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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The Newsfeed

“I love watching movies and shows uninterrupted.”—Female, 18, CO

Mattel just made the first hijab-wearing Barbie. She’s based on Ibtihaj Muhammad, who won the Olympic bronze medal for fencing for the U.S. while wearing a hijab. Brands are bringing diversity to the toy aisle to appease The Diversity Tipping Point generation’s appetite for inclusion, and this new doll is a step in the right direction. She gives girls a new role model and (in Muhammad’s words) encourages them "to embrace what makes them unique." Mattel has plans to create an entire line of Barbies based on inspirational women next year. (BBC)

Another ‘90s classic, Are You Afraid of the Dark, is coming to the big screen and revisiting Millennials’ childhood nightmares. Nostalgia entertainment is big business for the entertainment industry, who are hoping to capitalize on Millennials and Gen Z’s trademark wistfulness, and it doesn’t hurt that this screenplay for the remake is being written by It’s screenwriter. With horror proving it can bring in massive audiences these days, this mixture of dark content and nostalgia is a good bet to get them in theaters. (Collider)

Millennials are causing a “baby bust”—they aren’t having enough kids to keep the U.S. population at the “replacement level.” According to the Negative Population Growth Inc., the birth rate has dropped below the death rate, with women are having an average of just 1.8 births compared to the 2.1 needed to keep the population steady. The research blames all Millennials for the drop, reporting that “irth rates for all age groups of women under 30 fell to record lows in 2016.” (Washington Examiner)

Kellogg’s is coming back to NYC, with a bigger (and maybe better) cereal café than last year’s Times Square popup. The 5,000 square foot Union Square space will be a permanent place for Millennials to try crafty concoctions from Kellogg’s, who hopes getting the demo to rethink the product will keep Millennials from “killing” cereal as we know it. The company claims “It’ll be a destination for foodies and people to chill, create and explore the endless possibilities of cereal all in one place, whether it be for breakfast, lunch or a snack later in the day.” (CSA)

People are binging Netflix in public—at work, in line, and even on the toilet. A new study from Netflix found that 67% of viewers have watched a show or movie in public, 37% admit to tuning in at work, and 12% have pressed play in a public restroom. One in five have cried during a public streaming session, and 11% have seen a spoiler on another public streamer’s screen—but that’s not stopping them. The Binge Effect is real and bigger than ever: 60% of respondents said they binge more content than they did last year. (MashableMarkets Insider)

“I really enjoyed Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul does a really good job capturing the same intensity and intrigue that the original series did…”—Male, 28, NY

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