Great Work Hides Massive Amount of Work: A Look at ‘Back to The Start’ Making Of
Couple of weeks ago I discovered Back to the Start, a 2 minutes 20 seconds smart animation commissioned by Chipotle to Nexus Productions that “depicts the life of a farmer as he slowly turns his family farm into an industrial animal factory before seeing the errors of his ways and opting for a more sustainable future.“
The animation is enjoyable but it’s the making-of, posted by Irish director Johnny Kelly, that took me to a whole new level of its appreciation. The eight minutes making-of is a testimony of how much work, energy, creativity but also money are needed to reach a certain level of quality.
During a four weeks shooting -or so I understood from the video, but it might be more, which is scarier in a way- dozens of men -sorry women, stick to the production side- worked on building sets, building characters and shooting Back to the Start.
It sometimes feel that animation doesn’t require as much equipment, or men-force, or budget than live action movies; and it can be true (sometimes), and it’s also true that everybody doesn’t have to go that far to achieve an animated work, in the same fashion that everybody doesn’t need a hundred people on set and a 35mm camera to shoot a feature.
But what doesn’t change, no matter the scale and no matter the budget, is that any type of good creative production requires a massive amount of work that usually remains in the shadow.
This making-of is a nice echo to Hitchcock’s affirmation and is both inspiring and frightening for an independent filmmaker (or just me, maybe). It reminds that hard work is the unavoidable key to a good-to-great final product but also that if you don’t have these means, and have the same ambition, the amount of work and obstacles can realistically be multiplied… exponentially.
If everything is cheaper, technologically speaking, the sweat we have to put in projects doesn’t fade out, and hard work is, more than ever, a priceless quality, a priceless tool, and a key component to success.