During this week, we’ve been put into groups. As a group, we decided that the right play for us was “Distance Over Time”. Just as quickly as we’ve decided what play we wanted, we also were fast to decide what we wanted to within the group. The role I picked straight away was “Director”. I know what directing looks like within the film industry, however I’ve never seen what the challenges can be in the audio industry as a director during the recording of an audio drama.
I think because as a group we had an idea, it was simple to decide what we wanted to do as a group and most times, we agreed which I was happy with.
The lecture on studio recording, as a group we did different tasks which were meant to prepare us for the actual recording in the future weeks. It was a good session for me to think about how I’d direct actors in the future.
This week we practiced a scene from “Distance Over Time”. I found out some of the challenges as a director during an audio recording session. It was good to have Sara (producer) on my team as she was able to pitch in and give a hand with some of the directions too. Adam also helped me and gave me a few tips, the director’s job can be assisted by other team members, every person sees different aspects which can help when working as a team. The session itself made me think of how I’d want to direct the actors on the actual recording day and showed me that I needed to get a bit more familiar with the script.
During this session, we met and were given a lecture from John Wakefield. He brought some clips of some of the audio dramas that he had produced in his career. I personally thought this was a good session for all the team members as we were all going to be involved with the editing process after the recording was done. There was SFX that he showed us and played to us, some of the tricks he used to implement effects into raw audio. He showed us that not everything can be achieved in post-production, which was good because it meant that as a group we sort of knew what we wanted from the actors in the weeks to come and what sort of effects we needed to use in post-production.
There was a task with some of his clips, just so we could refamiliarise ourselves with the software which we all preferred to use to edit audio.
The recording day for our chosen play, “Distance Over Time”. Our recording session was in the afternoon which meant we could spend the morning doing some preparation before we met the actors. We had a table read so that we could get to know the actors and see what their voices sounded like their respective characters. One of the actors who was meant to play Daniel had to leave due to family issues. That wasn’t an issue for me at least because when I heard “Ben” (who was one of the actors) play Daniel, I was sold! During the table read it also gave me more ideas of how certain lines were read but I and Sara already had the directions written down for the actors on our scripts. As the director, I was responsible for giving instructions and directions to the actors as to what I required of them and their performance. I worked closely with Sara on the directions, she was my right hand and I feel like we both helped each other during the recording day. I think because we got so comfortable with the actors, it was easier for us to communicate with them, talkback wasn’t the greatest so I and Sara kept popping out of the studio to give directions face-to-face which was easier. Adam, Ginny, and Harri pitched in with some thoughts about the direction as well which was helpful as it’s important to know what your team members think of a certain scene, it gave me a different aspect of what the scenes should look like and what the actors have to sound like.
As a group, we have met for a few sessions at the University. This was at the starting point where we dissected the clips, edited all the unwanted bits and made the samples a bit cleaner. Due to the virus outbreak, we continued editing at home, we all chose what scenes we wanted to do and were allocated scenes to edit. I edited scene 6 & 7. For scene 6, I sampled some German electronic music that was needed for the house party. The music had reverb put on so that it would sound as if the characters are actually at a house party and not in a club. Savannah’s thoughts were modified so that her voice is crisp and clear to make sure the listener knows that those are her thoughts and not her talking out loud. I used vocal enhancer, Dynamics Processing (where I made my own version of a preset for a clearer voice) and normalized Savannah’s voice so that it isn’t too loud when listening on headphones.
Scene 7 was similarly edited but where the music was in the background, it was heavily muffled so that it sounds as if it’s coming from the other room.