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Hauru no Ugoku Shiro
(Howl's Moving Castle)


Studio Ghibli Diary Translation (Page 1)

Translator's notes in yellow.

11/1/03 (Sat.)

It's November. We were a little worried about the rate at which key animation was being finished, but today it improved quite a bit. That's the way with weekends! We started to think we might reach our quota after all, but we ended up a little short. However, although it is the weekend, it is also the beginning of a new month, and that is the essential point. We hope we can keep this up and get through the coming month.

Because of the state of production, animation direction was temporarily halted and we had everyone organize and finish up the key animation, etc. on hand. Since many of the drawings were almost done, our rate rose for the first time in a while. The production team, who have been watching the pile of finished animation get smaller each day, are grateful too.

11/4/03 (Tues.)

The monthly general Ghibli meeting was held. Kamimura from production usually attends, but, since two people finished up the key animation they had on hand on Saturday, new assignments had to be set up. So only Watanabe and Mochizuki attended.

Perhaps it was because of the long weekend [Nov. 3 was Culture Day in Japan], but from this afternoon on, there were many calls about completed material, and we were not all together until late in the evening. From now on, this sort of day will probably become less and less rare. If only those days would come sooner . . .

11/5/03 (Weds.)

We held the regular production meeting we were unable to hold yesterday because of animation planning meetings, etc. The topics of the meeting were the falling behind of production lines in all sections, and the status of the storyboards. It was a meeting filled with long silences.

Because animation direction has returned to normal since the weekend, the rate at which we are finishing animation has risen back to normal. Ahh, a happy topic of conversation.

Suddenly, there was a call from the publicity department, asking if it would be all right for a TV crew to come in, and the always clean and neat (what a lie!) production team replied, "That would be fine." Well, we tidied up a little, anyway. (Just kidding, we did a thorough cleaning.)

11/6/03 (Thurs.)

For any type of film work, including animation, there is editing to do. Since Howl is no exception, we have to begin to make preparations, but since the storyboards are not yet complete, we can't yet talk about specifics. However, since the premiere date is already decided, we called the editor Seyama, and arranged a meeting for tomorrow to plan layouts, etc. Where should we begin?

From this weekend on into next week there is a flood of events. First is the "Ghibli Day" event at the Tokyo International Film Festival on the 8th. After that there are many events one after another planned both inside and outside of Studio Ghibli.

11/7/03 (Fri.)

Today is Friday. We held the regular rush screening. For a while there were no retakes, but today there were two, one CG-related, one dramatic. For the dramatic problem, we will fix the sheets and verify it again, for the CG problem, we will change the CG method and reverify.

At one o'clock, we held the meeting with Seyama mentioned in yesterday's entry. We started to talk about various things, but the atmosphere was awkward. We had a long discussion, occasionally mentioning the schedule. Soon it was 3:30 and we had only talked about the schedule for 10 or 20 minutes. The rest was about various topics. But actually it was a quite substantial conversation.

In the evening, the Ghibli Day supervisors went to make preparations for the tomorrow's Ghibli Day event at the Photography Museum in Ebisu. Despite [preparations made] the other day, there were problems with the Powerpoint presentation, with actor profiles, etc. etc., so it wasn't all finished until past 1 a.m. Boo-hoo.

11/8/03 (Sat.)

Today was the "Ghibli Day" event at the Tokyo Photography Museum. Since the main staff are all taking part in the event, everyone left the studio at the beginning of the evening. From the standpoint of the production, on one hand, it seems like a bad time, but on the other hand, it's good for everyone to have a change of pace too.

Since we spoke with Seyama about the cutting the other day, we prepared a checklist for cutting. But after finishing it, it still seemed a little sketchy.

The main event of Ghibli Day, a symposium with the Ghibli main staff, John Lasseter, and others from Pixar, was a great success with the standing-room-only crowd. The supervisors breathed a sigh of relief. Lasseter was wearing a Hawaiian shirt again. It seems it is the Pixar uniform for all occasions. I wonder . . .

11/10/03 (Mon.)

The assistant producers are currently preparing the "Animation Director Corrections Book." From the mountain of drawings at Production, they are copying, one at a time, pictures that may be of use. It's a tough job. We consult the storyboards while looking for them, but it is hard to find exactly the right picture. Ugh!

John Lasseter and company came for a visit to the Ghibli Art Museum and Studio Ghibli. Reporters gathered in a narrow studio at Ghibli, and everyone was furthermore overwhelmed by Lasseter and company, who have heavy builds. Incidentally, Satoh, the reporter who made the Thank You, Mr. Lasseter DVD, was there too, wearing under his jacket the Finding Nemo Hawaiian shirt he was given in America. As soon as Lasseter arrived, Satoh took off his jacket, as if to compete with him.


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