Sep 7, 2013
Hayao Miyazaki Officially Retires From Directing
The day has finally come as Hayao Miyazaki formally announced that he would be stepping away from directorial duties at Studio Ghibli, making room for some new talent to hopefully take the reigns. As we speak, his latest feature called Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises) is currently one of Japan's biggest box office hits of 2013, so at least he got the chance to step out on a high note. Thankfully he'll still be supervising on projects for the next ten years or so (In his own words), but will be free from the stress associated with his past position (Check out this behind the scenes during Spirited Away for an idea). In Miyazaki's own words:
I’m not sure you all know exactly what an animation director does. And even if you say ‘animation director’ everyone has their own way of working. I started as an animator, so I have to draw. If I don’t draw, I can’t express myself.
So what happens is, I have to take my glasses off and draw like this. I would have to do that forever. No matter how physically fit and healthy you are, it’s a fact that year after year the amount of time you’re able to concentrate on that decreases. I have experienced this personally, so I know. So, for example I leave my desk 30 minutes earlier compared to during Ponyo. Next I guess it’ll be one hour earlier than that.
Those physical issues that occur with age, there’s nothing you can do about them, and hating them doesn’t make a difference. There’s the opinion that i should just do things a different way, but if I could do that I would have already done a long time ago, so I can’t. Therefore, all I can do is persist in doing things on my terms, and I made the call that feature films would be impossible.