Created by Comedy Central
Starring: Matt Stone, Trey Parker
No one thought South Park would last as long as it has, including the show’s creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker. Back in 1995 they crafted a short that went viral; one of the earliest viral videos actually that eventually landed them a show deal on Comedy Central. 17 years later the show is still on TV. The series is easily the most topical fiction series on TV due to the fact that each episode is written and crafted in six days. So Matt and Trey are able to write about whatever is in the public zeitgeist at the moment. This documentary shows how one particular episode of the series “The Humancentipad” came together.
The documentary is fairly short, running on 40 minutes but the creators manage to get time with both Matt and Trey and most of the remaining creative team to discuss the process of creating an episode and the impact the show has had on public consciousness. The best part of the whole thing is just how grounded Matt and Trey remain even after all of their success. Each of them has a strong grasp on what it is they are doing and where they fit in the process and they have tons of respect for each other. Their comments about working with each other are legit unlike those found in most making of documentaries for Hollywood films that feel more like practiced sound bites.
Six days is a ridiculously short amount of time to craft an episode of television series even one as base in story and look as this one. The documentary takes you on an emotional roller coaster ride with the team. It all starts harmlessly enough in the writer’s room as they all pitch ideas back and forth and they have a great time with lots of laughs. As the show begins to come together though the time starts to tick away faster and faster. The closer the deadline gets the more stressed the team becomes, most notably Matt and Trey. Everyone is waiting for that final script before they can move forward with final dialogue recordings, animation and of course editing. By the time the episode is complete its mind blowing just how close they get to the actual air time.
The documentary may be just a little promotional here and there but overall it’s extremely entertaining and it truly does offer up a sense of how these episodes come together in only six days and where the show as a whole has come from. It all started with two friends making each other laugh and at the end of the day it’s still in that same place. The film was made at the start of a season directly after Matt and Trey had finished a run with their highly successful Broadway play The Book of Mormon. It’s not lost on them the two different worlds they have a foot in and they still love it all these years later. If you’re a fan of the show this documentary is a must. If you’ve ever been curious about how television shows are made then you should take a look at this little gem too.