Once you knew that you could use animation, what story elements did you revise? Let us know what you think in the comments below. EISENDRATH: That to me conveyed a stark, intense, dangerous feeling better almost than we could have done in live action. Is animation a way forward for other shows to try in a pinch? BOKENKAMP: Brian was a big part of the show. Our postproduction team sent microphones to the actors in Massachusetts, California and New York, and they recorded in closets, bathrooms, God knows where, trying to get quality audio. TVLINE | As you were putting this finale together remotely, did you hit any big production roadblocks? 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. We didn’t have a narrative reason to make it half-animated, and so we decided not to pretend that we did. The editors were working on their editing bays at home. Believe me, the Sykorski Archive will come back into play next season. Maddie Tolliver?” In live action, you would have been able to read more of the emotional wheel turning in her head. 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, a show that managed to last longer than I realized, is about to air its seventh Blacklist fans, what did you think of the half-animated finale? Can you shed some light on why Liz went in that direction? The Blacklist Exclusive Animated Finale Sneak Peek: ‘Put Your … Spader and the rest of the cast recorded their dialogue “in closets, bathrooms, God knows where, trying to get quality audio,” Bokenkamp said. Originally, this was to be filmed on our stages in Red’s secret apartment. The Blacklist Season 7 Finale: 6 Shockers I Cannot Get Over - … The Blacklist's season 7 finale is set to mix live-action footage with animated scenes due to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing on-location production to shut down. 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. The truth is, I think we all welcomed the distraction from what’s going on in the real world. Why Blacklist Season 7's Cartoon Ending Didn't Work | Screen Rant And obviously it will affect the story going forward. Can you speak to how the show might change next year, given this big shift for her? 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. It’s terribly sad to lose him. Well, since no one was actually driving the helicopter in animation, we were able to throw the papers up, and it looks amazing. We did accelerate certain elements to build a better forward throw into Season 8, to create a little more of a cliffhanger. It’s just a totally different language. How 'The Blacklist' Pulled Off the Last-Minute Animated Finale … JON BOKENKAMP: Not to be a downer, but it has been far more work than most of our episodes. I think it’s best to simply acknowledge that, yes, things are going to change in a really compelling way. TVLINE | It feels like Liz’s decision to support Katarina instead of Red would alter the fabric of the show quite a bit. This is a big lead — one that offers the first real glimpse into who Reddington is and why he entered Liz’s life. I think we realized that we had more of an opportunity to rework some scenes. If you like TVLine, you'll LOVE our weekly newsletter. The purpose of that, we learned, was to block the scenes. The Blacklist season 7 finale airs May 15 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC. In live action, that would have been shot with green screen and we’d be lucky if we ever popped outside of the car. Should we expect those to loom large in Season 8, as well? TVLINE | Did you have to make any tweaks to the script in order to accommodate the animated scenes? 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. #TheBlacklist is going to be more animated … The showrunners for the NBC thriller discuss how and why they hired animators to finish the I’m surprised at how intricate it is. 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 Blacklist stars James Spader, Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff, Harry Lennix, Amir Arison, Hisham Tawfiq and Laura Sohn. Well, keep in mind, Liz has been on this journey for seven years and gotten no real answers from Red. Another example, we had a scene between Red and Liz where he gives her the case of the week. That was the last scene, and we changed it once we heard the terrible news. 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? 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.? 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. 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 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. The Season 7 finale airs on NBC Friday, May 15 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Executive producers Jon Bokenkamp and J… 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. That was sort of a light bulb moment for us. By It’s as close to doing live television that I feel comfortable participating in. May 15 2020, 5:59 PM PDT, RELATED STORIES 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. 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. Proceed with caution! We’ve got a criminal anti-hero at the center of the show. BOKENKAMP: The footage that we used of Brian was salvaged from a previous episode. So that did change. While you were in the middle of tweaking this episode, one of your actors, Brian Dennehy, died. We’re really opening up the visual scope of the show to compensate for what we can’t say with the actor’s faces. 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. 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. “The Blacklist” cast and crew were four days into shooting Episode 19 of Season 7 when coronavirus brought their New York set to a grinding halt. The show has a slightly alternative graphic novel feel to it that’s baked into what we do week to week. First, Katarina was willing to race Reddington to his secret medical facility, and she saved his life when she could have captured him. 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. [Laughs], ‘The Blacklist’ Draws Up a Novel End to Its Season. 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. I don’t want to spoil anything. One of my favorite scenes is when Red is talking to these Kazanjian brothers, and you drift up behind his almost jet-black silhouetted frame and look in one of the bad guy’s glasses, which are reflecting Red. ‘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. We jump outside the car to see the vehicle careening through the streets, cars whizzing past, horns blaring. EISENDRATH: In the middle of the shootout, Liz is standing fairly close to the Kazanjian brothers and she says, “Katarina Rostova, know her? No need to worry that your screen is glitching as you watch The Blacklist's Did you want to channel the comic-book aesthetic specifically? BOKENKAMP: There was a bit of a learning curve: How can it look and feel like “The Blacklist”? 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. The Blacklist Bosses Preview the Half-Animated Season 7 Finale Editors, the sound team, and our composer were in Los Angeles. 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 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. This episode really highlights what an incredible family we’ve built over seven years. 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. 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. After the COVID-19 pandemic shut down production mid-episode, 'The Blacklist' crafted a She mentioned the Sykorski Archive. That’s the kind of thing we would never have been able to do where we shoot in New York City. The following post contains spoilers for The Blacklist‘s Season 7 finale. As John and I were talking with the animators, we started thinking, do we do super close-ups, and then all of a sudden big wide shots? The Blacklist Season 7 Finale Recap: A Very Animated Liz Chooses … KEEP READING: Penny Dreadful: City of Angels Takes a Sinister Turn with Tiago's Family Liz isn't dark. And two, we took liberties that we would not have been able to do in live action. BOKENKAMP: We realized, “Oh, wait! EISENDRATH: Animation can’t approximate the small, intimate, emotional moments, like when you see Spader’s face. And Katarina has tangible truths about Reddington that she’s unearthed. But they had only shot half of its scenes, and out of order — how to salvage the material? Dirty frames? Red appoints the FBI with the case of 'The Kazanjian Brothers', who could lead him to the truth about Katarina … 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. 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. 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. 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. In the beginning, all the scenes had these featureless avatars that didn’t look like anybody. A rogues’ gallery of criminals each week. The Blacklist used graphic novel-style animation to finish the Season 7 finale after production was halted because of the coronavirus, and it was … For example, there’s a scene with three characters in the back of a car, racing through the city. 'The Blacklist' sets animated season finale due to coronavirus It’s absolutely something we plan to explore next season. 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 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. That appeared to be the point of The Blacklist 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. bring down the world’s most nefarious criminals, soldiered on. 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. We’ve always talked about The Blacklist being a bit of a comic book. (AP) Expect the cast of “The Blacklist” to be a bit more vivid during its season finale. In a phone interview, Eisendrath and Bokenkamp discussed the episode, which premieres Friday night, and the new possibilities animation opened up for them. The forehead is too narrow. We’ve hinted at Red’s health issues for a few seasons now. BOKENKAMP: It really was 24-7. Why not try to animate it?”. JOHN EISENDRATH: Yes. EISENDRATH: I would say that there are two distinct ways in which it’s different. But NBC’s “The Blacklist,” which follows James Spader’s Raymond “Red” Reddington as he helps the F.B.I. We just got some final shots [on Wednesday]. We didn’t necessarily think that animation would be able to access her inner thinking, so we added a chyron. The finale airs Friday night. Animation companies might not even be available.” We had no idea how much time and effort this was going to take. She's just drawn that way. BOKENKAMP: It’s not dramatically different, structure-wise. The Blacklist joins Pop TV's One Day at a Time in extending its season using animation. “It has a larger-than-life antihero and Gotham-style side villains. We made some slight adjustments to the script, mostly trying to expand concepts that we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to execute on our tight production schedule. 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. 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. That’s within the rule book.” Comics can do thought bubbles. 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. BOKENKAMP: We can be looking down the cord of the light bulb that’s hanging over this dimly lit room. Anything that you simply couldn’t make work or had to cut because you were working from home? Less dialogue, longer pauses, anything like that? James Spader as Raymond “Red” Reddington in ‘The Blacklist’ 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. EISENDRATH: Originally, the episode was going to end with the grandfather waking up out of his coma. reserved.PMC Entertainment. Let’s see the Capitol Building in the background. Check out the new The Blacklist S07E19 exclusive sneak peek starring Megan Boone! 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. 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. 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. So there were a few magic tricks to finish up those elements. Let’s get him into the trench coat. 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. 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? EISENDRATH: In the beginning, we thought, “Everybody’s going to do this. Did Mando Forget Something? 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. Transplant: NBC Acquires Season 1 of Canadian Medical Drama. The Blacklist's Early Finale to Mix Animation With Live-Action … I guess all that is a way of saying that I think Liz is justified in crossing this Rubicon. Rebecca Iannucci / Cast your votes in our polls below, then hit the comments with your reactions! Was that driven by the show’s existing comics, or did it seem easiest from a technical perspective as opposed to other animation styles? “The show is sort of a graphic novel to begin with,” Eisendrath said. 'The Blacklist' Fans Were Left Divided by Show's Animated Season … It turned out, fortuitously, that the large action sequences had yet to be filmed, and we were able to make those considerably larger. 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… However, with animation — and working with [visual effects company] Proof — we realized we had an opportunity to open that scene up. 'The Blacklist' Season 7 Finale Review: Liz finally embraces her darkness with a brilliant animated screenplay. Maybe pop the collar.”. She only did this to protect Liz, again sacrificing herself for her daughter. Plus, she allowed the wire transfer to go through, essentially giving Reddington information about her whereabouts. Using animation enabled the show to pull off things it couldn’t have otherwise, like an elaborate scene involving a helicopter. Zero. These are edited excerpts from the conversation. By Lynn Elber The Associated Press Posted May 6, 2020 10:08 am. The season finale of "The Blacklist" will be part live-action, part animation. 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