Another day the caterer was short ten meals for us.  I know how many I had authorized on the call sheet so it was a mystery as to why we were short.  Well, apparently Someone told the caterer the wrong head count.

These two trouble makers were responsible for many rumors also.  Someone once told the crew they would be having a short day.  Somebody, on another occasion told the crew we’d be working a 20 hour day.

It sure would have been nice to have web based collaboration tools like Market7 in those olden days of the 90’s.  If we had such tools, the crew, the security guys and the caterer could all see the website for the production and would know that Somebody and Someone were wrong about almost everything said.

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The Undiscovered Producer

November 18th, 2008 by Nicholas Chang

The best thing for a product manager is actually building a product for an undiscovered market. That’s what I think we have here with video producers. Of the thirty or so users I have been able to sit down with or have a phone conversation with in my short tenure, you can almost hear their heart pound with excitement when I tell them about what our product does and what it plans to do. This is by far the most passionate and motivated group of users I have ever been around. And why wouldn’t they be, doing something that you love, which is why most of them are in the “business” in the first place, you can’t help but have it shine through.

So don’t get me wrong, these producers have been treated to many technological advances in editing software, and new video formats. However, no one has created a “one stop” shop for his or her business operation and client management needs. Which leads me the pleasure of getting in touch with my client base and busy compiling the feature list. So for all you producers out there, Market7 is officially here and we are listening!

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