Hayao Miyazaki's "Starting Point" Book

Here is a passage from pages 110-11 of "Starting Point" (text translated to English). I think that this passage is super important and is a piece of very deep insight from Miyazaki. I find that I can apply his thoughts completely to my art making. 

"...you may make this choice based on some deep subconscious desire, but once you have decided to make your film, you're not really making the film-- it will be making you. For example, you may decide that a particular person lives in a particular era in a particular setting, and you can go partway like this in developing your story. But then when things start to develop further, these elements will stat making the film. And then the problem will be that when you try to twist the story in this or that direction to fit your own tastes, the film may fall apart. I often tell people that films are something that exist not in your mind, but somewhere above you [points above head]. Once you've decided to make a film and put the process in motion, in modern Japan, at this age, with the physical conditions imposed upon you, with the staff you have... well, there is only one ideal way for you to carry out your work with your own internal conditions and all the energy you possess. There has to be that certain way. And the trick thus becomes finding it. It's no use trying to get off easily, thinking that if someone else made such-and-such movie in such-and-such a way, then you can just use that way, too, because it won't stick. Because it won't be the best way. And when you realize it won't work, you'll simply have to start searching for your own idea. Yet you won't find it inside your head. (...) You just have to wrestle with it. And when you're stuck, something deep in your brain will start thinking for you.... That's the only way to look at it. It'll be some experience from the past that you don't recall, some fusion of a variety of things, something that will make sense to you if you do it in a specific way, something that appears to be at the limits of your ability... And it'll probably pop out all of a sudden. So the issue for me is whether I can force myself into that state. That's the most important thing for me. And if I can, then I'm not making a film; instead, it feels like the film is making me. (...) There is always something with a particular motif that may not be in you, but will always be somewhere here [points above head]. (...) Films were once made from nothing. (...) And actually, all this stuff about the methodology of writing scenarios and making films is a fiction anyway. If you have an idea of what you really want to make, you can make it. Of that I'm certain. And once you feel that you can somehow make your film, you can. And when that happens, you won't be making it using your normal common sense; the most important thing will be for you to try as hard as possible to find the intent of what you imagine, the thing that seems to be floating around here [points above head]. Without this, you'll never be able to make a film. When you think of this-- whether we call it your thoughts, ideas, philosophy, or even your feelings-- in the midst of this thing that will be your foundation, you will find included not only your daily life, but world affairs, politics, and even economics. And, as I mentioned earlier, you may not be able to easily integrate everything-- even the things that you are most interested in and are the foundation of your world-- but the whole world is also struggling because it can't do this; it's normal that you can't either. But as you struggle, I hope that you will finally experience being made by your film. " 

Honestly very helpful to me. The book "Starting Point" has tons of lectures, interviews, articles and general writings of Hayao Miyazaki. It is 461 pages long (along with it's companion book "Turning Point" which is just as thick- that I picked up). So far I am on page 116 and it is a phenomenal read. Every page so far has been amazing and entirely helpful to me as an artist. Not to mention that in general what he discusses is just very interesting. 

I recommend any artist, consumer of his media, or anyone wishing to learn the inner workings of an interesting perspective/ recounted experience about animation in Japan, should pick this up! 


(seriously, every page feels like candy. So glad there is tons of material!!)