Audio Drama, episode 1
Hey guys - I've bugged you for a number of months for room treatment and recording advice after becoming weirdly interested in audio drama a couple of years ago. We just wrapped up our first episode and I figured I would drop a link here.
Aside from our sound designer, we were almost all entirely beginners so it's highly... "uneven", let's say. We recorded sequentially so you can almost hear us figuring out what we're doing as we go. But it does have a couple of nice moments.
I really wish I had more time for some rewrites and edits, but it's time to close the door on this one. I'm going to throw episode 1 out there and see if I can apply what I've learned to episode 2.
I got confused - all those sound effects but nothing to tie down what I listened to. I got to 6 mins and was just confused?
> I got to 6 mins and was just confused?
The preceding 6 minutes are made sense of in the 3-4 minutes that follow.
I know it's a lot to expect from listeners to hang in until the story emerges. Some of this is editing, but some is conscious intent: not to "come on like Gang Busters" (http://grammarist.com/usage/like-gangbusters/); to give equal weight to atmosphere/visualization; not to be book-on-tape-like; to have absolutely no aliens, zombies, superheroes, or artificial intelligences, nor to rely on gun-play or conventional horror...
Granted this narrows down the prospective audience quite a bit - even among the conventional audio drama audience - but we're appealing to the curious/introspective sort more than to adrenalin addicts. Think "Brian Eno" rather than "Slayer". :)
That said, this episode was an experimental laboratory in a lot of respects. I would have tightened up the opening (although the radio broadcast - in Esperanto - does contain some exposition for anyone who speaks the language or chose to translate it). I would have trimmed down the therapeutic recording which follows. But all of this would have had to been done in rewriting, which we weren't prepared to do. So, like I said - we threw it out there!
I feel guilty, because when I was teaching media studies to 16-20 year olds, the only thing I failed to enthuse them about was radio drama - so I should have carried on, but I'm afraid I just gave up, confused and wondering if this was some crazy experiment with a series of disjointed sound effects. Clearly, it wasn't - but that is what I thought. Sorry.
> when I was teaching media studies to 16-20 year olds, the only thing I failed to enthuse them about was radio drama
Interesting! When would this have been? Do you feel this has/will turn around with the rise of portable audio on demand?
> but I'm afraid I just gave up, confused and wondering if this was some crazy experiment with a series of disjointed sound effects
Hey, fair enough - it surely was that, in part :-) In any event, we're working on the next installment. I don't know if we'll find an audience but a handful of us enjoy making it for its own sake.
This would have been in about 1998-ish when I first started teaching (went to college to do a days work and stayed for 11 years!). Radio was one of the study areas, and I remembered a BBC Radio play they produced with a similarity to the famous American Orson Wells Aliens have landed programme from years before. It started with a well known and respected BBC radio presenter, Nicky Campbell doing an outside broadcast from an RAF plane, with scientists like Patrick Moore being used for the factual side, and then things started to happen, as if live - and it was off on the science fiction story for the second half of the programme, as if the audience were listening to live events as they happened. I thought pretty clever. The students were used to radio as wallpaper. Actually shutting up and listening was something unknown. This was a long time ago and I suspect listening skills are even worse nowadays as they grow up listening with ears to music, while watching something different and the visual element wins. Turning off visual input was something they'd not done. I did a bit of radio play work in my career, and yours is technically well produced but I found it difficult to listen to, I think, because I didn't have the clue required. Was I listening to a well produced and clearly planned soundscape, or was the clip an example of where you'd got it wrong? I needed some clues. Perhaps I've become like my old students? I don't know. I'll give the next one a go when you stick it up.