Monday, June 18, 2007

Cut!

There's been a lot of talk about cut sequences, alternate endings and
other bits of stuff that don't seem to end up in the show so I thought
I'd clarify a bit.
When I started directing at the beginning of season 2, I created (with
Pieter Kaufman) the animatic for 'The Ron Factor'. An animatic is a
video version of the storyboards matched with the recorded dialog to
work out the timing and pace of the show. It was an interesting
experience because I kept referring back to the work that Chris Bailey
had done on season one, while trying to maintain my own personal
identity. Once completed, it was good, but it could have been better.
Mark and Bob described the 'overlapping dialog' theory was employed on the first
season to get that cinematic feel. I went back in and re-cut the show
to that feel and it was better but not great.
After screening it to the executives, they also felt something was not
quite hitting. It was mentioned that maybe the pace was off, but it was
good enough to send into production.
On the second episode 'Naked Genius' I made a concentrated effort to
find my identity within the KP world and get comfortable. On the advice
 from executives, I sped up the show. I mean, REALLY, sped it up. We
pulled out pauses and breaths within the dialog and everything moved at
a breakneck speed. It clicked and everyone liked it. This was the way
to tell one of my episodes from any one else's and I feel like Pieter
and I set the pace and feel for the rest of the series. However, there
were repercussions.
The scripts were written to a particular length and speeding
everything up made the show a whole lot shorter. We found that we had
to write and record inserts during the animatic stage. This was not an
ideal situation.
Therefore you will not find many scenes cut from the animatics of
seasons 2 and 3 since we used as much material as we could.
During the start of Season 4, Mark and Bob wanted to accomodate the new
timing by writing longer scripts. It was a good idea that had
unexpected results. We started to find we had shows were
overlength. WAY overlength. We had to start cutting out whole
sequences, characters and situations and then re-writing and
re-boarding to make the new edits work. We ended up with a tremendous
amount of footage cut from Season 4. Traditionally, we would provide a
few extra minutes to be animated that we could cut during the final
picture editing. However, because of the end credit 'tag' (the little
bit of animation over the end credits) we didn't ship those extra few
minutes. There was very little 'actual' animation cut from Season 4,
but a ton of storyboards with recorded dialog from our cast that will
never see the light of day.
Here's a list of just a few of the larger cuts we've made this season-
THE BIG JOB- One of Ron's new jobs involved him dressed up in a bunny suit holding a large arrow sign. His antics cause a vehicle pile-up.
CAR ALARM- A sequence with Motor Ed serenading Shego in 'Say Anything' style trying to convince her to work with him.
FASHION VICTIM- A flashback to the day Ron cleaned his room
MENTOR OF OUR DISCONTENT- A lot cut from this one including a long sequence involving Ron and Artie at J.P. Bearymores, a fight sequence with Kim, Ron, Drakken and Frugal in the High Tech Science building as they steal the URC and Drakken and Frugal in Drakken's Lair Cafeteria.
STOP TEAM GO- Barkin fighting Team Go.
Just for comparison- in the picture we have
the stack of deleted storyboards for Season 4 next to a standard episode.

4 comments:

space_freak86 said...

Steve, what exactly are the storyboards? I am guessing they are the still images without the voice overs. How far apart in video are the images?

Nabu San said...

That's just - amazing! Thank you for mentioning the cuts! They were quite informative! Wish we'd seen the flashback to Ron cleaning his room. I believe Ron found it quite a traumatic memory.

Adnan said...

Wow, Barkin fighting Team Go? That would've been something to see. But all these episodes turned out excellent anyway.

I wonder if the finale is having anything cut from it.

I love your blog! :)

chia said...

Here's an idea: release all the cut material in a kp fan box! (sold in smarty-marts near you?)
Or if the Masters are worried it might not break even, sell it online as a bunch of files!