Most screenplays are written, filmed, and then edited for a final release. First the director, then an editor, literally sits behind a film projector making notes, then cuts and splices all the film reels and assembles a finished product. The original film has to be trimmed to fit an established time limit. For example, a finished film may be 49 minutes in length before edits, and the producers have to trim some 6-7 minutes of it to fit their running time. They can pick and choose what works in the episode after they see it on screen.
We don’t have that luxury. Every piece of animation we do is something that has to wind up in the final product. We’re a fan production, so we can’t very well bring someone in, tell him to animate a 3 minute scene with a lot of facial expressions (which any CGI artist will tell you are a pain to do), then say “Oh, sorry, we can’t fit that into our episode,” and then drop the whole bit. It becomes wasted effort, and we can’t afford any of that.
So we do most of our editing at the script stage. How do we account for time? By using an age-old Hollywood estimate that 1 script page is about 1 minute of screen time. Is this exact? No. But it’s the standard we’re using for the length of each episode: 30 pages for 30 minutes. Now we don’t actually have a “30 minute run time” for each episode as a hard limit. It’s not like we’ll be broadcasting these episodes on TV, we’ll be releasing them via Vimeo. So, some episodes will certainly be longer than 30 minutes, some will be shorter.
We cut all our scripts down to 30-32 pages in length just to get them around the 30 minute time frame for each episode. This is another reason why it takes so long for us to complete scripts, as we have to get the cuts right. One of the episodes I wrote, episode 6, actually had a long scene explaining Cpl. Thomsen, his backstory, how he got there, all in a bonding moment with John. We had to cut it to get under the page limit, even though all the writers thought it was a very, very good scene (myself included, and I was the first to propose cutting it).
And now, on to the Monthly Update!
First, our John Connor model is completed. Here’s a sample image:
Second, we have added several new members to our voice cast list. John Green Sr. is voicing Mr. Ellison now. Darius Green (no relation) is voicing Danny Dyson. And, finally, Roxy Bisquaint, of SavetheScc fame, is joining us as the voice of Tarissa Dyson. Personally, I can’t wait for our next rehearsal now. Ellison and Tarissa were among the last 2 major roles still uncast, so most of our voice roles are taken. We only have minor ones available now.
Third, we’ve received official recognition from the IRS that No Fate Productions Inc., is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501c(3) of the US Internal Revenue Code. We’ll have the approval letter up on the website for everyone to view publicly. What that means in English is that you can donate to us and it would be considered officially tax deductible.
Next month, we should have at least one audio advertisement finished for you to hear. We’ll also be starting a marketing campaign to raise awareness in June. We still need a dedicated rigger for our models, as now we’ve got 4 finished characters with another in the works, and an animator who specializes in Blender. We’re also looking for another concept artist.