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 type of commercials that stick in my memory are the ones that make me evaluate my life.”—Female, 28, SD

To Millennials, being a geek is a good thing. Imgur’s research (conducted by Ypulse) reveals that 60% of Millennials consider themselves geeks or are into geeky things, compared to just 38% of Xers and Boomers, and the majority don’t believe the geek label is a bad thing. These Millennial geeks are trendsetters, politically and culturally engaged, and highly influential: 84% say people look to them for advice on a topic, compared to 60% of non-geeks, and 67% say they know about things before they go viral, compared to 48% of non-geeks. However, Millennial geek influencers are not easy to reach, with 76% using adblockers and 32% feeling like brands can’t relate to them. (AdweekMediaPost

Half of 12-18-year-olds feel they are addicted to their phones, according to Common Sense Media’s new poll. Although not enough research exists to define digital addiction currently, teens are clearly dependent on their devices: 80% say they check their phones hourly, and 72% said they feel a need to respond to text and social media messages immediately. Parents are in agreement, with 59% saying their children are addicted, and 36% saying they argue daily with their children over mobile use. The bright side is there are signs they are aware too much time on devices might be bad: 37% say they are very often or occasionally trying to cut down. (CNN)

BuzzFeed, which is producing 600 pieces of content daily, has grown their audience views from 2.8 billion monthly to 7 billion in the past year. They attribute their success to “truly understand[ing] what today's audiences want,” and being able to monitor reactions to content. They report that three quarters of their content is consumed outside of their actual site. Facebook is where they thrive: the social network contributes 33% of their views, more than their own platforms at 23%. Tasty, their food entertainment division, has become "its own BuzzFeed," averaging 360 million users monthly. (Adweek

Going viral is not always a good thing. Down to Lunch is a simple meet-up app inspired by “the experience of living in their freshman-year dorms,” connecting users with their contacts to facilitate lunch, “chill,” or “blaze” meet-ups. But as it began to gain traction, becoming “wildly popular college campuses,” fake reviews claiming the app was used for human trafficking also began to go viral—decreasing user growth by 90% over two days. The founders were able to fight the accusations, and the popular app peaked at  No.2 on iPhone download charts in April. (Business Insider)

According to The New York Times the future of journalism is virtual reality. At the NewFronts this week, the Times outlined their new digital strategy, concentrated on an R&D lab where journalists, technologists, and brands will create video series and 360-degree videos. Last year the publication delivered a million Google Cardboard virtual reality headsets to subscribers, leading to 600,000 downloads of their VR app, which they call “the leading mobile app for high quality VR content.” The company plans to cover the Olympic games in Rio, space exploration, and more in VR this year. (Fortune

Quote of the Day: “A wedding trend I have noticed is not having a photographer, and just having friends take all the pictures.”—Female, 18, CO

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