Friday, May 7, 2010

Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated: November 5, 2012

Here are some answers to questions I've been getting a lot from people regarding this project.  It will be updated as I get more questions.

What is Chronologically LOST?

Chronologically LOST is a project I have undertaken to present the show LOST in its entirety in chronological order.  That means taking every flashback, flash forward, and flash sideways, extracting them from the present day storyline, and creating one big timeline, that starts with the earliest flashbacks of the island, and goes through all the way to the end of the series in...well, I guess the end doesn't really have a specific date.  The plan is to release this timeline in 'episodes', just as the show is presented to us now.  These episodes will be posted on this site for viewing, and will be approximately the length of a regular LOST episode, 45 minutes, give or take depending on the logistics of a particular episode.

How long did it take you to do all of this?

I haven't really kept track, but it's taken a while.  Basically, the entire series is 120 episodes, or about 85 hours, and I've had to take all of that video, put it on my computer and in a format that's workable, go through every episode to split up all the clips, organize them chronologically (I worked on this on a season by season basis, because it's too big as a whole for my computer to handle), then start working on integrating the different seasons into one master timeline.  Then, finally, I had to go through each audio and video transition in between every clip to make sure everything looks and sounds okay.  This also included dealing with scenes that are looked at from multiple perspectives (ie. The Oceanic 815 plane crash or Locke, Jack, Kate & Desmond in the hatch, etc.), and figuring out where everything goes and setting up split screens if necessary.  It's been a fun yet arduous process, and it's really given me a good refresher course on the entire series since I've had to go through much of it a few times while working on all of this.

Is there any non-televised material that will be included in the project?

Basically, I wanted to only include things that were considered officially canon in the LOST universe.  So, other than the actual episodes, there are the "Missing Pieces" mobisodes that were originally released as part of a mobile phone promotion and ultimately ended up on the Season 4 DVD extras.  These are considered to be canon, and are meant to enhance the hardcore LOST fan's understanding of the show.  There are 14 of them, and each one is only a few minutes long, so it's not a lot of extra material, but there is some definite value in some of the mobisodes.  Other than that, though, I don't know of any other sources that would be considered 'canon', so for the most part it will just be video from the televised episodes.

Now, there are rumored to be some additional video clips on either the Season 6 DVD set or the Complete Series DVD set that may take place after the end of Jack's time on the island.  As of right now I believe those clips are going to be considered canon, so they will probably be integrated into the project as soon as possible.

What are you going to do with the flash sideways?

This is a popular question that I get a lot, and the short answer is:  I don't know, and I probably won't know until the show is actually over.  But I have some ideas.

There is some precedence for how to handle flash sideways, because we (unknown to us at the time) experienced one in Season 3 in "Flashes Before Your Eyes", after Desmond turned the key in the hatch.  Desmond flashed to 1996, only it wasn't 1996 in our world, but it was a similar world.  What happened in this place did not affect anything that happened in his actual life, his talking to Charlie, meeting Eloise, etc.  Now, since this flash sideways did not occur in our world, just because in the flash sideways world it was 1996, does not mean that's where it falls in our master timeline.  Instead, we would place this flash sideways at the moment Desmond starts to experience it.  As we saw in our world, Desmond started experiencing his flash sideways the moment he turned the key, and when he finished the experience, he woke up in the jungle.  And so in our timeline, that's where it will be placed.

Contrast that with Desmond in "The Constant".  In that episode, Desmond is leaving the island by helicopter, and starts to experience a temporal distortion, his mind flashing between 2004 and 1996.  Only this time, he's actually moving between two time periods in our world, so his actions in 1996 affect how things play out in the future (The whole point of the episode, his conversation with Penny, is evidence of this).  So this is not a flash sideways, this is just Desmond flashing in time, similar to Locke, Sawyer & Co. flashing through time on the island.  So in this instance, Desmond's flashes to 1996 would be placed on the timeline in 1996, and not in 2004 where he is supposed to reside.

But, back to our flash sideways in Season 6.  While with our previous flash sideways, we knew precisely when it was occurring from Desmond's perspective.  With our current flash sideways, we don't know who is experiencing it, or even when they are experiencing it.  Desmond was "awaken" from his flash sideways by a cricket bat to the side of the head.  I think that whoever is experiencing this flash sideways will have a similar waking up, and at that time we should have a better idea of when exactly these flash sideways were experienced in our world.  Now, this is all speculation on my part based on past experience, it could play out in any number of ways, which is why my short answer was I don't know.  But that's the long answer as to why I still don't know, and don't expect to find out how to handle it until May 23.

Hooray, we have an answer!  In case you were still wondering, the flash sideways world will be placed at the very end of the series, as a bit of an epilogue.

How did you arrange the flashbacks?

I used Lostpedia's fantastic timeline for a lot of the initial groundwork.  While it doesn't list out everything, it gave me enough to work on to where I could use my best guess to figure out where everything else goes.  Since most of the flashbacks don't have any set dates as to when they occurred, it was more like putting together puzzle pieces than anything, making sure everything fit together.  It's an inexact science, but I believe I was able to put things into a logical order.

How can I watch the episodes?

Episodes are available to be downloaded via torrent.