Have you ever thought about what it takes to make an episode of The Headin' Home Family Program? We are going to open the door to the creative process and let you see how it all comes together. Although every episode is different, the process to make an episode is basically the same.
Writing an episode of The Headin' Home Family Program starts with a lot of prayer. We are continually asking for God's direction so that we are producing the episodes that He would have us to make.
Because the purpose of Headin' Home is to show how God has given us the Bible as our guide in the everyday situations that occur in the lives of Christians, many episodes are based upon an actual event, either experienced or observed, and are adapted to fit to the Headin' Home families. Other ideas come from specific verses that God has show to the writers as they read their Bibles or hear the preaching of God's word.
We try to make sure each episode is written so that Christians can either say "I had a similar thing happen to me" or "when I face a situation like that, I will use those Bible verses as my guide". If you have had a situation that you think would make a good episode of Headin' Home, plese contact us at the email address on the bottom of the page and include the words "EPISODE IDEA" in the subject line. The prayer, outline, prayer, write, prayer, rewrite, process stretches over several days or weeks and varies between 10 to 20 hours.
Recording is by far the most fun part of the process. Normally each family records their lines for an episode in a "session" (approximately 4 hours), and most episodes only require a single session for each family. Each line is usually recorded 3-4 times unless a case of the giggles breaks out and we have to take away Rob's chocolate! We don't know who holds the record for "retakes", but have you ever thought how many ways you can say the word "church"? The actual recording time per episode depends on the number of families involved and the number of sessions needed, but on average it is between 16 to 20 hours.
The mixing process involves bringing all of the audio parts of an episode together. It starts by listening to every take of every line and determining the best ones to use. The selected lines are put together and reviewed multiple times to make sure they sound as natural as possible.
Once the spoken lines are finalized, sound effects are added. Some sound effects come from our sound effects library while others need to be created to match the action taking place in the scene. After the lines and sound effects are "roughed in" comes the time-consuming process of getting the volume levels correct, making sure the sound effects are helpful but not distracting, adding panning to be able to "see" the movements that are occurring, and using the computer processing tools to enhance the entire listening experience.
The last component is to add the music interludes and the concluding hymn which help bring it all together. Some concluding hymns come from existing sources while others are recorded specifically for the episode.
Once the episode is "complete", the episode is played multiple times on multiple sources and last minute changes are made to insure that the final product is the best we can deliver. The mixing process is by far the most lengthy part of making an episode and takes between 40 to 60 hours.
If you have been keeping track, you now know that a single 25 minute episode of The Headin' Home Family Programm takes between 65-100 working hours and roughly 6 calendar weeks.
Once 2 episodes of The Headin' Home Family Programm are finished, the artwork is designed to capture the main emphasis of the episodes, and the artwork, episode summary, and cd inserts are combined and reviewed carefully. The final version is sent off to be manufactured into a CD, and in a few short weeks, the completed project will arrive and be ready for distribution. The entire process to produce a 2 episode cd takes between 145-220 hours.
Yes, it is a lot of work, but it is the work that God has called us to do and we love doing it. We want to produce the episodes at a faster rate, but we face some limitations in speeding up the process (for more detail on the limitations we face and the prayer requests we have for those needs see "Future Episodes").
If you have been blessed by Headin' Home, PLEASE let us know. Encouraging comments are always greatly appreciated and they help us to continue making more episodes. You may contact us at
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