A Station Eight Fan Web Site
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Could you give us a few details on what the process to create an episode is like? I have no idea what doing online and locked picture mean...thanks!
1. We start/started by breaking down the entire season on index cards on a VERY large bulletin board.
2. Once the basic arc was approved, I wrote up premises for every episode in the season. Each premise is about a page long.
3. We brought in our freelance writers and broke down a handful of episodes at a time, with each writer in the meeting (myself included) taking one episode as their own, but with every writer in the meeting contributing ideas and notions to everyone's story.
4. The writer goes off with my written premise and the notes from the meeting and writes up an outline. This is a prose document, broken down by scene/sequence of about 8 to 10 pages in length. For me, as a story editor this is a VERY important step, as it nails down the story, making script writing much easier.
5. I do a rewrite on the writer's outline and submit it to WB, CN, DC, Brandon Vietti and the episode's director for notes.
6. The writer goes off with my revised outline and all the notes and writes a script.
7. I do a rewrite on the writer's script and submit it for notes to WB, CN, DC, BV, S&P, legal and the episode's director. Usually showed it to Kevin Hopps as well, who was great at catching my mistakes. The first season, Kevin was on staff, and it was part of his job. The second season, he just did it as a favor. Good guy.
8. I do another rewrite or polish based on all the notes.
9. We record the script, casting any new rolls, etc.
10. Simultaneously, the storyboards are begun...
11. While at the same time, design work for the episode begins: characters, backgrounds, props, effects. This is ALL black and white line-art at first.
12. The boards are roughed out and get notes from the director.
13. The boards are cleaned up and submitted to Brandon and myself.
14. Brandon and I give notes, and the boards are revised.
15. Meanwhile, designs are approved and then we go through the same process with color and background painting.
16. Boards are slugged for time to make sure the show isn't too long or too short.
17. X-Sheets (timing sheets) are created to give detailed information to the animators about how long each individual action will take and to give mouth movements to the characters.
18. All these materials are shipped to Korea to either Moi or Lotto to be animated.
19. We occasionally call for "Wedge Tests" that allow us to preview important or tricky bits of animation in advance to make sure we're getting what we want.
20. The animation comes back rough from overseas. Our editor Jhoanne Reyes compiles it into what we call an A-Frame. It's a very ROUGH cut.
21. Brandon, Jho, David Wilcox and myself call retakes, i.e. we ask the overseas studio for animation corrections. We also call out visual effects for Matt Girardi.
22. Brandon, Jho and I edit the episode, LOCKING it to the exact time that the network requires.
23. We spot the locked episode with our composers, Dynamic Music Partners, pointing out where and what we are looking for in the music.
24. We do the same thing with Audio Circus, our sound effects experts.
25. We preview the music in advance of the sound mix to make sure it's on target.
26. Generally, by now most of the retakes have come back from Korea and Matt's done most of his effects work too.
27. We mix the show for sound. That is we sit in a room and painstakingly balance the sound effects with the foley with the music with the dialogue.
28. We "On-Line" the episode. This is our last final view of the finished product to make sure everything is as good as time, budget and our abilities will allow it to be.
There's obviously more to it than all of the above, but that should give you the basics.