Production Process (was Return of the Newsgroup Timekillers)

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Mon May 13 07:00:18 EDT 1996

Subject: Production Process (was Return of the Newsgroup Timekillers)
 No. | DATE        |  FROM
*  1: May 12, 1996: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)


From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Lines: 46

The only problem with walking you through "The Coming of Shadows" is that,
well, the production process has gotten so blurred that I barely remember
much of it.  The problem being that one doesn't just do one at a time, you
basically work on 8 episodes all at the same time, in varying degrees of
preparation or completion, and so there's no clean point of demarkation. 
One flows into the next, into the next, into the next....

I can, though, speak in generalities, and that might be something of
possible interest to people.  I'll divide it up into sections, so that if
anyone is interested, we can discuss the various parts and pieces in
subsequent messages.  An episode is produced in the following stages:

1) Writing.  Not much to discuss here; you just sit and bleed onto the

2) First Draft Script.  It's sent to department heads (costume, wardrobe,
CGI, prosthetics, often the director).  Preparation begins.  (Hereafter
just "prep.")  

3) Final Draft Script.  Full distribution: cast, crew, casting, everybody.
 We are now fully in prep.

PREP: Meet with all department heads, discuss and approve designs for
sets, prosthetics, other episode-specific areas.  Full prep lasts 2 weeks.
 Meet with director to have a "tone meeting" to go over every scene to
make sure we both understand what everything's about.  Individual visual
effects meetings, art department meetings, other meetings.

SHOOT: Seven 12-hour days, weekdays only.  Script is shot out of sequence,
going by sets.  (I.e., all Medlab scenes are shot first, then all C&C
scenes, and so on, to minimize camera/lighting moves, which take a long
time on any show.)

POST: 52 days (average).  Director does first cut of episode, then John
Copeland and I make the final producer's cut.  Visual EFX, CGI and roto
work are all inserted.  Sound spotting meeting with Chris Franke and sound
EFX guys to spot where music/sound cues are.  Other meetings.  Final audio
mix and delivery for insertion of commercials, credits, closed-captioning
and satellite uplink.

Any of those areas are fair game for further inquiry.


-*** B5JMS SUBSCRIBERS: Messages to this list come from various sources.
-*** Replies to them, automatically to go the maintainer of this list
-*** <b5jms-owner at>.  If you want to reply to
-*** someone else, make sure the "To:" header line is correctly set.

More information about the B5JMS mailing list