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  The Creation Process  
  Here are the steps in the creation of a typical "A Country Practice" episode block (or two-hour pairing of episodes).

1. STORY 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.

2. INITIAL 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).

3. SCENE 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

4. 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.

5. ACTUAL SCRIPT WRITING: The two freelance writers were sent the breakdown and research information and would write their one-hour scripts within four to six weeks.

6. 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.

7. THE EDITED SCRIPT: This was now typed, printed, and given to:

  • The 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.

  • The 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 characters.

  • The 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).

  • The actors -- to learn lines, research and learn their character's reactions or response to scripted situations.

8. 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).

9. 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 equipment correctly.

10. A 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).

11. MORE 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 this process.

12. TO AIR: Five months after the storyline was initially plotted and eight weeks after recording, the two-hour block of episodes went to air.


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NOTE: This site is in no way affiliated with JNP Productions or Seven Network but is merely a labour of love from me to you. All graphics and the layout and presentation of the information on this web site are Kitty MacAlpine. Plotlines, characters, dialogue quotes, hospital name, clinic image, show stills, and other show-specific details are JNP Productions. Please view the disclaimer page for more information.

The information on this page was taken from the 10th Birthday Souvenir Magazine. Some augmentary information was taken from A Country Practice: Quality Soap.