Tuesday, February 11, 2014

How It's Made: Dragnet Style Blog

Everyone Nods regular KennyP asked me how I make a post.

I don't want to reveal all of my secrets, but it's kind of a lot of trouble!

First, I had to evaluate how big this thing would be. I did a test episode's worth of screen captures and decided it was possible. Essentially, a feasibility study.

Next, I had to actually binge-watch all four seasons of Dragnet and collect a full set of screen captures from every episode. This is when I began the companion "book of the blog" paper journal.

Second phase: decide how to handle roughly 200 or so captures x 100 episodes.

Continuing, the rest of the work is batched out. The work consists of going through each folder of captures episode by episode deleting all of the bad captures. I make notes in my book of the blog as I watch.

I batch out the work of generating posts on the site, maintaining old posts, and trying to look after the twitter feed. Spam also happens. Do we loathe it.

For any one episode entry, I have watched/streamed the episode at least three times by the time I begin to upload 60-120 (or so) photos to blogger. I may stream it a few more times as I build the post, adding quotes, whichever.

Sometimes I make an animated .gif or a composite. Whatever I'm feeling. By this time, I have "sat" with the images for so long that I get a little chatty when I finally make the post on the Friday/Saturday before it's due.  Sometimes I feel like my mood comes out, or my attitude comes out in my writing the blog. I like to think of it as a little present for the internet to have.

Before anyone flames me for having such a gigantic timesuck of a hobby, don't worry, I don't have children. And we are already well on our way through season three. Season four will be done when it gets cold again. The book of the blog was more helpful when they gave us real locations and addresses.

I took all of the original snaps from S1e1 and the Pilot (coming soon) on an iPad 2, but if I redo an episode it will come from an iPad 3. Technology!

Thank you KennyP for your curiosity.

All on board for the big win-win,
Suzy Dragnet


  1. Suzy: Thanks for the explanation. I understood some of it. I am mightily impressed. Real commitment, I hope that somehow, somebody who actually worked on the show is following this. I have season two on DVD and it included a short (15 min.) interview with Peggy Weber and the guy who played Bill's nephew in the pilot (the dental student.) Peggy apparently is involved in a company which helps young actors. It would be amazing if she knew about this. I googled her name and got the info on her company. Maybe if there is an e-mail address, I could drop a line about Everyone Nods and word may get to her. What do you think? I won't do it if you don't want me to. Kenny P

    1. Hi KennyP,

      I would have never thought to get in touch with her.
      She does a beautiful job playing tragic and disappointed characters so much that I nicknamed her Tragic Peggy Webber. I would worry that she would not understand that I am kidding around, just enjoying the show.

      In season one, they lock her in a car trunk! Unreal! By season four, her acting gets so much less subdued and flamboyant.

      I can't imagine how she would react to something like this. I think I still prefer to have folks like you just find it organically.

      It's hard to explain. I go into "Dragnet Mode" and do stuff to the site. This has been my hobby for a whole entire year! Can you believe it? I've gotten so much positive reaction. Nobody's perfect, you know?

      I guess if you do get in touch with her, tell her people that there are no ads on the site and she is welcome to participate. Maybe we will ask her after all of the episodes that feature her are up (later this year).


  2. Suzy: Maybe you're right. We'll just leave it be. You might be interested to see what she is doing at like age 87. ! She is involved with California Artists Radio Theatre (CART) and, in fact is listed as producer of a show in Hollywood Saturday night called "A Village Wooing." Amazing how some people just keep "keeping on." I will keep reading your treatments of each show. One of these days I will, if you're interested< tell you what my favorite episodes are. BTW, Harry Morgan used to be in a sitcom when I was a kid, called "Pete and Gladys" and there are a couple of episodes on YouTube you can watch. I think sometimes Bill and Joe could have done a sitcom, like The Odd Couple. Stay well. Kenny P

    1. Of course, KennyP, I would love to know your favorite episodes.
      Also interested to check out Pete & Gladys. I've never heard of it.
      Oh sure, folks keep on! I'm really glad to hear that Peggy is buys with CART. How exciting! I bet she has so much to share with the others involved.

      Suzy Dragnet

  3. Hi, Suzy. I'm the author of "MY NAME'S FRIDAY: The Unauthorized But True Story of DRAGNET and the Films of Jack Webb" (2001). What an amazing labor of love you've got here! I spoke extensively with Peggy and several other "Dragnet" actors (some, sadly, no longer with us). I think she - and they - would all be pleased that you're doing this. All the "regulars" I spoke with greatly enjoyed working for and with Jack Webb, but they also weren't blind to some of the quirks that you've been pointing out with good humor. Peggy, for one, always seemed to be acting while seated and welcomed the opportunity to put a little variety into her parts... which I think she accomplished in season four.

    Looking forward to continuing the journey to episode #98!

    Michael J. Hayde

    1. Well, Mr. Hayde, what a surprise!

      You really do never know who you will "meet" in the comments section. I never dreamed that the person who wrote My Name's Friday would pop up!

      You are actually just in time; I'm preparing the post for the Dragnet pilot movie! This weekend I am planning "Don Dubbins: Dog Trainer" and we will be back on course.

      Yes! Peggy got a little zany toward the end of the series! I felt like it was a reflection of the more outlandish characters that populate Adam-12. Either way, it's good stuff.

      Feel free to chime in if something needs correcting, or to add to the discussion.

      Would you like to do a guest post sometime? You've got the credentials, for sure.

      See you around & welcome aboard.
      Suzy Dragnet