the steps in the creation of a typical "A
Country Practice" episode block (or two-hour
pairing of episodes).
DEVELOPMENT: The stories were usually generated
in-house by JNP Films script editors who
developed ideas from their own experiences,
constant surveillance of the media, and
professional in such areas as medicine, welfare,
law, and the national parks.
SCRIPT MEETING: Two freelance writers joined the
script team and in-house researchers in a two-day
conference to plot the story outline for the main
story, character stories, and serial follow on.
Scenes were planned to fit in with commercial
breaks and budgets for guest actors, extras,
stunts, and wardrobe. During the initial stages
of story creation, much of the JNP script writing
staff was involved in brainstorming ideas and
details for the various story lines. Each of the
two freelance writers would be responsible for
eventually writing the actual script for one half
(one hour) of the episode block (see step 5).
BREAKDOWN: Scene breakdown, outlining story, and
character details are written up by the JNP
script editors, supervised by the script producer
and executive producer. Again, much of the JNP
script team is involved in brainstorming sessions
RESEARCH: JNP's in-house researchers then
followed up on ALL the details required (medical,
historical, governmental, agricultural,
veterinary, educational, etc.). JNP employed
three qualified and experienced nursing sisters
who researched all the stories.
SCRIPT WRITING: The two freelance writers were
sent the breakdown and research information and
would write their one-hour scripts within four to
EDITING: Once written, the scripts were returned
to JNP Films to be edited by a script writer who
might a) change the words to better suit a
regular character; b) add or remove comedy,
drama, or character information to balance the
story; and c) ensure that researched information
was correct. The script editor would also check
the timing of the script. The script is
fine-tuned after meetings with the director,
studio producer, script producer, and researcher.
EDITED SCRIPT: This was now typed, printed, and
production manager and coordinators who
would work out a schedule for all cast
and crew for rehearsal, studio recording
and outside broadcasts for two two-hour
blocks, and transport arrangements to
location. NOTE: "A Country
Practice" recorded individual scenes
from four hour-long episodes (or two
two-hour blocks) throughout the week --
the relevent indoor scenes from one block
were recorded at the Channel Seven
studios while the location scenes for the
following week's block were filmed on
location with a different director.
script also went to the casting director,
who had the daunting task of finding just
the right actors to portray guest
characters as well as new regular
director and all crew -- wardrobe,
makeup, artists, set designers and
builders, props, lighting, sound,
cameras, and the location manager (who
would negotiate with the relevent
authorities to use outside locations).
actors -- to learn lines, research and
learn their character's reactions or
response to scripted situations.
PRODUCTION MEETING: This was with all of the
technical crew members. The director's discussion
might have included suggested camera angles for
each shot, lighting (perhaps for a night scene),
the number of extras needed, animals and their
required ability, wardrobe and the makeup look of
the guest or regular character, special effects
(e.g. fires, explosions, car accidents).
REHEARSE AND RECORD: The various scenes are
actually recorded, with the researchers and
professional advisors on the set to make sure
that the actors used the medical or veterinary
ROUGH EDIT: The first editing of a two-hour block
was done by the director and editors for
preliminary viewing by the producer, script
editors, and publicist (who prepared the story
synopsis for the Seven Network and the press).
EDITING: A second (and sometimes third) editing
was done with the director, editors, and audio
people to fine-tune edit to the required length
of 48 minutes and to add special effects and
music. Titles and credits were also added during
AIR: Five months after the storyline was
initially plotted and eight weeks after recording,
the two-hour block of episodes went to air.