When first choosing this module, I was unsure what to expect from it. Coming from a Digital Media background with prior knowledge only in print and film media, but no radio experience whatsoever, it has been quite a ride with a lot of learning opportunities.
02.02. On the very first day of class, our group met for the first time and had some brief introductions. We discussed what we should be doing as our first steps. I created a facebook messenger group to ease the means of communications and checked with our prodution assistant Ellie the next morning whether she had send our group details to Jeremy yet so that we could start off as a group.
04.02. On the weekend, I did some research into what a producer of an audio drama has to do as I like to be prepared and fulfill my responsibilities fully. It turned out to be rather similar to film productions where the main responsibility of the producer is to keep track of the progress and talk to the team members about whether or not they are doing their tasks. Via our group chat we started brainstorming how we would find a cast. Our ideas surrounded mostly around getting voice actors from our uni involved, for example from the drama society or radio courses.
06.02. I set out initial meeting for the 12.02. As Lama and I were heavily involved witht he SU elections we decided to start the real part of our project after the debates. Also, I had the first thorough read through of the script and created a pre-production schedule for the weeks before the recordings.
10.02. I went through the pre-production folder on blackboard and had a look at all the tasks that would need to be done according to the pre-production to do list.
12.02. Our first meeting: We discussed initial ideas for script changes, talked about communicating with the other group recording on the day to discuss cross casting. Also we prepared for the training time the following Friday. I talked to Lama about her ideas how she would like to run the training session and which scenes she would like to practice to use the full 30 minutes productively. At the end of the meeting I briefed the group on the key dates of our audio drama production according to my schedule, including recording and editing deadline.
I also asked Ellie about whether any of the through Jeremy confirmed actors had replied to our reach out email yet and encouraged Tony to start thinking about a recording schedule and to start breaking down scenes together with Lama to identify sound effects.
15.02. I reminded the team about our meeting in the morning of 16.02. and caught up with Lama about the progress of the sound effect list and Tony about the running order. Both said they had started the drafting process.
16.02. Recording training – we ran through one of the scenes and discussed that we should try to get more training time in if the studios should be available. I set the next meeting for 19.02. to discuss the to do list before the actual recording session. After the training session in the studios we talked to the other group recording on the same day about cross casting. As Jeremy had already organised for a lot of actors to come in, we only had 2 roles and they only had 1 role to fill.
19.02. I created a poster to find voice actors for the remaining roles, however, we decided not to use it as Jeremy had already contacted more professional actors outside of uni, so to not be unprofessional and double cast, we decided to wait until closer to the recording time to check on any remaining open roles.
Our 2nd meeting: I spoke to Ellie about approaching Naiara for booking and setting up the studio before our actual recording session so that we could run through the entire script and finalise actor positions, sound effects and practise our tasks during the recording time. (due to the studios being booked almost every day, this was sadly impossible). Lama discussed the sounds we’d need to create during the recording and the position in which the actors would have to stand and Ellie edited the script accordingly. Also, I suggested to put in some apprpriate background noises.
26.02. We discussed the necessary preparation for our pre-recording meeting with Jeremy and Matthew and decided to meet up two hours earlier, at 11 am to catch up in person.
27.02. I talked to Lama and Ellie about the missing actor for Big Dave and asked Tony about the progress of the running order for our meeting on the Friday.
01.03. I checked with Lama whether she had prepared the call sheet yet and had to cancel the meeting the next day due to the severe problems with the weather and limited public transport possibilities. I suggested to do a skype session instead which was not met with a lot of enthusiasm so we agreed to meet up the following Monday instead. I also reminded everyone to finish their tasks by the next meeting (Lama- scene breakdown and recording schedule, Ellie-email reception for contributor passes and emails to actors about information, Tony- running order).
05.03. Final meeting with group before recording: I asked Ellie to try and rearrange the pre-production meeting with Matthew and Jeremy, but as we had lost the few days because of the heavy snow there was no time. I also asked her to check on the casting of Big Dave with Jeremy as we only had 4 days to find a voice actor for or main character. Then the team went through last minute actions before the recording (who is going to provide scripts, snacks etc).
06.03. As we were still trying to find a professional voice actor we decided to think of alternatives within our friend groups and courses for the role of Big Dave in case we should be unable to find anyone in time.
08.03. I checked in with everyone a last time before the recording.
09.03. We were meant to meet up at 1pm to set up the studio but due to Tessa Sheridan having to leave early, Tony and Ellie ended up recording her before Lama and me arriving. All of us were at the studios by 12.30 pm. Lama had provided drinks, Ellie had brought the scripts and recoding schedules plus spares, and I had brought cups and snacks.
I came in early to check that we had enough scripts and recording schedules, as well as snacks, drinks and cups. Then I asked the team whether they were set for the recording.
At the beginning of the meeting Tony, Ellie and I suggested to change the script back to its original as previous doubts about the auhenticity of the the voice actors were made undone. Lama agreed so we changed the scripts.
During the recording I kept checking the schedule and my watch to check that we were not overstepping the time limit.
As everyone else was busy during the recording, I helped out in the studio when objects needed to be moved and when actors went into the recording booth to communicate with the director. I also paid the actors expenses via online banking whenever one of them was done with all their scenes.
At the end of the day I checked with Ellie and Tony whether we had a good take of every scene and whether they were saved. Then I asked Lama if she was happy with the takes.
Afte cleaning up the studio and removing the trash, we all had a quick catch up and feedback session with Jeremy.
10.03. After the recording day I asked the editor and director when they were planning to edit to create a post-production scedule.
19.03. I checked in on editing process and reminded them of the deadline and encouraged them to meet up soon as first editing session fell through. I also asked Ellie whether anyone had sent the receipts for the expense forms yet.
23.03. We met up with Jeremy to discuss the recording and give an update on our post-production progress. I checked with Smoke Radio whether there was a possibility of us streaming our audio drama on their channel for more exposure, but was told that we’d need to put it as part of a radio show. Lastly, I met up with Tony and Lama to listen to the first raw draft of the edited audio drama, discussed some of their doubts and gave feedback.
26.03. We discussed the introduction and exit message and potential voice actors to read it.
27.03. I met up with Tony and Lama and listened to the most recent edit of the audio drama and gave feedback. To give our audio drama an actual outlet, I set up a professional soundcloud channel to upload the audio drama to once it was done. It can be found under:
28.03. With a bit of help from a recent radio graduate I finished the presentation detail form and informed the group that our deadline had been pushed back by one day. I encouraged Tony to rework the music from as a consequence and checked on the final edit.
29.03. I sent Jeremy the finished mp3 audio file, presentation details and music reporting form.
The process of creating the audio drama ‘Three Quick Phone Calls and a Headless Rabbit’ was a long one, but I am very happy with the outcome. I felt that everyone in the group did a good job on their roles and we had no major problems throughout the production, which made my life as producer a lot easier. Our constant communication via Facebook Messenger and regular meetings helped greatly with constantly progressing. As I had never produced anything for radio before, it was definitely a good experience to make.