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Ghibli Receives More Applications Than Ever Before for Miyazaki's New Film

posted on 2017-08-16 12:30 EDT
Recruitment of in-betweeners, background artists also draws more foreign applicants than ever before

The "Nonaka-kun Hatsu Ghibli Dayori" blog on Studio Ghibli's official website revealed last week that the studio has received more applications than ever before for Hayao Miyazaki's new feature film project. It also noted that there were more applicants from overseas than ever before. The blog post mentioned that there were so many applicants that even staff from production and the office had to help in the screening process.

The studio began accepting applications for in-between animators and background artists in May. As of August 10, the initial screening is finished, and finalized applicants will be asked to take a practical exam in September, and will officially start in October with a six-month training period, after which they will join the staff of Miyazaki's new film project. The new employees will receive three-year contract. The jobs will be at the Koganei building in Tokyo that Ghibli has held for years. The salary is 200,000 yen (about US$1,800) a month, plus coverage of travel and social insurance expenses.

The Ghibli Museum is also seeking new employees. The deadline for applications is on August 31.

In the Owaranai Hito Miyazaki Hayao (Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki) special that aired last November, Miyazaki reported that he wants to return to making an anime feature film after his upcoming "Kemushi no Boro" short for the Ghibli Museum. According to the special, Miyazaki was not satisfied with doing just the CG short, and he presented a project proposal for a feature-length film in August 2016.

Despite not officially receiving a green-light for the feature film at the time, Miyazaki decided to start animation work on the project anyway. Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki reported in April that Miyazaki has been drawing the storyboards for the project since July 2016. However, Suzuki said at the time that Miyazaki has only drawn 20 minutes of storyboards so far.

The November television special showed the feature film's proposed schedule, in which Miyazaki suggested that the film could be done by 2019 — before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. However, Suzuki stated in April that this proposed schedule is simply impossible.

Suzuki demurred from revealing the feature's title, saying, "I can't tell you." When asked if Miyazaki can finish the film while the director is still alive, Suzuki replied, "Hmm, I don't know." Suzuki had commented in the television special that Miyazaki would draw storyboards until he dies, and another staffer dryly noted that this would make the movie a huge hit.

While Suzuki previously stated that Miyazaki's planned "Kemushi no Boro" (Boro the Caterpillar) CG short would debut at the Ghibli Musuem in July, the short is not listed among the museum's upcoming shorts for the next three months, and thus will not debut before October.

Miyazaki rose to prominence in the 1970s on such television anime series as Lupin III, Future Boy Conan, and Sherlock Hound. He directed his first feature film, Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, in 1979. He then adapted the beginning of his Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind manga into an anime film in 1984, before he and fellow director Isao Takahata founded Studio Ghibli.

With Ghibli, Miyazaki helmed the feature films Laputa - Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Ponyo, and most recently, 2013's The Wind Rises. He also co-produced Takahata's directorial efforts and directed smaller projects such as the "experimental film" On Your Mark and Ghibli Museum shorts such as Mei and the Kitten Bus and Mr. Dough and the Egg Princess.

Spirited Away, which opened in 2001, remains the highest-earning film ever at the Japanese box office. The film won the Academy Award for Best Animated Film in 2003.

Source: Animate Times


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