May 4, 2012

So Cal in Beijing

SCA Professor Jason E. Squire Lectures in China

When it comes to the movie business, USC School of Cinematic Arts Professor Jason E. Squire literally wrote the book. Having made his mark in American film, for the past five years he has made it his business to know China’s movie business. Over Spring Break, he traveled to Asia for a fifth time to teach in the Cultural & Creative Industry Management Program at Beijing’s Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business.

Professor Jason E. Squire in Beijing

Squire made two presentations, one to current students who are industry executives and the other to the school’s alumni association. “It was a very exciting trip, with the opportunity to meet and present to industry professionals from all around China,” said Squire. “The students aren’t young people at the beginning of their careers. They are a dynamic, highly-engaged group who demonstrate a very strong interest in how movies and entertainment products function on the global stage.”

The first lectures focused on “Commercial Operation of the Film Industry,” a crash course on industry practice and procedure for professionals in production, financing, advertising, television and other media. Participants came from Hong Kong, Taipei, Shanghai and other regions. “They were the same level of executives as last year’s lectures in Guangzhou--- fascinated, eager and accelerated. One of the things that strikes me every time I return to China is how much they remind me of my students at USC.”

In his second presentation, to the alumni association, Squire discussed "A Potential Web-Based Business Model for Digital Movies," which coincided with publication in Beijing of his scholarly article "An Introduction to DIY Movie Marketing and Distributing" in Film Art, the peer-reviewed academic journal of the China Film Association. His initial research on the subject was first presented at the annual UCLA/Bruce Mallen Scholars and Practitioners Conference and Workshop in Motion Picture Industry Studies, a gathering of global scholars in the field sponsored by UCLA Anderson School of Management’s Center for Managing Enterprises in Media, Entertainment and Sports (MEMES).

Cheung Kong gave alumni participants copies of the Chinese edition of The Movie Business Book, translated by scholars at Beijing Film Academy and published last year by China Film Press.

Jason E. Squire lecturing in Beijing

When asked about the social and cultural restraints in China being possible obstacles on smaller, regional cinema, Squire responded, “DIY films in China are very realistic and very possible. They already have the web-based infrastructure. It’s just a matter – the same as in the United States – of an enterprising group of talent to upload provocative and engaging material - so provocative that people pay for it. That’s what’s called, in short, ‘DIY.’”

For more information on Squire’s The Movie Business Book, visit