This week, we were allocated to our production groups for the next couple of months. I took on the role as Studio Manager – it’s a role that I haven’t looked much into and I thought it would be a good challenge, with transferable skills into the roles I’m interested in in the industry. My group is Backroom Productions, along with Abbi, Eliza, and Sofia. We were given The Oven Cleaner as our script – I didn’t think it was too bad – although, it was our third choice.
We began to look over the script individually to see where changes need to be made. Our recording isn’t until the start of March, giving us sufficient amount of time to draft in actors and make changes to the script, however – less time for the editing process.
We continued to discuss ideas for the script this week and began to discuss ideas for casting. Eliza said that she had some contacts that would be very good for the roles of Becky and Caz. As they were from London, I believed that they would suit the role very well. However, we were told that we needed to work with the other group to cast from the pool of actors that we were given.
We’re looking into sound effects, and where we are going to source them. We also had a discussion on whether the drama was going to be recorded live, or whether it would be studio based. Because of time restrictions, it makes sense for us to be purely studio-based for the scripting.
Due to being studio manager, this was a fairly quiet week for me. Sofia and Eliza had to make some final decisions on the style of the play, all of which I approved of. This marked the beginning of us being able to think about how we wanted the drama to sound in terms of sound effects and atmosphere.
Another week went by leading up to the recording day and we seemed to be getting set in terms of actors and admin. Me and Eliza had a meeting in which we timed the script various times to ensure it wasn’t too long and to pass on any notes to Abbi if any changes were needed. Luckily, we found the drama to be a good length and that it flowed well. This week, we also had a meeting with Jeremy to discuss sounds. We decided that we were going to record a lot of our sound effects at Sofia’s studio flat, which worked very well for the style of the drama. Jeremy approved of this, and answered our questions of whether the sounds should be studio based or on location. Either way, it allowed us to enter the next week full of enthusiasm.
With a week until our studio session, this week was all about recording the sounds. We decided on Sofia’s flat because we thought it would work well for the style of the audio drama and shared some similarities of how we imagined Becky and Caz’s flat. We spent the entire day recording the majority of the sounds, ranging from the very basic to very complex. I had control of the Marantz and therefore was able to hear the sounds as Eliza and Sofia were making them. This gave me some creative control and it meant that I needed to make the decision if sounds sounded realistic and suited the style of the play. There were some that needed some group discussion and we all had to agree, whereas some were very straightforward.
Some of the sounds were incredibly challenging and these appeared to be the sounds that were most important for the story narrative, such as the iron hitting Mike’s head. We eventually used a frying pan hitting various fruits and I was quite happy with how it sounded because I knew that it had a lot of potential in post-production. After we recorded the 50+ sounds, I uploaded them all to the Google Drive and named them appropriately.
This was our recording week, something that we were all very ready for. We sat down with the actors in the morning and did a readthrough. This went very well, and allowed us to crack on with the recording as soon as possible. Me and Sofia were positioned inside the booth. I had the role of recording the session on to Audition and ensuring that all the levels were correct. Sofia did a great job of directing, and we both decided on when to move onto the next scene, just to make sure that we were sure it was as good as it could be.
We decided to go with the tougher scenes first and move onto the easier scenes after. I was happy with this as it allowed us to focus and spend more time on the scenes that could be more challenging. Scene 9 was particularly challenging, as it involved the policeman behind a door, but I believe it all sounded great.
This was the first week of post-production. I spent the first part of the week re-listening to the entire session and picking the best clips to be used for the final piece. There were some scenes that were quite challenging due to the best parts being in two different takes, I catered for this by joining them together on Auditon and ensuring that it sounded very smooth and seamless. I did this for a few of the scenes, whereas some of the other scenes were more straightforward.
By the end of the week, all of the sound effects were ready to be put into their individual scenes, and all of the audio was in folders ready for the final edit to take shape next week.
Me and Sofia met to finalise the play and put everything together in it’s respective scenes. We decided that we both had similar creative control with this and that we would both agree on a sound effect or a scene before we progressed to the next one. We started with scene 1, which was quite a challenging scene due to the phone call and several sound effects. We managed to sort out the phone call so that it sounded realistic, and making sure that the call at the end sounded nice in conversation was challenging but we managed to sort it. Some scenes such as scene 2 were fairly straightforward as they involved minimal sound effects, it was just perfecting the acoustics in the room that was a challenge. The main problem came in scene 3, where Mike is hit on the head with the iron. The sound is the most important in the entire drama so making sure that it sounded perfect was a challenge, it involved several sounds, with several layers of effects to perfect it, but I was massively impressed with the outcome.
We progressed at a good pace with the scenes and managed to get them all completed by the end of the week.
This was hand-in week and the only task left was to make sure that transitions of the scenes sounded great. Some were more challenging than others, but managed to switch up a few acoustics to ensure that there was a clear room change in some of them. I put the scenes together and then added in, and edited the intro and outro.
We submitted the drama and recieved feedback that the outro should include the names of the actors. We ensured that Sofia was able to re-record the outro and send it to me, but this would’ve put us very close to the deadline. Luckily I was able to edit scene 10 with a few hours to go before the deadline and send for Eliza to submit. A job well done!