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Thread: How far are episodes planned and produced before they're aired?

  1. #1
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    Default How far are episodes planned and produced before they're aired?

    Does any one know how far episodes are planned in advance? I'm guessing episodes are planned about 2 years before they're aired because they have to think about what will happen in future series and that they're aired 6 months after they're produced (as in the animation).

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    I saw somewhere where it was 6 months in advance, but when the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, they had to cancel a few episodes, everyone know about episode 23 and 24. Who knows how many other episodes was also cancel because of that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuddy View Post
    I saw somewhere where it was 6 months in advance, but when the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, they had to cancel a few episodes, everyone know about episode 23 and 24. Who knows how many other episodes was also cancel because of that.
    Well those episodes were already produced made and ready to go so not really what he was asking.

    ~6 months or more for at least the script (they showed that on an episode of Pokemon Sunday) sounds about right, that time probably goes toward storyboarding and drawing it and such too.
    It might be more than that, actually, probably in the event of something (like, say, a Tsunami...) that could delay production so they wouldn't be "hurting" for episodes later.
    Willing to bet that at the start of each new series they also have an overarching plan they'd stick to as well (something like okay Ash gets this and that before the gym, and he'll run into these here, and there will be some filler there, bad guys show up here etc).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowyarticuno View Post
    ~6 months or more for at least the script (they showed that on an episode of Pokemon Sunday) sounds about right, that time probably goes toward storyboarding and drawing it and such too.
    But there's 12 months in a year. You can't tell me that half the year is spent on making 1 episode?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sayho1234 View Post
    You can't tell me that half the year is spent on making 1 episode?
    From where does the disbelief stem? You have to outline an episode, write a script, storyboard it, animate it, score it, voice it and finalize it. That takes time.

    It's even longer than that for American animation, where an episode can take a full year from the start of production to completion and they often have to wait eight months just to get animation back from overseas.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Sayho1234 View Post
    But there's 12 months in a year. You can't tell me that half the year is spent on making 1 episode?
    They do multiple episodes at the same time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XxEpicsxX View Post
    They do multiple episodes at the same time.
    That makes more sense. Thanks for clearing that up.

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    I remember the very first AG poster was leaked when we were only up to the 7th Johto Gym in Japan.

    So the fact that the writers already had AG finalized in terms of cast and characters while Johto still had another 35 or so episodes left says a lot. That's how all us old school Pokemon fans knew Misty was leaving months before Johto ended.

    Man it really paid to be in the fandom back in 2002.

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    Since the writers for the movies need to know which Pokemon will be on the roster and what evolutionary forms they'll be in for creative / animation purposes they known at least a year in advance. Some movies were in production for several years before being released.

    I think that they have a rough outline of what characters will be traveling with Ash and which Pokemon they will have at least a year in advance. Then their team of writers collaborate on fleshing out the region with important episodes, archs, and filler. Then they start writing scripts and assign those written episodes to different animation Teams.

    That's why we see an art jump / drop even from episodes that air back to back. Or even why dialogue in one episode conflicts with dialogue in another episode. Since no one Team does everything little inconsistencies crop up here and there.

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    Half a year I assume, so they can also have time to change stuff if needed.

    Heck I remember we were in the league and we got a blog from a VA I think and they said they were on episode 12 already or something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pepsi_Plunge View Post
    Half a year I assume, so they can also have time to change stuff if needed.

    Heck I remember we were in the league and we got a blog from a VA I think and they said they were on episode 12 already or something.
    Weren't we on like around October when the BW020 concept art sunyshore showed us when she bought it? Thats about 4 months since it was shown to us. If thats the case, then another few weeks would be the scripts, putting it at 5 months. But then by the time they sold the concept art, they would have probably have had it animated already. I think its 6-7 months tops.
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    Quote Originally Posted by An00bis View Post
    Since the writers for the movies need to know which Pokemon will be on the roster and what evolutionary forms they'll be in for creative / animation purposes they known at least a year in advance. Some movies were in production for several years before being released.
    You can do most writing and animation work on a movie without knowing exactly which Pokemon you'll have available to use for a quick 2-minute scene. They supposedly start working on the next movie right after they finish the previous one, so it takes them about a year to make them.

    There's also a difference between "planning episodes" and "having a rough outline of which very general plot points will happen in which order". They can easily have BW100-105 summarized as "Mijumaru evolves around this point" long in advance. Team layouts and the like are no doubt decided on long in advance, then plot points are solidified more as they get closer to these points.

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    You can do most writing and animation work on a movie without knowing exactly which Pokemon you'll have available to use for a quick 2-minute scene. They supposedly start working on the next movie right after they finish the previous one, so it takes them about a year to make them.
    If you mean the animation, sure, but the stories for certain movies (Movie 4, Movie 8, and the Diamond and Pearl Trilogy) were in process long before then.

    You're right about the Pokemon, though. Since Ash has the same Core Team every region its easy to say that " fire Pokemon melted this object with Flamethrower " because Ash will almost always have a Fire Type Pokemon in his possession by time the first regional movie comes out. You don't really have to know what the Pokemon is to pencil it into an early draft of the script.

    There's also a difference between "planning episodes" and "having a rough outline of which very general plot points will happen in which order". They can easily have BW100-105 summarized as "Mijumaru evolves around this point" long in advance. Team layouts and the like are no doubt decided on long in advance, then plot points are solidified more as they get closer to these points.
    I explained the difference, but I guess I explained it poorly. I didn't want to make a bigger wall of text then usual but got a little lazy.

    When I say that they make the outline I imagine something like this:

    - Ash heads to the New Region
    - Ash meets his Rival at the Professor Lab
    - Ash captures a flying Pokemon
    - Ash captures the water Pokemon
    - Ash is joined by a female companion
    - Ash captures the grass Pokemon
    - Ash captures the fire Pokemon
    - Ash battles the first Gym Leader
    - Ash evolves a Pokemon here

    ... as an example of something they'd do as a rough outline months in advance without necessarily knowing what characters will join Ash on their journey or what the Pokemon Ash might be catching would look like. Then, as the designs come in, the writers might adjust the outline and begin thinking of episodes for the characters further down the outline.

    For example, they decide that they like the design for Oshawott and want to use him. At this point they pencil in Oshawott as Ash's Water Pokemon and think for episodes for him down the road like the Lost Scallop one. They decide to have Ash meet his future Oshawott at the Professor's lab. Around this time they review all of the Grass Type Pokemon in Generation V and decide to give him Snivy, but leave his Fire and Flying Types still pending.

    As the writers begin reviewing the designs and picking out what they like they begin rewriting the outline based on what they've chosen so far:

    - Ash heads to the New Region
    - Ash meets Oshawott in the Professor Lab
    - Ash meets his Rival at the Professor Lab
    - Ash captures a flying Pokemon
    - Ash is joined by a female companion
    - Ash captures Oshawott
    - Ash captures the fire Pokemon
    - Ash captures the Snivy
    - Ash battles the first Gym Leader
    - The Gym Leader Cilian decides to join Ash
    - Ash receives a Pokemon egg

    ... and so on and so forth until they're satisfied with the flow of events.

    Of course the outline isn't concrete even after production of the current region begins. They keep working at it as the series progresses based on the fan's reactions to the Pokemon and the characters. Maybe they'll give a popular Pokemon to a character. Maybe they'll make an unpopular character appear less. Maybe they'll make a popular character appear more. Ect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by raz1337 View Post
    Lots of interesting stuff in this thread. This writing planning is great to read.
    Most of this is unsure however, and based on assumptions. We can only go off stuff like how we knew that Misty was being replaced by May 35 or so episodes (little more then half a year) in advance, and other blogposts by officials, such as Iwane saying that he was working on a 360-shot on Torterra, a long while in advance before the Torterra vs. Hippowdon episode, as well.
    Answer to all the bad things in the world: Give up on trying to make everything better. Hence, accepting it for what it is. YOLO! <- Click the link and daw.. -.-

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