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"Studio Ghibli Layout Designs" exhibition reveals secrets of production process of animation films (with photos)

     The secrets of excellent animation films are hidden in the layouts. A layout not only contains the director's ideas and spirit, but also codes of directions for team members including animators and cameramen. The "Studio Ghibli Layout Designs: Understanding the Secrets of Takahata and Miyazaki Animation" exhibition will be staged in Hong Kong from tomorrow (May 14) to August 31 at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum.

     The exhibition, which is the first in Hong Kong to cover the work of Studio Ghibli, is presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and organised by the Hong Kong Heritage Museum with the co-operation of Studio Ghibli and the Ghibli Museum, Mitaka. Solely sponsored by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, it is one of the exhibitions in the 2014 Hong Kong Jockey Club Series.

     Speaking at the opening ceremony today (May 13), the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Raymond Young, said that Studio Ghibli, co-founded by Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, is firmly established as one of the most important makers of animated films. Over the years, Takahata and Miyazaki have both brought to life many masterpieces of animation, including the highly acclaimed "My Neighbor Totoro", "Castle in the Sky" and "Spirited Away", in which the stories are rich in imagination and thought-provoking.

     Mr Young added that the exhibition provides a perfect opportunity for art lovers and the general public to have an up-close look at some 1 300 original works of layout designs and animation clips.

     Other officiating guests at the ceremony included the President of Studio Ghibli, Mr Koji Hoshino; the Exhibition Producer of Studio Ghibli, Mr Kazuyoshi Tanaka; the Curator of the Ghibli Museum, Mitaka, Mr Kan Miyoshi; the Executive Director, Charities of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Mr Douglas So; the Chairman of the Art Museum Advisory Panel, Mr Vincent Lo; the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mrs Betty Fung; and the Museum Director of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Ms Belinda Wong.

     The layout designs from Studio Ghibli's films on display in the exhibition have acted as "blueprints" in the animation-making process. Such layouts were first introduced into the production system by Takahata and Miyazaki in 1974 for the TV series "Heidi a girl of the Alps". A layout is an individual piece of paper onto which all the relevant information of a scene is written, such as the relative positions of the backgrounds and characters, directions on action, indications on whether or not there will be camera movement and, if so, at what speed, and any other camerawork effects. The role of a layout is crucial in providing an overview and sense of unity for a production.

     Following Studio Ghibli's touring stops in Japan and Korea, layout designs selected from its classic works including "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind", "Grave of the Fireflies", "Kiki's Delivery Service", "My Neighbor Totoro", "Howl's Moving Castle", "Spirited Away", "Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea" and the latest release "The Wind Rises" are being exhibited in Hong Kong. Visitors also have the privilege of viewing layouts from Takahata's "The Tale of The Princess Kaguya" before the film screens in Hong Kong cinemas this summer.

     During the exhibition period, exhibition booklets and a series of souvenirs produced by Studio Ghibli will be available for purchase at the gift shop of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, while stocks last.

     In addition, fantastic photography areas will be provided at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum where visitors can take photos with the family of raccoon dogs of "Pom Poko" and little Princess Kaguya. Photo-taking with Totoro and Ponyo will be also available at "Totoro's Wonderland and Ponyo's Beach". In addition, "Studio Ghibli Poster Retrospective" will feature posters of 15 films on display to rekindle visitors' memories, and "Soot-Sprite Workshop" will allow visitors to create their own soot-sprites, upload their works and participate in a game entitled "Soot Sprite • A Stylish Call".

     The Hong Kong Heritage Museum will also hold a special series of education programmes with the theme of "Studio Ghibli's Animation World Series: Far Beyond Your Dreams and Imagination". These will include lectures, workshops and screenings, providing participants with chances to explore the animation art of Studio Ghibli and to discover the latest developments in animation production in Japan and Hong Kong.

     For details of the exhibition and education programmes, please visit the Hong Kong Heritage Museum's website or call 2180 8188 for enquiries.

Ends/Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Issued at HKT 20:39


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