Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Misunderstood Genius

Tom Huddleston describes the work of prolific animator Hayao Miyazaki:
Some filmmakers build their great artworks with blood, sweat and toil. Japanese master Hayao Miyazaki seems to sprout his from seeds, planting them in good earth and patiently watering them until they burst into bloom.
Perhaps true genius comes from making things look easy.  From his essential book Starting Point here's Miyazaki himself describing the price of mastery:

You want me to talk about my family?  That's a problem for me.  I'm hardly ever at home.  Last night I got home at 1:30 AM, the night before it was 1 AM.  It's not as if I go out on the town.  I'm a father who works too hard and returns home late at night six days a week.  Usually I repeat, "I've got to go now", several times as I eat breakfast; when I have the rare day off all I do is sleep.
It wasn't so bad when I was employed at a company.  But twenty years ago, when I began to produce my own films, this schedule turned into a lifestyle.  Animation work isn't something that is over when a certain amount is done.  One has to pursue it until one is satisfied.