behind the scenes at the wil wheaton project

Yesterday, my tattoo artist sent me the most amazing Game of Thrones / chiptune / keytar / hardware hacking genius / musical video I have ever seen.

I sent the link to my writers, and said that we should try to find a place in the show this week for it, and one of my producers told me that the script was already long, but we’d try, because it is such an awesome video.

I was then faced with a bit of a dilemma, because I wanted to share it with the world right away, but I also thought it would be a cool thing to reveal on the show. My dilemma didn’t last long, and I decided to post it right away, because I know not everyone can or does watch the show, and something this awesome shouldn’t be kept to the (at the time) roughly 3000 people who had seen it.

When I posted it to my G+, I said that there wasn’t time in the show, but I had to share it, anyway. A guy said, “Yeah it is amazing and it’s equally amazing how you didn’t find any time to post it in this weeks WWP. lol”

So I wasn’t sure if he was being snarky or whatever, but I saw an opportunity to share a little bit of the process that goes into making the show, and how that process affected the ability to include this clip in the show:

We have to lock down most of our script on Friday afternoon, so it can go to the legal department. On Monday morning, we write stuff for the shows and movies that made news over the weekend, and we only have a few hours to do that before we send it to the lawyers.
We only have 21.5 minutes in each show, and this week’s Friday script was already something like 5 minutes long. We know that will happen, and we plan to cut some bits that we shoot in front of the audience, but we do our best to get as close to the 21.5 when we tape, so it makes editing faster and easier to finish (we only have 12 hours or so before we have to deliver to the network, and that’s not as long as you may think).

So knowing all that, consider: I didn’t see this until Saturday afternoon. I sent it to the writers and producers, so we could do our best to find a place for it, but it’s probably not going to make this week’s show for the reasons I’ve already stated. Because it’s sort of an “evergreen” thing, it’s very likely that we’ll find a place for it next week or the week after. Now, I could have just sat on it for two weeks, but I thought it was so awesome, I wanted the world to know about it right away.

I hope this is interesting, and gives a little insight into how the WWP comes together.

31 thoughts on “behind the scenes at the wil wheaton project”

  1. That video was epic, thank you for tweeting it ahead of time.
    Forgive my ignorance, would you be able to elaborate on the legal department’s role? Is this for licensing the clips/material you are using (e.g. making sure the producers of Hannibal won’t sue you for that commercial as it used their intellectual property) or to make sure the script doesn’t contain anything libellous?

    1. Legal makes sure that we’re following the law with regards to Fair Use, Standards and Practices, and really weird stuff that I guess networks care about because the laws are insane about certain kinds of content (like, we can show a guy getting a machete into his skull, but we can’t say “son of a bitch”.)

      1. Reminds me of Sons Of Anarchy where people are getting diced up and gang raped everywhere but nobody says any bad words.

  2. Thanks for the behind the scenes info, I love that kind of stuff :-). I had to DVR the first two episodes, and I finally watched them this weekend. Absolutely loved the show, I haven’t laughed that hard at something in a while. Looking forward to Tuesdays episode!

  3. Tattoo artist? This revelation begs the question about tattoos you must have.

    Of course, if they are in unmentionable places, then don’t mention them.

    Otherwise we need to know… maybe not for science, but at least to quell the burning curiosity now burning in our brains.

  4. A long time ago when I worked for the BBC, “Not The Nine O’Clock News” was the last programme (other than some sport and current affairs) to be regularly recorded and edited on 2″ video tape. The provisional script had already gone through the lawyers but around 19:30 on the day the final transmission tape was shown to them. If there was a problem there wasn’t time to do an electronic edit before 21:00, but 2″ tape could be physically edited so we could literally cut out a sketch…

  5. That NesKeytar was crazy cool. There is a guy out there who covers theme songs with loud old 5 1/4 floppy drives.

  6. Since you mention the legal department, that brings up an interesting question specifically regarding that YouTube video. I’d guess your legal has to clear all the clips you use in an episode and it’s probably pretty straightforward when you’re dealing mostly with major studios and your own network. But this video seems troublesome since its obviously infringing (like so many other YouTube vids admittedly do) on copyright. The GoT composer/producer may be OK letting it live on YouTube, but TV might be a different subject.

    Fun and entertaining show so far. Good job and good luck going forward.

  7. The only thing that makes me sad about this is the fact that shows have dropped to 21.5 minutes of content per half-hour.

  8. From context, it sounds like you meant that the script was five minutes too long, but you actually said “this week’s Friday script was already something like 5 minutes long”.

    1. That’s one way of saying the same thing. “The script is long” meaning it is longer than the time allowed or “too long”.

      “The script is 5 minutes long” would be being more specific about just how long over it is.

      Not sure if that’s TV jargon as well as just not that uncommon shorthand.

      “The script is 5 minutes short” would be the same way of talking. Though that’s not ambiguous since unlike with long that’s not a typical English structure.

      1. I work in TV news and we tend to use over/under instead of long/short (at least where I work), but I didn’t even blink at the “script is [X] long” construction so it’s probably an ingrained TV thing for me.

        Since I’m a TV production geek it’s always interesting to me how much of what I do in TV news land translates to the other areas of TV production. There’s a lot that’s really similar but there’s also a lot of differences.

  9. 12 hours! Wow, you guys and gals gotta be on your toes. Would love to read more of these how-awesome-stuff-becomes-real bits. Thx.

  10. I LOVE the new show! I’ve seen all three episodes, and they’re all great. Of course, I had to fast forward through the GoT bits because I haven’t caught up yet. :) The supercut at the end of ep 3 made me cry with laughter, because we have all been there. I hope TWWP continues for a good, long time.

  11. Hi Wil! If you haven’t seen it yet, here is the awesome TNG video on the NESKeytar by Theremin Hero:

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