May 28

The Homicide Board


For whatever reason, black isn’t often associated with desirable situations. So it sometimes sounds odd when we hope for a Black Friday or a Black Wednesday or Black any other day. But on Cosmo, we find ourselves hoping for these days on a regular basis. Here in the Monster Animation studio, black is a wonderful thing.

Here’s why -

This is what we call the Homicide Board.

The system came from the excellent show Homicide Life On The Streets which, in turn, was based on the systems of the Baltimore Police Department and it has worked a treat ever since we implemented it many years ago. The system is very simple – detective names at the top, their cases underneath. Open unsolved cases are in red. Closed cases are in black.

For us, our detectives are animators. Cases are scenes. Assigned scenes are in red. When they’re finished and approved, they go to black. Case closed.

Everyone can see the board and all of us can tell at a glance how we’re progressing in each episode. When we’re coming close to a deadline, the last thing we want to see on that board is a lot of red and the pressure to close those cases drives us all. Nobody wants an Adena Watson on their hands. And little can compare with the satisfaction that comes from looking up at that board and seeing a lot of black. It’s not just a bookkeeping system. It’s a motivator and a regular source of pleasure on all our productions.

As Giardello would say, “Black is beautiful, baby!”

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