Mai Nakanishi graduated from the Entertainment Business Management program earlier this year. She is currently Vice President, International Productions at Filosophia, Inc. in Tokyo. We spoke with Mai to learn more about her exciting new position and how the EBM program helped her get there.
Why did you take the Entertainment Business Management program at Vancouver Film School?
Mai: Before coming to VFS, I had worked in the entertainment industry in film distribution, animation, and TV and film festivals, so I was familiar with some of the topics covered in EBM. I wanted to take the program because of the unique way it’s structured. It really allows you to get hands-on experience in every area of entertainment production. Thanks to my experience in EBM, I felt more confident going back to work having not only the knowledge of entertainment business but also more information about the production side as well.
Tell us about Filosophia, Inc. and your role there.
Mai: Filosophia, Inc. offers a variety of services but focuses on two key areas. The first is a consulting service which provides sales support for distribution rights for foreign films in Japan. The second is concentrated on international productions. We find collaborative producers from all over the world to produce marketable entertainment properties based on Japanese intellectual properties.
I am the VP of International Productions. Our team’s main responsibility is finding and introducing promising IP’s to foreign producers and representing them in negotiations with the property owners in order to secure the rights. During the planning stage of the project we also act as a liaison for all of the parties involved. We make sure that communication between our clients goes smoothly and that both sides are satisfied with the creative direction and the terms and conditions of the project. Needless to say, we have to follow almost everything that takes place during the process and be prepared to assist in any way necessary.
Mai and fellow EBM grad Christine DeJoy offer a behind the scenes look at the making of one of their final class projects, Compendium Volume V: Zombies of Oz.
What did you learn in the program that you are already implementing in your day to day work life?
Mai: While in the Entertainment Business Management program, I had the opportunity to learn wide variety of business skills as well as current entertainment trends so I am definitely implementing a lot of the skills and knowledge I learned at VFS.
Coincidentally, when I joined Filosophia, Inc., they had just started working on a Japanese and Canadian co-financed feature film project. As I am familiar with production-related matters from working on various EBM projects, I have been able to communicate with the Canadian and Japanese producers on the same level.
In EBM, we also learned about the Canadian tax system. Being familiar with that has really helped me understand the financing scheme of the project. I believe Japan has never before co-financed a feature film with Canada employing the Canadian tax credit, so if we succeed in establishing the business format it would definitely mean promising opportunities for both countries.
Can you tell us about what you are working on now?
Mai: Filosophia, Inc. is currently involved in developing over 30 properties. A few of them are expected to go into production this fall and early next year. I can’t say too much about most of the projects but I can say that we will be remaking several popular Japanese properties into live action feature films, including Ghost In the Shell and Golgo13.
Thanks for speaking with us, Mai and congratulations on your new role!