ABC online has a story about how mega-hit Bluey is assembled by Brisbane-based Ludo Studios.
ABC’s Dan Colasimone writes about taking his two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Mae to the “creative, beautiful sausage factory” in the “slightly grimy, very hip nightclub hub of Fortitude Valley.”
Producer Sam Moor oversees the show created by Joe Brumm.
Here is an excerpt:
At any one time, about 15 episodes of Bluey are being churned through different stages of production at Ludo.
From their initial conception, the scripts take one to two months until they’re ready to be transformed into an episode.
The first step is to storyboard the episode. We take Mae over to meet Sarah Rackemann as she works at turning Brumm’s ideas into pictures. Over three weeks, three storyboard artists will produce between 500 and 800 individual drawings.
Sarah shows Mae how she draws Bluey from scratch, first the rectangular body, “like a box of Tic Tacs”, then the pointy ears. For the first time it starts to dawn on Mae what’s actually going on here, and her eyes light up.
She recognises Bluey, then, to her delight, Sarah whips up Bingo as well. Rackemann says she’s got a soft spot for Bingo, and she loves drawing the nannas.
Once the storyboarding stage is complete, the embryonic episode needs to be cut into an animatic, which is the black-and-white blueprint (Blueyprint?) for the rest of the production process.
The dialogue has been recorded by now — not all in one location but separately by the different voice actors from wherever they are in Australia — and it’s all spliced together so that the seven-minute episode now has its major beats and timings locked in.
“The animatic is the recipe that everyone refers back to,” Moor says.
Art director Richie Jeffery then comes up with the “look” of the episode, particularly if it takes place in a new location, a park or a shopping centre around Brisbane, for example; making it “look Bluey“, as Moor describes it.
Brumm will have specified exactly where he wants the scenes taking place, and Ludo has a photographer go out and take reference photos.
Part of the fun for Brisbane Bluey fans is recognising their local haunts when they appear on the show.
The artists also render any new “props” which the characters interact with, many of which (the magic xylophone, the yoga ball) can be seen scattered around the studio, something that Mae enjoyed immensely.