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This is a reformatted version of the "10 years of Ghibli" passage by Toshio SUZUKI that used to appear in Studio Ghibli's now-defunct English website. Its original location was http://www.ntv.co.jp/GHIBLI/history/history5e.html.

(5) Ghibli - Its Uniqueness

In 1993, GHIBLI purchased 2 large computerized cameras, at which time a photography department was set up, which was something we had long awaited and planned for. With the addition of this new department, GHIBLI now had grown into a studio that had all the departments from animation, art, tracing/painting, all the way to photography. This is completely the opposite direction the Japanese animation industry was moving toward, which is extreme separation of departments. The reason GHIBLI took the direction that it did was the belief that working closely under one roof with a common objective was important in achieving high quality work.

In 1993, GHIBLI produced its first TV animation, "the Ocean Waves." The director was Tomomitsu Mochizuki, 34 years of age at that time. It was the first time a person other than Miyazaki or Takahata had directed a film. The production staff was young, consisted mostly of those in the 20s and 30s. Their motto was to produce "quickly, cheaply and with quality."

This 70-minute TV special received satisfactory results, but in terms of budget and time schedule, had exceeded the plan. TV will be the area of development for GHIBLI.

The 1994 film directed by Takahata, "Pon Poco" also became the year's number one Japanese film. In this picture, most the animation was done by and a great deal of efforts were put into by the young staff who were employed after "Only Yesterday" and who literally grew up in GHIBLI. In "Pon Poco," GHIBLI for the first time used CG, the computer graphics. There were only 3 cuts using CG, but more of it will be used as we find necessary.

Studio GHIBLI now has a staff total of 99: Animation 46, tracing/painting 8, art 12, photography 4, directing and producing 12, publication and marketing 5, and management 12. As you can see from these numbers, most of our staff are in working on animation. The average age is 29.

As I have repeatedly mentioned, GHIBL's production cost may be high compared to other studios. But as you can see from our organization, most of the cost goes into films. This is what makes GHIBLI unique. We are able to do this because, as compared to other companies, we are spending much less on supporting departments.

It is Miyazaki's philosophy that Japanese should create on their own what they want to show to their children. So let me add by saying that in pursuit of this philosophy, the studio has never asked for support from studios overseas.

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