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{{about|the progress of production|the production history|History}}
==Overview==
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The '''production of ''[[Futurama]]''''' was from its beginnings revolutionary.  ''Futurama'' is among the first shows to use entirely computer to colour cells and computer animation integrated into 2D for a television animated show.
The show [[Futurama]] is an example of a show reaching popularity after its time. For a variety of reasons it never gained a very wide following when originally aired, it found new life in syndication and on DVD.  
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===The Fox Years===
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== Process ==
  
Futurama was produced and broadcast by originally by [[20th Century Fox]]. Its creators, [[Matt Groening]] and [[David X. Cohen]], did all the early design and writing of the show, from the original conception through to production. Durring production, they stayed closely involved, to ensure the show stayed on-vision and up to quality.  
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Creating an episode for a show like ''Futurama'' is generally a three way task. First '''writing''', then '''voice acting''' and finally '''animation'''. In that order.  However, due to the amount of episodes the runners are usually working on at once, these tasks are often done simultaneously, and several episodes may be written, acted and animated at the same time.
  
Fox executives, initially excited, didn't really understand the show when [[Episode Listing|episodes]] started coming out. Consequentially, the show was not given the best treatment by the network. It was plagued with schedule changes and cancellations; of the first production season of 13 episodes, only 9 episodes were aired during the first broadcast season. Fox maintained this treatment for a while before announcing they were pulling the plug on the series.
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=== Writing ===
  
The show aired for a total of 5 seasons, airing a total of 72 episodes comprising 4 production seasons. This period also saw the start of the continuing series of [[Comic Listing|comics]] and the release of a [[Futurama (video game)|game]].
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After the production company has placed an order for a specific number of episodes, it is up to the show runners to decide the general plots of each of these episodes.  After having settled for a general plot using "[[Story cards|index cards with plot points]]", a writer is assigned to this specific episode.
  
===Syndication===
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As writing progresses, the writers group to discuss their stories, where they are modified and trimmed up by the group. And certain gags may be added as well. They also use techniques like [[lampshade hanging]].
The DVD volumes came out, and they outsold everyone's expectations. When Cartoon Network picked up the syndication rights and began airing the show weeknights on Adult Swim, the show built up its fan base and quickly became one of the network's highest-rated shows. This surge of popularity added fuel to the existing fan community, who have been crying out for more episodes since news of the show's cancellation by Fox.  
+
  
The show will continue to air on Adult Swim until the end of 2007, at which time their contract expires and the rights will go to Comedy Central, who out-bid Cartoon Network for the contract renewal. Comedy Central will broadcast the show until 2012.
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=== Voice acting ===
  
===The Wait===
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Then the manuscript is handed to the voice actors. The voice acting progress usually takes about 1 to 2 weeks per season, depending on the amount of work and stability in the recording sessions.
Rumors have abounded for years. However, intensity of rumors increased in 2005, and in January of 2006 [[Billy West]] made an announcement on his [http://www.billywest.com web site]. He stated that [[David X. Cohen]] called him and told him they got a green light to produce 4 feature-length Futurama movies for release to DVD. Production is supposedly to begin in July of 2006, and the first DVD couldn't be expected to hit shelves until at least late 2007. Fans ev
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1000
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erywhere wait with baited breath, hoping Fox doesn't change their minds or back out of the deal.
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===Straight to DVD Movies===
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=== Animation ===
Four DVD movies are being planned. Matt Groening, David X. Cohen and numerous writers from the original series are working on the movies.
+
  
The first movie, Futurama: [[Bender's Big Score]], is in production with a target release date of Christmas 2007. All old cast members will be returning to do the voices of their previous characters.
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While the voice acting is occurring, in fact, before the writing is done, the animators (for ''Futurama'', this is [[Rough Draft Studios]]) begin working on the animations.
  
The first movie is written by Ken Keeler, with story by Ken Keeler and David X. Cohen, and will include return appearances by the Nibblonians, Seymour, Barbados Slim, Morbo, Santa Bot, the "God" space entity, Al Gore, and Zapp Brannigan.
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==== 2D ====
  
In the movie, Planet Express sees a hostile takeover and Bender falls into the hands of criminals where he is used to fulfill their schemes.
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Most of the animation for ''Futurama'' is drawn upon paper, then digitalised and coloured digitally.<ref name="com-ep3-gv">{{cite commentary |speaker={{n|Vanzo|Gregg}} |episode=I, Roommate |volume=One |disc=1}}</ref>
  
===Comedy Central===
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==== Computer graphics ====
In late June 2006 it was learned that Comedy Central had resurrected Futurama. At least 16 new episodes will be produced for the first time since the series originally ran from 1999-2003. Comedy can run both the existing and new episodes in January 2008 when their contract takes effect. [[Katey Sagal]] was first to confirm the return during an interview on the American series ''Late Late Show'', she had been so excited she didn't read the entire contract before signing. The previously discussed movies are to be made as episodes.
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===Live-Action Movie===
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To keep with the futuristic setting of ''Futurama'', 3D was employed to help certain scenes where 2D simply would have been too expensive.  Such as space travel, but also other scenes got usage of 3D, such as holograms, car chases or wherever the animators felt 3D would work better than 2D.
[[Image:Live-Action.jpg|right|thumb|Live-Action?]]
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A picture circulated on the internet, purporting to be a movie poster for the Futurama Live-Action movie. Luckily, this picture is a badly-Photoshopped hoax, and no such movie is ''actually'' planned.
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In addition to 3D, computers were also used to employ certain tasks, such as colouring the hand drawn cells digitally, but also use certain technologies to fill crowd scenes with a so called "[[people hose]]".
 +
 
 +
==== Cropping ====
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 +
In general, episodes must be cut down to 22 minutes to fit on television for half an hour with commercials.  As part of a deal with [[Rough Draft Studios]], ''Futurama'' gets 2 minutes extra that they are allowed to cut,<ref name="com-ep3-dxc">{{cite commentary |speaker={{n|Cohen|David|X.}} |episode=I, Roommate |volume=One |disc=1}}</ref> but in generally, methods of putting a voice over an exterior shot or cutting frames here and there where a scene otherwise would be too long is generally used more than cutting full scenes.<ref name="com-ep3-dxc"/>
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 +
== Effects of budget changes for the second run ==
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 +
{{update}}
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 +
When ''Futurama'' was renewed for ''[[Comedy Central]]'', ''Futurama''{{'}}s budget was also changed in contrast to its budget under Fox.  During the original run, the writing staff was usually 12 - 13 writers, but now it is down to 7 writers.<ref name="backtofuturama">{{cite web |url=http://www.awn.com/articles/article/back-futurama/page/2 |publisher=Animation World Network |accessdate=2011-08-18 |date=2011-08-16 |author=Strike, joe |title=Back to the ''Futurama''}}</ref>  [[Christopher Tyng]] also lost use of his orchestra.
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 +
== References ==
 +
{{reflist}}
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 +
{{futurama}}
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[[Category:Production| ]]

Latest revision as of 23:58, 30 December 2011

This article is about the progress of production. For the production history, see History.

The production of Futurama was from its beginnings revolutionary. Futurama is among the first shows to use entirely computer to colour cells and computer animation integrated into 2D for a television animated show.

Process[edit]

Creating an episode for a show like Futurama is generally a three way task. First writing, then voice acting and finally animation. In that order. However, due to the amount of episodes the runners are usually working on at once, these tasks are often done simultaneously, and several episodes may be written, acted and animated at the same time.

Writing[edit]

After the production company has placed an order for a specific number of episodes, it is up to the show runners to decide the general plots of each of these episodes. After having settled for a general plot using "index cards with plot points", a writer is assigned to this specific episode.

As writing progresses, the writers group to discuss their stories, where they are modified and trimmed up by the group. And certain gags may be added as well. They also use techniques like lampshade hanging.

Voice acting[edit]

Then the manuscript is handed to the voice actors. The voice acting progress usually takes about 1 to 2 weeks per season, depending on the amount of work and stability in the recording sessions.

Animation[edit]

While the voice acting is occurring, in fact, before the writing is done, the animators (for Futurama, this is Rough Draft Studios) begin working on the animations.

2D[edit]

Most of the animation for Futurama is drawn upon paper, then digitalised and coloured digitally.[1]

Computer graphics[edit]

To keep with the futuristic setting of Futurama, 3D was employed to help certain scenes where 2D simply would have been too expensive. Such as space travel, but also other scenes got usage of 3D, such as holograms, car chases or wherever the animators felt 3D would work better than 2D.

In addition to 3D, computers were also used to employ certain tasks, such as colouring the hand drawn cells digitally, but also use certain technologies to fill crowd scenes with a so called "people hose".

Cropping[edit]

In general, episodes must be cut down to 22 minutes to fit on television for half an hour with commercials. As part of a deal with Rough Draft Studios, Futurama gets 2 minutes extra that they are allowed to cut,[2] but in generally, methods of putting a voice over an exterior shot or cutting frames here and there where a scene otherwise would be too long is generally used more than cutting full scenes.[2]

Effects of budget changes for the second run[edit]

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When Futurama was renewed for Comedy Central, Futurama's budget was also changed in contrast to its budget under Fox. During the original run, the writing staff was usually 12 - 13 writers, but now it is down to 7 writers.[3] Christopher Tyng also lost use of his orchestra.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vanzo, Gregg. Commentary for "I, Roommate" on Volume One, disc 1.
  2. ^ a b Cohen, David. Commentary for "I, Roommate" on Volume One, disc 1.
  3. ^ Strike, joe (16 August 2011). "Back to the Futurama". Animation World Network. Retrieved on 18 August 2011.