The last three weeks of August went by very quickly. Anime scripwriter Dai Sato was in town along with Ryan Morris, his interpreter, for a couple of weeks to teach Anime Production/Scriptwriting to 25 high school students. Here are some summary videos of the classes he taught during those two weeks. Learn about 起承転結 (Ki-Sho-Ten-Ketsu) and 鳥獣戯画 (Cho-Ju-Gi-ga), Japan’s oldest manga. It is fascinating!
Also here is a link to Dai Sato speaking about how to create anime characters.
On the last day of the two weeks, the students divided into 5 groups presented their work at the auditorium. Here is a link to the 15 second previews that each group created. The preview was presented along with their story proposals. Dai told me later that he was intrigued that how all the groups had the notion of fate/destiny embedded in their theme. He also thought that all story proposals dealt with the issues of coping with diversity and different values. He felt that groups made up of Japanese high school students would have come up with totally different theme and story ideas. Dai also had a chance to meet up with his old acquaintance, Justin Leach, also an IN member, who currently works at the Blue Sky Studios as a Senior Pipeline Engineer. We paid a visit to Blue Sky in Connecticut and Dai was invited to speak about his work and the creative process to the storyboard department staff. Then we all took a tour of the studio. Dai kept on saying how amazingly better the work environment is for creators like him in the U.S. It was indeed a beautiful office space with huge windows overlooking a forest outside. There were ping pong tables and pinball machines, too.
During the last week of August, the Kyomachiya preservation group was in town after attending a symposium in Boston on historic preservation. The occasion was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of sister city between Boston and Kyoto. It was great to see Fusae Kojima again, a machiya owner and the President and Executive Director of Kyomachiya Revitalization Study Group. She was one of the panelists at the symposium we organized in collaboration with Kyoto Center for Community Collaboration (Machisen) last November at Japan Society. The symposium summary is featured in a new book titled Machiya Revival in Kyoto edited by Machisen. It just came out in July. As part of the Innovators Network activities, we continue to support the Kyomachiya preservation group’s effort to gain further recognition abroad.
Last but not least, we have some newly edited videos of the Social Design Forum we organized with JIDPO (Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization) back in February. I highly recommend that you watch Valerie Casey’s video on Design Thinking especially if you are a design student.