Why not try to animate it?”. These are edited excerpts from the conversation. The Blacklist Season 7 Finale Gets Animated in Exclusive Sneak Peek + by Laura Prudom Posted May 14, 2020, 5 p.m. As one of countless TV productions affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the producers of NBC's The Blacklist decided to get creative to help wrap up Season 7. But NBC’s “The Blacklist,” which follows James Spader’s Raymond “Red” Reddington as he helps the F.B.I. The truth is, I think we all welcomed the distraction from what’s going on in the real world. By Lynn Elber The Associated Press Posted May 6, 2020 10:08 am. BOKENKAMP: Brian was a big part of the show. Linger on Red’s hat, or behind him? Since the coronavirus pandemic cut The Blacklist‘s seventh season short — turning Episode 19 (out of 22) into the season finale — Friday’s episode was not only a makeshift conclusion, but an hour of television that jumped back and forth between live-action scenes and animated sequences. Red appoints the FBI with the case of 'The Kazanjian Brothers', who could lead him to the truth about Katarina … 'The Blacklist' Season 7 Finale Review: Liz finally embraces her darkness with a brilliant animated screenplay. BOKENKAMP: It really was 24-7. No need to worry that your screen is glitching as you watch The Blacklist's 'The Blacklist' Fans Were Left Divided by Show's Animated Season … We can do whatever we want here.” There is a scene in a car — in the live-action version, we’d be on the soundstage with green screen. The Blacklist EP Reveals How the Show Pulled Off Its Half-Animated Season Finale — Plus, Grade the Episode By Rebecca Iannucci / May 15 2020, 5:59 PM PDT Courtesy of NBC Plus, she allowed the wire transfer to go through, essentially giving Reddington information about her whereabouts. How did that affect your planning? Below, series creator Jon Bokenkamp shares how the half-animated finale came to be, while teasing how that final scene sets up the previously announced eighth season. The Blacklist Exclusive Animated Finale Sneak Peek: ‘Put Your … KEEP READING: Penny Dreadful: City of Angels Takes a Sinister Turn with Tiago's Family It’s as close to doing live television that I feel comfortable participating in. The Blacklist Season 7 Finale: 6 Shockers I Cannot Get Over - … To make an episode of television like this, in five weeks, with everyone working from home — from our writers and editors, to our composer, to the sound team and visual effects crew and animators we only just met — we really couldn’t ask for a better team. She only did this to protect Liz, again sacrificing herself for her daughter. Check out the new The Blacklist S07E19 exclusive sneak peek starring Megan Boone! TVLINE | It feels like Liz’s decision to support Katarina instead of Red would alter the fabric of the show quite a bit. The forehead is too narrow. We had people in all kinds of time zones working around the clock, just to get a full assembly of the piece. Big, sweeping, wide shots.” Most of the changes we made to the script were adjustments to open up the visual palette of the show and make things bigger and more fun. We did accelerate certain elements to build a better forward throw into Season 8, to create a little more of a cliffhanger. This episode really highlights what an incredible family we’ve built over seven years. This is a big lead — one that offers the first real glimpse into who Reddington is and why he entered Liz’s life. Rather, we’re referencing Liz’s new look as a graphic novel character, which resulted from the show’s decision to animate the parts of its finale that couldn’t be filmed when production shut down. While you were in the middle of tweaking this episode, one of your actors, Brian Dennehy, died. TVLINE | As you were putting this finale together remotely, did you hit any big production roadblocks? She's just drawn that way. Is she really as anti-Red as she seems to be in that final scene, or is she perhaps trying to convince herself that she is? The Blacklist Airing Partially Animated Season 7 Finale Due to Coronavirus James Spader and Megan Boone will be partially animated to finish out The Blacklist season… The showrunners for the NBC thriller discuss how and why they hired animators to finish the However, with animation — and working with [visual effects company] Proof — we realized we had an opportunity to open that scene up. The Blacklist stars James Spader, Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff, Harry Lennix, Amir Arison, Hisham Tawfiq and Laura Sohn. Eisendrath’s brother-in-law, Ron Frankel, is the president of a previsualization (previz) animation house called Proof, which has worked on “Wonder Woman,” among other blockbusters. BOKENKAMP: We realized, “Oh, wait! TVLINE | How did you land on graphic novel-style animation for this episode? Can you shed some light on why Liz went in that direction? His doc prescribed new meds for the hand tremors, but he also urged Red to be more honest with Liz about his medical concerns. We still haven’t seen the final mix, and it airs Friday. BOKENKAMP: As we started embracing that, it sort of flipped a switch: “Wow. Believe me, the Sykorski Archive will come back into play next season. We had other elements like that, which we had to take apart and reconstruct, like one side of a phone conversation where we hadn’t shot the other side. They considered various ways to finish the episode — audio-only scenes, static comic-book-style images — before landing on a solution. Nancy Drew Kicks Off Season 2 With a Grim Discovery — 2021 FIRST LOOK, The Magic School Bus Rides Again: In the Zone, Why Miracle on 34th Street Isn't on TV This Year, and Where You Can…, Does Bridgerton Queen Steal Scenes? Then with only a couple weeks left, we started getting images of one character at a time, and we could say, “The eyebrows are too thick. The following post contains spoilers for The Blacklist‘s Season 7 finale. Originally, this was to be filmed on our stages in Red’s secret apartment. The finale airs Friday night. Maddie Tolliver?” In live action, you would have been able to read more of the emotional wheel turning in her head. Editors, the sound team, and our composer were in Los Angeles. The Blacklist used graphic novel-style animation to finish the Season 7 finale after production was halted because of the coronavirus, and it was … Spader and the rest of the cast recorded their dialogue “in closets, bathrooms, God knows where, trying to get quality audio,” Bokenkamp said. That includes you, and that includes Reddington.”. In the beginning, all the scenes had these featureless avatars that didn’t look like anybody. Another example, we had a scene between Red and Liz where he gives her the case of the week. But they had only shot half of its scenes, and out of order — how to salvage the material? In the script, the villain throws some papers up under the rotor blades of a helicopter, and we were told we would have to rewrite that, for safety reasons. We jump outside the car to see the vehicle careening through the streets, cars whizzing past, horns blaring. We’ve hinted at Red’s health issues for a few seasons now. EISENDRATH: In the middle of the shootout, Liz is standing fairly close to the Kazanjian brothers and she says, “Katarina Rostova, know her? The Blacklist fans saw a completely different side of Elizabeth Keen on Friday — and we’re not just talking about her decision to side with Katarina Rostova and embrace her inner darkness. They recorded their dialogue into their phones, through an app, and uploaded those lines to our post team in L.A. We had animators working in London and Atlanta. So maybe people didn’t do it as much as I thought they would because they knew how difficult it would be! Well, keep in mind, Liz has been on this journey for seven years and gotten no real answers from Red. Less dialogue, longer pauses, anything like that? I don’t want to spoil anything. We just got some final shots [on Wednesday]. In a move that initially seemed to take Liz herself by surprise, she chose Katarina; by the end of the hour, though, she had completely accepted this new alliance, even revealing to her comatose grandfather (the late Brian Dennehy, in his final appearance) that “anyone who is in [Katarina’s] way is in my way. That’s the kind of thing we would never have been able to do where we shoot in New York City. Proceed with caution! The Blacklist joins Pop TV's One Day at a Time in extending its season using animation. She’s always feared making this leap, but finally, after seven years, she knows that embracing this darker side of herself is inevitable. Maybe pop the collar.”. So there were a few magic tricks to finish up those elements. In live action, that would have been shot with green screen and we’d be lucky if we ever popped outside of the car. Beverly Hills Officials Shame Italian Restaurant La Scala For…, NBA's Christmas Lineup: Five Games of Big Names to Entice…, 'WandaVision' Trailer: A Retro Kathryn Hahn Breaks the Fourth…, How Ellen DeGeneres Inspired 'The Masked Dancer' and Why Paula…, A Great Rolling Duffle Bag Will Stuff Like A Duffle And Roll…, Copyright © 2020 TVLine Media, LLC. The Blacklist Season 7 Finale Recap: A Very Animated Liz Chooses … EISENDRATH: Maybe we should keep the thought bubbles when we go back to live action! Liz isn't dark. That was sort of a light bulb moment for us. Did Mando Forget Something? Blacklist fans, what did you think of the half-animated finale? Zero. The show has a slightly alternative graphic novel feel to it that’s baked into what we do week to week. Rather, we are referring to Liz’s new look as a graphic novel character, resulting from the series’s decision to animate parts of its The Blacklist: Laura Sohn Promoted to Series Regular for Season 8 (Exclusive) I think it’s best to simply acknowledge that, yes, things are going to change in a really compelling way. JOHN EISENDRATH: Yes. The Blacklist almost never receives credit score for its weirdness, but it’s possible this episode, the Period seven finale, will be the a person to flip the tide. So that did change. BOKENKAMP: There was a bit of a learning curve: How can it look and feel like “The Blacklist”? Let’s get him into the trench coat. Rebecca Iannucci / The Blacklist Bosses Preview the Half-Animated Season 7 Finale I guess all that is a way of saying that I think Liz is justified in crossing this Rubicon. In mid-March, when the coronavirus pandemic shut New York City down, television production came to a sudden halt, sabotaging whole seasons for some shows and postponing season finales for others. After the COVID-19 pandemic shut down production mid-episode, 'The Blacklist' crafted a reserved.PMC Entertainment. Was that driven by the show’s existing comics, or did it seem easiest from a technical perspective as opposed to other animation styles? Animation companies might not even be available.” We had no idea how much time and effort this was going to take. Anything that you simply couldn’t make work or had to cut because you were working from home? I do think it’s a viable alternative to fill out the parts you were unable to fill out, and because it’s cool and people will enjoy it. Meanwhile, Red’s ongoing health issues — cerebral edema, Red’s doctor told Liz — took a turn for the worse, prompting him to collapse mid-conversation. How did you figure out a new visual language to account for what this style of animation could and couldn’t do well in an accelerated time frame? #TheBlacklist is going to be more animated … The editors were working on their editing bays at home. The Blacklist, a show that managed to last longer than I realized, is about to air its seventh We really didn’t. But when we realized we were animating things — that we hadn’t shot that scene yet — we thought, “Why not move this scene to the National Mall in Washington, D.C.? Should we expect those to loom large in Season 8, as well? In a phone interview, Eisendrath and Bokenkamp discussed the episode, which premieres Friday night, and the new possibilities animation opened up for them. The showrunners John Eisendrath and Jon Bokenkamp decided that if they couldn’t make it to the season-ending Episode 22, the narrative in Episode 19, which they had already begun shooting, would work as the Season 7 finale. First, Katarina was willing to race Reddington to his secret medical facility, and she saved his life when she could have captured him. EISENDRATH: In the beginning, we thought, “Everybody’s going to do this. EISENDRATH: Animation can’t approximate the small, intimate, emotional moments, like when you see Spader’s face. (AP) Expect the cast of “The Blacklist” to be a bit more vivid during its season finale. ‘Blacklist’ season finale partially animated as teams work from home during lockdown. But what it does do a great job [with] is conveying a larger feel. A rogues’ gallery of criminals each week. We’ve got a criminal anti-hero at the center of the show. The purpose of that, we learned, was to block the scenes. So when we started kicking around ideas for how to complete the season, we looked back at the comic books written by Nicole Phillips, and an animated approach felt very organic. BOKENKAMP: It’s not dramatically different, structure-wise. 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