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04/27/2001 - Showrunners/Series/Post-Production-Delivery (Phase III)

How to Produce Movies for Television

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity;
an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."

-- Sir Winston Churchill

For Showrunners , a little optimism goes a long way. Overseeing a weekly television series is a Herculean task. Last week we discussed series Development/Pre-Production (Phase I) and Production (Phase II). The most critical phase is Post-Production/Delivery - Phase III.

Television Series (cont'd.)

Post-Production/Delivery - Phase III

Showrunners are responsible for the following assignments:

They serve as the primary point of contact of the network, studio, and production company for delivering all requirement issues including: final cuts, air dates, show timings, and reporting to Standards and Practices (the network censor).

They select and approve choice of post-production related facilities including lab, telecine house, and sound facility.

They negotiate deals with post-production related facilities used by the designated show.

They screen dailies and provide in-person consultation with the director, post-production supervisor, and editor.

They view and assess the Director's cut.

They participate in the approval of the final cut of each ongoing series episode.

They supervise and approve the "spotting" of music and sound effects.

They supervise and approve the re-recording (dubbing) sessions.

They supervise and approve the music recording sessions.

They supervise and approve the looping or ADR sessions.

They supervise and approve the main title sequence.

They supervise and approve the show's titles and opticals

Showrunners/Series/Post-Production-Delivery (Phase III)

They participate in "audience testing".

They provide consultation and approve the final "answer print" or video edited master.

The provide consultation for ongoing publicity and promotional campaigns, including on-air promotions, TCA's., "phoners," etc.

They supervise and approve the series "gallery shoots."


Showrunners/Executive Producers are generally involved in the three key phases of television Long Form Programming:

Development/Pre-Production - Phase I

They conceive the underlying concept upon which the production is based.

They select the material upon which the production is based.

They select the writer(s).

They secure all necessary rights for development and production of the material.

They supervise and oversee the development process which includes the overall process of how the concept was developed into the teleplay.

They secure the initial financing , e.g. studio or independent funding, network license fees, loans, etc.

They serve as the primary point of contact for the funding entity.

They select the Unit Production Manager (UPM).

They supervise the preparation of the preliminary budget.

They select the direct, the principal cast, production designer, cinematographer, and editor.

They approve the final shooting schedule, sign-off on the final budget, approve and sign-off on the final shooting script.

Next week we'll focus on Television Long Form Production - Phase 2, and Long Form Post-Production/Delivery - Phase 3.

Showrunners are essentially risk takers and multi-taskers. They live on the edge. Their adrenalin is always in gear. It's what makes their world go-round.

"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."

-- Theodore Roosevelt


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