June 18, 2009

East Meets West

Celebrating the Japanese Publication of Squire's Book

By By DeDra Satterfield

East met West in terms of education, entertainment, global technology and a shared interest in their future when SCA Instructor of Cinema Practice Jason E. Squire traveled to Tokyo from May 13 to 16 for a series of lectures and events celebrating the Japanese publication of his work The Movie Business Book, International Third Edition, by Born Digital, Inc.

Appearing by invitation, Squire spoke on topics including The Changing Landscape of Global Entertainment and The Impact of Technology on the Entertainment Industry as well as offering background on his scholarly and professional work.

Tokyo University of Technology Professor Mitsuru Kaneko (left) and SCA Instructor of Cinema Practice Jason E. Squire (right) during a presentation to Japanese media professionals.
The first day of lectures was presented to industry professionals and was sponsored by the Visual Industry Promotional Organization (VIPO). It was held at the CG Arts Society, an organization that is comparable to SIGGRAPH (Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques).

On the second day students and faculty attended the presentation sponsored by the Tokyo University of Technology (TUT) at its Hachioji campus. This was part of the USC-Katayanagi Institute initiative (a series of collaborative projects developed by SCA  Research Associate Professor Richard Weinberg and TUT's Dr. Mitsuru Kaneko). The Katayanagi Institute is a benefactor of SCA's Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts.

Kaneko, a teaching and researching professor for digital content production at the TUT Graduate School of Media Science and director of its Creative Lab, served as Squire's host. In addition, Kaneko, who is an SCA alumnus, supervised the year-long translation process of Squire's book.

Squire visits the Asakusa shrine during a day of sightseeing in Tokyo.
Weinberg, who is also a visiting professor at TUT, was instrumental in initiating the translation, which led to the Squire's work in Japan.

As an example of SCA's global reach, Squire reconnected at TUT with his former student, Nmerichi Umennachi, a Ph.D. candidate who teaches graduate students.

While in Tokyo, Squire visited the Panasonic Center as well as historic sites, including the shrine at Asakusa, and was treated to a traditional Japanese dinner hosted by TUT President Isao Karube.