Getting your favourite TV shows from the creator’s brain and onto your screen is a fast and furious process. There are tonnes of different people involved using different talents and skills, and the processes behind the production can be truly mind-boggling at times (especially within the sci-fi genre!). In the film and TV industry, everything begins and ends with the production company, to whom the idea for a show is pitched, approved, and then the writing begins.
Writing a script isn’t as easy and 1-2-3. It usually takes a few different writers working on different aspects of the plot, major scenes in the show versus smaller, filler scenes, and then making sure that they all align with one another and flow into something that makes sense. Another major element before the real planning can begin, is casting – a process that involves a casting director as well as a few other people from the production company and studio. Getting the casting for the show’s characters just right is one of the biggest elements of producing an incredible project.
It’s also during this period that a whole lot of research is done on the setting, and designers get to work on set design, location scouting, and costume design to bring the world being created into life.
Once the script is written and the cast is ready, there’s a whole lot of work that goes into what scenes will be filmed, where, and when. Location, time of day, and the actors involved in each scene will play a role in which scenes are prioritised, to get filming wrapped up as quickly and seamlessly as possible since a quick one-minute scene can sometimes take up to a few hours to shoot!
Probably the simplest part of the process is the production of the show itself – which mainly just involves filming. The actual production period of the show (usually only a few short weeks for a whole season) mostly involves hours upon hours of shooting and reshooting and… You guessed it, reshooting. Every scene needs to be shot from multiple angles, and sometimes creative elements of the script are subject to change during the filming process – so you can imagine how time-consuming this can be.
This is where the real magic happens, and all the hard work starts to come to fruition. A post-production team is made up of so many different people and skill sets that it’s hard to keep track, including editors, visual effects artists, sound designers, and more. It’s their job to piece everything together in the right order, pick the best scenes, edit out the issues, add on the layers of special effects, fic the sound, correct the colouring… You get the idea. It’s a whole lot of work. Once all the post-production work is finally finished, the final cut is distributed to the networks that will be broadcasting the show, and viola – it’s on your screen.
It is important to mention that different types of shows have different production processes. A great documentary, for example, would involve an entirely different process. Either way, the magic brought to your screen takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears from the people who create it, but it’s a process they love to be a part of.