The Windup and the Pitch: Selling Great Big Ideas

March 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Date: Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Place: International House of Japan, 4F; here’s a map

We’ve been having the time of our lives this past year, introducing you to our amazing, inspiring friends and acquaintances. Our March seminar is no exception, because it may include you, too. Along with the film production adventures of Deborah DeSnoo, we’re going to hear from other talented and passionate members of our Media Tectonics community. Read on to find out more!

Combination Plate #1: “The Windup and the Pitch—Selling Great Big Ideas”

So you’ve got a great big idea. Congrats. But do you know how to pitch your project, ensure that you’re considered absolutely essential to its success, and snare the financial backing to make everything real?
Award-winning producer, director, writer and actor Deborah DeSnoo knows how, and she’ll describe her approach to the pitch, specific selling points, and the hurdles she overcame during three recent high-profile projects:

  • Japan: Memoirs of a Secret Empire–a three-part film series commissioned by PBS and broadcast internationally that was nominated for an International Documentary Award Limited Series Award in 2004.
  • The “Hip Korea” series on Discovery Channel–Hip Korea: Seoul Vibes, which featured Korean pop star Rain, was nominated for 4 Asian TV Awards and won Best Cross Platform Content. The second, Hip Korea: Seoul Savvy, spotlighted international film star Lee Byung Hun.
  • Skeletons in the Closet–a cross-platform documentary/drama production that explores the history of Japan’s supernatural culture and will be broadcast in March 2010 on NHK.

Along the way, Deborah will tell you how to locate international funding and some new options out there for producing and distributing your projects.

About Deborah: An award-winning theater director and acclaimed performer in both Japan and the U.S., Deborah DeSnoo dove into the international documentary scene when she partnered with award-winning filmmaker Lyn Goldfarb to produce, direct and write Japan: Memoirs of a Secret Empire for PBS. Parts 1 and 2 were shown in conjunction with the special exhibition “Art of the Samurai: Japanese Arms and Armor, 1156–1868” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. In her most recent venture, Deborah partnered with NHK producer Takahiro Hamano to write, direct and produce Skeletons in the Closet, an exploration of the supernatural side of Japan’s culture. She is a member of the Directors Guild of America, the Writers Guild of America, and The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

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 networks have opened up a plethora of options for sharing your vision with others–in books, film, audio/video, music, corporate communications, and digital products that combine old media with the new.
In the spirit of TEDxTokyo, Pecha Kucha Night and Tokyo BarCamp, we’re calling for a max of five Media Tectonics devotees to stand up and show off recent projects and works in progress. Books, blogs, multimedia, short films and more—tell us what you have in mind.

This is a first-come, first-considered deal, folks, so let us know right away if you’re ready to lay your spell on us. Each person will have a maximum of ten minutes to present and answer questions. (If you’ve got special requirements and requests, please tell us well beforehand.) We’re hoping for collaborative sparks and more. Even if you don’t make the lineup this time around, by the way, we’re open to another smorgasbord later on.
Media Tectonics seminars are designed to show you new opportunities, career options, and people you may not have had a chance to meet otherwise. We want to challenge you to play a bigger game this year, in your life and in your career.


RSVP: Send us an email, and we’ll send you the bank details.
Cost: 3,000 yen (prepaid); 4,000 yen at the door

Be sure to RSVP early and take advantage of the prepayment discount! Space is limited, so people who register ahead of time will be given priority if we run out of seats.

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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