Building cars can usually be a fairly thankless job. You are but one of thousands working along factory lines to crank out cars as quickly and efficiently as possible, with the lowest number of defects possible. But Lexus treats their employees a little differently - they're called Takumi, or master craftsmen in Japanese, and to be regarded as truly a master takes 60,000 hours of work and commitment to their craft. But can they survive in a world that's becoming increasingly AI and robotics driven?
It's this recognition that sees a Lexus craftsmen being one of four people featured in a documentary about the survival of human craft. He sits on par with a double-Michelin-star chef, a traditional paper cutting artist, and a carpenter for one of the oldest construction companies in the world - all four are committed to becoming the best at their chosen crafts. The visually stunning, character-driven portrait, made by Chef’s Table Director, Clay Jeter, for Lexus, is due for release on Prime Video, through the Prime Video Direct self-publishing service, on March 19, 2019 globally.
The documentary, which premiered at the DOC NYC film festival in New York, is unique in that the medium is also the message. There will be a feature length version plus a ‘60,000’ hour cut, which loops scenes of each Takumi’s essential skills of their craft repeated over and over again to highlight the hours, days and years of practice involved. Narrated by Former British Museum Director Neil Macgregor and including interviews from world experts in craft and AI, the film asks how we will honor and preserve human craft as we simultaneously design machines to act more precisely and quickly than humans ever can.