In the upcoming weeks, we are going to delve more into the process of App Production, as requested by many of you on Twitter and elsewhere. We heard direct from Patrick Dorey, our Art Director, about the creative process last week, as well as from Lynn Smith, our Director of Business Development, about how great ideas come to fruition. Today we’re learning about the editorial process with words from Susan Hood, our Story Editor. We sat down with Susan to find out more about the editorial process. Here is what she had to say:
As the story editor and curriculum advisor, I work very closely with our chief content director, producers, curriculum consultants and art department. So a variety of talents go into the editorial soup! Here’s the Ruckus recipe for cooking up a great digital storybook:
Gather the best ingredients
1. When we decide to do a new digital storybook, we meet with the creators—authors, illustrators and/or licensees (such as Hasbro, SeaWorld or Cyberchase). We learn all about their characters, brands and curriculum goals. We discuss art assets, voiceover talent, music, activities and video clips.
2. We hire appropriate authors and consultants to write original stories or adaptations. As with any story, we may have several drafts until we get a final, polished manuscript.
3. When the story is complete, we work with our curriculum consultants and designers to develop age-appropriate games and activities that go with each story.
4. Meanwhile, any original art is created. We review sketches, revisions and final art and ensure the art works with the text.
Combine and stir
5. The producers create basic storyboards combining text with art assets, video clips and ideas for activities and games.
6. Using the storyboards as a rough guide and working hand in hand with our producers, the art department designs final screens and activities.
7. Meanwhile, voiceovers are recorded and added.
Check the temperature
8. At various steps along the way, everything is reviewed by the creators, our publishing partners and our curriculum consultants and any necessary revisions are made.
9. We consult with our tech team at various stages to iron out any potential programming issues.
Add the special sauce
10. Sound effects, animations and music are added.
11. Rough builds are made and reviewed and refined by our editorial, production and art departments.
12. Final builds are submitted to Apple and then released in the iTunes store.
Susan Hood was mostly recently the Children’s Content Director of Nick Jr. Magazine, published by Nickelodeon, and has been an editor at Scholastic and Sesame Workshop. She is also a children’s book author, whose first picture books will be published this fall.