Youyu Shi

Producing Audio Drama Journal (Pre-Production Week One)

Audio Drama (Radio Drama) is a way that telling a story through sound. Without any visual component, listeners need to imagine the character, the scenes as well as the story with the help of music, dialogue, and sound effects. This is very true when I first introduced the Cipher in the first week of “Producing Audio Drama”. The Cipher (Episode 1) was a piece of fiction audio from BBC (link) that the tutor asked us to provide some feedback when we finished listening.

However, I’ve listened to the Cipher several times after I gradually immersed myself in the story at that time. I was not used to being told a story without subtitles especially in a forerunner language, but thankfully I found some techniques that really help to concentrate and be mindful of listening. For one, I will silence my phone and my computer in case any instant messages, texts, or emails would drive my attention away. Sometimes, I will even mirror the characters talking in order to have a better understanding of what they’re trying to say. It can be exhausting and painful if listened passively, and things get more difficult if the attention starts to drift.

After finished listening to the Cipher, we began to discuss. I’ve learned a lot at this stage when identifying with others’ opinions and listening to others’ feedback. For example, audio can feed and steer imagination which we can never get with visual media. Also, a story will always have an increasing level of tension, which can attract listeners to listen to the following episodes. These are valuable lessons for me to develop the formal audio production in the following weeks.

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