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Behind the scenes

Updated: Aug 15


There are few things that I enjoy more in life than watching behind

the scenes documentaries. Some of my favorites are the creation of a

ballet in the Paris Opera, one about a youth music orchestra and more

recently the making-of the animated movie “Turning Red”. Figuring out

a process is one of my biggest sources of joy.


I will freely admit (even if I am not terribly proud of it) that one

of my favorite things to watch on Youtube is people drawing stuff,

practicing the cello, generally speaking making things, until I get

angry with myself for spending one hour watching them practice instead

of doing it myself.


What is fascinating to me in these documentaries is seeing all the

work, all the steps and missteps, the conception, the preparation, the

execution, the little hands that carry and contribute with different

forms of knowledge and skills. Watching people collaborate to make

something beautiful, something bigger than themselves.


Somehow the better the final “oeuvre” is the less one thinks about

what went into it. If a piece is well executed no flaws will distract

a critical eye. Unless you have an obsession in understanding how

things are made, in which case, hey to you!







I am also curious about how the documentaries themselves are made, how

natural can one remain in front of a camera? And to what extent

aspects even if they are a work in progres should remain untold? How

many hours does one have to shoot before getting a solid 55 minutes of

material worth putting together? How does one capture magic being made

on camera?


For those who work in large experiments such as the LHC ones, maybe

you can relate to the behind the scenes attraction? There is so much

that goes on before a plot or a paper can be shown to the public. To

some extent the process is fairly similar to putting together an

animated movie. Design, conception, building, processing, executing,

fixing, iterating, publishing, going out in the world, being reviewed.

Sprinkle funding requests and human management on top.


It might be end of the summer approaching but these days I keep

returning to one question:


"What makes people collaborate together on large scale projects?"


For the longest time I thought I had an (obvious) answer, but the more

I think about it the less sure I am. If turning forty taught me one thing is that

I am allowed to take my time, at least for certain things.

And for some obscure reason something is telling me that this question deserves

further thinking and therefore this is exactly what I shall do.

PS: the video of the drawing is inspired from a book I read recently called "Le concours des Cabanes", I guess the author was herself inspired by Hayao Miyasaki.


References:

- La relève - Histoire d'une création.

- Shining Eyes - Music's Power to Connect - Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra - Benjamin Zander.

- Turning Red Domee Shi - Pixar animation studios.




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