Interview with Filmmaker/Animator Yoko Yuki (IN THE BIG YARD INSIDE THE TEENY-WEENY POCKET)

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I started by animating the picture diaries I had been writing. I decided to animate them until I was satisfied with the results, without deciding from the beginning with storyboards. This method helped me to grow not only in my work but also in myself.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

About one and a half years.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?

Observe, doubt.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

I struggled with what sentences to put in, where and how to put them in. I also wondered whether I should include the text in the first place. At first I put the words straight from my diary, but I felt that wasn’t right, so I came up with new words.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

It was interesting. I myself don’t understand the film yet. As for the words, I thought of them after watching the animation. So the words that people come up with might be different.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

I have loved playing with video cameras since I was in primary child. I was also interested in the Art Department of film.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Return to Oz、 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland、Lucy, Terror of the Street

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

I would be happy to have funding and distribution support for my next film.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

FilmFreeway is very convenient and easy to view, making it easy to apply.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Tenmusu. It is local food my hometown (Nagoya, Aichi, Japan). Small prawn tempura on rice balls.

11. What is next for you? A new film?

I’m working on a new film and I’m drawing a picture book at the moment. It’s about a cat and a house, about expectations and fears.

Directed by Yoko Yuki
When it shrinks, it expands. It floats and it sinks. It separates but connects. When I think I’m watching them, they’re actually watching me.

Director Statement

In the fall of 2019, on the day I left for Viborg, Denmark, for an artist-in-residence program, I decided to start a picture diary to note the days ahead of me which were probably going to be filled with many new memories.

Arriving in Denmark, I suddenly lost my ability to express myself in words because I hadn’t studied up on my English. However, this way of life seemed to instead heighten my physical senses, and ålthough I was there for only about two months,the sunsets seemed to penetrate my body, rain became less annoying, and I was surprised to find the morning dew on the
leaves so plump and shimmery. (I’ll turn a blind eye to the fact that describing the experience in words only dulls the sensation…)

The picture diary has become a part of my daily routine and I am in my fourth year of keeping record of events, dreams, and emotions. This film began by selecting a few entries from the diary and turning them into animation. I transcribed each of the pictures onto the first page of a small flipbook, making sure not to alter the wholeness of the feeling I received from that particular incident. Then, from the next page, I added motion to the lines of the previous page. As I went on, all the lines came alive and couldn’t keep still. They began to relate to each other, resonate with each other, repel against each other — all of them affecting the subsequent development. How the pictures progressed without me knowing where they were heading, and how new ideas emerged as I let the work take me wherever it wanted to go, I felt like this is how dreams must be generated. After I saw the resulting animation, I wrote rhymes for it without being confined to the texts I wrote in the original diary. And then, I drew more pictures. As I repeated this process, honninman jumped in and started creating the music. This film came to be by exchanging pictures, music, rhymes, voices — back and forth and back again. Come to think of it, the tiny container I stayed in Denmark was set up in a huge schoolyard in a small town. I hope you will come to play in the big yard inside the teeny-weeny pocket.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: