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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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Personalized Video Experiences from 38 Thousand Feet

December 13th, 2009 by Seth Kenvin

Yet another tech dweeb bragging about being online from a plane

People touting being online from airplanes is about as trite as people pointing out how we increasingly consume the video we want, when we want, where we want & on the device we want. I’m doing both here — is combining those observations even more trite, or kind of insightful? I’m not sure, so I’ll try to keep this brief.

I’m on Virgin America (already established as favorite Market7 airline) flying back to SF from NYC.

  • I’ve been taking advantage of the free Dec-Jan WiFi to work online the whole flight (we’re over Utah now), including catching up on a couple of video podcasts.
  • Through the gap in the seats in front of me to my right a couple has swapped halfway through the flight so that each of them could watch The Hangover on the same in-flight VoD purchase in the seat’s screen.
  • Through the same gap on my left A guy is playing around with the Red interactive functionality on his screen while he’s got MTV up live in the screen’s corner by PiP.
  • Both of the guys next to me are using their iPhones to get online by WiFi. I haven’t seen them watch video on them, but they could.
& here I go making with the zeitgeist cliches (but it’s so true): wow we’re progressing from rapidly-extinguishing status quo of everyone being confined to whatever happens to be showing on the tube screens in the ceiling. In fact, my last NYC trip a couple months ago, on a different airline, the only electronic choices were to work on my laptop offline or tilt up my head to consume Mall Cop.

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Virgin America, Brothers-in-Arms

May 15th, 2008 by Shannon Newton

I flew on Virgin America Airlines for the first time and realized that our very own Seth Kenvin may not be to dissimilar from Richard Branson.

They do all of the basics right but they don’t try to force every feature on you at once. Instead, they tell you the important stuff but allow you to discover many of the goodies by yourself. On several occasions, I thought “oh, they do that too? How cool is that?”.

This is very much the approach we take with Market7. A small, unintimidating pond that any user can immediately dive into for video project management. Underneath the surface, however, the pond is infinitely deep to offer producers the depth and breadth of functions they demand.

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