Q&A with producer Toshio Suzuki and Studio Ghibli staff
Producer of the movie ‘How Will You Live?’, “The theme of the movie is finding true friends.”
Producer of the movie ‘How Will You Live?’, “The theme of the movie is finding true friends.”
Director Hayao Miyazaki's film 'How Will They Live' released a Q&A with producer Toshio Suzuki and Studio Ghibli staff.

‘How Will You Live?’ is a time-and-space fantasy about a boy named ‘Mahito’ who accidentally enters a mysterious world that transcends time and space and meets a mysterious heron.

Although the title is taken from Kenzaburo Yoshibu's novel, it contains an original story and the director's autobiographical story.

Producer Toshio Suzuki and director Miyazaki always work with a set title in mind. It would be nice to say that the title determines the content. So far, the main character has been a girl, but since she is an unknown being that she doesn't know much about, she said she wanted to allow the main character to move freely. Mahito is a boy with a very dark side, and it is also a confession about his own childhood. Therefore, I worked on each scene with great care, and it was a necessary title for that weight and seriousness.

The theme of this movie is

Producer Toshio Suzuki and director Hayao Miyazaki usually think of a theme while making a movie, but ultimately, what is the most important thing in human life? I think it's like finding a true friend.

I know that there are many people around director Hayao Miyazaki who influenced him in the movie.

Toshio Suzuki I think what Producer Miyazaki most wanted to express when making this film was himself. It is about the kind of relationship one has had with people, and the person who emerges as an important figure in it is the role of great-grandfather ‘Isao Takahata’, and the heron can be said to be me, ‘Toshio Suzuki’. If you watch the movie, you will see that there is a scene where the main characters, Mahito and a heron, are sitting side by side and talking. When I saw that scene, I was touched because I thought that Director Miyazaki and I had remembered and expressed the very detailed details we had discussed.

This work took 7 years. What is the biggest reason it took so long?

Producer Toshio Suzuki's intention was to deliberately take time to produce it. Usually, a work was completed in about three years. I thought I should approach it a little differently this time. Rather than securing and meeting a budget, we aimed for the highest quality without setting a production cost or period from the beginning. Considering the director's personality, I thought it would take 10 years, but it only took 7 years.

It is said that the number of frames is the highest ever, and all scenes are hand-made. Is there a reason why you insisted on doing it by hand, unlike the current trend?

Producer Toshio Suzuki wanted to create a great work. There may be many elements in a movie, but I thought the most important thing was to express something that the audience would enjoy. I thought I had to spend money and time to do that.

The work of Joe Hisaishi and Kenshi Yonezu is a hot topic. The process of joining the music industry is

I thought the only producer Toshio Suzuki was Joe Hisaishi. Since I had been in charge of the role since <Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind>, I readily accepted. I first found out about Kenshi Yonezu and suggested it to Director Miyazaki, and since Director Miyazaki happened to know Kenshi Yonezu's song 'Paprika', it went smoothly. Kenshi Yonezu created a touching theme song called [Spinning Globe] over a long period of four years.

Is there a scene that you are most attached to or most memorable to you?

Producer Toshio Suzuki Although all the scenes in the previous film were very impressive to me, I was very surprised to see a scene where a person appears inside a heron. It was a part that could never be expressed with CG. I think it's something that can never be drawn unless it's 2D.

Masaki Suda's voice acting sounds two different. Was there any direction?

Producer Toshio Suzuki: When dubbing Heron, I tried to express it in a guttural voice that sounded like someone was hearing the actual sound of a bird and gnashing his throat. In the first half of the story, it felt like Mahito was being abandoned, but in the second half, the focus was on the changing relationship between the two characters, who became colleagues and moved forward together. And as the story progresses, the feeling of the heron as a bird (animal) gradually disappears, and in the second half, it is expressed so that it does not look like a bird.

This is your first dubbing role. Is there any story behind your casting?

Producer Toshio Suzuki said he would like to participate as a voice actor in director Hayao Miyazaki's work at some point and asked him to contact him if there was an opportunity to audition. The voices of female protagonists in director Miyazaki's films are generally feminine. However, the moment I heard Aimyung's voice, I thought what a female protagonist with an easy-going voice would be like, and I pushed for it strongly. Director Miyazaki was satisfied, saying it would fit well with Himi's image.

The expressions of birds such as pelicans and parakeets that prey on herons and warawaras are impressive. Is there a special reason or intention for including so many birds?

There is a pond next to Studio Ghibli director Miyazaki's house, and herons often appear there. Standing still and not knowing what he's thinking is mysterious, and there's a feeling that he's holding a secret, so I think that's why he was included in the movie. When creating works with a strong fantasy feel, director Miyazaki replaced ordinary humans with dogs (in the 'Detective Holmes' series) or rabbits (in the short film 'Mr. Dough and the Egg Princess'). . Taking this parrot as an example, birds are creatures that live faithfully to their appetite and desire to survive, and I think they are comparing humans who do not think deeply to parrots.

The setting of Shoichi marrying his sister-in-law is a bit unfamiliar to Korean audiences. Can you explain the historical background?

Studio Ghibli In the past, in Japan, it was common for couples to remarry the deceased's siblings if one of them died young due to war or illness. This is because the concept of marriage at the time had more of a meaning of marrying into someone else's house rather than a feeling of a man and a woman becoming one.

There are many Ghibli fans in Korea as well. Is there any last thing you would like to say to Korean fans?

Producer Toshio Suzuki and director Hayao Miyazaki also talked about this, but this is his own autobiographical story. There are many elements to the work, but this work features a boy who has never been drawn before as the main character. This is a very exciting story for the director, and since it is a story that requires portraying one's true self, I think that if I could not express this, I would have been in a situation where I could not die even if I were to die.

Reporter Ha-neul Lee, Ten Asia greenworld@tenasia.co.kr translated by google