Making a half hour episode for animation is unbelievably detail oriented. Most people think it’s easy to do but in reality it takes a long time to do a single twenty two minute show.
First, we have to write a good Script. When that’s approved, the Production Manager has to break the Script down. What does that mean? It is a process where every Prop, every Background, every Character, every Effect is listed so that we know exactly what we have to design before the actual cartoon is staged.
All Black and White designed Props, Effects, and Characters are given to a Color Stylist along with the painted Backgrounds as it all has to mesh. Our Art Director, Dennis Venizelos colors the most beautiful backgrounds you can imagine. That’s a visual treat onto itself.
Intermittently, the Voice Director, in this case our Producer,Tom Tataranowicz (Tom T.) directs the Actors in a recording studio to get the right acting for the Storyboard Artists.
And, while that’s going on all of this art work is being compiled, so that we can get these art packs to the Storyboard Artists. The Storyboard Process takes another three weeks or more to do just one Act of the Board.
The Storyboard Designers also get a Directors Script (that’s a script where the Director writes notes, ideas, staging… basically their vision on a show so that the Storyboard Artists can reenact and help the Director achieve that vision). There are always Three Acts for each Script. A lot of work don’t you think?
Once the Storyboard is finished and numbered and totally ready to go, a person called a Slugging Director has to time out all of the action to the show, communicate with the Animators who can eventually use this information.
Once this is complete, the Director has to make sure the Storyboard has the correct footage and correct amount of Scenes. Then the Storyboard goes to our Sound Editor who has to put the voices, to Timing Sheets.
The Sheets come back to us and our Lip Sync person again takes the finished Storyboard and Timing Sheets and writes where the Characters speak, sing, scream, whatever!
Then our Timing Directors actually time the almost finished sheets and eventually after all is checked and ok’d, our sound Editor does what we call Final Conforming with the sheets to make sure all of the sound matches all of the board timing just completed.
Whew, I’m tired just thinking about this. Once this process is complete, it goes to animation where it takes a full eighteen weeks to totally complete the film with constant communication with our Directors, checking errors, “retakes,” etc.
After the cartoon has been animated it goes to Editing, and Music, Sound Effects, and Mixing. A long process but fun!
Basically, a cartoon takes from Script to ready for TV about nine months. When it’s done it’s most definitely our Baby. It’s all worth it because we love making Television Cartoons and Feature Films!
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