The script never technically leaves my hands. Once the final draft
is written, it's given to every department, which breaks it down in terms
of set, extra, day-player, EFX, music, sound and other requirements. We
have visual effects, art department and other meetings to go over what's
in the script and make sure we all understand what's required. Any new
designs for prosthetics, costumes, EFX, ships, or other episode-specific
elements are drafted, and shown to me for approval.
The script department breaks down the script in terms of shooting
schedule, timing of scenes, and arranges a production board indicating
which scenes will be shot on which days (Based on which sets are being
used; you don't shoot in sequence...you do all the C C scenes done on day
1, then move into the Zocalo for all those scenes, and so on.)
The director and I have a tone meeting to go over the script page by
page. At this time, the director sometimes suggests changes in locales
for production purposes, though this often happens earlier in the process.
I make sure we both understand what each scene is about, context and
subtext. Then there's a production meeting of all departments, where we
all go through one last time and break down each scene of the script by
The director then takes the script to the stage, and shoots what's
written. Dailies arrive each day thereafter, and go to post production,
where an editor does a preliminary assembly of the episode. If the
episode appears to be coming in long, we have the option of trimming a
scene here or there in shooting...or expanding if it's coming in short.
After 7 days of shooting, the raw film is complete, and the editor
gives the director his assembly. The director then comes in and takes
about 3-4 days making his or her cut. The director's cut then goes to
me, and John Copeland and I go in to make the producer's cut, often
re-editing every single frame, though sometimes less, depending on many
different factors. This is done on computers, the Avid.
This final edit is then used to assemble the actual film (we take the
Avid computer disk and turn it over to a supercomputer which assembles the
film overnight). Using this online copy, I now sit down with the composer,
and sound people, and watch it again, going through it and noting where
sound effects and music are required, and what kind I have in mind. "In
at 03:13:18 (three minutes, 13 seconds, 18 frames), out at 04:14:22. I'd
like something soft, strings mainly, underscoring that doesn't get in the
way...with a tone change at 04:05:13, into the action, and since we've got
a lot of combat going on there, we need you to clear out the low-end for
the battle stuff."
Composer and sound EFX people then do their thing, and a couple weeks
later, we do the audio mix. (During this time, Ron and company have
delivered the last of their CGI.) At the audio mix, all of the final
elements are inserted/layered in, including any last-minute looping or
dubbing. This done, the episode is delivered to PTEN about 5 days later.
Total time to complete an episode (after the last day of filming per
se): 52 days.