Jan 29, 2011

How Magic is Made

Once in a while a strong urge to watch Spirited Away swells up in me. Yesterday, as I was browsing through Youtube, by chance or destiny (or maybe the two are the same), I stumbled upon a video called "The Making of Spirited Away." For a hour, I was once again captured by the movie's magic, but this time, the process of its completion captivated me.

The staff fights against time and quality every second. Miyazaki must communicate his visions across barriers of generation and experience gaps. The drawing and storyboard making process is tense. Each picture, each cut is given such attention. Every movement is real and has meaning. Every scene is a splash of powerful, flowing lines and color. Then, the sounds must be added. Before watching this video, I did not imagine how much time and effort it takes to add sound effects to the pictures. The soundtrack was created in a grand auditorium surrounded by over sixty microphones and a full orchestra. The voice actors must rely on their voices alone to give life to the characters. Each footstep, each door, each object must be given its own sound. The chaos of a busy kitchen, the festivity of a party, the clang-ings during the clean-up, the different splashes of water in each scene of the bath house. Magic didn't generate spontaneously. The thoughts of each member of the staff, the years of living, seeing, hearing each person had all contributed to the breath-taking film. I, along with viewers worldwide who were touched by this film, am forever grateful to everyone involved in the film for having shown me a miracle.

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