Broadcast "quality" animation in 3 days?
April 26, 2000 11:20 PM   Subscribe

Broadcast "quality" animation in 3 days? Something disturbing about tonite's southpark that just occured to me. it was basically about the ellian controversy, and the raid on easter sunday, they even had janet reno dressed up as the easter bunny for the attack, and they used "the closet photo" to kill kenny. now I know southpark animation isn't that difficult, but that seems awfully fast for them to put together an episode, espeically given that they've been advertising the episode all month...I'll be dreaming of conspiracy theories to explain this one tonite
posted by nomisxid (10 comments total)
Interesting, just noticed, the episode guide's description doesn't exactly match what the show was tonite. They really did rewrite it in 3 days....
posted by nomisxid at 11:28 PM on April 26, 2000

you could always blame canada...
posted by sugarfish at 3:36 AM on April 27, 2000

erm, but doesn't it take a lot longer than three days to do all the animation and sound and editing and production? Obviously, th' South Park producers have known what would happen all along, who's _really_ pulling the strings here? How long has Janet Reno been fullfilling the easter bunny's duties? The people have a right to know!
posted by sonofsamiam at 6:19 AM on April 27, 2000

If the South Park guys were in cahoots with Janet Reno, don't you think their caricature of her would look better? Seriously, nobody ever accused that show of "broadcast quality animation", but I was aware for some time that it was - gasp - 100% CGI, and, as such, they had their production turnaround time down under one week. Still, I actually liked this one better than the show's usual output, and that's saying a lot for a "rush job"...
posted by wendell at 8:47 AM on April 27, 2000

For what it's worth, there was an article about six months to a year ago with the animators and IT people that do Southpark. They said it's all done in a 3-D program (can't recall if it was Maya or Lightwave), but they have quite a server farm and I think the rendering time on a half hour episode was only a few hours. They said this allowed them to add jokes and change lines up until the day or two before a show. And actually, they confessed that the entire Southpark Movie rendering time was about a week, so they were changing dialogue and adding jokes less than a month before it opened. They also mentioned that the movie wasn't a musical until after the MPAA review, and that they added all the songs and animation in the last month of work on the film.
posted by mathowie at 10:21 AM on April 27, 2000

I have to say I was pretty impressed - that means that the joke-freshness is better than a live episodic. When the episode started, I recognized the Elian references, but that story *has* been going on for a while, so I wasn't too suprised... when they did the closet sequence (twice!) I was impressed. I was more impressed that Grandpa could get his groove on like that, but that's beside the point.
Someone gave me an article yesterday that indicated Matt & Trey were likely to jump to a network gig, where their comedy would be ... sanitized... much more than it is now. That would totally suck ass.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 10:30 AM on April 27, 2000

Err, by "live episodic" I meant live action, not broadcast live...
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 10:31 AM on April 27, 2000

CUJoe - just a reminder, Grampa is a cartoon character and the animators can pretty well make him do whatever they want, including getting his groove on.
posted by plinth at 10:58 AM on April 27, 2000

The South Park sysadmin interview is here. I think a 3 day turnaround is possible given the setup described.
posted by icathing at 12:02 PM on April 27, 2000

Here is an article I just happened to spot about what they did to get it done in time. They cut it so close network execs weren't even able to see it before it aired.
posted by Sapphireblue at 4:45 PM on April 27, 2000

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