How New Technology Turns Writers into Filmmakers

May 7, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Date: Monday, May 24, 2010
Place: 2F Wesley Center, 6-10-11 Minami Aoyama; a map is here

We’ve got another stellar lineup for you, and a brand-new venue—the beautiful new Wesley Center, just off Roppongi Dori near the intersection with Komazawa Dori (directions below). Along with Hollywood writer/director Doug Campbell (and back by popular demand), we’ll also hear from other talented members of our community. In the spirit of TEDxTokyo, Pecha Kucha Night and Tokyo BarCamp, our Media Tectonics devotees will have ten minutes to show off recent projects and works in progress. Read on to find out more!

Combination Plate #1

“How New Technology Turns Writers into Filmmakers”

Newsflash: “Film budgets skyrocket! “Avatar” cost $300 million dollars! Making movies is getting more expensive every day!” Not true. For many, film production has never been cheaper. Join writer-director Doug Campbell as he discusses his work over the past 23 years, both inside the Hollywood system and independently. Thanks to the HD revolution, writers are now able to turn screenplays into affordable movies, without sacrificing quality.

About Doug: Doug has written and directed features and television for CBS, HBO, Lifetime, Showtime, Fox, PAX-TV, The Family Channel, A&E, NHK and others. He’s earned a reputation as a solid writer and one of the fastest, most efficient directors in the business. Independently, Doug has self-financed features and seen the technical requirements change overnight. Also, Doug will share his experiences on deal-making—the ever-challenging game of “finding the money” to make your film.

Combination Plate #2

“MT Smorgasbord–Show Us What You’ve Got!”

Every person who walks through our door is a storyteller in some way, and the new technologies and social media tools and networks have opened up a host of options for sharing your vision or corporate message with others. See what some of our Media Tectonics devotees have been up to.

Jason Hall is an IT generalist with an arts, science, and business education; an interest in communication; and a desire to help make the world a better place. The right mix of interests eventually landed him with the Media Studio at the United Nations University in Tokyo, where he serves as the resident technical/Internet/community engineer. Jason will talk about the Media Studio’s bilingual, multimedia, environmental web magazine (, and how it employs a variety of social media systems to grow its traffic. He’ll also give us his take on how and why we can remake this world into a newer, better version.

Martin Burns is a professional actor from Scotland with over 20 years’ experience in all types of media outlets for acting – film, TV, radio, commercials, theatre, corporate role-play as well as convincing mum he didn’t do whatever he was accused of! He recently ran a successful workshop teaching “Acting for the Camera” here in Tokyo. The workshop mixed theory with practical exercises, workshop situations with work! The idea was a two-day workshop and film combination – first day theory and practical exercises, second day make an actual short film. He had 8 students and 4 hours each day to accomplish it all … he’ll explain exactly how he did it!

Rick Martin is a Canadian freelance writer who has covered tech news in Japan for publications like Gizmag, CNet Asia, The Japan Times, and CNNgo. When he moved to Tokyo in late 2008 after a 5-year stint in China, he was surprised to find few English-language websites that provided the information he wanted to know about the city. There were huge blind spots on a local level. Having co-founded a website about the city of Dalian while in China, he hopes to port this experiment in local publishing to Tokyo. He believes that journalist/programmer hybrids are the key to saving the news, and to that end he desperately aspires to be one someday. In the meantime Rick will share what he has learned so far about building locally, with a focus on the Drupal content management system, geo-location, and content architecture. He invites you to come steal his ideas so we can all make Tokyo more accessible.

Verònica Calafell has been a translator and interpreter from Japanese into Spanish and Catalan for over 10 years. She is co-founder and director of the leading translation and localization agency of Japanese leisure contents – mainly manga, animation and movies – in the Spanish market, Daruma Serveis Lingüístics ( She is also coauthor and adaptator of a number of books on Japanese language, both from the Mangaland series (with Marc Bernabé) and the Remembering the Kanji series (with Marc Bernabé and James W. Heisig) ( Vero will tell us about the manga boom in Spain and Europe in the past few years and how it relates to a growing interest in and awareness of Japanese language and culture in young generations in the Western world. Media Tectonics seminars are designed to introduce you to new opportunities, new career options, and inspiring people you may not have had a chance to meet otherwise. We’re hoping for collaborative sparks and more, so step out of your comfort zone, find collaborative partners and resources, and take action toward realizing that long-held dream of yours. We know you’ve got a story to tell, and we’ve got big ears! So let us know if you’d like to share your own story at our next smorgasbord in the fall.

We’re looking forward to seeing you on May 24!

The Media Tectonics Team


Date: Monday, May 24, 2010
6:30 p.m. dinner and networking (catered by To the Moon & Back); 7:00 p.m. seminar begins
Location: Wesley Center, 2F, 6-10-11 Minami Aoyama
3,000 yen (prepaid, by May 21); 4,000 yen at the door

Be sure to take advantage of the prepayment discount, and let us know you’re coming so we can be kind to the environment with an accurate food order!

RSVP by sending an email here, and transferring funds to:

Resona Bank
Shibuya Branch: 473
Account Type: Futsu
Account Number: 1804222
Account Name: 4M Associates

Community News

May 15, 2010: TEDxTokyo

Don’t forget to watch the live feed of TEDxTokyo, coming to you from the Miraikan in Odaiba. Check out the program at and be prepared to be inspired!


You’re passionate about movies. You’ve got a great idea for a film. You want to make your first feature . . . but how? What’s the first step? Is your script the best it can be? Are you prepared to direct actors and crew? Is your production plan solid?

Doug Campbell will be running a two-day Writing-Directing Workshop, in association with Screenwriters in Tokyo, and co-sponsored by Media Tectonics. Joining Doug for this dynamic, bilingual (English-Japanese) workshop will be Shika MacKenzie, resident interpreter at Tokyo Film Center and translator of the best-selling Japanese version of Stella Adler’s “The Art of Acting.”

Date: Saturday-Sunday, June 19-20, 2010
10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Wesley Center, Minami-Aoyama
38,000 yen for the weekend; 20,000 for a single day
Maximum participants: 25
For more info, contact David Chester: More information about Doug Campbell and the contents of the workshop can be found on the Screenwriters in Tokyo website. ==========================================================

Directions to the new venue: Wesley Center, 2F 6-10-11 Minami Aoyama Minato-ku, Tokyo

From Shibuya Station:

• By taxi: 710 yen and simply give the address to the driver. When you see the ENEOS gas station or Monsoon Restaurant on the right, you know you have gone far enough.

• By bus: At the East Exit, go to bus stop #51 and board the #1 bus headed for Shimbashi Station (but DON’T take the express bus to Roppongi Hills). Exit at the first bus stop (Aoyama chutobumae) and bear right and walk toward Roppongi. From Aoyamachutobumae, it is a quick 3-minute walk along the lefthand side of the expressway. (You will pass Infinity Apartments, cross a couple of small streets, pass a Pay Parking, etc.) On the righthand side of the expressway, you will see an ENEOS gas station and Monsoon restaurant. On “your” side of the expressway, note the entrance to a road under construction. This is the access street to Wesley Center. Turn left onto this construction zone, and the Wesley Center is the 2nd building on the right.

• Walking: 20 minutes approx. Walk through the Cross Tower complex and then along the lefthand side of the expressway from Shibuya to Roppongi. When you see the ENEOS gas station, look for the road access on the lefthand side of the expressway, which leads to the Wesley Center. It is the 11-story next door to New City Residence.

From Omotesando Station Take the Spiral Museum Exit. Continue straight after you exit to the street until you see Max Mara on the corner of Aoyama Dori and Kottoh Dori. Turn left at Max Mara onto Kottoh Dori, and walk on the right side of the street. At the 3rd traffic light after Max Mara, you will notice Hunting World. Turn right there. Take the next left, and then the next right. You’ll notice the green “tennis” fence and pay parking in front of the 11-story Wesley Center. There’s a path around the fence, or you can walk out to Roppongi Dori and left around the 3-story Faith Management building to the road under construction in front of Wesley Center. For a quieter walk, cross the Kottoh Dori from Max Mara to Kua Aina and take the next street to the left. Continue straight on that street until it “empties” onto Roppongi Dori and the expressway. Turn left until you see ENEOS gas station on the opposite side of the street. That is where you look for the road construction in progress on your side of the street. Wesley Center is the 2nd building from the expressway and is 11 floors high.

From Ebisu Station:

It is possible to take a cab from Ebisu Station. Ask the driver to let you off at the ENEOS gas station, which is where Komazawa Dori dead-ends onto Roppongi Dori, and across the street from Monsoon Restaurant. Approximately 800 yen.

MAP: This map was made for Tokyo English Life Line, which happens to be in the same building. If you get lost, call us at 090-2451-0697.

About Cindy Mullins
Cindy Mullins has loved books and languages ever since her mom began dropping her off on Saturdays for “Story Hour” at the Carnegie-built library of the small southern U.S. town she grew up in. She came to Tokyo in 1985 to study Japanese, taught English for a time on Shikoku Island, and still calls Japan home. A respected member of Japan’s publishing industry for over two decades, Cindy has done everything from producing and running magazines and journals to acquiring titles for major publishers like Charles E. Tuttle and John Wiley & Sons and shepherding them into print.


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