There are three chapters in the book I am translating to audio format, and my intention is to record 5 minutes for each. Thus, for the initial stages of production, I wanted to focus on building soundscapes and testing which of the excerpts I selected worked in the audio format in order to cut them down and not waste actors’ time recording unusable audio. In the rough cut I have done all the acting to build a template I can slot my actors’ voices into after it’s complete. This rough cut features 6 of an intended 10 excerpts from the first chapter. Below is the script, also containing cues for things not yet inserted:

 

Excerpt 1 – chapter intro

Pink illustration of expensive car turning a corner, black lines striking through it, a dash of orange, and what resembles a petri dish of black germs.

Creepy crawly sounds (a la Refinery 29 cosmetic procedure videos) introducing a theme of honest humanity, squelching sounds, ambient hum, sound of something piercing flesh, layered whispering “YOU”.

 

Author’s mother figure

(as if to someone in a hospital bed – quiet but passionate and forceful)

YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE HERE.

You might be lost, you might be confused, your life might feel like it lacks meaning, but you’re still purposeful. Maybe you aren’t doing as well as you thought you’d be doing by now, everyone around you looks like they’ve found their mojo, the world seems to be moving faster and further without you… but just remember, you’re still purposeful.

 

Excerpt 2

Illustration of a woman leaning into a man’s ear, about to speak knowingly. Broken multi-coloured letters over their faces taken from the passage

Message signposting, sound of children’s letter blocks being stacked slowly, haphazardly in alternating left and right speaker.

 

(Shout-whispering)

SAVE SOME LOVE FOR YOURSELF

YOU DESERVE IT.

 

Excerpt 4

Bold font in three different colours for first three sentences.

Torrential rain in a forest, and three women going round in a circle speaking rhythmically in a near-fugue similar to the witches in Macbeth.

 

Woman 1

Healing hurts.

Woman 2

Being kicked in the balls hurts.

Woman 3

Being ignored hurts.

Woman 1

Sometimes everything just hurts and you don’t know why.

Woman 2

As kids, we were always taught: if you want the wound to heal, don’t touch it!

Woman 3

WHY?

Woman 1

Because as good as it feels to scratch that painfully itchy scab.

Woman 2

As good as it feels to ask that question you know you won’t like the answer to.

Woman 3

It only prolongs the healing process.

[…]

Woman 1

Everything you feel…

Woman 2

No matter how deep or shallow …

Woman 3

Is temporary.

Woman 1

If you ever catch yourself slipping back into despair…

Woman 2

Remind yourself of what Alan Watts says…

Opposite page features alternating pink and orange circles mimicking ripples in still water, getting bigger and broader outwardly, with a quote in the centre of the ripple.

Rain stops, message signposting, and a single big fat drop of water into a deep puddle.

Woman 3

(Singing)

Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.

 

Excerpt 6

Blown up photograph of a deep pink sky, with a Ferris wheel in the corner almost out of shot, two first sentences in capitals in opposite colours.

Abstract, vague, dream-state fairground noises and two people chiming in with advice.

 

YOU KNOW, ‘IT’ DOESN’T REALLY GET BETTER.

(whispered)

YOU DO.

 

Excerpt 7

Deep red page with white dividing line passing through, small unassuming black text in the bottom corner with the final word “regret” in bold stark white.

 

(Read as a poem)

Beautiful things land in our lives whether we are ready to receive them or not. Love never seeks permission. Love just turns up unannounced. And if you fail to welcome it with warm arms and an open heart, prepare yourself for a lesson from the greatest teacher of all:

Regret.

 

Excerpt 11

Hot pink page with “You” bold and in orange over and over again, almost taunting.

One person starts off the passage with ‘you try to be…’ and several follow in rapid succession.

 

You try to be hotter.

Complain less.

Change your perfume.

Wear nicer clothes.

Stop being too confident.

Shrink yourself.

You need the approval.

The validation.

Scared to move on.

We go way back!

You can fix this.

You created this problem.

(Echo)

(List reverses quickly)

First speaker

Girl, the problem was never you. For God’s sake, stop falling in love with empty people and trying to fill them with you!

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