In Dubai, I took some time off and went to watch the 3D movie “Life of Pi”. It is a beautiful movie in many ways. I watched it again on my flight to Houston.
I guess that movies touch more hearts than novels. Most people enjoy movies more than novels, probably because not many people have the luxury of reading a 200+ pages novel. I saw the novel (book) of Life of Pi in our local library, but it did not take me much time to decide not to borrow it. Another reason movies are more popular is that movies are the results of careful selection. Producers and directors must be extremely scrutinizing in selecting interesting or inspiring stories to base movies on.
Writing a novel is creativity in action. Translating a story into a movie or TV program is another form of creativity, requiring collaborative efforts from teams of talents. By comparison, we can tell that writing is more like playing solo in creating stories while movie making requires high technologies, performance, music, a pool of talents.
It is hard to say whether movie directors benefit more from writers or other way around to create a blockbuster sensation. It takes the best of both worlds to create a film like Life of Pi.
In a similar way, researchers and engineers write technical papers and create models. But the gap between researchers and field engineers is big. The theories developed by researchers sometimes are hard for field engineers to comprehend. Researchers may not fully understand the situations field engineers face.
Drilling software is like a movie based on certain stories (theories and models). Software developers are like movie makers, translating abstract equations into visual interfaces, often using hi-tech development tools.
A good software requires a technically sound model, carefully architected structure and easy-to-use navigation interface. The advanced model provides a solid base to construct a functional structure. Careful design makes sophisticated models appear simple and creates pleasant user-experience.
It is a leap from a script (model or theory) to a lively movie!