Archive Documentary

Studio Ghibli

The History Of Japanise Animation

As part of unit 12, we have been tasked with creating an archived-based short documentary base on film history, as normal our group got together and came up with the idea of looking at Japanese animation. It was suggested that we could link this to the FMP however this subject will not be relevant to most of our FMPs but we wanted to do a subject that everyone was semi knowledgeable about and due to the conditions and timeframe as usual at the moment, because of this we decided it was more time-efficient to work on a project together so we can get it done easier and move on with other units.

Film history is important to know I do agree, however, I don’t really find it interesting at all I would rather stay in the modern age as I love technology and modern advances. Nor do I know much about anime, the rest of the group really enjoy it, however, I have watched some of studio Ghiblis films a long time ago but I have some knowledge on the subject. This project does allow me to explore why its so popular in modern-day entertainment and how its got there.

Initial Planning / Pilot

We initially started planning the project on the day of the brief and compiled it into a slide show for us but we also presented it at the end of a lesson. It contains basic history and statistics we can use and add to throughout the project.

Extra research was also sourced based on our group’s research papers.


“At somepoint in everybodies life we have either heard of or watched a work by Hayao Miyazaki. A few films like Spirited away or My Neibour Totoro might ring a bell.
This short documentary will focus on Miyazaki’s life and his impact on the anime indusrty with Studio Ghibli.

So lets start with Miyzaki. He was born on January 5th 1941 in Tokyo and started his career as an animator in 1963 where he went to work at Toei Douga Studio.
It was here that people began to notice his talents for both animation and his skill for coming up with original film ideas. Then between 1971 to 1979 Miyazaki would change studios 4 more times.
The first change was to A Pro Studio in 1971
Then started to work at Nippon Animation in 1973 where he would go on to help animate the World Masterpiece Theater Tv show for the next 5 years, as well as getting his first directing role in the industry.
This was for the Tv show Futrue Boy Conan.
After this Miyazaki would then change to Tokyo Movie Shinsha. It was here that he would direct his first original film, The castle of Cagliostro, some people hold this film as a classic of the industry.
However, he was also about to make another first in the form of adapting his own manga (kind of like a Japanese comic book) into a film titled, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984).
The success of this film led to a big change.

In 1985 Studio Ghibli was founded. In no time at all it became a major powerhouse in the anime industry and up until 2014, Miyazaki would be at the helm.
Currently Miyazaki has produced, written and directed a total of 9 films, 4 Tv spots, 1 short and 1 music video during his time at the studio with many of these being true classics of the industry.
For instance, Ponyo on the Cliff by the sea (2008), Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989), Princess Mononoke (1997), Spirited away (2001) and My Neighbour Totoro (1988).
Proncess Mononoke would go onto win the Japanese equivalent of an academy award for best film in 1997 and is held at number 69 on IMDBs top films of all time list.
Spirited away is also on this list at number 28, upon release it imediatly became mainsteam in both Japan and the west leading to a contant growing audience of anime in places like the USA and the UK.
But the first success studio Ghibli had was My Neighbour Totoro. It led to Studio Ghibli becoming known in Japan and the film becoming a gold mine for merchandising, some of which is still being produced.
The character Totoro became the mascot for the Studio which helped people to recognise Ghibli and made it memorable.
Most anime studios nowadays dont have a mascot but are recognised based on the IPs they adapt which has led to Studio Ghibli standing out massively in the current sea of releases by other studios.
Miyazaki retired in 2014 which led to the studio having big problems to the extent that the studio even announced that it was shutting down live on Tv, but then it decided not to.
Instead Miyazaki’s son Goro Miyazaki took over as the big creative mind for the studio which has managed to keep it going, but not to the same level of quality that it had during Miyazaki’s reign.
However, even Miyazaki couldn’t stay retired and decided to come back to the studio to produce a film which is an adaptaion of the novel How Do You Live? (1937) by Yoshino Genzaburo. It is set to release in the near future.
Oh! and a quick fact Studio Ghibli actually has a meaning in Japan, this being “hot sahara wind”. It was intentionally named this way as they wanted to “blow new wind” into the industry, which Ghibli definatly managed to do.

As for the future of the studio, not much is known. Depending on how Miyazaki’s new film goes, we could see a resurgance of the studio.
But as for the past, it has become a staple of anime and Japanese culture beloved by people of all ages. The same can be said for Miyazaki, he made history and maybe he could continue to make even more.”

This was written by Harley.

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Final Product & Evaluation

This was an interesting project, one we put off for a long time while we focused on TV Program, once we did start it however it took just over a week in total most of this was scriptwriting, a day voice recording, and then a couple of days editing.

My job in the project was to do the voice narration as well as some side research. I recorded it from home during an online lesson using my studio setup, the microphone was a Behringer UltraVoice XM1800s and was recorded in butt (Broadcast using this tool) which also has a record feature.

I used this software because it’s what I have set up and what I am used to using it also has decent settings. This took about an hour and a half in total, I ended up recording each sentence into its own file and doing it multiple times so the editor (Gareth) could pick the best one and swap bits if needed which I think he used well. The pronunciations were something I struggled with but had support from others in the group to figure out and learn, they still are not brilliant but they are decent considering. I wasn’t sure if my voice was going to be a good fit for a long time because it would be too deep and formal but it worked really well in conjunction with the backing music.

As mentioned Gareth edited the footage it was written and produced as more a youtube style documentary but still fit the historical archive brief. The footage was sourced by Ellie & Gareth and the rest of the group it came from multiple sources which are referenced in the end credits.

In my opinion, the video flows really well and I think we are all happy to see how it turned out even if it was a project we were not particularly into.

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