Blacklist fans, what did you think of the half-animated finale? 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. I’m surprised at how intricate it is. Did you want to channel the comic-book aesthetic specifically? Using animation enabled the show to pull off things it couldn’t have otherwise, like an elaborate scene involving a helicopter. 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? TVLINE | What can you say about where Red’s health issues are going? reserved.PMC Entertainment. However, with animation — and working with [visual effects company] Proof — we realized we had an opportunity to open that scene up. Believe me, the Sykorski Archive will come back into play next season. Dirty frames? The finale airs Friday night. Maybe pop the collar.”. BOKENKAMP: As we started embracing that, it sort of flipped a switch: “Wow. I think it’s best to simply acknowledge that, yes, things are going to change in a really compelling way. A reflection of James Spader, as seen in the season finale of “The Blacklist.” After the pandemic stopped production, the show used animation to complete the episode. The Blacklist joins Pop TV's One Day at a Time in extending its season using animation. So that did change. 'The Blacklist' sets animated season finale due to coronavirus That appeared to be the point of The Blacklist If you're curious to see what The Blacklist might look like in animated form, NBC has released two new images from the Season 7 finale. Our review of The Blacklist Season 7 Finale reveals what choice Liz finally makes when forced to decide between backing Red or Katarina in their neverending battle. Animation companies might not even be available.” We had no idea how much time and effort this was going to take. But as we were considering animating that, we didn’t know what these characters were going to look like, let alone how they could emote, so we turned to Proof and said, “Get us out of that car.” So in that scene, you’ll notice that we’re covering for what we can’t do by leaning into what the animation does really well, which is cars whizzing past, running red lights, close-ups of the tires, shots of people’s eyes in rearview mirrors. After the COVID-19 pandemic shut down production mid-episode, 'The Blacklist' crafted a 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. By Lynn Elber The Associated Press Posted May 6, 2020 10:08 am. The truth is, I think we all welcomed the distraction from what’s going on in the real world. She only did this to protect Liz, again sacrificing herself for her daughter. 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. The chin is too big.”, BOKENKAMP: It’s not only, “What does James Spader look like?” but, “Let’s get him into the fedora. EISENDRATH: That to me conveyed a stark, intense, dangerous feeling better almost than we could have done in live action. How…, The Blacklist: Laura Sohn Promoted to Series Regular for Season 8 (Exclusive), Transplant: NBC Acquires Season 1 of Canadian Medical Drama. ‘Blacklist’ season finale partially animated as teams work from home during lockdown. 'The Blacklist' Season 7 Finale Review: Liz finally embraces her darkness with a brilliant animated screenplay. It’s just a totally different language. The Blacklist Exclusive Animated Finale Sneak Peek: ‘Put Your … And Katarina has tangible truths about Reddington that she’s unearthed. BOKENKAMP: We can be looking down the cord of the light bulb that’s hanging over this dimly lit room. I don’t want to spoil anything. We just got some final shots [on Wednesday]. BOKENKAMP: The footage that we used of Brian was salvaged from a previous episode. The showrunners for the NBC thriller discuss how and why they hired animators to finish the Let us know what you think in the comments below. The show has a slightly alternative graphic novel feel to it that’s baked into what we do week to week. We jump outside the car to see the vehicle careening through the streets, cars whizzing past, horns blaring. 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. In the beginning, all the scenes had these featureless avatars that didn’t look like anybody. Should we expect those to loom large in Season 8, as well? We’ve hinted at Red’s health issues for a few seasons now. Rebecca Iannucci / 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 Bosses Preview the Half-Animated Season 7 Finale Not that it’s not a reason to do it in the future, but it has been a totally different process, in terms of time and the way we use resources. 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. We didn’t have a narrative reason to make it half-animated, and so we decided not to pretend that we did. 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. Another example, we had a scene between Red and Liz where he gives her the case of the week. 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 TVLINE | Did you have to make any tweaks to the script in order to accommodate the animated scenes? The Blacklist Season 7 Finale Recap: A Very Animated Liz Chooses … Editors, the sound team, and our composer were in Los Angeles. In live action, that would have been shot with green screen and we’d be lucky if we ever popped outside of the car. Cast your votes in our polls below, then hit the comments with your reactions! The season finale of "The Blacklist" will be part live-action, part animation. The Blacklist Season 7 Finale: 6 Shockers I Cannot Get Over - … The Blacklist, a show that managed to last longer than I realized, is about to air its seventh BOKENKAMP: There was a bit of a learning curve: How can it look and feel like “The Blacklist”? I guess all that is a way of saying that I think Liz is justified in crossing this Rubicon. 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. 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.? The editors were working on their editing bays at home. 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. The London animators would work while we were asleep. 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. Zero. BOKENKAMP: It’s not dramatically different, structure-wise. For the latest information on coronavirus (COVID-19), including how to protect yourself and … But NBC’s “The Blacklist,” which follows James Spader’s Raymond “Red” Reddington as he helps the F.B.I. First, Katarina was willing to race Reddington to his secret medical facility, and she saved his life when she could have captured him. 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. Can you speak to how the show might change next year, given this big shift for her? While you were in the middle of tweaking this episode, one of your actors, Brian Dennehy, died. It’s absolutely something we plan to explore next season. That was sort of a light bulb moment for us. The showrunners for the NBC thriller discuss how and why they hired animators to finish the season after the pandemic brought production to a halt. “It has a larger-than-life antihero and Gotham-style side villains. We’ve always talked about The Blacklist being a bit of a comic book. Less dialogue, longer pauses, anything like that? We still haven’t seen the final mix, and it airs Friday. Plus, she allowed the wire transfer to go through, essentially giving Reddington information about her whereabouts. The following post contains spoilers for The Blacklist‘s Season 7 finale. BOKENKAMP: Brian was a big part of the show. 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. Substantially has been designed (rightfully) about the quarantine-induced final decision to comprehensive the fifty percent-completed episode with “graphic novel”-style animation and speed up some of the plot The whole thing was a very virtual experience, but I was really impressed at how quickly and seamlessly the team pulled together to get their specific job done. So there were a few magic tricks to finish up those elements. We really didn’t. Proceed with caution! She’s always feared making this leap, but finally, after seven years, she knows that embracing this darker side of herself is inevitable. BOKENKAMP: We realized, “Oh, wait! A rogues’ gallery of criminals each week. TVLINE | I’m really intrigued by Liz’s decision to fully side with Katarina at the end of this episode, especially how easily she embraces a darker side of herself. 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? 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. But they had only shot half of its scenes, and out of order — how to salvage the material? During the episode, Liz was forced to officially pick a side between Reddington and Katarina Rostova, after the task force’s latest case put her smack-dab in the middle of those two. 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. Linger on Red’s hat, or behind him? How did that affect your planning? EISENDRATH: In the beginning, we thought, “Everybody’s going to do this. Let’s see the Capitol Building in the background. This episode really highlights what an incredible family we’ve built over seven years. 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. She's just drawn that way. And she saw Katarina sacrifice herself not once, but twice in this episode. No need to worry that your screen is glitching as you watch The Blacklist's Check out the new The Blacklist S07E19 exclusive sneak peek starring Megan Boone! Executive producers Jon Bokenkamp and J… In a phone interview, Eisendrath and Bokenkamp discussed the episode, which premieres Friday night, and the new possibilities animation opened up for them. Anything that you simply couldn’t make work or had to cut because you were working from home? In some cases, the animation was more effective than the live-action scenes at creating a foreboding atmosphere. These are edited excerpts from the conversation. Was that driven by the show’s existing comics, or did it seem easiest from a technical perspective as opposed to other animation styles? That’s the kind of thing we would never have been able to do where we shoot in New York City. EISENDRATH: Maybe we should keep the thought bubbles when we go back to live action! It’s as close to doing live television that I feel comfortable participating in. 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. 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. Originally, this was to be filmed on our stages in Red’s secret apartment. bring down the world’s most nefarious criminals, soldiered on. TVLINE | As you were putting this finale together remotely, did you hit any big production roadblocks? How 'The Blacklist' Pulled Off the Last-Minute Animated Finale … This is a big lead — one that offers the first real glimpse into who Reddington is and why he entered Liz’s life. BOKENKAMP: It really was 24-7. EISENDRATH: In the middle of the shootout, Liz is standing fairly close to the Kazanjian brothers and she says, “Katarina Rostova, know her? But what it does do a great job [with] is conveying a larger feel. EISENDRATH: Originally, the episode was going to end with the grandfather waking up out of his coma. That’s within the rule book.” Comics can do thought bubbles. JOHN EISENDRATH: Yes. We realized that as we went along that we should take advantage of every comic book trope that we could think of, to help the viewer. 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. Why Blacklist Season 7's Cartoon Ending Didn't Work | Screen Rant We’re really opening up the visual scope of the show to compensate for what we can’t say with the actor’s faces. And in the beginning, we didn’t think that the mouths of these characters were going to move — we didn’t have enough time — so we were partly trying to hide the mouths. And obviously it will affect the story going forward. Maddie Tolliver?” In live action, you would have been able to read more of the emotional wheel turning in her head. May 15 2020, 5:59 PM PDT, RELATED STORIES The Story Behind 'The Blacklist's Animated Season 7 Finale - TV … That includes you, and that includes Reddington.”. We had people in all kinds of time zones working around the clock, just to get a full assembly of the piece. The cast all recorded their lines remotely on microphones that were sent to them wherever they were quarantining. The Blacklist bosses Jon Bokenkamp and John Eisendrath told TV Guide about how the unexpected and unprecedented half-animated Season 7 finale came together, from idea to execution. That was the last scene, and we changed it once we heard the terrible news. I think she’s reached a tipping point. All rights For example, there’s a scene with three characters in the back of a car, racing through the city. So maybe people didn’t do it as much as I thought they would because they knew how difficult it would be! JON BOKENKAMP: Not to be a downer, but it has been far more work than most of our episodes. Red appoints the FBI with the case of 'The Kazanjian Brothers', who could lead him to the truth about Katarina … The Blacklist stars James Spader, Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff, Harry Lennix, Amir Arison, Hisham Tawfiq and Laura Sohn. The producers charged Proof with creating about 20 minutes worth of action in five weeks — a “ridiculous” request, Eisendrath said — and at the end of that time, “The Blacklist” had a completely revamped hybrid finale. #TheBlacklist is going to be more animated … Is animation a way forward for other shows to try in a pinch? the Blacklist fans saw a completely different side of Elizabeth Keen on Friday – and we’re not just talking her decision to side with Katarina Rostova and embrace her inner darkness. (AP) Expect the cast of “The Blacklist” to be a bit more vivid during its season finale. Well, since no one was actually driving the helicopter in animation, we were able to throw the papers up, and it looks amazing. 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 Why not try to animate it?”. And two, we took liberties that we would not have been able to do in live action. Red’s not a weak guy by any means, but these health issues aren’t going to go away, and he won’t be able to continue to deny them. TVLINE | It feels like Liz’s decision to support Katarina instead of Red would alter the fabric of the show quite a bit. We’ve got a criminal anti-hero at the center of the show. “The show is sort of a graphic novel to begin with,” Eisendrath said. I suppose it’s fair to say that whatever is wrong with him — it’s something that Red is avoiding or denying, yet something serious enough that people in Red’s life, like Dembe, are legitimately concerned about it. We see a few of these folks in the end of the episode, and there are many more behind the scenes, but they really are the best in the business, and one hell of an incredible family. , then hit the comments below acknowledge that, it sort of a comic.. 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