Portland-Seattle Trip Summary & Upcoming Events
tl;dr Lots of great footage captured of amazing people in Portland and Seattle. Racing to break the edit. A name and design for our little filmmaking app.
We just recently got back from a long, fruitful production trip to the Pacific Northwest.
We started out in Portland sitting down with Steven Frank and Cabel Sasser, the founders of Panic.
As you would expect from some of the most respected creators in the indie app development scene, their interviews were incredible. We covered the history of Panic, the evolution of personal computing, the joy and pain of being indie, and their recent trouble with creating sustainable, rich apps on iOS. It is crazy that no one has told their story on video before. So pumped to share it with you!
Panic's story epitomizes the indie app dream and was a blast to document. Our timing could not have been better. We were able to cover Panic's launch of Status Board 2 that they had attempted to release the previous week, but had to delay due to myriad issues.
After driving around Portland, documenting the locations of Steven's and Cabel's youth and early years of Panic, we met up with them and made our way down to the Willamette River. We walked the docks where, one fateful night many years ago, they decided to found a software company.
Before leaving Panic, we had the privilege of interviewing Heather Buletti who is the developer working on Panic's Prompt app. Heather gave us a stellar interview and it turns out she is a teaching alum from App Camp For Girls.
After filming with Steven and Cabel, we met up with Neven and Christa Mrgan. We were after capturing some specific coverage for Neven and having a quick follow-up interview with Christa as she has recently left Rogue Amoeba to co-found Civil. Luckily for us, Neven's coverage required him to make pizza. Let us tell you, we ate like kings and will never think of pizza the same.
Originally we were only headed to Portland, but after an email exchange with Brent Simmons, we headed up to Omni in the South Lake Union area of Seattle.
If you're not aware of Brent, he doesn't mince words and he's one of the most respected developers in the scene. Brent's interview was much like his writing on his blog, Inessential—full of passion and insight around creating software. We talked about the early years of Mac development, his time with Q Branch, the importance of the open web for the future of apps, and a bit about the two secret apps he's brewing.
Thanks to an introduction from Brent, we were able to sit down with Laura Savino who is an iOS developer for Khan Academy. Laura's love of programming, language, and teaching made for a great interview—albeit a tricky one as we shot it outside and had to deal with noise from seaplanes and construction. Lesson learned.
This trip wouldn't have been possible without our interviewees blocking out a lot of time for us. We're incredibly grateful. A special thanks to Omni Group for providing a beautiful location for Brent's and Laura's interviews and for feeding us. We also want to thank our friends in Portland and Seattle who let us crash their couches and spare bedrooms. You are loved.
Somehow between now and September 12th, we are going to get the first 10-15 minutes of the film dialed in and present at XOXO Fest in Portland. It's going to be a pretty rough edit bender, but we couldn't be more excited. While production trips are hard on the body, cracking the edit can be hard on the soul. But no worries—good stuff comes out of hard work and there is nothing we'd rather be doing!
Our Little App
Exciting stuff! We have a name for our time, heat map app thing we've been using internally. We feel the name really captures what the app does. We're calling it Quantify. In an App Store with 1.5 million apps, there are a few other apps with the same name or similar names, but fortunately our take on quantifying time is unique (at least for the moment) and our audience will be so niche there is no point in playing the SEO game. Quantify will just be a little tool that lives and dies on word of mouth.
Thanks to the incredibly talented Marc Edwards, we have an amazing start to our app's design that we're really excited to show you. Once we have a solid build based on the new design, we'll start testing it with our friends at Usertesting and sending it to interested Beta testers. Let us know if you would be interested in testing the app—it's primarily aimed at video and audio producers.
Thanks again for the opportunity to make this film.
Jake & Jed.