How does animation get made?
An infographic showing the process of creating an episode of Infinity Train
Before you board…
1000+ readers and we haven’t even released our first newsletter yet (which I guess is now technically not true, as you’re reading it right now)!
Something really cool that happened this week as reported by The Observer, is that according to public data, Infinity Train is the #4 most streamed original on HBOMax!
Raised by Wolves
Let’s slow play HBO Max’s 2020 rankings as the service continues to grow following its late May launch. Ridley Scott’s Raised by Wolves is the fledgling streamer’s most-watched original, per HBO. However, Kaley Cuoco’s The Flight Attendant, which premiered just one week before Observer received TV Time’s data, is on pace to overtake it. The series enjoyed the strongest start ever for an HBO Max original, per HBO, with double digit gains in week-over-week viewership from its premiere onward. Let’s check back in a few weeks.
That is in large part because of all of you! You guys are amazing, and I wouldn’t have the career or ability to make the stuff I make without you. Spreading the word about the show, hosting watch parties, trending it on twitter, they all spread awareness of the show and I just wanna thank you all so much for your efforts!
Guess what else?
As of today, HBOMax is now on Roku! That means all your friends who were like “I’m not gonna watch it cause it’s not on Roku” are now gonna look like total idiots if they don’t watch it!
Now, I know you’re probably expecting this email to be about Infinity Train. It’s not. Some people have seen this before, but I wanted to point out how exactly a production works!
I get a lot of questions about how much time it takes to make an 11 minute animated show. I also see a lot of misinformation on the internet about how they’re made. So I thought I would show you all this flowchart I created to explain to my grandmother how the show actually functions behind the scenes. This is not how all animated shows work, but it’s how a lot of them work. It changes depending on the studio, your timeline, the style of animation you’re doing, where the animation is being produced, etc.
Here it is:
As you can see, it’s a super long process!
All of this is just for one episode of an 11 minute show. All of these things happen simultaneously on multiple different episodes at the same time. So for example, one episode may be being written while another episode is currently being recorded by the actors, and another is in animatic, and another is being designed, etc.
I think the maximum number of episodes we’d have in production on Infinity Train at one time was like… 20? That’s actually fewer than a show that just has an ongoing schedule and isn’t split into chunks like ours (Regular Show, Adventure Time, etc). I remember we were starting write our 3rd season just as our first season aired, which is one of the reasons we thought it was important to go back and make sure Grace and Simon were on the computer screen in the last episode.
Anyway, this is a very, very basic timeline. There’s actually a lot more that goes into each one of these steps, mostly checking things with executives, running things past supervisors, checking with legal and S&P on things, all kinds of stuff. However, I hope this can at least clear some things up on how exactly a show functions!
I know you’re probably hungry for some Infinity Train stuff you haven’t seen before, that’s how most of you found out who I am! I have nothing to share on that front unfortunately.
However, as a thanks for signing up for this, I thought I’d show you something I worked on for the show. I was pitching my idea for an Infinity Train ad, which unfortunately was ultimately rejected. No one’s fault really, that’s just the way it goes sometimes. But…
…no reason I can’t show you a tiny snippet of it in gif form right?
Here are three shots I made for the spot:
If you want me to answer a question you have, leave a comment with the hashtag #QA. Then, on the next publication of this newsletter, I’ll pick one or two questions and try to answer them as best I can.
The advantage of doing it in this format is that I can hopefully give longer, more thoughtful answers where the sentences don’t have to be truncated down to fit inside a certain character limit. Some questions might even become the subject of a whole article in their own right!
Please remember, however, I can’t answer spoiler questions or questions about the future of the show. Nor will I use this space to weigh in on inter-fan arguments or entertainment company stock market jockeying, I’m brand agnostic.
Also remember that my answers only reflect my opinion, and do not reflect the views of any of my employers.
ALSO also, I might lie.
I really like discovering new music, in many different genres, styles, and time periods, so I think it’d be fun to include whatever the latest song I’m really into is. Today’s song is PERSONAL SHOPPER by Steven Wilson, an almost 10 minute epic synth pop song about the terrors of consumerism in the UK:
Every time I update, I’ll be sure to add the song to this playlist so you’ll never miss one. I might or might not have a few songs on there right this very moment so we can give this playlist a jumpstart, and show the kind of varieties of music that will be featured on it!
Thanks a lot for subscribing! I think this will be a fun new format to communicate in for awhile. I’m shocked at how many people wanted to sign up for this, so I’m definitely going to make sure you didn’t just give your email to a stranger on the internet for no good reason.
This space is going to be malleable, but definitely higher quality and more thought out than what you’re gonna get on twitter or something. Those are quite literally toilet thoughts, and I don’t have access to this newsletter on the toilet, so it’ll have be better than that!
I’ll try to give you interesting news on projects here before I go public with them (which I won’t always be able to control, but I’ll try!), in depth behind the scenes info, some giveaways just to subscribers, and more!
Whatever the future brings, I’m glad you’re here, and thank you for boarding the Infinite Train of Thought!
Have a question you want answered in the Q&A Car? Leave a comment marked with #QA or just talk with other fans here: