Updated Profiles for March 23 Seminar

March 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

We’ve got an amazing lineup of presenters for Tuesday night! Thanks for all your responses. You guys rock! We hope you signed up early to secure a seat, because it’s going to be standing room only for our first ever six-speaker evening.

Our smorgasbord plate of presenters is officially full, and we’ve got some tasty morsels for you to sample. Along with the film production adventures of Deborah DeSnoo, you’ll also hear from five other talented and passionate members of our Media Tectonics community.

Read on to find out who! And don’t forget to take advantage of the prepayment discount. See you Tuesday!

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 put out a call 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—we asked you to tell us what you have in mind, and you overwhelmed us with your response. We already have a waiting list for another smorgasbord later on.

Each person will have a maximum of ten minutes to present and answer questions. We’re hoping for collaborative sparks and more. 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, and we’ve got a lineup to inspire the socks off of you. Our presenters include:

  • Andrew Houston came to Tokyo from Los Angeles in 2003 to teach video production to dreamers and malcontents. Since then he has worked as a freelance video producer, photographer, translator and on-set interpreter, and held several exhibitions in smoky watering holes and other dens of ill repute. Andrew will tell us what makes a story powerful. Hint: it doesn’t rest with a single character, scene, or plot point, but with the way everything is stitched together. Meaning in art and life is born through context, he says, springing from the bonds between formerly disparate symbols and ideas. Like hip-hop beats are a patchwork of sampled sound, taken from anywhere and everywhere, and sewn together with a rhythm. It’s magical when done well, a completely new work that bears no strong resemblance to any of its elements.
  • Lauren Shannon is an entrepreneur, jill of all trades. She works inthe food and beverage business but incorporates IT, social media,writing, creating and project management into each and every day. She is from the USA and has made Japan home for the last 13 years. She is president of Sapphire Restaurant Management group and is also a published writer. Lauren will tell us about the creative community being formed at TokyoHackerSpace, and about the worldwide DIY movement.
  • Nhat Vuong is a Vietnamese war refugee who grew up in Switzerland. After working in Japan’s IT sector for three years, he decided to put his energies into improving the lives of others through mobile technologies. Nhat will tell us about his ambitious project ikifu.org, a future social network designed to reduce the gap between NPOs and their supporters like never before. For the first time in Japan, concerned people will be able to donate to the organizations of their choice using their mobile phones. Ikifu.org also upgrades the communications, access and profile of NPOs, all traditional weak points.
  • Paul Leeming is the CEO of Visceral Psyche, Japan’s most experienced Red digital cinema camera production and rental company. He’s a director, cinematographer and avid photographer whose passions in storytelling are technology and science fiction. Paul will talk about the Red digital cinema camera, its benefits, what the next generation of cameras offers and how Visceral Psyche can help you meet your production needs with efficient, affordable packages that don’t compromise on production values in any way, by using only the highest quality image acquisition and post-production workflows.
  • Ruskyle Howser is a business presentation and speech consultant at R. L. Howser Communications. He writes, coaches his clients to give dynamic English presentations and teaches dynamic speaking skills. He writes about dynamic speaking at www.presentationdynamics.org. Russ will talk about how to make your business and personal presentations more powerful, effective and yes, dynamic.

If you aren’t inspired by these talented pros, then you better check your pulse.

The room opens at 6:30. Talks begin at 7:00.

Location: International House of Japan, 4th floor; here’s a map:

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.

RSVP: Send an email to info@mediatectonics.com, and we’ll send you the bank details.

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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