How It's Made

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How It's Made
HowItsMade.jpg
Created byGabriel Hoss
Presented by
  • Mark Tewksbury (2001)
  • Lynn Herzeg (2002–2004)
  • June Wallack (2005)
  • Lynne Adams (2006–present)
Country of originCanada
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons32
No. of episodes416 (list of episodes)
Production
Running time5 minutes per segment, 30 minutes (including commercials) per episode
Release
Original networkZ (Quebec)
Discovery Channel Canada
The Comedy Network
Picture format480p (Season 1–7)
1080p (Season 8–present)
Original releaseJanuary 6, 2001 (2001-01-06) –
present
External links
Website

How It's Made (Comment c'est fait in Quebec) is a documentary television series that premiered on January 6, 2001, on the Discovery Channel in Canada and the Science Channel in the United States. The program is produced in the Canadian province of Quebec by Productions MAJ, Inc. and Productions MAJ 2.

Format[edit]

The show is a documentary showing how common, everyday items (such as clothing and accessories, food, industrial products, musical instruments, and sporting goods) are manufactured.

How It's Made is recorded without explanatory text to simplify overdubbing in different languages. For example, the show avoids showing a narrator or onscreen host (after Season 1 in the Canadian version), does not often have employees of featured companies speak on camera, and keeps human interaction with the manufacturing process to a bare minimum.

An off-screen narrator explains each process, often with humorous puns. Each half-hour show usually has three or four main segments, with each product getting a demonstration of approximately five minutes; exceptions are allowed in the allotted time for more complex products. The scripts are almost identical across regional versions of the show; however, the main difference in the U.S. version is that the units of measurement are given in the United States customary units instead of metric units. At one point in the U.S. run, a subtitled conversion was shown on-screen over the original narration.

The "Historical Capsule" segment, which is available until Season 5, introduces historical background information for the last featured product in each episode, showing how and where the product originated, and what people used before it. It presents a series of single-line drawings which got colored for a brief amount of time after completed. The "Techno flash" segment, where the narrator briefly introduces some novelty from industry or science development, is only available in Season 1 and 2.

In April 2007, all episodes run in the United States (on the Discovery Channel and Science) had the individual season openings replaced with a new opening used for every episode. Similar to most other Discovery Channel shows, the credits now run during the last segment, with the show's website for request or feedback at the end.

The ninth season, which began airing on Science in September 2007, features new opening graphics and segment's background music, and Zac Fine replaces Brooks T. Moore as the narrator. However, in the eleventh season, which started airing in September 2008, reinstates Moore as the narrator and reverts to a previous title sequence and background music to match with the Canadian version.

In June 2008, the Science Channel added How It's Made: Remix, which consists of previous segments arranged into theme installments like "Food", "Sporting Goods", and such. In 2013, the Science Channel added How It's Made: Dream Cars, which focused exclusively on high-performance and exotic cars.[1] These were later shown on the Velocity (now MotorTrend) channel.

Hosts[edit]

The show has different narrators for different regions.

In the Canadian version, it features Mark Tewksbury (Season 1, 2001) as the host of the show. Lynn Herzeg (Seasons 2–4, 2002–2004), June Wallack (Season 5, 2005) and Lynne Adams (Season 6 onwards, 2006–present) are the narrators.

In the U.S. version, Brooks Moore and Zac Fine (Season 9–10, 2007–2008) are the narrators.

In the United Kingdom, the rest of Europe, and in some cases in Southeast Asia, the series is narrated by Tony Hirst.

Episodes[edit]

Theme and music[edit]

The original graphical theme featured flat, colorful shapes, along with a number of different objects flicking in a big hexagon. In the opening sequence, during a "drop" in the musical theme, the flashing image hexagon is interlaced with letters spelling "HOW I MAD", which was seemingly a joke, paraphrasing the show name "HOW IT'S MADE".

This graphical theme was changed in Season 8. It was replaced with a 3D rendering environment of a factory that features high-pressure tanks with valves and pressure meters, welding heads, and piston presses. This CGI factory is enclosed with futuristic-looking black square panels, with blue light coming through the spaces between the panels. During the opening sequence, the camera proceeds a forklift loaded with coils of metallic wire. The wire unwinds itself into a machine, which folds it into spring. The spring then falls into pliers, which open a valve of a highly pressurized tank. With a breeze of white steam from the valve, the camera follows a tube leading up to a welding pistol, which fires up and welds a press head onto a piston arm. Finally, we see a big hall with belts carrying metal plates, and the piston presses ramming them. The piston closest to the camera, which we just saw getting welded, fires up and presses the inscription "How It's Made" onto a metallic plate on the belt.

Season 1–8 in the U.S. version have different opening graphics from the Canadian one. It features lighter-load machinery in a blueprint environment. Machinery sounds are heard during the opening, together with the words "TRIM" that gets trimmed by a cog, "COMPRESS" getting compressed by a press, "LIFT" getting lifted by a corkscrew, and "HEAT APPLIED" that gets burned by multiple plasma-cutter heads. Season 9 and 10 have new opening graphics, which features some products from the previous seasons, such as snack cake and artificial limb. Since Season 11, it features the opening graphical theme like Season 8 in the Canadian version.

The theme music was created by Dazmo Musique, a Montreal-based studio. It was composed by one of the studio's composers, Rudy Toussaint. Toussaint's SoundCloud profile states that this theme is the most famous piece he ever created.[2] In Season 1, the opening theme music is different, but since Season 2, it closely matches the closing theme. Toussaint also produced three short pieces used to separate different products, and a fourth one, which is used after a commercial break. He also created a fifth piece used during Season 1 and 2 for the "Techno flash" segments.

Critical reception[edit]

Common Sense Media gave the TV show a rating of 4/5 stars, writing "Curious kids and adults will learn from the show, and some segments can really broaden your perspective".[3] On the show's success despite its formulaic nature, Rita Mullin, the general manager of the Science Channel, said "I think what is one of the great appeals of the show as a viewer myself is how little has changed over the years".[4] The Wall Street Journal deemed it "TV's quietest hit".[5]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2014 Young Artist Award Social Relations of Knowledge Institute Award How It's Made Awarded [6]

Parodies[edit]

The series was spoofed in season 2 episode 8 of Rick and Morty, entitled "Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate", in a segment where a "Plumbus" was being made.[7] The series was later parodied in a Captain Disillusion video describing how hoax UFO videos are made.[8] The YouTube series How It's Actually Made, created by YouTuber Huggbees, is also a parody of the series, featuring edited versions of the show's segments while having a comedic narration by Huggbees. [9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "How It's Made: Dream Cars". Science.
  2. ^ "rudy-toussaint". SoundCloud. Retrieved August 5, 2020.
  3. ^ "How It's Made: TV Review". Common Sense Media.
  4. ^ Eveleth, Rose (November 13, 2014). "How How It's Made Is Made". The Atlantic.
  5. ^ Jurgensen, John (December 18, 2014). "How It's Made: TV's Quietest Hit". The Wall Street Journal.
  6. ^ "35th Annual Young Artist Awards". Young Artist Awards. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  7. ^ Blevins, Joe (June 6, 2016). "Rick And Morty shows how a plumbus is made, in almost too-graphic detail". news.avclub.com. The A.V. Club. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  8. ^ CaptainDisillusion (December 31, 2015), UFO Over India DEBUNK, retrieved November 11, 2017
  9. ^ Huggbees (April 20, 2018), How It's Actually Made, retrieved September 11, 2020

External links[edit]

External video
video icon How It's Made - Topic's channel on YouTube
video icon How It’s Made's channel on YouTube
video icon How Its Made's channel on YouTube
video icon How It's Made HD: Food and Drink Collections playlist on YouTube