(Thank You, Mr. Lasseter)
|Synopsis - Page 2|
Lasseter uses the analogy of a tent-pole to describe sequences that are fundamental to a film (Disney films might, he suggests, use the songs as such scenes) and around which the story can be changed. For instance, in Pixar's Toy Story, a sequence where the green toy soldiers set up a post in a houseplant was shot first. Miyazaki notes in an aside to Suzuki that this resembles the way Takahata works. Lasseter goes on to say the ending and the beginning should be animated last, to leave enough flexibility for any changes in emphasis that only become apparent during the production. For instance, the 3-eyed aliens in Buzz Lightyear's spaceship were added to Toy Story so late that they could not be included in the initial marketing material. Miyazaki concurs that life would be so much easier if production only began once all the details were finalised.
The scene changes to the venue of the premiere screening.
Lasseter calls Miyazaki over to an interview that he is doing. Miyazaki states that they are there due to John Lasseter. Having Lasseter oversee the English translation makes Miyazaki worried that he is not working enough on his own movie. Lasseter introduces Miyazaki to Daveigh Chase, the voice of Chihiro in Spirited Away. Jason Marsden, the voice actor for Haku, is also briefly glimpsed.
Suzuki notes that Miyazaki was unusually nervous, and apologises for forgetting to mention Lasseter and Walt Disney Studios in his speech preceding the premiere. In this speech, he recounts how he realised that he had not made a film for the 10-year-old children of his friends. Although they were older by the time the films was completed, he believes that this film is for those who once were ten, as well as those yet to be ten.
Miyazaki and Suzuki are seen having a coffee across the road during the screening, as Miyazaki doesn't like to watch an audience's reaction to his imperfect films, and is uncharacteristically nervous about its reception.
After the showing, Disney organised a party at a Japanese restaurant to celebrate, attended by Dick Cook (Chairman of Disney). In the meantime, Suzuki was worried that Miyazaki would never agree to do the 40 TV interviews scheduled for the next day!
3. September 8: Press Junket in Toronto
Suzuki reveals that he cheated - he told Miyazaki that Disney had wanted him to do 65 interviews, but that they had negotiated down to 40!
Miyazaki and Lasseter are shown holed up in dark hotel rooms full of equipment, giving the seemingly never-ending procession interviews. Miyazaki describes Lasseter as a human bulldozer, sweeping aside all obstacles to getting the film released in the USA. He says Lasseter seems more devoted to the release of the film than Miyazaki himself, and feels overwhelmed by this friendship.
For his part, Lasseter describes Miyazaki as one of his major influences, praising his direction both of action sequences and of more quiet contemplative moments. With zealous fervour, he says, "this continent needs to see this movie, it's so great!"
During a break, Suzuki shows Miyazaki how far they have progressed along the scheduled interviews and Miyazaki feels pleased with himself; that he still has the stamina to do such things. Lasseter returns from lunch and Miyazaki tells him it feels like doing three days' worth of work in one day, asking if it is the usual thing. Lasseter tells him that not only is it standard procedure, but when promoting a film worldwide, he will repeat the process in many foreign cities while his wife has a holiday accompanying him. So a foreign publicity trip is "for my wife, for the film, but not for me".
Returning to the interviews, Lasseter describes Spirited Away as one of the most distinctive movies of the past decade, suggesting it could rekindle interest in traditional hand-drawn cel animation.