What's the best way to get an answer? Go directly to the source, of course :) Here are the details involved in the technique as described by Dan O'Shannon, who not only co-wrote the episode "Daphne Returns" with Bob Daily, but is also the head writer of "Frasier."
as for the flashbacks, we started with the original footage from the early shows, and examined all the different camera angles and different takes, trying to figure out where the "real" frasier and niles were going to be placed, and how they'd interract with the "old" daphne and niles. in some cases, we had to go to the original negatives and "blow out the picture." (the film shot of the show is a little wider than the picture shown on television, which enables us to, in essence, move the camera a little to the right or to the left, to fit in a character who wasn't there before. without this, everyone would be constantly crammed around niles and daphne, who would always be dead center.)
once the scenes were chosen, the dialogue written, and the sequences planned out, scott had to go onto the stage and recreate the camera angles of the original scenes, and measure out precisely where the new characters would be standing or moving. he also had to recreate the lighting to make the new characters fit in.
then it was off to a different studio, which was set up for blue screen shooting. kelsey and david were told exactly where to stand, where to look, when to turn, etc. (remember, since this was done on a blue floor with tape marks, the actors didn't even have the usual landmarks and visual cues of our regular set.) it was very painstaking and took hours, and the two actors did an amazing job. i can't say enough about their performances under such odd conditions.
from this point on, it was all in the computer. milne's team combined the new frasier and niles with the old footage, which was very exacting work. i believe they had to go in and do it frame by frame, cutting around the characters. to enhance the effect, they even added shadows onto the new characters.
there were also some other things done for specific shots --body doubles, parts of the old sets recreated for specific shots, etc. but you probably get the gist.
The release date of the Frasier soundtrack which includes jazz greats and actual dialogue taken from the fan's favorite "Frasier" episodes was January 23, 2001. The booklet includes liner notes written by Kelsey Grammer. For more info on the tracks included, click here.
The Frasier soundtrack should be available at any retail chain such as Tower, Virgin, Best Buy, K Mart, Wherehouse, etc. It is also available online through Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, CDnow.com, Express.com, etc.
Of course, you can buy the CD anywhere and I am in no way endorsing any seller, but so far, the cheapest I've found it online is $13.97 at getmusic.com. I haven't gone out to the stores yet. If you find it cheaper anywhere, be sure to let me know so that I can pass the information along :)
As I may use your question in this column, please be sure to include your name (or a pseudonym if you don't want me to use your name) and where you are from :)
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