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January 13, 2012

Movie Review: 6 Days to Air: The Making of South Park (2011)

I've always been impressed with the speed in which a South Park episode shows up after an event. The show takes on topical subjects immediately, which means each episode has to have a quick turnaround. It turns out that the turnaround time is actually a mere six days. From concept to air, it takes less than one week to complete an entire show.

We start with Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park, as they complete work on their hit Broadway musical, The Book of Mormon. It's time to start production on a new television season. We get a tour of the production studio, which includes a writing room, editing bays, and an assortment of staff members. Everything hinges on what happens in the writers' room. Writers include Trey and Matt, Bill Hader from Saturday Night Live and a few others.

It's fascinating to see the entire process. We see everything from digital storyboards to the last minute upload to the network. It's a stressful but fun environment, and it seems that every person is a piece of a big machine. While most animated shows can take months to produce, South Park takes things to the extreme, and that's part of why the show is still relevant after more than a decade.

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