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[Earthsea mainpage] Gedo Senki
(Tales from Earthsea)

Goro Miyazaki's Blog Translation (Page 55)

16th March 2006

Number 55 - The Pain of Cutting

Yesterday we carried out the first cutting (editing).

Naturally, as I wrote the other day, cutting is a very important process that exercises a great influence over the direction of the finished work.

And actually experiencing it reminded me afresh of what an emotionally painful process cutting is.

In animation, there is nothing in the completed cuts that is there by accident.
Everything was drawn by people's hands.
Whenever I look at a particular cut, the faces of the staff involved float up in my mind.
If it were possible, I wouldn't want to cut even one second, even one frame.

In the film "Tales from Earthsea", one cut is on average 5 seconds.
So, for example, if one key animator works with his full strength from morning to night, it would be a question of whether or not he could finish two cuts in a week.
Moreover, in order to complete that cut, the efforts of a large number of staff are poured into it - animation directors, in-betweeners, in-between checkers, background artists, colourists[1], CG people, photographers... That's how tough this thing of 'making pictures move' by animation is.

If it became necessary to cut a lot of footage, that would be mainly the responsibility of the director. Because he drew the story boards in a way that required so much to be cut during editing.

Of course the primary goal above all is to make a good picture. But at the same time, you cannot lightly stick the scissors into the result of the staff's enormous labours. I think that sort of feeling is really important.

Translator's Notes

[1]: The 'shiage' department (仕 上) is usually given in credits as "ink and paint", but I'm not sure if you can call somebody an ink-and-painter, so I went with 'colourist'.

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