By Stephanie Ellis-Meehan:
Working with the post-production team as a media logger on The Incredible Dr. Pol season three has opened my eyes to the vastness of footage and number of stories collected for a production like this. The primary objective of a logger is to review all the footage as it comes in from the field, log notes along the way, and recall specific shots or sound bites for producers and editors.
As the editors and producers are crafting the footage into episodic form, they can make use of these logs to find different sequences or shots they need. Sometimes what they are looking for is as simple as a time-lapse of a sunrise over a cornfield to use as a transition between stories– in cases like this it is a pretty easy search. Other times it’s a highly specific shot– for example, Charles mentions in an interview that he fell on his butt one day while on a farm call, of course we want to include that moment! It could take some time to search through the logs for something like this, so the editor or producer can ask me and in most cases with something so memorable, I can find it in short order.
After spending several months watching hours of footage of the exploits of Dr. Pol and his team, a funny thing started to happen… An assistant editor or producer would send me an email asking if I had seen a specific shot of a farm call or clinic visit. Most times, I would know not only the day it happened and which camera it was shot on but also the farm and client names. I sometimes have felt as if I am on first-name basis with a whole host of characters I’ve never even met. When one farmer client cut off his shoulder-length hair, I was just as surprised as Dr. Brenda had been.
It’s never boring either– just when things around the clinic start to seem like they’re slowing down, Dr. Pol will walk down the hallway with a tiny kitten riding on his shoulder, or out on a farm call Charles will chase after a cow with a lasso. It is common to walk through the office and hear someone laugh while watching footage. That isn’t the magic of television; Dr. Pol and Charles really are that funny all on their own. This has been my first job working in production and it has been really incredible to see firsthand the process that the production team has gone through to turn all those hours of footage into the episodes that will air for season three.