Rewrites, that’s my life at work. Nothing is locked off… until it goes to air!
Sometimes I will still play with an edit after completing it, just to make sure I understand what I could have done. Other times I will work through a technique again, ironing out bugs for next time. Mostly I just reshape what I’ve got when the script inevitably morphs into something new.
Version 1 is often just a draft of page 1. The first page is the eyeball grabber, it must seize the attention of the audience so it attracts the most production time. I ask the journalist (producer) to write up a concept with temp voice over, so that I can build a sequence and choose music to set the mood. At this point the journalist might change direction based on the success of this first pass.
If I’m lucky the time I’ve spent here won’t change much, unless the Executive Producer (Show runner if you like), decides that we need a snappier start and jumps into the story late. This generally means dumping the introduction! All that beautiful scene setting and emotion just gets flushed away. Oh well.
Testing the lines
Hopefully I’ve been provided more pages now. I look at the rest of the script for sequence construction, noting pit falls like insufficient overlay. If the required overlay can’t be shot or doesn’t exist, I have to formulate a plan of attack. After all I’m not making radio, there can’t be big black holes going to air (little black holes are useful however) .
- Are there photos to use?
- Is there a web site to use?
- Can we film some generic footage to infer substance?
- Can I make an animation to represent the concept?
Armed with new materials I can attack the black holes. At this point I have to determine how much of the script is at final draft stage. Typically the answer is almost never. The drawback here is that I cannot know exactly how much I need. This impacts on my graphics deliverables in a number of ways.
- Is the imagery of the story specific to the script or is it ‘general’ in nature? If it is broadly applicable then I won’t know how long to make it. That means I should leave it as loose as possible, allowing me to make dramatic changes to its length at the last minute.
- If the script is locked down to key phrases or sentences, then I have a better idea how long I need to make the finished animation. But the imagery may not be sufficient.
- If there aren’t enough pictures to cover the script, I will need to build new assets from what I have. Basically building filler around the key images.
In a later post I will look at the way that I prepare images for use in our TV stories and I’ll break down the process of choosing an animation style.
As always, thanks for stopping by.