Ypulse Interviews Hollywood Screenwriter, Kirsten Smith

Ypulse had the pleasure of sitting down with Hollywood screenwriter and American novelist, Kirsten Smith; responsible for teen hit sensations like 10 Things I Hate About You and Legally Blonde. Her new book, Trinkets, a tale of three teenage girl shoplifters, is a gritty, dark comedy that takes place in a rich suburb outside of Portland. We had the chance to talk to her about her new book, the politics of making a teenage girl movie (in comparison to a teenage boy movie), the trends of the modern day female, and the cultural shifts of the teenage girl spanning the past two decades. 

YPulse: Trinkets has so far had a great response. Famous blogger Tavi Gevinson said she even wants to devote a “shrine to it”. How was writing it and how are you feeling about the launch?

Kirsten Smith: I’m really excited about it and I am huge fan of Tavi’s. She’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and I know that sounds crazy because she’s 16, but it’s true. 

KS: It was a long journey to write the book because I was in the midst of getting a bunch of screenplays out so it feels amazing to finally get it out there. 

YP: How long did it take you?

KS: 6 years! 

YP: Wow. Did you find yourself fighting with maintaining relevant subject matter? So much has changed in such a short period of time, primarily technology. 

KS: Yes! Well, my friend and former assistant, Hope Leon always jokes that when I started the book, cellphones were the size of a giant purse. It feels true in a way because when I started writing it iPhones or Andriods didn’t even exist. Another way I went around that was that I chose not to focus on the technology aspect. You’ll notice it’s not very tech specific, it’s a little more classic in the way that the characters are operating. 

YP: It’s funny…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: The emoji I most send is 100, because I'm 100% real.”—Male, 15, TX

Brands are now #adulting in an effort to relate to Millennials. In 2014, our Chasing Neverland trend reported Millennials’ desire to escape grownup responsibilities and indulge their inner-kid. Since then #adulting, which comically references the so-called adult struggles like paying rent or “showering beforenoon,” has blown-up online, getting mentioned 642,000 times just last year. Now brands are joining on the trend, tweeting out #adulting tips and jokes—but beware of adopting Millennial-speak. According to one social media expert, “if a brand can legitimately talk like a millennial or even a teenager, they can get away with using #adulting. Otherwise, it comes up as fake.” (Digiday

Fox’s Empire Snapchat lens not only garnered 61 million views, it also upped brand awareness for the series. Snapchat has officially released a few stats on their sponsored content in an effort to bring more marketers onto its platform, and reports that the Empire lens ramped up brand awareness by 16 points and increased tune-in intent by 8% when it ran in March. The lens, which “overlaid a graphic of a pair of headphones and sunglasses over Snapchat users' faces with a microphone that they could pretend to sing into,” was played 33 million times and used for an average of 20 seconds before snapping. (Adweek

Millennials may be the key to redefining beauty standards in the fashion industry. Despite criticism, fashion has been slow to diversify, and 80% of models booked for the Fall 2015 season were white. Tony King, a CEO of an advertising agency that works with luxury brands, believes the way Millennials consume content can spark change: “There used to be all these layers between what brands put out and what the consumer saw. Now with the rise of social media and the accessibility of platforms like Snapchat you see a true authentic voice.” While young consumers “are totally clued into a diverse voice,” many brands haven’t recognized their preferences. (Forbes

Millennials without college degrees could be “stuck renting for a long time.” New research is revealing significant hurdles for 18-34-year-olds without diplomas: college graduates without student debt will need on average five years of additional savings to afford a down payment for a starter home, those with student loans will need 10 years, and those who haven’t graduated college will need 15.5 years. Lower incomes are one of the main drivers for the trend, but Millennials without college diplomas are also less likely to get financial assistance from friends and family. (Wall Street Journal

Virtual reality is “inventing a new way to tell a story." A 360-degree app that tells the story of Cirque du Soleil's traveling Kurios show, has been referenced as evidence of how VR is poised to become a revolutionary tool for storytelling. The app puts users “in the center of the action,” spotlighting how the technology could be the “closest to teleportation we will ever have in our lifetime." Experts also claim that consumers will “actually create the greatest amount of [virtual] content for themselves and their friends,” because of VR’s power to let users relive important experiences like birthdays and weddings. (Recode

Quote of the Day: “I can’t live without my desktop computer because it can replace most of the other devices (media streaming, music playing, getting directions, staying in contact with friends, gaming...).”—Female, 25, SC

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