Week 1 – 26/01/18
This was our first with on this module. I took the module as i have never done anything like it before. I used to do drama in school and i went to a drama and dance school so naturally i thought i may enjoy it now as much as i did back then. To begin we went through what an audio drama was and how sound makes it so compelling. We listened to clips of various audio dramas that Jeremy had chosen and spoke about how each one differed and the different techniques used within each.
In the afternoon we were put into groups and given scripts and went off to do a 3 minute recording of the dramas we had been given. We were to do this with no editing and also we had to incorporate 3 different sound styles so had to be clever in the way in which we structured the said dramas. This task was so fun and it was interesting to listen back and see how each group had incorporated their scripts!
We have been given a few audio texts to listen to for next week, to the discuss.
Week 2 – 2/02/18
This week we discussed the listenings Jeremy had asked us to listen to and then we moved on to reading through the scripts we would be using for our final assessment. We went through the beginning of each script and it really gave me a feel for the style and genre of each one. This also helped us all to get an individual idea of what script we would like to use for our final drama piece.
Next we spoke about the roles and what they would each consist of doing. I quite liked the idea of being Director or Producer. Jeremy then asked us all to split into which roles we wanted to do, some of us had to sacrifice our first choice and go to our second best choice simply because of numbers – but this wasn’t a problem.
Once the groups had been decided we spoke about which 3 scripts we liked best and would love to work on. My group is:
- Producer – Me
- Production Co-Ordinator – Clare
- Director – Fay
- Script Editor – Tino
- Studio Manager – James
We gave our top 3 to Jeremy who then worked out which was best to give each group… luckily enough we got our first choice! – Coffinated!!!
We are next meeting on Wednesday to go through the script throughly and talk about any changes and potential voice actors.
Week 3 – 7/02/18
Today we met to discuss the script and possible sound effects we could incorporate into our audio drama…. Annotated script and spoke about pauses voice control etc.
Looked over the castings that Jeremy sent us and listened to their voices to see if they suited what we wanted.
We had a problem with one of the actors voices as we thought he wouldn’t create the sound we wanted for ‘Jeff’ however if he is willing to do it we are going to see if he can send us over a voice clipping of another accent and see if it fits what we need.
Unfortunately James was unable to attend todays meeting but we know for a fact when we next meet with James that he has a lot of ideas already in his head of how he wants things to work in the studio and on script.
The cast we agreed on so far is:
Chris Pavlo – DEATH
Rosanna Miles – STEPH
Mark Jarvis – JEFF
On Friday we are going to sort out the cross casting situation as have not had much communication with the other group and finalise script ideas and SFX.
Week 3 – 9/02/18
Today we spoke about the listening Jeremy asked us to do throughout the week Spoke “How Success Ruined Me”. It was a strange audio drama to listen to, we discussed it briefly.
Also listened to 2015 audio drama (by University of Westminster students): “Lydia The Lump” – the effect on Lumps voice made it alien – it distinguished between human and inside voice (her heart)
Jeremy gave us some guidance when it came to recording with the actors:
- any sound effect that we wanted on our drama to try it with the actor in the studio first so that there are same acoustics etc.
- Don’t try to direct the actors through notes on the script as this can make it sound forced. Instead tell the actors how you want them to sound.
- Number the speeches on each page – the reason for this is because when you’re in the studio trying to communicate to the actor you can say ‘i want to go from speech one on page 3 to speech 6 on page 8’ – easier to communicate (script editors task when the script is complete)
When we meet on Tuesday we are going to discuss whether we are going to record the big scene in one take or break then down into smaller sections? And whether we want to record all the scenes that are in the same location at once, to then clear that location?
Week 4 – 13/02/18
Today we made final changes to the script and spoke about how we are going record each scene when the Voice artists come in. We decided to record each location at a time as this would create a better flow and help with working around sound effects.
On Friday we are going to update Jeremy with where we are at and in our studio access time we are going to try out different voice recording techniques in the studio so that we know exactly what to do on the day the actors come in. This will also mean we use all the time well when the actors come in.
By lunchtime we want to have sent our finalised scripts off to the actors.
Week 4 – 16/02/18
Today we had studio access, this allowed us to work as a team and distinguish how we were going to use the space in the recording studio to create each scene. We experimented with mono microphones and stereo microphones and we also experimented with distance and volume. We wanted to know exactly where we would need the actors to stand in the studio and how we wanted them to speak – this would make use of time on the day of recording better.
Initially we struggled to work out how to make it sound like there were two people in a very confined space – the coffin – we had our volunteers use all three microphone options and then also used the sound boards to help. We managed to agree on which microphone we would use and how close the actors would stand, and then if needed, we would add some extra effects in post production.
In the afternoon we sent the scripts to all actors to read through and discussed plans for the day of recording.
Week 5 – 24/02/18
RECORDING DAY!!!! Today we spent the morning going through the call times and schedule for the afternoon – our recording slot. We went through every page of the script, through every scene and every line and filled out a schedule sheet to make sure that the 3 hours that we had to record, were used wisely. We decided to record the simpler scenes first so then we didn’t waste time at the beginning to do the cafe scenes (which we needed extras for).
Next we met the actors and did a run through of the script to see whether the actors presented the characters in the way we wanted them to – this was good as it was clear the actors had paid attention to the script and understood their characters which made it very easy for us to begin.
The whole way through recording we were calm and clear. James is Studio Manager and he seemed confident in running the desk, Fay directed the actors clearly, Tino stayed in the studio with the actors to pass on information and explain anything the actors didn’t understand, Clare kept track of takes that we did of each scene and noted which take was the best (making it easier in post production) and I overlooked the studio and actors and helped in making final decisions.
I feel we worked really well as a team, there were no disagreements but we all spoke up when we thought something could be changed and this was good as otherwise we would have come away with less that what we needed/wanted.
Overall the whole experience was great run, went really smoothly and the team – actors and studio members alike – worked perfectly together.
Next week we have a debriefing with Jeremy and Fay and James are aiming to have edited the first draft of the play together by this afternoon!
Week 6 – 2/03/18
This week the teaching in the Uni was closed, therefore we could not have our debrief with Jeremy, this has been rescheduled for next week. So today our group met and discussed the takes that we took on the day of recording and James and Fay began piecing the audio together in the correct order. Once they had done this we re grouped to go through effects that we were going to use, we wanted to make sure we found the correct effect to create the perfect sound to the drama. Effects that we needed were: Tannoy announcement noice, knocking that sounded like it was coming from a coffin, cafe ambience, cutlery, cars, outdoor ambience, funeral ambience, organ music. Find the correct sounds took a while but we collected a few and saved them to come back to next week.
Week 7 – 9/03/18
This week we continued to edit the drama, adding effect in and tightening up the audio, we also added effects to voices, like reverb on Deaths voice in the tannoy scene and to ad something on Beths voice when she was being a Voice over. Today was all about cracking on with editing and listening over to make sure it was getting towards the final thing. This afternoon we had a debrief with Jeremy to go over how we did on the day of recording – how we worked together and how we used the time we were allocated.
The feedback was very positive with some constructive points about how we could have done things if we were recording again. We updated Jeremy on how far we were on the audio and he seems happy.
Week 8 – 16/03/18
DEADLINE DAY! This week James (studio manager) and Fay (Director) have been woking hard to perfect our audio drama. Myself and the rest of the team have been on had to give any help where needed – whether it be for a second opinion or to help with created the right effects in each scene. Myself and Clare went through the folder of things to do for submission and got the paperwork together.
Today on deadline day the whole team came together to do final listening back to the whole drama and perfect every sound effect and voice and scene. This did take the whole of the day as we all picked up on different things in the audio that we could make better or change slightly to give a better feel – ie the effects on the voices to make them sound like they’re in a coffin. James had done a brilliant job with editing and was definitely the best person to have been assigned to that role!
Whilst we were working on the editing myself Tino and Fay got together the Credits and had Fay recording them in a few different styles so we could all listen back and decide which one fitted the drama correctly.
After hours of editing and listening to different voice an sound effects we came to a finish. We listened back twice as a group and changed one last thing and listened back again, we only submitted when we were all 100% sure on the sound and feel of the drama. It needed to portray everything the writer had intended. We were happy with our final listen and submitted the finished product… now we await feedback!