April 11, 2011

The Road to Surround – Part 11: Special Interview with Mr. Kazutsugu Uchimura

By. Mick Sawaguchi

Sawaguchi: This series started with the January issue to put variety of topics in the past in writing, and here we are so quickly to leave only two more sections! In the remaining sections, I myself would like to discuss how we should tackle the issues of surround once with a seniority who has acquired a lot through variety of studies, and the other with a younger generation. The very first comments I received directly from readers were when "why the stake that sticks out in the workplace is hammered" was released in the third or fourth section. Utchan (nickname for Mr. Uchimura), did you read it?
Uchimura: I definitely did. As I faced with this article, I could feel something like the history of Mr. Sawaguchi himself along with the history of surround, and I thought it represented what Mick thought or felt at that time in a straightforward way. Reading each section of this series for me was like having a microscopic vision of what I did or how it turned out and even reviewing the approach I should make from here in my brain. I had a feeling of nostalgia in a way and at the same time thought that I had to whip myself further to move on as I read it.
S: The reason why I thought that I wanted to talk with Utchan among my successors this time is because I expected that it might be useful for the other people who read this if I discuss with someone who understands that it is important to create things and to express oneself. Why don't you introduce your career to the readers from the days in Sapporo until today?
U: Thank you. I was born in Hakodate in 1961. I first entered the company called Sapporo Video Production. I think in those days among most local commercial broadcasting stations, audio by itself or the sound engineer position was not quite established yet. They were simply bundled as "the engineer". While I began as VE first, I always felt the need to establish the function of audio. Above all, I regarded MA (multitrack audio) as extremely important, and therefore I set up an MA studio under the concept only with a pen and a monitor first. Many said "such a thing cannot succeed" in the beginning, but when I watched your efforts keeping up with high-level challenges, I really wanted to be a part of the same effort because I was born in the same century. I moved to a studio in Tokyo, company called Digital Egg, and was lucky to be able to make a 5.1ch facility to cope with surround. I learned that NHK provided a "career employment examination" while I was in Digital Egg, and I applied to enter NHK. That's where I work now.
S: Can you tell us about some memorable productions of yours?
U: Programs that I worked to remember? Because Digital Egg was a high-profile post production, when I did surround first, I had in my mind from the very beginning that I would do commercials in 5.1ch among others, and it was one of my big steps that I was actually the first to be able to complete a commercial for cinema in 5.1ch. Then "the Stairs to Heaven" that I was in charge right after I joined NHK is also memorable. It was when NHK did not have any 5.1ch facilities yet. You wrote about it a couple of sections before in "Road to Surround", and it was an epoch for me. Another one is again in my Digital Egg time, "the Jump of a Whale" is a cartoon title of Shigeru Tamura and it was 5.1ch, too, and it was a collaborative work with my close friend Mr. Someya. Digital Egg and Sony PCL independently started the sound design, and then networked the material elements each other in production. We took the process in American style, or movie-production style.
S: Well, now the readers have understood what type of person Mr. Uchimura is.
U: I have been a long-time fan of Mr. Sawaguchi being a reader of your early days' articles! :-)
I thought "this man is terrific!" and "amazing point he sees!" I was reading "Broadcast Technology" since I joined this industry. Some senior engineers had "the Institute of Television Engineers of Japan magazine" which was too difficult for me to understand. On the other hand, "Broadcast Technology" was digestible, and I was really digesting it, and then often came out the name of Sawaguchi in the magazine. Additionally, the story of TBS to build an MA system that synchronized with time-code to multitrack was totally stimulating for me. Then later came "Pro Sound" magazine, which was when I was still in Sapporo enjoying little information there. In old days, seniors won't tell you the exact details to teach you even asked. Stealing the skills by watching while at work was all you could make, and it was so important at that time. What I had been thinking at that time was because the broadcast was a "broad delivery", it wasn't easy to understand where it reached with what kind of reactions, and I really felt that I should check and confirm what I was exactly doing as I worked if I wanted to be regarded as a world-class engineer, even if this may sound impertinent. These professional magazines taught me about it. There was various information in them, and I told to myself “am I still in such a level?” Moreover, I felt uneasy about the possibility to result in a mere, superficial paper-mixer just like a useless paper-driver. The only solution was obviously to study and study... And you became in charge of symposium in InterBEE from 89 and, it was fantastic! I could watch and listen to such extracts gathered from the world once every year.
It was my spirit even to lie anything to go through the company authorization for visiting these symposia. :-)

"Our Idiots ..."
U: Before that, when Mr. Roger Lagadec came to "Digital Seminars" that Sony ran at their Shinagawa facility, I participated in it from Sapporo and saw you for the first time. In something like a training outfit and kung fu shoes, you kept beating your thigh all the time...
I imagined that you had a muscular pain playing tennis or something the day before. The aura around you prevented me from speaking to you.
I think it was when I was 29 or 30 years old, but I visited the AES Conference in New York. I had so much of worries at that time. I kept thinking about how I could build an MA studio in totally new style, and as I was staying at Hilton Hotel where the convention took place, I determined that it was the time and dashed to your room with a magnum bottle of sake. Introducing myself, "Sawaguchi-san, please drink with me. I am Uchimura of Sapporo Video Production. I challenge various things and I hear a lot about you." And came a proverb back from you. You started with an apology. It was to the industry rather than to me, I guessed. "Um, do any of our idiots cause any trouble to you?"
"What does it mean?" I thought for an instant. After I entered NHK later, I often heard you used the terminology of "Shibuya Village", and it appeared that you used it as the same sense like "don't be buried deep under Shibuya Village". You spoke out the same to the people inside NHK, too, and you meant that your life in this industry should not self-conclude merely within the working organization. We can see the words "Shibuya Village" and "nuisance caused by our idiots" are close each other. Without understanding it on the spot, it became my first "Sawaguchi collection of proverbs".

“You should do an original thing than you imitate something that others did”
U: Your word that changed my life and that drove me to determine my thoughts was "you should build an original thing than you imitate something that others already did". It was when I was working on the design of new MA studio, and you clearly said so. I really felt at that time the focus then blurry in myself suddenly fixed. Then everything was visible, DAW (digital audio workstation) and networking that became common today. I could clearly hear the voice in me, "the days of running multitrack recorders are over, and here comes the change!"
I made the drawing in my return flight and I could build the studio. It was entirely because of these words.
S: Because I hear that you write down my words as "collection of proverbs", can you please introduce one that you think best? Putting it on the plate, we can discuss how it came out.
We can also review in what kind of context I said so and why Utchan liked it ...

"A tie and the true ability are inversely proportional"
U: Alright then, I would start with my favorite: When one steps up towards management from mixing engineer or sound designer in the field, most directors in this situation start wearing a tie, and I was curiously watching if you would come to the office wearing a tie or not, and after all you did not. I felt like tackling this issue a little further, and asked if you did not have to wear a tie. Then you uttered "what?", and said something like "a tie and the true ability are inversely proportional". I was knocked completely socks off! I felt it sounded exactly like Mick in a way, and you seemed to be expressing that you were not different even in the management. Realistically, how was it?
S: I do care about the appearance, but I hate the stereo-type idea of determining someone's superiority entirely by his appearance, or judging reliability by whether one is wearing a tie. Therefore I of course wear a suit, or I wear the proper clothes daily that do not look rude. In a nutshell, I wanted to indicate in a concrete style that there existed different views than a pre-determination like without a tie is unsophisticated or lacking politeness. But I need to be prepared with confidence because there would be a lot of external pressures to face. I guess that my direct director or others in the middle in those days probably had a hard time because of this. I tend to hate traditional concepts: Such as when it comes to this, it has to be in this way. When we face with a situation, showing "this would be a counteraction" or "this is also possible" is important, particularly so for those who produce contents. Rarely is there only one, this answer for it, as there are various ways in the expression. But using only words in this situation is not enough because nobody would understands only by words. If you show saying "see how it turns out" in a concrete manner, people would realize that some different approaches could be safe to take. Consider if no-tie is automatically interpreted as rudeness.
The essence is I do not behave rudely and am dressed appropriately with certain quality well suited as the management of the workplace, and then a tie in particular may not be a critical element. That was how I considered.
U: Mick's style is characteristic and unique, with kung fu shoes that nobody wears, illustrating Mr. Sawaguchi himself in a way, and impressive and above all it's not rude. It is not dirty, it is even classy, and we can feel your self-consciousness in coordinating clothes and others to a great extent. You react upset when I say "how do you decide your clothes?" You go "it is absolutely my decision!" Strongly. Therefore I interpret it that you have a certain appeal in it.
S: It is the same thing as mixing balance.
U: It is a balance, indeed. Something common between the two.
S: In achieving a skillfully delicate balance...
U: And that's why we got interested in. But on the other hand, in the absolute occasion, you wore a tie properly.
S: Well yes, two or three times a year, I did.

Masaki Sawaguchi, the author

"Assign-chart does not decide your life"
U: I introduce next from the collection which appeared to me you wanted to speak to junior colleagues. It is called "the chart" in NHK, and it is a table which dictates production assignments for you to confirm from what time to what time in where your work has been allocated, and a young staff was watching it to see what his work was for tomorrow. Then you quietly approached him from the side, and said "the chart won't decide your life". It must have startled him, or hopefully so, and I believe it exactly did. You must not be satisfied only with what the chart dictates you. I heard you meant the time should be spared more consciously and effectively for educating oneself. Was it what you meant?
S: That's correct. People are apt to be happy focusing only on specified jobs if they are given to do on the day, and in the end of the day they tend to think "Well done! Today is over!"
It is not so, and you should interpret it as the minimum work for your salary but not the greatest. What I wanted to stress was that it should be the way for you to find a lot more to do for yourself and challenge them hard to raise yourself to 2 or 3 times higher level rather than simply remaining as one of workers in the office. Of course the young people today are brought up in a peaceful environment and they may not be quite ready to absorb tough experience even if I say to them abruptly to be hungry. Therefore if I give them the jobs for the day specifying this and that, they tend to be satisfied with them. Where the growth is was my concern. It may not be easy to understand just being told so, but they could see exactly what we imply if we demonstrate how we do it to them.
U: Indeed. Therefore, as for the incident, I wonder if they find exciting when something different from normal comes in front of them while unexpected thing may be unpleasant. I am terribly excited with it myself, even if I hate troubles. In a trouble in fact, I find myself heated somewhere in me. I meet someone whom I can see only at that time, or I manage to absorb something new...
There is another wise remark of yours among the collection: It is when one has a problem with the stomach, or maybe a headache and he will be asked "you don't look feeling well today?" and will reply "I've got a headache slightly" for example." In this context, Mick, you said "well, that's great as you can sense you are living!" While I thought something like "sonovabitch!”, I was totally fascinated at the same time. That's right, that's right ... I thought. We don't usually think "oh, I feel good because nothing goes wrong so far", but this remark looked hitting the point. This can be said to various things. Not even with a stomach ache, but when you encounter with a trouble, or your mixing does not proceed as you hope, or something unexpected happens as an example. And it causes you to realize that you are alive.
S: Things like an unexpected encounter are common to everybody. Being common but how you perceive it. You might think that we can meet him sometime again, and thus good-bye, you would react, or "there may be no chance to see him next. I should hang onto the man to exchange information"; this split of considerations will be a significant turning point. I, for myself, regard the encounter as important very much. In spite of the first acquaintance, if we look for things we do not carry each other looking for things you carry to share, we can improve ourselves than minutes ago. Such a power in thinking, or in the other word, you find it fun to think that way would matter. I think I learned this since I started dealing with people from foreign countries. Between Japanese people, the acquaintance tends to have a long introduction with small jabs through socially meeting for five or six times, and if they find "this guy seems to be able to make good friends with me", then their relation gets very tight from there. Foreign people always contact us with a feeling of once for all, and even when you meet for the first time, they bring up in the conversation a sudden but essential topic like "what is your job?" Or like "what is your original that others do not have?" Japanese would think "you may ask it a little later", but they don't care. When the mutual wavelength matches or each finds the other interesting, the tone and the level of conversation boils up thereafter. It's so fast, and we had better gain the attitude in the encounter with other people.
Among the same Asians, although I do not know well, the Chinese seems to be well ahead of us. Bumping into someone gets into essential discussion immediately, and if the air fits in, everybody goes excited. Just like sumo wrestling, Japanese takes very long time facing each other before standing up.
U: Well, Chinese people are literally self-centric considerably! :-).
S: It is because if you grow in a uniform environment of single type of people to work with, you tend to regard how you build the human relations after the acquaintance is pre-fixed. If you visit various places though, you will encounter with the people with different way of thinking. You then begin to recognize variations, and I tend to love it.

"You lose the way of the corner-cutting if you forget the genuineness."
U: As the times get more and more efficiency-oriented, I once uttered complainingly "do they mean that we should perform on groundless basis? It can not be that they say everything needed for a proper production effort to be avoided", and you commented "you lose the way of the corner-cutting if you forget the genuineness." What could I say with this? But it won’t be possible to be really not to do a slipshod job in such a thing whether you say that you change a viewpoint. While joking slightly... You might end up being the type of person who does not understand how to cut the corners. Someone who can only follow what is dictated.
S: In this series of articles, I wrote that it was important to recognize genuine things. Knowing genuine things, as you have just described, means that you always understand how high in the range of levels you stand now, and also recognize how it deviates from the top class in the world. If you experience a genuine production flow properly though there may be limited number of occasions, you get to know the proper procedures through picking up the essence in the given budget, schedule and resources tightly while trimming minor parts, and on the other hand, to work compactly on efficiency with first priority without understanding all these things will made a large difference in the end. Technologies develop constantly and a better efficiency is a logical topic. For example, in 1970's when I came to Tokyo, only around 1 audio drama could be produced in stereo in an entire year. Why? Because it took 3 to 4 months to complete a 1-hour drama in stereo. Because the studios were not equipped with such functions, and facilities and procedures were not just ready in those days, everything was purely handmade entirely. Therefore only one production was possible in a year, and then in 1979, a very efficient studio with 8 bits CPU was built in the process of facility update, and it became possible to complete the same program in one week. Then it becomes possible to challenge for more dramas in stereo, doesn't it? And I think this exactly applies to surround in its infancy, I believe it still is in an infancy, and it needs more time for a little more while. If those who have made various attempts and detours then consider how their tools should be in order to achieve excellent productions efficiently and how the work flow should look like in parallel to drive changes, I would think that it becomes possible to realize quality productions in a certain budget and schedule constraint. By the way, Utchan, when did you join NHK?
U: It was March, ’98 and thus I did "The stairs of Heaven" in ’99 first.
S: That means you were in Digital Egg when I was occupied with "the Last Bullet"?
U: Excactly. And so when the "Bullet" was done, I could participate in the preview and was utterly horrified. If my memory is correct, it was a preview for Imaging Media Workshop. I chose the seat for myself approximately where you had done the mix. At that time, I had two feelings; being touched by surround sound for one and envious about being able to do such a job for the other. It was a definite surge to me, and I committed absolutely to do this myself, too. "The Last Bullet" was so phenomenal. I felt I must make a 5.1 ch studio.

"A chance has its hair on the chest" and "there is no future in hesitation"
U: Let me introduce some other phrases in the collection that I heard from my seniors and colleagues. One is "a chance has its hair on the chest". This is splendid. This is exactly how Mick would say. When you are facing to the direction where a chance approaches, it is easy to catch the hair on the chest, but it will be harder to do so if it is leaving you seeing its slippery back. It is really well-said. When a chance comes to you fortunately, if you reject it or hesitate at that time, you would not make it.
S: If your life entirely soaks in the safe and mediocre employment environment, you would expect that chances would always come to everybody equally, and eventually become inert to such a sense as "now is the chance!" They tend to think it will come again to them later. When I started working with various people widely in the world, I strongly felt that it was essentially important to recognize when the chance is in front of me, is it now or is it the one coming next, by sharpening the sensitivity and ability to judge. When a chance comes to me, I absolutely have to catch it without breezing because it will be gone while I hesitate for an instant. When it turns over, it is already the end.
U: And you phrased it into these words "to have hair on the chest". However, in reality it is not so easy to act.
Another saying of yours is "there is no future in hesitation, no carrier to be developed". This is literally what it means. It says that there is no hope without aggressiveness.
By the way, Mr. Nishida who picked this phrase said that a typical expression when Mick scolded him was "you are rather daring". One of my colleagues, Mr. Otsuka told me Mick questioned saying "are you trying me?" when he forgot to cut a noise or failed something. It sounds very skillful. Instead of shouting "what are you doing? Don’t!” a witty question like "are you trying me?" will surely startle us. So this should be one of selections.

"Do you work worthy of your salary?"
U: I introduce one from Mr. Kamekawa's collection. When he was working with us, Mick often said to him "are you working worthy of your salary?" according to him. I hear the same quote from others, too.
S: The lineup of the organization has considerably changed now from where we were because we now have some master-degree staff. But, in 70's and 80's, 80 to 90% of the people in the field were high-school graduates. Such climate was intense that the front line does not need high-salary guys at that time as the university graduates were perceived only to repeat reasoning and perform merely a half man-power. It was least enjoyable for us, wasn't it? We were the minority as clean as a whistle. I had a serious sense of risk in being recognized, and we had to achieve results with whatever painful efforts rather than hiding ourselves from this reality in order for them to say that we deserve the salary. I heard similar stories from our seniors because only a limited number of people entered as university-graduates. In the end, most of them were swallowed by the atmosphere of the workplace and move to somewhere else without sprouting a bud. I considered in those days that I would stick to this situation without going anywhere else, and I being an anchor hit some kind of wedges to it in hope of building an atmosphere where they would feel some usefulness in our presence in the party. As one or two university graduates entered every year, I used to say this to them. The significance of being disappears completely here if people consider "that boy has no skills and slow to move and still makes more". I said to myself not ending up so. The atmosphere has changed very much now.
U: You, Mick always minded how the seniors should reach their hands to the new recruits when they do not understand where to start after joining the team. Probably your long experience will suggest when is right to comment just by observing. This may be a rather old topic but something that amazed me was when you said to me "watch her properly", and I asked why. You then added "she is the type of person who tends to worry things". Quite surprisingly careful eye on subordinates, I thought.
S: One of benefits I enjoyed by pursuing audio drama in my career was I experienced numbers of stories with variety of lives condensed in them. Therefore I was able to master how people would view things, or how much they would perceive by the first glance. And I came to notice such things quickly as good characterization of a role or the need to boost a little more of specifics for the other.

U: Mick, you often use the phrase "give-and-take" in this series, and I think you are always keen to comply with this thought. Though it is not so simple to express in front, but your personality is very serene. Generally as people accumulate ages, they inevitably collect dusts and tend to be too definitive in saying, while you remain mysteriously serene. And I think that is why you are good at capturing opportunities. Though you choose the words through considering so many things from different angles, your reaction appears to be really serene. This relates with the give-and-take we just discussed, and you give a chance to anyone. You extend it not only within your broadcasting stations but also to me when I was an outsider, and to the people of the whole world. Many panelists at InterBEE were given the opportunity triggered by Mick Sawaguchi. Like Jedi Master for sound engineers and sound designers. Someone like Yoda.
One more popular phrase of yours would be: "invest in yourself". I really think so. I had been participating in AES conventions all the way, and when I heard these words, I felt it was a supporting comment of what I was doing. AES is truly an irreplaceable thing, and is a pure gathering which is extremely good. People gather from all over the world for a short period of time intensively, and act together in there for a few days. We can meet with various people, hear various opinions, and exchange them, for free of charge, a real give and a take!
S: When Wieslaw came to Japan for around 3 months after having been appointed as the chairperson of AES, he said in his interview with me that one of reasons why he contributed to AES and kept making efforts was because of a strong memory in student days of his own. According to him, he found a book about AES in his school library in Poland, and it was so instructive that he wanted to be a student member. I think it was a story of 30 or 40 years ago, and the membership fee for students at that time was 6 dollars a year. But people in Poland were poor and could not afford paying such money. He had an uncle in U.S.A. who paid the fee for him, and thus he could read and study AES journals in Poland. In addition, when he consulted the branch manager of AES Europe about his wish to go to New York from Poland to study, he introduced him to the manager of AES New York office who received Wieslaw in New York to properly guide him to various studios of entire New York and immensely supported him in the rental equipment arrangements. It was a fascinating care for a student from a poor eastern European country at that time. Coincidentally, an AES convention took place in New York during his visit, and he participated to find the latest stories discussed by the renowned top people in the industry of those days, which was a phenomenal stimulation to him. With this prototypical experience, he passionately explained his challenge to facilitate AES as a spot where everything can be shared. If people with such an experience gather whether it is larger or smaller, it appears to me a good relationship will develop around them. How many times have you been to AES at you own expense already, Utchan?
U: It is uncountable for now. My very first attempt was to Paris about 18 years ago when I was 27 years old. I visited Copenhagen for 100th AES Convention, too. I keep participating since I joined NHK; therefore I have already traveled almost 15 times by now.
S: It is one of proofs of your investing in yourself.
U: I did it saving money as "AES deposit" personally in my early days. Listening to the lectures in the 100th AES, the idea of doing surround became very solid in my mind. Also, I visited SSL main office in Oxford immediately after AES because I was communicating with Mark Yonge of SSL who now chairs the standard committee in AES, and there was a darker version of Axiom prototype to play with in front of me that gave me the full confidence saying to myself "this is it". In my return flight, I was drawing the diagram all the way, and it came true as the surround studio of Digital Egg.
S: "Post magazine" visited the studio for coverage at that time.
U: I was really excited. There were no notable reactions in Japan, and the "Post magazine" for postproduction professionals from the US came to see us. Ken McGorry, the chief editor came expressly for himself for this coverage as a special feature. It was titled something like "Tokyo Digital Culture Clash".

"Post magazine" cover and its article

S: The people with a proper sensitivity highly valued it because the concept was essentially new.
U: And this magazine had an outstanding influential power. When a then-director came back after his visit to NAB, he told me "Uchimura, the reactions were terrific and the comments were with amazement that such advancement is already in practice in Tokyo!" He rephrased the comment proudly, "All digital, non-linear, with 5.1ch, and supports stereo mix in addition, a terrific example of studio network!"
S: When one does an original thing, not found elsewhere and innovative, people in the world will respect it properly. I think that we Japanese should have a mind to accept such thoughts openly. On the contrary, they may say "I had him do that" or "I did this way at that time". The right steps are to give a proper recognition no matter how small the issue is if one has achieved something better than others, which will raise the motivation of those recognized, and eventually the motivation of the workplace and that of the entire company to result in a better harvest in the end.
U: When I built a fully-digital studio in Sapporo in the first place, I received a letter from you inviting me for a talk about it in AES Tokyo convention. I was very happy. When the SSL 8000 console was released and Shibuya station organized a surround seminar with their first, serious console targeting surround professionally in analog, you sent me a fax and later came a letter from Ms. Nakayama then in SSL. Those were nice things and I still keep the pictures at that time. It was as if a light guiding me to the place with lights. I could see it only as a tiny light-ball, but it was to me a sign of the direction and it made me more confident to challenge; if I pick up something interesting in it, more excitement may develop from there; that was what I had in my mind and really enjoyed the participation.
S: You showed up in the morning of our symposium at InterBEE saying "I have just arrived!” I asked "how could you be so early?" and you replied "worked all night and then took the first morning flight." It was enchanting, wasn't it?
U: I could not show up otherwise. I could get a break next day because I worked all night. Other excuses I also took advantage of were Buddhist memorial services, wedding ceremonies and critical conditions of my relatives.
S: I think it was the result of cumulative acts you continued. Something that made me happy personally with your action was that you successfully made a technical presentation at AES.
U: That was 2004.
S: Your viewpoint must have sky-rocketed up to another level when you watch the world. From the situation just sitting to watch the stage before this, now you are in the position to make a presentation yourself, your channel will automatically grow as you create more opportunities to do the presentations for yourself. One drop of water will turn into a big river in the end. I think that Mr. Fukada was exactly in the same situation. It was 100th AES Convention in Copenhagen where we visited together. Because his presentation at that time was excellent, various people gradually tried to get in touch with him, and it is reasonable to say that most members of AES know him now.

In Closing
S: Could you give us a word in closing as a leader of the next generation?
U: I came to realize that it dealt only with a part of the sound expression to do the mere mixing. Ben Burtt of Skywalker Sound says; "Each of us has a dictionary of feelings that can bind a specific sound to a specific feeling in one's brain." In order to have the "dictionary of feelings" function, it becomes important to deepen the psychological consideration and to correctly handle the power of expression by the sound. In addition, such programs inevitably rely on the mutual influence between the image and the sound.
In order to produce a program in this way, such abilities are required as the sound design to offer scene development of necessary images when telling the story from the viewpoint of sound expression while being deeply engaged in the program from its scripting stage, the supervision to be able to be persuasive, and the producer-ability of management. I would like to challenge in this area and want to bring up the next generation based on my past experience.

For the twelfth (final) section, to conclude this series, I will talk with Mr. Keimei Asami who has been the teacher in my life who triggered me to shift my views from NHK to the inside and outside of the country.

Uchimura, Kazutsugu
1982: Joined Sapporo Video Production. Worked on mixing, sound design, enitre production technologies, including those facility and design for programs' location prodcutions, relay broadcasts, and postproductions.
1995: Joined Digital Egg as Chief Mixing Engineer and engaged in the sound design and mixing of commercials, documentary and drama programs, music, VP and others.
1997: Completed a 5.1 surround MA room specialized for the DVD production first in the nation for domestic video productions, and was involved in variety of surround productions.
1998: Joined NHK, now belong to program technology development in Contents Technology Center, Broadcast Technology Station. Mainly in charge of sound design and mixing of documentary programs such as "NHK Special".
For these past several years, engaged in a lot in international co-production and worked on program production and international collaboration corresponding to various formats.
2004: A paper "5.1 Surround Sound Productions with Multi-format HDTV Programs" presented in 117th AES Convention in San Francisco.
In addition, produced a 22.2ch surround program "Planet Earth with Full of Lights" for World Exposition Aichi.
2006: Won IBC Award with Super High Vision software shown in IBC Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Major works
"HeatBeat", SlGGRAPH93 Electronic Theater exhibition
"People Handing Down Ainu Culture" (1993), Mainichi Movie Contest Minister of Education Prize in the documentary film section
"Revived Bird of God" (1994), Grand Prix of TV section in Love Earth Campaign by Japan Commercial Broadcast Federation
A commercial sound design for "Another Movie Theater" (Sony, 1997), the first 5.1 surround theatrical commercial in Japan.
"Grandpa's Ladder" the first prize in Entertainment Section (Astrolabium Award) in 12th International High Vision Imaging Festival
"The Life Story of Rice", Basel City Prize Grand Prix 2000 in EBU/SSR International Educational Program Contest
"NHK Special: Space - A Grand Journey to the Unknown", Minister of Education Prize in 12th Science Technology Imaging Festival, and Science Broadcast Takayanagi Memorial 2001 Award

Recent works
China-Japan international co-production, "Chamagudao - A Way to the Sky"
UK-Japan international co-production, "Super Volcano" (BBC)
US-Japan international co-production, "People Who Were Robbed of the Mother Country:
A Record of Forcible Escort of Japanese in Central and South America"
US-Japan international co-production, "Bob Dylan: No Direction Home"

2006.11 Broadcast Technology

Part 12: Special Interview with Mr. Keimei Asami >>>

[ Back to Index ]

No comments:

Post a Comment