Pre-production:  prepping



This week the Group and I did a character breakdown of the characters. This will help us decide on the casting for our audio drama. We picked TV shows and films that we are familiar with to help us understand. Gemma stated that the characters in Sugar Glass reminded her of the characters from the TV series Derry Girls. She stated that the character of Michelle reminded her of Michelle from Derry girls, A character that is ‘bark with no bite’. I then proceed to mention some characters such as the character of Alex reminded me of Cher from Clueless and made In Chelsea (upper class, and girly).


The setup for Zen caster sounded complicated, so I had a meeting with the team to help me get comfortable with the set. We recorded the parts of the script when testing. We have had two sessions so far. 



Other the week Gemma annotated the script for directions for the actors. She also annotated scripts for sound SFX. I sourced sounds on free sounds that I enjoyed and thought worked for the script. I also found some sounds that I liked on free sound and showed them to Gemma during a meeting that we had. She liked the sounds that I had gathered. For the recording sounds, I did attempt to record some sounds with an HN4 microphone, but I  wasn’t keen on the sound that I gathered as you could hear the sound of the microphone being disrupted by the wind. 


Yesterday the team scheduled a  separate meeting with Hattie and the actors. Our first meeting during the day was with Hattie when she broke down what was happening in the script and who she was inspired by. We also had some questions for her like what was the monster sound in the script, or where were the characters based. We wanted to see if Hattie agreed with Gemma’s director notes. Later that evening we met with the actors through zoom. We also had a run-through with the actors to make sure that they get familiar with the script.


Studio week 



During the week I met Simon where he talked to the studio managers through using zencastr. We used the updated version of Zen caster. Through Zencastr we had to work through blackboard. Hence, on the day of studio week, we will be using this method. 



Today was the day of our recording for Sugar glass. Gemma set up a schedule that the team and the actors had to follow. The recording process ran smoothly. Gemma gave the actors directions that would help me during the editing process. The actors had to record under sheets in some scenes to give that illusion that they are in a tent. The main character had props such as a box and plastic bag, which had to stand out in the audio pierce. We also had to do some additional take such as the re-recording of scenes 5 and 6 as those scenes were very detailed. Including some takes of screaming. In some scenes, the take of screaming peaked and helped to try to find different methods of the actors screaming. 


Editing Week(Utilising sounds and techniques to create the story). 



I had to work with a tight schedule, as I had only a week left to work on the edit. Before I started editing I had gathered all the recordings and aligned them together and had categorised them into takes. Before I started my editing process I met up with Gemma, where we listened to the takes together and she decided on what takes to use from each scene. Once this was done I started the editing process. 


I decide to schedule two scenes a day and show them to Gemma once they were done. Once Gemma had a listen to the scenes that I had edited, she reviewed them I went back .and add some additional touches to the scene that Gemma suggested. I used the script that Gemma had annotated as guidance.  For all my scenes I wanted them to sound as detailed as possible. 


Scene 1– In scene 1 we are introduced to the character of Catherine. Catherine is standing on a  driveway and rings the doorbell. Whist the doorbell is ringing she is panicking and has a plastic bag in her hand. To create this scene I sourced outdoor ambient noise and enhanced Catherine breathing to make her sound like she was panicking. In the scene, we are introduced to Michelle who is indoors and is about to open the door to Catherine. With the dialogue between Michelle and Catherine, I wanted Michelle to sound like she was indoors in an echoey doorway whilst Catherine was outside. When I was creating this scene I put an effect on Michelle’s dialogue. I added reverb to change the room absorption. In one part of the scene, I wanted to make it sound like Michelle was further in the house as she walks away from the entrance.  I put the effect on the lowest tone as I didn’t want it to class with the outdoor noise. In the scene, I also added the sounds of the door opening and closing. Including SFX of Catherine walking into Michelle house which transitions into 


Scene2- In scene 2 Catherine and Michelle are inside the house. On the script, it states that the two are in a large space/(the Hallway). I wanted it to sound like both characters are in the hallway and are walking. I added a reverb effect to make it sound like they were in a large space. I sourced a sound on free sound which made them sound like they were walking on a hardwood floor. In the scene the characters are disrupted by the sound of a large object falling into the household, followed by the sound of cursing. This teases the character that something suspicious is going on. The sound of the large object and the person swearing is in another room. Michelle and Catherine stop walking by the sound of the disruptive bang, as it has made them slightly scared. My aim was to make the two sounds sound far away. Which I play around with the levels and SFX. When I sourced the person swearing, this was an indication that this character would be in one of the later scenes, or is one of the biggest plots of Sugar.


Scene 3- Scenes 2 to 3 there is a transition of Michelle and Catherine, walking into the hallway into the garden. In the scene, you can hear sliding patio doors. I changed the levels of the ambient noise from when they were transitioning. In the scene, you can see hear Catherine and running further into the garden. I sourced the sound of a plastic bag to enhance the sound of the bag Catherine was holding. In the scene, we are introduced to Alex who begins to sound further away, as she is far away in the garden. I lowered the voice of Alex and Michelle as they are further away from the main character Catherine. In this scene, I enhanced the sound of the box. 


Scene 4 – Scene 4 is later on during the day. In this scene, you can hear the sound of a radio playing. When playing around with Adobe Audition I used a telephone effect. In the scene, I used the sound effects of Nylon and unzipping noise, and the character of Alex walking away. In this scene, Alex is in a different environment. Alex opens the tent and sits on an air bed. I sourced a sound similar to an air bed, which was a trampoline. I wanted the interior of the tent to sound different, so I lowered the tone of the Alex speaking. 


Scene 5- In scene 5 the characters are in the interior of the tent. This scene used outdoor night scenes, which you can faintly hear in the background. You can also hear the SFX of bedding shifting. For this scene, my focus would be on the horror story, Catherine was telling. I wanted to create a non-diegetic environment for this part of the scene. It was meant to be in the imagination of the characters. For this scene, I stopped certain sounds to create dramatic tension. During the intense part of the story, I raised the sound of the scary sound SFX. When Alex speaks in the scene, the non-diegetic SFX is stopped. Which creates the illusion that the imagery bubble is broken. In the scene, you can hear further shuffling and the sound of a torch that Michelle is holding. Towards the end of the scene, Catherine and Michelle are having a conversation. The ambient sound that you usually hear in the background stops. The reason for this is we are getting the perspective of Michelle who is scared. The background noise levels back up as Michelle is calm. Towards the end of the scene, I  used the sound of a wind chime. I included the sound of the wind chime because it sounds eerie. Also, I wanted to create the idea that something is there or is about to happen.

Scene 6- Scene 6 was a difficult scene to edit. I t was quite clear what was happening. This scene is later in the night, so there is a fade-out between 5 and 6. The scene is start off with the continuity of the wind chimes. The wind chimes are an indication that Michelle is somewhat being haunted by something outside the tent. She is panicking and you can hear the sound of ruffling Michelle and the girls are waking up and being haunted. The tension starts to increase. I used the sounds of a drunk man who is taunting Michelle and is the monster in the scene. When having a discussion with Hattie she stated that a monster is a drunk man, Michelle’s Dad. In scene 2, the characters were introduced to this character, who was in the hallway. I wanted the sound of the drunk aggressive man to link with what Michelle was stating. In the scene, you can hear Alex is about to leave the tent until the monster smashes a glass bottle in front of the tent. I wanted this SFX to match up with what Alex was stating. “ It’s raining glass everywhere”. This is an indication that Alex can’t see as it’d dark outside. In the conflict scene, I enhanced the girls screaming and used an SFX to represent that the monster was being defeated. I used an echo effect at the end of the scene to transition into scene 7. 


Scene 7- In scene 7 my focus was on the levels and the environment. I wanted to make the character sound levels sound low, apart from Catherine who was sleeping and who is the main character. I also included some sounds of bedding and nylon shuffling to create the idea that the characters are still in bed. With the morning ambient noise, I lowered slightly as it was outside. 


Scene 8 – Between this final scene we transition to outside the tent. Catherine has just woken up and she is making her way out of the tent. I continued to use that nylon sound and the sound of the unzipping of the tent. In this scene, I raised the outdoor ambient sound as all the characters are outside. At the end of the scene, the characters walk away. I then fade the scene down to show that it was finished. 

What could I have done better? 

If I had more time I would focus on the levels of the characters. I also would have liked to create surround sounds for this project to make it sound realistic. If I had more time I would have included music for the dramatic scenes, also I would have perfected scene 6 which was meant to be the most dramatic scene.

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