The Boy and the Heron distributor GKIDS has released a new video interview in which Studio Ghibli co-founder and longtime Hayao Miyazaki producer Toshio Suzuki explains how the director’s approach to filmmaking has changed in the decade since The Wind Rises.
In the brief video, Suzuki explains:
Normally, [Miyazaki] would sit at a desk from morning ’til night, drawing away the whole time. He was a very high-strung man. But this time around, he had a lot of communication with the staff while creating. He was all smiles.
The Boy and the Heron is Miyazaki’s most autobiographical work to date. That meant that Suzuki was likely to appear in the film at some point since he’s been a part of the director’s life and work for so many years. That said, the producer was surprised to show up a giant bird-man and in such a prominent role:
I never expected it to be in such a big role. I was impressed by his power of observation. Even though I knew, I could still really tell that the gray heron was me.
Suzuki says that the relationship between Mahito and the Heron mirrored his own partnership with Miyazaki in many ways, including how the two interact with one another:
They really reflected my usual sort of conversations with Miyazaki. He got the timing and everything just right. It was like watching myself from the outside, which was quite amusing to see.
Later, after being asked about the state of hand-drawn animation, Suzuki argues there is room for both traditional techniques as well as more modern digital ones and that what will define the quality of an animated work will be the creativity of the artists involved:
I think that, ultimately, whether you make it by hand or on a computer, you need to have artistic aptitude, or you can’t make anything good. That’s how I see things. Still, there are some things only cg can do, and the same is true of hand drawn.
Pictured at top: Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki, The Boy and the Heron<(/em>