Pre-production (week1-week4)

At the beginning of the session, we analyzed the sound effects of the first chapter of the radio play The Cipher, The parallex, and recorded an audio clip of our own.  Through the hands-on approach, I got an initial understanding of how to use sound to tell stories, the process of audio fiction production, the importance of creativity and sound effects, and how radio dramas can make audiences from different cultures feel and imagine the mind-blowing stories by just listening. I feel excited when I was assigned to be the script editor for Sleeping In. As a script editor, the team and I went over the details of the script scenes and marked the sound effects and tone we thought we could add. Lauren created a document in Google Drive to record the sound effects we added, which made our work much more organized and efficient. The sound effects largely determine the emotional direction of the listener. In week3’s group exercise, Irene and I voiced Abby and Jen in Zencastr. Lauren was in charge of recording and editing our audio. This exercise gave us a deeper understanding of producing a radio play.For the week4 group exercise, I chose to be the director. I was responsible for giving the two actors direction on tone and emotion. After feeling the roles myself, I understood more about how to guide the actors to do the voice-over tasks better and achieve the emotional effect we wanted. I think it was a very meaningful practice session, which required me to put myself into the script and analyze the characters’ emotions and inner activities at a deeper level. I’m looking forward to the formal recording session.

Team1: Sleeping in

Sakshi: Producer

Irene: Director

Lauren: Studio manager

Dinglin: Production coordinator/script editor

Post-production and directing (week5-week6)

We were divided into groups to discuss the details of the script including character, accent, age, etc. Some of the students worked with Simon to improve their editing skills. Myself, sakshi and two members of the Sugar Glass group worked together to analyze the character traits of the characters in Sleeping In in order to select actors.

For example:

【Character: Jen】

Sex: F

Age: 25

Accent: posh english accent

Voice quality: drowsy, frustrating tone, sleepy voice

Emotional state: dazed, mildly irritated

Defining characteristics: hardworking, more practical, corporate employee

Any special requirements: none

【Character: Doctor】

Sex: female/male

Age: 35

Accent: British accent

Voice quality: professional voice

Emotional state: calm

Defining characteristics: focused, professional, dry humour, observant, investigative, thoughtful, patient

Any special requirements: none

I had images in my head while analyzing the tone of voice of the actors. This is the key reason why radio plays can attract audiences with audio alone: to leave room for the audience’s imagination.

Production (week7-week8)

Our script was scheduled for week 8. So we had a rehearsal with the cast on Thursday before the official recording. The actors were very professional, and they were already in a very good shape and had the right tone of voice for the first take. Director Sakshi kept teaching them details, such as the accent, which we changed from a London accent to a slightly northern accent. The progression of emotions also made the whole performance more vivid. We practiced over and over again in scenes to improve. Finally, we got the author Stella’s approval. On the day of the official recording, Jeremy pointed out a number of details that we had overlooked, and the cast immediately made changes. For example, the actors had to leave time for the sound effects to be added later, and the director couldn’t stop immediately after the actors finished recording and needed to give the actors plenty of time to get into character. Although I did not actually participate in the recording process, I learned a lot as a member of the group. I think everyone was very careful throughout the recording process. We used WhatsApp to communicate in order to provide a quieter recording environment for the actors. The repetitive recording was tedious but we needed to be more patient in order to keep better material. In addition, I learned something new about communicating with the actors emotionally. How to point out their problems and improve them in a more acceptable way was also something I gained from this recording.

Some critical thinking on audio drama…

Radio dramas are auditory works. Radio dramas are like storytelling, how the story is interpreted brilliantly through sound. It is really difficult to show the space, time and internal and external actions of the characters through auditory language, not simply some anodyne, some BGM, read some scripts can do. Here if you make good use of 3D surround sound to produce, the space effect will be better, and the role, in the radio drama, the voice actor’s “acting” requirements are actually higher than any other form (animation or dubbing to film or television), which is a great test of the voice actor’s line skills, how to use the voice to show the dramatic emotions, suggesting that each how to use the voice to show the dramatic emotion, suggesting the subtext behind each line, all need very accurate voice control. Audio drama is a pure sound experience, born in the sensory attraction than film and television works to less of a visual experience, can only hear the sound but can not see the people and images of the form in the fast food culture can not attract more people to stay, and in most cases need to rely on subtitles and book fans familiarity with the plot to string, acceptance is slightly weaker, this is the radio drama can not break through the defects.


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