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THE GLOBAL STUDIO AT 100 Panel Discussion

October 28, 2012, 5:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007



A Panel Discussion featuring: Dr. Akira Mizuta Lippit, Ph.D., Professor of Critical Studies, USC School of Cinematic Arts; Bill Mechanic, Chairman and CEO of Pandemonium Films; Hideo Nakata, Director of Ringu & Dark Water; Jay Roach, Director of Austin Powers, Meet the Parents, Recount & The Campain; Naoki Sato, President and CEO of Nikkatsu Corporation; Moderated by Dr. Richard B. Jewell, Ph.D., Professor of Critical Studies, USC School of Cinematic Arts.

5:00 P.M. on Sunday, October 28th, 2012

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108
USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA

This panel brings together key figures from the global film studio community, including executives, scholars, and directors to look at the role of the studio system over the past one hundred years. Reflecting on Nikkatsu's contributions to Japanese film culture, the panel looks at how the studio system shaped global cinema throughout the twentieth century and also how it has adapted to changes during the past one hundred years. The panel concludes by looking ahead to the next one hundred years, imagining new configurations for studios as they respond to technological, social, and global changes in the media industry.


About the Panelists

AKIRA MIZUTA LIPPIT, Ph.D., Professor of Critical Studies, USC School of Cinematic Arts

Akira Mizuta Lippit is Professor of Critical Studies in the School of Cinematic Arts, and Professor in the Departments of Comparative Literature and East Asian Languages and Cultures in the USC Dornsife College. His interests are in world cinemas, critical theory, Japanese film and culture, experimental film and video, and visual studies.  Lippit’s published work reflects these areas and includes three books, Atomic Light (Shadow Optics) (2005) and Electric Animal: Toward a Rhetoric of Wildlife (2000), and a forthcoming book on contemporary avant-garde media, Ex-Cinema: From a Theory of Experimental Film and Video (2012). At present, Lippit is completing a book on contemporary Japanese cinema, which looks at the relationship of late-twentieth and early twenty-first century Japanese culture to the concept of the world, and another on David Lynch’s baroque alphabetics.

His work appears widely in journals and anthologies, and has been translated into Croatian, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, and Spanish. He is past recipient of the Fulbright-Hays and Japan Foundation awards. Lippit is the General Editor of the journal Discourse, and is active in the independent film community where he programs events, serves on festival juries, and interviews filmmakers. He regularly teaches, lectures, and publishes in Japan, where he is a founding editor of the visual culture journal Ecce.

BILL MECHANIC, Chairman and CEO of Pandemonium Films

Through his company, Pandemonium Films, respected industry veteran and independent producer, Bill Mechanic continues to produce high quality films with directors such as Paul Verhoeven, Phillip Noyce, and David Fincher. He is about to begin production on THE MOON & THE SUN (Focus Films), directed by Sean McNamara and starring Pierce Brosnan, and HACKSAW RIDGE (Walden Pictures), directed by Randall Wallace from a script by Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Schenkkan. Through Pandemonium, he also produced the Oscar-nominated CORALINE (directed by Henry Sellick) and THE NEW WORLD (directed by Terence Malick) as well as DARK WATER (directed by Walter Salles). He co-produced the multi-Emmy nominated 82nd Academy Awards with Adam Shankman. Prior to Pandemonium, Mechanic was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Filmed Entertainment for seven years. As Chairman and CEO, Mechanic oversaw all operations of the studio including worldwide feature film production, marketing and distribution activities, as well as all worldwide operations for Fox Video, Fox Interactive, Licensing and Merchandising, and Fox Music.

During Mechanic’s tenure at Fox, Mechanic revitalized the comic book genre with X-MEN, the first successful adaptation in nearly a decade. Under his reign, the company produced such hit films as Cast Away, Titanic, Independence Day, Entrapment, Big Momma’s House, What Lies Beneath, Men Of Honor, Never Been Kissed, There’s Something About Mary, Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition, Braveheart, Boys Don’t Cry, Quills, Mrs. Doubtfire, Speed, True Lies, Die Hard With A Vengeance, The Full Monty, Dr. Dolittle, The X-Files, Me Myself And Irene, The Thin Red Line, Ever After, William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, Broken Arrow, Courage Under Fire, Soul Food, Anastasia and Waiting To Exhale.
Twentieth Century Fox also released Star Wars: Episode 1 The Phantom Menace, the new chapter in George Lucas’ epic saga, in 1999. Greenlit by Mechanic, but released after his departure from Fox, were Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge, Tim Burton’s reinterpretation of Planet Of The Apes, and Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise, as well as sequels to the franchise projects Mechanic had greenlit, most notably the X-Men franchise.
Under Mechanic, Twentieth Century Fox in 1998 was the number one studio in worldwide box-office gross. That same year, Fox Music produced five of the top ten selling soundtracks: Titanic, Hope Floats, Doctor Dolittle, Bulworth, and Ally McBeal. In addition, Fox has produced six of the top ten grossing movies of all time, and six of the top ten selling live action videos – both domestically and internationally – including the best selling video in history, Titanic. For three years of Mechanic’s tenure, Fox produced the number one grossing movies worldwide with Die Hard With A Vengeance, Independence Day and Titanic, shared the Best Picture Oscar for two years (Braveheart and Titanic), and won the Best Actress Award for Boys Don’t Cry. In all, Fox earned 42 Oscar nominations and 2 Best Picture Oscars under Mechanic’s tenure.


HIDEO NAKATA, Director of Ringu, Dark Water and Kaidan

Hideo Nakata has emerged as one of the world’s most influential horror film directors since directing the original Ringu. Based on a trilogy of novels by a fright-master Suzuki Koji, the film has become the most successful horror movie in the history of Japanese cinema. In 1999, Nakata directed Ringu 2 in sequel to his own film. Three years later, Ringu spawned DreamWorks’ successful US remake, The Ring.

Born in Okayama in 1961, Nakata graduated from the University of Tokyo. He started his career as an assistant director at Nikkatsu Studio where he worked for seven years under a director Masaru Konuma. In 1996, he made his feature film debut with Ghost Actress, which led him to directing Ringu. In 1999, the same year he directed Ringu 2, Nakata switched gears to direct the crime drama Chaos. Returning to his roots in 2002, he directed Dark Water, based on a novel by Ringu’s Suzuki Koji. In 2004, Nakata made his American directing debut with DreamWorks’ The Ring Two. He returned to Japan in 2006 to direct Kaidan and remained there to direct L Change the World a spin-off of the widely popular Death Note series, which went on to box office success in Japan. In 2009, he directed The Incite Mill, a psychological suspense movie based on Honobu Yonezawa’s bestseller. His latest English language film, Chatroom starring Aaron Johnson was selected to the A Certain Regard section at the 2010 Cannes International Film Festival.


JAY ROACH, Director of Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Meet the Parents, Game Change, and The Campaign

Jay Roach is a director, writer and producer in Hollywood.  His directing credits include the Emmy®-winning HBO film “Recount,” which earned Roach two Emmy® Awards, for Outstanding Directing and Outstanding Made for Television Movie in addition to a DGA Award.  He also directed the HBO film "Game Change" about the 2008 McCain/Palin campaign, which premiered this past March and is one of the most watched films in HBO history.  His other directing credits include  “Meet the Fockers,” “Meet the Parents,” “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” “Austin Powers:  The Spy Who Shagged Me,” “Austin Powers:  International Man of Mystery” and “Mystery, Alaska.”  Roach’s producing credits include the Academy Award®-nominated “Borat:  Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” and "Bruno."  His latest film, “The Campaign,” is a political comedy centered on competing congressional candidates, starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis.

He attended Stanford University and earned a degree in Economics, and attended graduate film school at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Jay was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, lives in Los Angeles, and is married to The Bangles' singer, Susanna Hoffs.


NAOKI SATO, President and CEO, Nikkatsu Corporation

As a producer, Sato was responsible for many successful films at Daiei/Kadokawa (Daiei was acquired by Kadokawa in 2002). Since 2005, he has headed NIKKATSU Corporation as President & CEO, and continues producing many films. His films as a produced include the monster movie sensation Gamera series (1995-99, Daiei), the box-office blockbuster Death Note series (2006-08, NIKKATSU), SFX smash hit Yatterman (2008, NIKKATSU) and multiple Japanese Academy Award winner Rebirth (2011, NIKKATSU).


RICHARD B. JEWELL, Ph.D. (Moderator)

Rick Jewell teaches survey courses on American film history at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, as well as courses on media censorship, film genres (the Western; the Gangster film), film style analysis (RKO and the Studio System; the James Bond films) and seminars on national cinema (Italian Cinema; American Film, 1939-45; American Film 1967-72).

Sought after for his perspectives on the full range of topics related to film during the initial years of sound, Dr. Jewell has done commentaries on the films Little Caesar, I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang and G-Men, an introduction to the MGM film The Postman Always Rings Twice, and he has appeared in special features on many discs. He estimates that he’s been filmed for more than 25 documentaries, including collections of films with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart.

Dr. Jewell is the author of The RKO Story, The Golden Age of Cinema: Hollywood, 1929-1945, and co-author of Primary Cinema Resources and has published articles in a variety of journals including The Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Film History, and Film Quarterly.

Check-In & Reservations

This event is free of charge and open to the public. RSVPs required. Please bring a valid USC ID or print out of your reservation confirmations, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making RSVPs through this website.

All SCA events are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $10.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

About Nikkatsu at 100: A Centennial of Japanese Cinema

On September 10, 2012, Japan’s Nikkatsu Film Studio celebrated its 100th anniversary. One of Japan’s oldest and most acclaimed film studios, the Nikkatsu libraries contain approximately 3,300 film titles, including some of the most important Japanese films from the silent era to the classical period, from the postwar era to the new wave, and up to the present renaissance of Japanese cinema and Nikkatsu Studios. Nikkatsu’s films include period pieces and samurai films, melodramas and youth films, gangster films and “pink” movies, horror films and contemporary blockbusters, with major critical and box offices successes in each of those areas.

This three-day event draws from Nikkatsu’s library to celebrate 100 years of Japanese cinema and the centennial of Nikkatsu’s founding. Nikkatsu’s collaboration allows the screening of rare 35mm film prints from Nikkatsu’s archive, including many films recognized as masterpieces of world cinema. Throughout the festival, we will showcase a selection of films from across the Nikkatsu catalogue, with some commentary and post-screening discussion offered by film experts and persons involved in the film’s production, as well as roundtable conversations including directors, film scholars, and film critics on Nikkatsu’s enduring legacy in Japan and its historical place in the film world.

Presented by the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Visions and Voices, and Nikkatsu Corporation, in cooperation with The Consulate-General of Japan in Los Angeles, The Japan Foundation Los Angeles (JFLA), Japan Film Society, The Cinefamily, The Center for Japanese Religions and Cultures, The East Asian Studies Center, and Josai International University.



Produced by Akira Mizuta Lippit, Alessandro Ago and Michael Dillon for the USC School of Cinematic Arts

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago