Characters of the Day | StoryLab101

Characters of the Day

Published July 31, 2014 in:
East Meets Tech > Reporter's Notebook
by Hani Taha

Not all charachters that a film crew encounters during the process of a shoot make it to the final cut of a film. Nonetheless these charachters add flavor and lend greater understanding to the subject at hand and delight us in myriad ways. Here are the 3 people that we met during the filming of East Meets Tech that show us a side of Silicon Valley that was important for us to be able to understand what makes this place and it’s tech ecosystem so unique.

Hunter the jumper:

When you think of Silicon Valley you think of mad cap inventors parading down the street with their gadgets. Techie madhatters if you will. Hunter (above) embodied the energy that these geekie chaps exude and the sheer ingenuity and innovation that runs through their blood. (His justification for wearing these jump stilts is to allow tiny muscles in the calf to get the exercise they need since they normally get ignored when we work out.)

Learn more about jump stilts here.

Pararanger patrol Kathleen Jones:

“Who here’s been tweeting?” she demanded. We all had our phones out. And I, who uses twitter as her search engine, grievance portal, and helpline- was guilty as charged. I thought we were busted for sauntering in and filming without permission at Foothills park. But no. The lady was serious. She tracked us down through the tweet that Aela and I sent. Turns out the Palo Alto pararangers have been actively using social media for security and PR for the last 5 years. Jones estimates they have over 70,000 people working for the parks actively using social, which quite possibly makes the rangers more active on new media than most journalists I know!

Fancy a trip to Foothills park for a panoramic view of Palo Alto? Get more information here.

Laila Shabbir & Girls Make Games

Diversity has been a hugely contentious issue in tech this summer. Iconic companies like Google and Twitter released their diversity data (both nearly 30%) receiving serious censure for their lack of female representation. [We also held a twitter chat on diversity in tech to generate conversation around the issue for our film before we began shooting in June.] So while we were filming at the Fundable 50 event, I took the opportunity to poke around a classroom full of girls and discovered MIT graduate Laila Shabbir commandeering Girls Make Games. Shabbir, a Pakistani-American engineer took it upon herself (with the assistance of one tweet) to create this summer camp to teach young girls how to create games.

See how Girls Make Games is changing the rules of gaming for young girls here.