How we make the cartoons at the Fair Journal

The first and perhaps most difficult part in making a cartoon is writing the video script. The most important part of the script is coming up with the idea of how to convert advanced science into a very simple cartoon. When we have the idea, it is time to write down how the story should be. In the script we write down how each scene should look like and what the voiceover artist should be saying. The beginning of a video script could look a bit like this: 

Meet electricity
• Some figure ‘shaped like a lightning bolt or so’ standing in his running outfit (headband, shorts, t-shirt) smiling and waving

Electricity likes to run. Especially inside materials such as his good friend Mercury
• Electricity running. Background is made out of mercury (shiny silver color).
• When introducing ‘good friend Mercury’ the background smiles and blinks (face is up in the right corner).

As soon as the video script is finished, we send it to our collaborating animation studio for review and drafting of the first storyboard. A storyboard is where the text describing the scenes are turned into still images that illustrates how the scene should look like. Here is an example of the first draft of a storyboard:

1st storyboard draft example

After the animation studio has send us the first draft, we go through it and see if the message is clear and if the characters look like we want them to. We send comments back to the animation studio, and they produce a next version of the storyboard. After the all revisions are done, the storyboard may look like this:

Final storyboard example

When we are happy with how the storyboard looks like, we give a green light to go ahead with the actual animation production. At this stage, we also select the voiceover artists that will read out the voiceover script. 

When the first draft of the animation is done, the animation studio sends it to us for review. This part of the review is focused on timing and flow of the animation, as well as making sure that the correct message is conveyed. To get everything right, this usually requires 2-4 revisions.

If you are interested in learning more about the process and follow it for future cartoons, please subscribe to us on Patreon (by clicking here). Here you will be able to access cartoon scripts, storyboards, and unedited animations as soon as the first versions are made. Therefore, you will not only get unique insight into the process that goes into making the cartoons, but also find out what the next stories are about and how they will look like before anyone else. 

The final video is uploaded to YouTube (subscribe here) and embedded on the thefairjournal.com. We also upload the videos directly so you can watch them without commercials or in case your YouTube is blocked in your country. To Find the directly uploaded videos, please click here.