This means we (and when I say “we” in this blog it’s normally Douglas Mackinnon the director and me) edited the six episodes. Sometimes this was simple, but mostly it wasn’t. Good Omens is complicated. Episode 1 in its original shape was 75 minutes long and very confusing for people. Episode 1 now is about 52 minutes long and nobody watching it gets lost at all, even during the baby swap. Episode 5 wound up too short and episode 6 wound up too long, but that was okay, because we’d long ago realised that the only way to make something of this scale was a 6 hour long movie, so so we moved bits of Episode 6 earlier. Each episode was tightened and experimented with and worked on until it gleamed. (The editors we were working with were Will Oswald for the first three episodes and Emma Oxley for the second three)
And once it was edited and “locked”, then the music could be written by David Arnold and recorded, then the team at MILK could begin to work on the Visual Effects, the big obvious ones like the M25 London orbital motorway turning into a flaming ring around London, or the huge floating head of Derek Jacobi filling Aziraphale’s bookshop, and the less obvious ones, like the missing details of our Soho street.
And while this was happening the Sound Wizards at Bang! listened to the sound and told us what they could use and what they needed a back-up of, and where we would need the actors to dub their voices (a process called ADR). Not to mention the technical challenges of the different voices that will be coming out of Miranda Richardson’s mouth (she plays Madame Tracy, the medium): Johnny Vegas and Michael Sheen also provide voices that we will hear Miranda utter…
We have over 200 speaking parts. That’s a lot of ADR.
And then there’s Gareth Spensely at Molinare, who is credited as colourist, and who is a Warlock who makes it look even more beautiful than Gavin Finney did when he shot it, and sometimes makes scenes shot in the morning become scenes that happen at dusk, and does other things equally as odd. And there’s Beren Croll doing the “online”, working his own visual magic, and placing the astonishing visuals and the peciuliarly handmade graphics that Peter Anderson Studios have made for us where they need to be…
And in all that, the last nine months have flown by. Here’s the trailer we did, if you haven’t seen it, or just want to see it again.
We aren’t done yet. There’s about a month to go before it’s all wrapped up. We were hoping to have been done earlier, which is why my wife and small son and retiring nanny are off on our “Hurrah! Neil has finished Good Omens!” holiday in the Caribbean and I am rather obviously not on that holiday. I am on my way back to back to the UK (dividing my time between London’s Soho, where our various post production studios are, and Cardiff, where Bang! are) and am stopping off in the friends’ house where I wrote much of American Gods and Anansi Boys, and short stories like A Study In Emerald. So many memories.
Two days ago we went to Sarasota, to visit my Cousin Helen. She will be 101 years old in a few weeks. She is as smart as she ever was. (This is a link to a recent piece about her on Brainpickings, and a letter she wrote about a story that helped: https://www.brainpickings.org/2018/12/18/a-velocity-of-being-helen-fagin/ )
Helen is nearly 101. Ash is 3 and a 1/4. Amanda and I are somewhere in the middle.
It will be the first night in a long time that I haven’t kissed my wife at midnight on New Year’s Eve. The first year we won’t get to celebrate our wedding anniversary together. I will miss themso very much.
My goals for 2019 are to get Good Omens finished, to send it out into the world, and then to retire from full-time showrunning and, in my retirement, to start writing again. I miss it.
If you enjoy Radio, you should check out:
With Great Pleasure: I pick some prose, poems and songs I love. Peter Capaldi, John Finnemore and Nina Sosanya read them, Mitch Benn and the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain sing.
The Wild Wood — one of the many things recorded for With Great Pleasure that didn’t make it onto the air. But, as read by Mr Capaldi, too good to lose.
Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology — a dramatisation by starring Diana Rigg and Derek Jacobi, Natalie Dormer and Colin Morgan. Lucy Catherine did the adaptation, and Allegra McIlroy directed it and made it happen.
You can listen to all of these anywhere in the world for the next 3 weeks…
If you have come here for New Year’s Wishes, I don’t have a new one. But here are the ones that already exist. This is from 2014:
And for this year, my wish for each of us is small and very simple.