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SEPTEMBER 14, 2002


MISSY:  (Final Options) Next scene--Sue - is this what you were looking for?


SUE:  Um <clearing throat> YES!!!!!!


DENISE:  I like this....lots of meaning, lots of action.  Nice intensity, M!


MISSY:  (Final Options) End of Act IV


MISSY:  (Final Options) Here is the tag.  Need comments...


CAROL:  I think you've wrapped the Ares issue up very nicely.  You've put a few questions to rest and given Xena another look at how far she has come. Only question M...is there a way to make it clear that the Good Chakram is the new one from S5 on?


DENISE:  Excellent ending, but I am left with the picture of this being the old chakkie.  Very, very nice, M.


MISSY:  Can we put a picture, or screen grab of it there? I would rather not go into a description of it if I can avoid it....


SUE:  Awesome, Missy!  Don't forget the scrolls!


JUDI:  We can do that but we are going with the new one right?


MISSY:  Yes - that was the vote. (g)


MARYD:  I predict someone is going to come out and say that the term is derogatory to Indians and there will be a major 'debate' on the list. I once wrote sniggering and I got toasted.


MISSY:  Okay - can anyone come up with a Greek equivalent? but, ps - that is why I didn't capitalize indian. (g)


MARYD:  This is a really cool ep Missy. Very well done.


SUE:  As a Native American, I can say that I wasn't offended, but you might be right, Mar.


MARYD:  The Greek equivalent is "Don't be a gypsy" which is equally as bad <g> Can you just get Xena to tsk tsk or something and shake her finger at him?


MISSY:  (g) Doing a tsk tsk with a sword in your hand can get messy. Actually the term is derogatory to white folks. It's a dig at how the government gave the Native Americans things, then took them back when they realized they were valuable. North and South Dakota, for example.


NARRATOR:  Some discussion happens again to get the right answer.


CAROL:  Sue and Missy seem to have a fondness for the old chakram and would like to know if we could use it instead of the new one.  Will this be a problem for y'all on the graphics side of things?


JUDI:  That’s fine with me...I will just stick to close-ups.


DENISE:  Thanks, Judi!  I really prefer the old chakkie myself.


JUDI:  No problem here I like them both so if it’s a matter of it meaning something to others that they want the original then its fine with me <g>


CAROL:  I like them both so it works for me!


MISSY:  I really love the old chakkie - but I was concerned about having to have the screen caps or other shots extensively edited when they had the new chakkie in them. I think you are just glad to be rid of that damn dragon. (g)


JUDI:  Thanks for the consideration M, and I may loose a couple of nice joint shots of them but nothing important...like I said I will just use close ups... oh you are so right on that one <g> ...more than a fair trade <g> ...since Gab made one so willingly I follow her example <g>


DENISE:  Yes....amen and hallelujah!!!! <g>


MARYD:  I don't have a problem with using the Old chakkie <g> More pics of X with the old chakkie than the new


LINDA:  Sorry for the delay - I'll go with the flow.



SEPTEMBER 15, 2002


NARRATOR:  The first episode is ready for final preview.  The second episode is headed into post production. Both Missy and TN are ready to start sending new story bits to the list for comments.   It is time for the final steps before the team’s preview.


DENISE:  My job is really indescribable.  I keep the pot stirred, basically.  I help set the schedule, offer feedback, encouragement, ask questions, argue points, edit scripts and occasionally play sorority house mother. <g>


Carol and I set up the original schedule. It really does take a full day of finagling and several phone calls to get it right.  And without fail, real life steps in for someone, and we have to juggle it around.  But we’ve gotten pretty good at juggling <g>.  We do try to accommodate the team as much as possible.


Once the writer turns in her work as complete and ready for edit, my job is to go through it carefully, and correct the spelling and punctuation errors.  I also try to make it read a little smoother, because although these are scripts, they are being read by and not acted out for our audience. I try to make it as pleasant an experience as I possibly can.


I usually go through each script at least twice before sending it on to Carol for final formatting. It takes about eight to ten hours of reading.  It will come back to me for a final review when Carol is done, and it is ready to be posted for our readers.



CAROL:  I work with Denise on keeping the pot stirred <g> along with setting and maintaining the schedule.   My biggest job though as producer is to be sure that the final product ‘looks’ good.  I make it professional looking but easy to read and try to make it available to as many people as possible.


My work really begins once the final version of a script is sent to the list.  I have to open the plain text version in notepad and proceed to place hard returns after each line or paragraph.  I have to do this BEFORE Denise does her read through.  Otherwise the formatting remains "off" and it's harder for me to correct later.  This also has to be done or the PDF, eBook and Palm formats won't line up correctly.  It usually takes me about an hour to go thru the entire script.  I send it off to Denise to do her editing.


I create a Word document, inserting the credits and setting the font format to match throughout.  I start doing a search/replace for character names to change the font color.  I have to go thru the script page by page to be sure I hit them all.  As I go along I also change the font colors on the scene headers etc.  I leave it all left aligned at this point so that I can save 3 different working versions...a document for the web version, one for the eBook/palm version and finally the RTF version.  I continue working with the web version of my Word document.  Word has a nifty feature that allows me to highlight a piece of text and then say "select text with similar formatting".  This allows me to select all text remaining in BLACK and I can change it to the YELLOW you see on the final web version.  I change the background to black and now the tough part comes in <g>.  I once again go through it page by page and individually break up the dialog lines and center them.  I do my best to make the lines even so that the look of the page is uniform.  I also center the Act headings/footings and right align the stage direction information.  This process can take me anywhere from 2-4 hours depending upon the length of script.  At this point in time, it is ready to be cut and pasted into FrontPage (XP version).


Once I have it in FrontPage, I hyperlink the tops links and the ones at the end of each act.  Now it's ready for the graphics to be input.  If it's a good time for Judi, I give her a call and we do this over the phone.  It usually takes us an hour or so to place the pictures in their proper spots.  She will give me 2-3 words and I will use the find feature to get me to the right place <g>.  I sign off with Judi and begin placing Lucia's pictures.  Once Lucia has sent me her final pictures, I leave those intact size-wise to retain their quality and to place them in the gallery after the next episode has aired.  I resize each picture using ACDSee to fit better in the episode themselves and to save in file size.  Lucia also provides me with a list of dialog for where each picture goes so I use this to then place the pictures in their proper places.  I also resize the title graphics from Mary or Linda and placed them in the episode.  The graphics placement process takes me another 1-2 hours.


The web version is ready to be previewed by the staff, so I upload it to my test website and provide them the link via our staff list.  Everyone does a great job of going through it looking for bad links, pictures placed in the wrong spot or not showing up.  Any errors are then corrected and then I ask Denise to once again go through it via the web to look for any editing errors.  If she finds any, this is where I open all 4 versions <g> so that I can make sure the corrections go in ALL versions.  We used to do this on the phone but we discovered a very neat program called GoToMyPC and now I just do a remote control of her PC and she literally SHOWS me where the errors are!  Time varies on this process for the simple fact that not everyone can do their reviews right away.  Once the web version is 'final', I can then move to creating the PDF, eBook and palm versions.


I once again cut and paste the pages with the pictures but this time, I go from the FrontPage version to a new Word document that will become my PDF version.  I once again use the feature of selecting similar text to change the YELLOW font back to black and change the background back to white.  I create the credits page and insert the footers so that each page is named/numbered.  I reduce the page view size to 25% so that I can easily hit every picture and resize it to 1.5" in height.  I also change the font size to 11pt for everything except the title/credits page.  I put the page view size to 50% so that I can see 2 pages side by side.  This allows me to easily see where the page is breaking.  The biggest concern I have is to keep pictures with the dialog because having the picture be on the next page would lessen its impact.  I then go through it page by page and place extra lines, change the dialog line breaks, reduce a picture in size a bit more, etc. to make the pages flow well and give us clean page breaks.  I create the PDF file by using Adobe's PDFWriter.  I open it in Adobe Acrobat and create the bookmarks.  I save the file and send it to Judi who does a final check for me.  I make any corrections if needed and then save my final version of the PDF and then zip it up with Winzip.  This process takes me anywhere from 2-4 hours.


Now that the PDF version is complete, I can move onto the eBook/palm version.  I open the Word version that I saved near the beginning along with opening FrontPage.  I place them side by side on my screen and literally copy the pictures from the FrontPage version into the Word document scrolling through the script page by page.  Some might ask at this point in time, why doesn’t she just use the PDF version to create the eBook/Palm versions... the answer is because with the dialog centered and with the forced line breaks in that dialog, the formatting on the eBook/Palm is awful and very difficult to read.  I need a ‘clean’ document that is totally left-aligned and it’s much easier to replace the pictures than it is to take out all those line breaks in the dialog.  Also by pulling the pictures directly from the FrontPage/Web version, they remain at the larger size and can be viewed much better on the eBook/Palm screens.  Once I’m sure everything is in order, I save it as an HTML file.  From there I open up my eBook RocketWriter software and import the HTML file into it.  I think export the file and the eBook version is complete.  Then I do the same process with the iSilo Palm software.  This process takes me anywhere from 1-2 hours.


Now that all the various versions are complete, I can work on the website itself.  I update the main index page and the Season 8 Episode Guide page.  The English version of the episode is ready to post.  I also update Lucia's artwork pages with the larger versions of pictures.  This process takes me about an hour.


In the meantime, I’ve sent the html files to the various translators.  This year the translators have made my job 100 times easier.  They are able to use my html files with the links for the pictures already intact and they make corrections to the top links to point to their directory structure so I only have to do minor tweaking to the files, put the link on the main index page and those versions are ready to go also.

All in all, it takes me between 8-15 hours of solid work to produce the final product. 


CAROL:  I've put up a preview of Virtual Reality: The picture of Lucia's that is "Xena though Gabrielle's Eyes" is the rough draft she sent and will be replaced with her final copy.


MISSY:  (Final Options)  I could not remember if we were supposed to send txt or rtf - so I sent both. (Final copy for post production.)


NARRATOR:  And the process begins again.


MISSY:  (My Brother’s Keeper) Sue - does this cover the scroll issue?



SEPTEMBER 16, 2002


CAROL:  I think that's everyone from graphics so we now be using the old Chakkie <g>


LUCIA:  I am back and did another version for "Xena through Gabby eyes" Now please take a look and chose what is better, this one or the previous version.


First Version

Final Version



MISSY:  BINGO. (At least for me. (g)) it is absolutely gorgeous, and perfectly captures what I was thinking when I wrote that section. Great job, Lucia! The armor is amazing. (g)



SEPTEMBER 19, 2002


NARRATOR:  The artwork for episode two is chosen for illustration.


LUCIA:  I Thought in doing the illustrations as follow:

1- for this text" Xena pulls a dagger from nowhere and whips it over Gabrielle's head. It slices the candle in two and sends the lit end to the floor, dousing it. The room goes dark, but not silent.
2- Ares and Anubis with the chakram

3- for this text: Ares sits up and dangles his legs off the edge of the roof. He looks out into the darkness, past the crowd, past the torches.

Where are you, Xena? I can feel you out there... I know you can feel me calling you. Ares lifts the Dark Chakram and looks up at the moon through it.

4- Xena and Gabby kissing in front of Ares.

5- The last scene.

I am not sure if I made a good choice, please suggestions are very welcome. the problem is if I left some important scene without a illustration.


MISSY:  The important scenes for me in this one were the Xena/Gab scene where Xena tells Gab they have to entomb Ares, the scene between them on the ship, for Gab, the scene where she is not sure she can touch the good chakkie, and the end scene. But I like your choices, because the others can be done with screen caps - Judi, in fact - that moment for Gab when she's not sure she can touch the chakkie is probably somewhere in Legacy - right around where Xena's washing her hands.



SEPTEMBER 21, 2002


LINDA:  I've fiddled around with the cover for AMITH Pt2 and added some extra pictures. This one is a little better I think.


First Version

Final Version


SEPTEMBER 22, 2002


NARRATOR:  We’ve learned to be a little flexible.


DENISE:  Given that Sappho is written, and to keep us on schedule, I would like to propose that we move Sappho to eps 3 and 4 and slip Toris into 5.  It gives us a really nice honest-to-God cliffhanger that should keep people talking and coming back for the next set.   It will also give Missy a chance to breathe a bit since this new job is keeping her hopping pretty well.


MISSY:  That makes sense to me, especially since the Toris ep and the Ares ep have a similar level of emotion/tension - and it would make mores sense to separate them. Also - if Sue is doing her dramedy idea for six, I think the Toris ep would work better along side that being as Toris is now 20 or 30 or whatever it is years older than she is.


CAROL:  It does make a lot of sense and with TN's mostly written, no sense in putting more pressure on y'all if it's not necessary.


TNOVAN:  Okay folks...that's fine by me. I will start posting AMITH P1 for comments tomorrow.


SUE:  I am, so it works very well for me


NARRATOR:  And try to remember continuity and flow from ep to ep.


SUE:  Shit...one problem.

Missy forgot to mention the scrolls in her episode. She was going to bring it up in the teaser of the Toris ep. But now the Toris ep is pushed forward, and I *think* (IMHO) that Gabrielle would know that her scrolls were missing way before then.

So, if there any way of mentioning the scroll in like a brief sentence in TN's Sappho ep, it would be cool.


MISSY:  Okay - they I will also slide that ep a little lighter, to lead in to yours, Sue. The other four eps of the first sequence are all pretty dramatic.


CAROL:  Is the scrolls comment a throwaway comment to tweak Ares and explain them left in the vault or something that is pertinent to your ep Sue?  If it's the former, having it show up as a passing comment in Muses or Toris would work I think.


MISSY:  It is a tweak that is just something left over from the Ares ep. It does set up the Toris ep because it foreshadows Xena's meeting someone else in this time from her former life. I think it can stay where it is - but either way is fine with me.


SUE:  It's not so much a throwaway ep as it is an integral part of the canon of TXS.  And as the conversation this past spring showed, a good deal of our audience is Janice/Mel fans.  They're very sure to remember the scrolls if I did (and I saw that episode a grand total of ONE time, given that I detest Mel).

We've kept as best we can as close to TXS as we can, and the scrolls are something important that was inadvertently left out.  Bringing it up in the next episode told everyone we really didn't forget. I know they're gonna ask about them.


CAROL:  I don't think it's that important of an issue that it can't be mentioned in the 5th episode.  If we went strictly canon, then Ares should have been literally entombed because he rose from one in TXS.  We are so beyond canon at this point that I think it's great we hit on some of the issues but it's not a do or die thing for us.  If they ask, we can play coy and just say wait a bit...you'll find out about them soon enough.


MISSY:  Which never made sense, because he's immortal, and should not have been literally entombed unless he was into using a tomb to snooze in. (g) It makes kind of a fun reveal, when you don't really expect it in this case.



SEPTEMBER 23, 2002


NARRATOR:  AMITH begins to be posted to the list in parts.


TNOVAN:  (A Muse in the Hand – Part 1) Okay folks...I know most of you won't get to this until later my time, but I'm off to run errands and I thought I'd post the teaser now in case anyone was around.

TNOVAN:  (A Muse in the Hand – Part 1) ACT ONE S1/S2


TNOVAN:  (A Muse in the Hand – Part 1) ACT ONE S3 Everyone on the island is just a TOUCH confused at the moment<G>


CAROL:  Still working for me T.  One question though...can you post complete Acts instead of individual scenes?  I think it would flow better in reading through it.


LUCIA:  I like the tease and the way the story is going. I have only one doubt. Is it really necessary that couple talking about Sappho and revealing the likeness with Gabrielle? Wouldn't be more interesting to let we readers discover it by ourselves I mean, would be interesting to let everybody trying to understand what is happening and feeling a little confused like Xena and Gabby and only discovering Sappho likeness when they meet each other. What do you think TN?


TNOVAN:  I'll be happy to look at it Lucia, but in reality, TPTB teased the viewers with a Sappho episode, where Renee would be playing dual roles, I think that's what people are expecting. So I don't think it's any big shock to hear that


MISSY:  Yeap - that was the exact premise of the first act of the real Sappho script - only we did it as a dual role, where both X and G were being mistaken for someone else. (Sappho and her partner.) The thing was - we set it up so that X and G knew going in that they were doubles, so the audience was 'in' on the joke but the other characters were not.

That was a deliberate decision - because we didn't want X and G to spend act one scratching their heads along with everyone else.


TNOVAN:  (A Muse in the Hand – Part 1) ACT TWO.