The Internet was down for three days. It’s no fun when that happens, but luckily Say Hello to Black Jack was saved to my computer on pdfs, and I took this opportunity to slam out the rest of the scripts for Season Two.
Fifteen scripts is a tricky proposition. Season one contained five episodes, and it took me nine months, from start to finish, to wrap them up. I know there are other audio dramas that can pump out a show monthly, or even bi-weekly. But those shows are often run by a full team. I don’t have that luxury.
They also (often) don’t need to do as much production work, since they’re originally scripted as audio dramas. Shuho Sato did an excellent job with SH2BJ, but at least half of his original story is told through pictures. Vignettes set scenes. Entire passages of dialogue are expressed by people drawn as if they are talking, but there are no word balloons because its their expressions that are important. Scenes switch at a rapid-fire pace, often intercut with a picture of the night sky, or a bird eating seeds on a stoop to show time passed.
Sometimes I cut out minor scenes if they don’t help the narrative in an audio format (though, I try to replace them with something that makes more sense.) I also combine some scenes if they could take place one on top of each other. You might notice there’s a lot of walking in this series. That often comes from characters literally walking from one scene into another.
A good example of this comes from Episode two, where Saito is pulled into a room to get his assignment, walks and talks with Toshi while riding an elevator, takes bloodwork in a communal room and has a conversation with someone who tries to set him up with their daughter, scrambles out of that room, then is confronted by Toshi outside in the hallway. Those were four separate scenes in four different locations, but I staged it as one ‘continuous shot’.
So, sure, I got my work cut out for me. But at least I get the benefit of not needing to write the original work. Thank you Sato again for making me look smarter than I am. And since much of the action takes place in the same hospital, many of the sound effects are redundant. Another small blessing.
My personal deadline is still March 31st of 2018. I got a lot of work to do, so I can’t promise I’ll make it. But I’m trying.
Also good news is that with the scripts done (done-ish. They need an editing pass, but they’re good enough to move forward.) I can start focusing on auditions. I still need to make the Audition page on my website, but that’s coming soon. Check back by July 7th at www.sayhellotoblackjack.com/audition and it will probably be up by then.
Okay, I gotta go! I got to find some appropriate spoiler-free audition scripts to pass out!