“Nah, just play it out”

On paper – or at least, on the schedule – we deliver all thirteen programmes today. T’ch, yeah, right. All I actually have to send off is the first six shows, and… well… we’ll get there. Somehow. Right now we’ve about seven shows dubbed and mixed, and the entire series is conformed (that is, the pictures are back to their reasonably-pristine original form rather than the looking-through-a-sheet-of-mud offline placeholders). But still, we have to:

  • Put the ident clocks on the front of the shows (you should never see these, but people take great pride in their clocks and the transmission chaps like to see them. Mostly because they can’t read the tape label when it’s in the machine, I suppose).
  • Replace credits crawlers with final versions.
  • Make up the production caption and add three seconds of it to the end of each programme.
  • Add name captions at the start of the show, for the presenters.
  • Chop up the show so anything that’s got text over it is spliced on clean after the programme, so if/when Discovery put the thing out in, say, Portuguese they can translate all the visuals.
  • Check we’ve replaced all the library music beds (expensive) with composed stuff (cheapskate, and mostly better, actually).
  • Drop in voice-over for the menu sequences (recorded yesterday – Will did a stonking job on them).
  • Play out the audio tracks.
  • Take the voice-overs out again, tweak the mix, and play the audio back out again to make dialogue-clean music & effects tracks for international use.
  • Add the audio to the pictures.
  • Add the other audio to the pictures.
  • Play out the 14:9 letterbox transmission master. Yay!
  • Play out the 16:9 anamorphic archive master (what, they don’t ARC on transmission?! Evidently not. Weird).
  • Dub off the VHS, BetaSP and miniDV viewing copies (yawn!)
  • …paperwork

What’s a little weird is that… er… we haven’t actually had chance to watch any of the shows since last week. So we’ve little real idea if we’ve used too much music, too little, how it changes the pace of the shows, and so on. Walter the editor and I have just been staring at each other, trying to work out how brave we’re feeling. Have we time to watch them before we’ve passed the point of no return?

“Nah, just play it out.”

We’d only want to change things, after all.

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