Annika Lidne

The power of a name – working with international teams

The power of a name – working with international teams

Many people across the world have to live with online services that don’t care how they want to be greeted or how their name is written. We think that’s very unfair.

Names – and how we are named – are intensely tied to our personality, ethnicity and tradition. The internet actually quite seldom recognises this, and tries to force a Western naming pattern on everybody. If matters were reversed, I’d have to live with receiving emails with “Hello Lidne!” as the personalised greeting instead of “Hello Annika!”. A small thing you might think. It’s not.

The Westernised standard

Most forms on the web that asks you to leave your name, looks something like this:

names in international teams

It leaves no room for the initial that many Americans use to differentiate their name from other people, like actors Michael J. Fox or Michael C. Hall.

It also takes for granted that the first name comes first and is my given name, and that my last name comes last and is my family name. Not so in many Asian countries.

In China, a name like Mao Ze Dong, consists of the family name “Mao”, the generational name “Ze” shared by siblings, and the given name “Dong”.  While not everyone have a generational name anymore, those who do, expect to be called by friends “Ze Dong”, not just “Dong”.

Meanwhile in India, there is a vast variety of combinations like

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  • “Kogaddu Birappa Timappa Nair” follows the order villageName-fathersName-givenName-lastName
  • in Rajasthani, the name “Aditya Pratap Singh Chauhan” is composed of givenName-fathersName-surname-casteName
  • and, in another part of India the name “Madurai Mani Iyer” represents townName-givenName-casteName


Most developers (at least in countries with Latin and Cyrillic alphabets) usually assumes that the first name in the form is your given name and use that to personalise greetings on the web and in transactional emails.

As you see in the examples, that assumption can end up being very, very wrong!

Names for official credits and nicknames

Meanwhile, in Spanish and Portugese speaking countries, names usually follows a Western standard order, but can be very long. It is common with names consisting of several given names as well as both your mother’s and your father’s family names like “José Eduardo Santos Tavares Melo Silva.”

In English and Scandinavian speaking countries it’s common to shorten a name, from “Katherine” to “Kate”, or from “Mikael” to “Micke”.  In other countries like Thailand and Russia, many people have a separate preferred nickname used by friends and family.

Full name and “personal” name

At Dramatify, we must handle names correctly for credits and payroll, but with Dramatify’s social team features, it’s also nice to know what people prefers to be called by their team mates and also for us to greet them properly in emails and other communication.

To handle all of these various ways of using names, and get it right both for official credits and for close working relationships, we at Dramatify have chosen to have full name and “I’d like to be called” instead of the usual firstname / given name and last name / family name form fields.

Suddenly, users can decide how they want to be addressed, while getting their official full name correct.

To learn more about names all over the globe, and how to handle them digitallt, read the W3C schools article that inspired Dramatify’s naming convention.





Launching individual user access

Launching individual user access

Now we make it easier for you to administer access!

Today we launch individual user access. This means that you can add your entire team to Dramatify and decide on an individual basis who should have access to Dramatify and not. Up till now you’ve had to remove a team member entirely from your production to shut off their access.

Now you can:

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  • Add a team member to your team list, but delay inviting them to a later date
  • Toggle access on and off as you need. For instance, you might want to shut off access for actors that are ready with their parts, but have the option of turning on access again if someone needs to do any additional work.
  • Keep an intact team list for reference and credits


Of course, you can still remove team members completely from a production. If you do, you’ll need to send them a new invitation if you’d like to add them again.

Happy producing!

Meet us at Power to the Pixel!

Meet us at Power to the Pixel!

Tomorrow, October 13th, we will attend Power to the Pixel conference in London. The conference describes itself as “a magnet for the world’s leading professionals working at the forefront of media innovation. Inviting a collection of international professionals from a range of different media sectors, the audience will hear a series of boundary stretching ideas around prototyping, brand building, user data, new ways of financing, distributing and creating cross-platform content, virtual reality and new entertainment formats.”

We look forward to meeting new people at the cutting edge of media development and introduce Dramatify’s production management solution aimed to support productions on the cutting edge.

If you’d like to meet us, ping @annika on Twitter or send me an email.

The Day out of Day report – much asked for!

The Day out of Day report – much asked for!

Many of our users have said they want us to build a Day out of Day report. And here it is, ready for your fall and winter productions!

Day out of Day report is completely linked to our scheduling. You will be notified when a character and participants begin working, working and stop working. If you have a long production, you can also filter on the date period you wish to see.

A smart way to planning cast and statistically days is to have the scheduling and Dood report open in separate tabs in your browser. Reload the page with Dood reports when you have made changes in your scene planning, and you can really plan better and save costs.

Take a moment and look at our tutorial about scheduling, including Day out of Day report, you might see some new smart functions has not been used yet!

Dramatify releases technical script breakdown

Dramatify releases technical script breakdown

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Customers have asked us  to build out our breakdown with a proper technical breakdown. And here it is!

Now you can breakdown every aspect of your script and add anything it needs to be realised. You can add the scene items to scenes, sets or characters and select which department is responsible for the scene item.

Persistent and non-persistent scene items

To characters, you can add both persistent and non-persistent items. A persistent item is something the character should have in every scene, like glasses. Once a persistent item is added to a character, it is automatically added to each scene that you add that character to.

Sets work in a similar manner. When you add scene items to sets, they will be automatically added to all scenes using that set.

Adding scene items outside of breakdown

Since departments like set construction, props, wardrobe and makeup & hair often need to fill out the initial breakdown, they can do that at the set and character pages without needing admin privileges. They can also add scene item options to each scene item, like different brands, colors or models to try out before deciding on the right one. These lists also makes it easy to remember what to return.

Scene list and breakdown report

In the ultra sortable scene list, your team can get a condensed version of the breakdown, to some extent depending on their individual access permissions. The breakdown report that shows everything included in the breakdown can be sorted and printed on screenplay or scene.





The Team Thingy – new super profiles, team administration and team reports

The Team Thingy – new super profiles, team administration and team reports

Dramatify users  said they wanted us to beef up profiles, allow team members to display driving licenses and professional qualifications and most importantly: Build the team list and set up profiles for team members before inviting them. Here it is!

Team administration, team reports and new profiles – A short list of our new features

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  • Much easier team administration
  • Build your team list before you invite your team
  • Invite team members and cast at the right time for each person
  • Manually add profile, profile image, contact information, representation etc as you invite team members
  • Add flags for minors as well as contact information to their guardians
  • Easier team administration with up to 5 teams, production notes and optional upload of releases and contracts


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  • One click calling, texting. direct messaging and emailing
  • Options for team members to add driving licenses, professional qualifications and certificates, medical training and health and safety officer training to their profile
  • Option for team members to add a flag for a medical condition or handicap they want the team to know about, and how the team best can assist
  • Option of adding ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact information
  • Team reports that can be filtered and printed



The one minute explaination:

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The thorough tutorial:

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Happy Dramatifying your team!

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