NHK (Nihon Housou Kyoukai/Japan Broadcasting Corporation), Japan’s national public broadcasting station, aired a 50-minute special documentary program “Owaranai Hito (NeverEnding Man) Miyazaki Hayao” last night at 9:00 p.m., focusing on the production process of his first CG short “Kemushi no Boro” (Boro the Caterpillar), which will be exclusively screened at Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo, in near future. The documentary was narrated by Chika Sakamoto, who voiced Mei Kusakabe in Miyazaki’s 1988 film Tonari no Totoro/My Neighbor Totoro and its fourteen-minute sequel in 2002, Mei to Konenobus/Mei and the Kittenbus.
In the last segment of the documentary, Miyazaki handed a proposal for his new feature film with a few pages to Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki. While most of its details, including its title, were hidden by pixelization, it was confirmed to be a traditional hand-drawn anime film. Its three-year production schedule was revealed as follows:
July 2016: Screenplay IN
January-June 2017: Storyboards
June 2017: General Meeting
June 2017-Early 2019: Animation Drawings
Middle of 2019(?): Completion
He added a small comment to the last sentence of the schedule, “I’ll be 78 years old (in 2019). Am I still
Miyazaki requested Suzuki, “You can use any kind of alchemy you need, please rake together enough
money to make this film.” Then Suzuki jokingly answered, “If you die after you finish drawing the
storyboards, the film must be a huge hit!” (because it will certainly be his last).
Miyazaki also confirmed that he had not yet told his wife about the new film. “It is very possible that I
will die during the production and I am prepared for it. So when I tell her, I can only ask her to give it up
(to stop me).” He said, “It would be much better to die when making a film than when doing nothing.”
“It is still not clear whether Miyazaki’s new feature film will actually get greenlit or not,” Sakamoto said
in the closing narration and concluded, “But Miyazaki has realized living is making films.”