Daren Dochterman worked miracles to get the episode delivered to us as quickly as he did. It was delivered to us on the morning of February 13--not only in time for our pre-announced release date of February 14, but also in time for a scheduled public screening of the episode at the Alamo Draft House in Kalamazoo, Michigan on the evening of the 13th. This screening took place as planned.
Despite Daren's feverish post-production work over the past few months trying to meet our self-imposed deadline (the word we seem to be using most often related to Daren's efforts seems to be herculean
), the Producers didn't think the episode as delivered by him was quite ready enough. It was a tough call and was made just a couple of hours before the planned release, but ultimately, we decided to take the time to make it even "ready-er" than what we received from Daren. Of course, an episode's final release might end up being anywhere on a quality continuum (e.g., "City on the Edge of Forever" and "And the Children Shall Lead" were both "ready"), and I think being "ready" is probably descriptive of a simple passing grade--not something more laudable. (I'm trying to be candid, yet professionally courteous; I don't want my comments to be construed as throwing Daren and all his enormously hard and high-quality work under the bus.)
As has been mentioned--and without getting into the specific improvements we want to make to the February 13th deliverable (which we hope to have resolved soon)--the tweaking we are making to the episode involves two major aspects: 1) better, more consistent color grading and color correction, and 2) improving the sound a bit more in some scenes.
Another comment I'll make--and it's sort of an open comment to my fellow Phase II
team members--is a reminder that the final delivery of an episode is not actually the final step in the process. Providing the episode to our various mirror sites around the world needs to happen several days in advance of its actual release date to allow time for those mirror sites to download, transcode, apply properly-timed subtitles and captioning in different languages. and then upload the episode for the public's consumption. There are still miles (well, furlongs, at least) for us to go even after the episode is finalized; we actually need the final episode in hand several days before it can finally be released to the public to allow the lead time for our mirror sites to work their magic. Receiving the final episode 24 hours before it's supposed to go live doesn't really provide sufficient time to perform all the many and lengthy tasks that can only be initiated once we get the final product delivered to us. Of course, in a world where we don't actually announce release dates until after we decide we have our final episode in hand, this shouldn't be a problem any longer.
Lastly, our production is spread a little thin right now as we're in the throes of moving to a new larger studio facility. Everything must go, go, go! Sets, lights, costumes, props--the whole kit n' kaboodle--we need to move it all. In truth, our post-production people aren't actually involved intimately in the move, and the movers aren't intimately involved in our post-production. But, like always, the exception is James Cawley; James remains integral to all aspects of the production and has a lot of Phase II
irons in the fire right now.
I haven't heard of a revised release date, and I don't actually know how close we are to finishing up our tweaking project. There wasn't a super lot to fix on it, so I wouldn't expect it to be too long. But the other factor to consider is the anticipated release of the final act of Starship Exeter
's "The Tressaurian Intersection" ("TTI") on April 1st. If we release "The Holiest Thing" before April 1st, people will get (understandably) pulled away from us and lose interest when the last part of "TTI" is finally released. Conversely, if indeed "TTI" gets released as expected, releasing "The Holiest Thing" right on the heels of "TTI" could steal their well-deserved thunder--which would make us look, well, kind of dickish. So for both technical and political reasons, I wouldn't expect our episode for at least a month.
But that's more like a prediction than an announcement.
[A]fter all the years of Phase II fans constantly deriding and pointing out how long it was taking Exeter to finish their episode, it's nice to see that the Exeter crew isn't reciprocating that same kind of behavior.
As I always say when people get squirmy about things like this: It will be released when it's released; we'll see it when we see it.