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3 April 2007
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Educational Resource (Part One)
This information handout has been designed to help students of all levels who are studying EastEnders as part of a course or project. We have tried to be as informative as possible and regret that we are unable to answer questions in any more detail.
Introduction
Albert Square
EastEnders was created by Julia Smith and Tony Holland. The first episode was transmitted at 7pm on 19th February 1985. It is one of the most successful BBC programmes in history. On 11th April 1994, EastEnders began transmitting three episodes per week. It has continued to top the ratings, providing entertainment to a wide-ranging audience. On the week commencing 6th August 2001, EastEnders began transmitting four episodes per week.
Creative process
The Executive Producer works with a Series Producer and a team of Producers
The Story team are responsible for plotting accepted stories and storylines into future episodes. When this is completed, we writers are commissioned to write individual episodes. Some writers write single episodes, some write a pair, and more experienced writers are given a quartet of episodes. The writer is given one month to deliver the first draft of his/her episode/s and upon delivery they are read by the Script Editor responsible for the episodes.
Following any changes, the writer delivers a second draft script. After this stage the script goes to its penultimate draft and it is issued to the director and production personnel who will be working on the episodes. Once any final changes have been made to this version of the script it becomes a "rehearsal" script and is issued to actors and production staff. This is the version that is transmitted.
Production Staff
EastEnders has six, sometimes seven, production teams working on the programme at any one time. Each team comprises a Director, 1st Assistant Director, Script Supervisor and 3rd Assistant Director.
Filming
The Director is responsible for transforming the episodes from paper to screen. He/she decides what camera angles and positions should be used for each scene in their four episodes and cast any new actors. When the episodes have been recorded the director attends the editing and post-production sessions.
The 1st Assistant Director is responsible for scheduling recording days, and is in charge of running all the technical and safety aspects on recording days.
The Script Supervisor is responsible for the administration behind a quartet of episodes, together with continuity.
The 3rd Assistant Director is responsible for booking and directing support artists, ordering cars and animals, compiling the rehearsal schedule and running rehearsals for the Director.
Cast photo
Publicists deal with numerous enquiries from the media seeking information about EastEnders, and interviews with actors and other people involved in the show. We also have a Picture Publicist who provides episodic and feature pictures to the press to promote future episodes.
There is a team of secretaries who work with the Executive Producer, the Producers and the Management team.
The Script Department comprises a Series Script Editor, Script Editors, Assistant Script Editors, a Story Researcher, a Script Researcher an Archivist and Secretaries.
The Company Manager is responsible for all matters relating to the management of all the artists, programme support staff and administration of the programme.
We have a management team consisting of an Associate Producer, Production Managers and a Finance Department. This group of people are responsible for administrating the programme's budget, scheduling staff and organising pre and post-recording requirements.
Design department
Our Design department is headed by a Series Designer. There's a team of Designers and Art Directors who are responsible for action props. It is the Designers' job to design new sets and maintain the existing ones. Production Buyers work with the Designers buying in new equipment for sets and action props that are needed for recording. We also have an in-house Graphics Co-ordinator who produces props and posters. Our Construction Manager and his team utilise any time that the set is not in use for filming to build, repair and maintain the sets.
We have a Series Costume Designer and Series Make-up Designers who each have a team of assistants working with them.
Location filming
We have a Location Manager whose job it is to find the locations in advance of recording. Once a location has been found the production team will look at the location and discuss how they will film the material.
There are a huge number of technical people who are booked to work on the programme for varying periods of time. These are Camera crews, Lighting crews, Sound crews, Videotape Editors, Vision Mixers, Electricians, Resource Co-Ordinators and construction engineers.
Part two of this educational resource covers the Production Process, the characters and actors, books, issues and more.

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