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
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.
- 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.