The drawings are "PRE- ANIMATIC," which means: During the process a first pass is done on the whole show. The drawings are then compiled to make an ANIMATIC, which is a rough version of the episode all in pencil. The writers then make an changes to the script that they feel didn't work or could work better, and the Director decides to make any changes to the artwork where it can be improved. That stage is called REVISIONS. For example a conversation at the Xerox machine may go something like this:
JOSH: Hey, how's it going? Where are you in your show?
JOSH: How's it looking?
MATT: Pretty good.
JOSH: Cool, I hope you don't get too many revisions.
MATT: Me too, thanks for the vote of confidence, Jerk!
JOSH: Oh, no, I just meant I hope it goes smoothly.
MATT: YOUR MOTHER GOES SMOOTHLY!!!!
A fight ensues.
Okay, maybe those last few lines were an embellishment. But you get the idea.
Also some bells and whistles may be put on to the things at this stage. For example Homer's hair blowing in the wind was something that would have been done in revisions. It would have been a drawing with only another "pose" of Homer's hair in a different position. The timing sheet would indicate to "CYCLE" the hair between the two drawings.
I don't remember if the change from animatic to final was a writer/producer note or a director note, or possible an idea from me. In any case, I think the cut ins to Flanders but make it much more funny than before. I'll continue to post more from this sequence.
If any of that is confusing or you have any further questions about the whole process, please leave a comment. I love talking about all this stuff and I'll be sure to answer or shed any more light on things.
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