Formative Blog Post
Confessions of a Sociopath is an autobiographical piece written under a pseudonym documenting and describing the life of a high-functioning, non criminal sociopath. This incredibly honest account following a ‘very high on the spectrum’ individual draws out the “logical, decisive [&] risk-taking” traits of a quarter of the population. An interesting quarter, as these tend to be the people that make an amplified proportion of people at the top end of business, politics, medicine and law; and furthermore you wouldn’t even be able to tell. A sociopath describes themselves similarly to the subtitle of the book itself, ‘a life hiding in plain sight’.
With all this considered there is an incredibly interesting perspective to be found in this book and subsequently very intriguing and imaginative possibilities lie within an audio book.
The novel lending itself to audio is certainly not a new notion with another one already in existence with the actress Bernadette Sullivan simply reading directly from the book. This is made by Random House themselves and, if I’m honest, however great the book, I can’t hep but think how much more could have been done in terms of audio techniques to really flesh out and create an image in the listener’s mind. Listen to the audio book below on Youtube.
So, how would you go about dramatising and soundscaping a book such as this. Well, luckily for me I’ve watched the BBC drama Sherlock in my time on the planet and this gives a lot of inspiration as to how to create and display the workings of a sociopathic mind, not just because he is himself a high functioning sociopath but also the way that the show was put together perfectly shows the inner workings and logical deductions that he makes throughout cases and throughout his interactions with others.
Watch a clip below to see how its done with both audio and visuals helping to create this effect of odd, but logical mental processes.
In this clip the use of music is very effective as it creates an almost mechanical atmosphere while displaying a modern electronic feel. This implies fast paced and logical thinking perfect for the mind of our protagonist whilst also having enough texture to soundtrack parts of the text that might need more development in terms of the story and narrative. Listen to the album that shows the kind of music I plan to use in order to achieve this.
My plan is to use low level electronic and mechanical sounding effects to create a modern feel as well as make the audio comparison between logical sociopath and people’s general conception of them being like androids. Not too many or much but something similar in places to the clip below.
I will also be using atmos soundtracks like this in order to set the best scene of events. For example, the courtroom ambience below.
Permissions and Commissions
In order to get this whole thing on its way, I have contacted the publishers about using their content, which, surprisingly they make easier than you think.
On their website you can request material for any of these mediums…
…and specify which material is needed. (Pictures were included but failed to load)