Otaku Academy

My first consulting gig

I had a really interesting meeting today. I talked with Justin Ferrato, a student of the Canadian Film Centre Media Lab, about a project that he and his fellow Media Lab students are working on for Nuit Blanche 2010.

I don’t want to give away the content of the project, but it sounds really interesting and I’m excited to see the final result. I was asked by a Media Lab faculty member, Susan LK Gorbet, (who I know from OCAD’s Strategic Foresight and Innovation program) to talk about SF anime, something that I’ve discussed at length at other blogs. It was one of the first times I’d been asked to share my expertise anywhere outside the contexts of academia or fandom. I realized this halfway through explaining the visual metaphors at play in a specific and beloved film clip. By that point I was really enjoying myself: my meeting felt like all the fun parts of teaching (which I really miss, sometimes) wrapped up with all the best parts of panel discussions at cons (without the sleep deprivation). I always forget how much niche data I have stored until I watch someone taking notes on what I say. It’s a nice feeling, like suddenly realizing that the ground underneath you really is solid after all.

At WorldCon in Montreal, I said that the best part of workshopping is when someone tells you that your suggestion is a helpful one. I hold with that sentiment. There’s something really affirming about alleviating someone else’s creative frustrations so they can go ahead and solve the rest of the puzzle on their own. It means that their own contributions make it into the public eye that much faster, enriching the community as a whole. Being part of that process — or being asked to be part of it — is really special. I hope I get asked again, soon.