Lexus and The & Partnership have collaborated on the longest documentary ever made - 60,000 hours of film that delves into the art of Japanese craftsmanship, in an increasingly ‘artificial intelligence (AI) powered world.’
Directed by Chef's Table filmmaker, Clay Jeter, the documentary poses a difficult question: "In an age where technology and AI can replicate or better anything man can do, what is the value and purpose of such focus and dedication?"
Ultimately, this long-form branded content seeks to show that humans still play a vital role in car manufacturing.
To demonstrate how traditional crafts and skills can still have meaning in today’s society, the film looks to Japan - the home of Lexus. Although the Canadian journalist Malcolm Gladwell claimed it takes a person 10,000 hours of study to become an expert in their field - in Japan, they take that number and multiply it by six.
Takumi - the highest level of artisan in Japan - is explored by a series of character-driven portraits in the film. Lasting 60,000 hours in total (the time it takes for a Takumi to refine their skill) the medium is also the message.
It follows four Japanese craftsmen and women who are masters of their craft, including a Michelin-starred chef, a traditional paper-cutting artist, an automotive craftsman who works for Lexus and a carpenter for one of the oldest construction companies in the world.
If it takes 60,000 hours to perfect a skill, that equates to eight hours a day, 250 days a year for 30 years. To illustrate the level of scrupulous dedication each Takumi gives to perfecting their craft, the 60,000 hour documentary loops scenes of each artisan repeating their practice each day, over and over again. In each repetitive cycle, they get closer to mastering the craft.
Narrated by Former British Museum director Neil Macgregor, the documentary also includes interviews from world experts in craft and AI.
Discussing the documentary film, Lexus International's head of global brand, said: “The concept of Takumi has physically and philosophically been at the core of the Lexus brand since it started 30 years ago.
“Our Takumi masters have over 60,000 hours (30-plus working years) of experience developing their craft. To celebrate the brand’s anniversary year, we wanted to capture the essence of Takumi – and their 60,000-hour journey - on film."
There will also be a feature-length 54-hour version of the documentary premiere on Amazon Prime Video on March 19.
The 60,000-hour version will be available on takumi-craft.com.