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Editing Episode 4 - Layers of Nonsense

Wherever you come near the human race there’s layers and layers of nonsense

That line from Thornton Wilder’s 1938 play, Our Town, pretty much sums up the editing process for an episode of AST. Layers and layers of nonsense. Even a simple scene usually contains three layers:

  1. Dialogue
  2. Sound effects
  3. Background noise

And, just to clarify, Point 3 does not refer to the sound of Action Dan munching his sandwiches in the corner of the recording studio.

Action? Science?...Asthma and spiders?

vegetables

So, what happens is you all bring a vegetable and put it in a bowl. Then you pick one out and whoever brought it…

Sometimes, just occasionally, if I tip my head to the right and hold it for long enough I develop a pain in my neck. This is a thing I have learned, a thing I have discovered through experimentation. People often say to me, “you’ll only learn in life if you try to do things”. And those people are right. Although I wish they would leave me alone, I have things to do. To learn, if you will.

I remember being a child and looking up to the trapdoor in the ceiling of my parents bedroom that lead to the attic. I looked and wondered at the riches that lay up there. Fleeting glimpses of old lamps, board games, and stereo equipment being carried up there by my father were all I knew of it. Fun could surely be had, so I tried to get up there. Unaware of the location of “the ladder” (the shed as it turns out, sneaky father) I would climb on various objects and just try to reach, but to no avail.

Night of the Living Prions

Train Danger

Image from pulpcovers.com

Proteins are very useful things. They are the little helpers to your body’s Santa Claus. They do pretty much everything that needs doing in your cells. They are great little workers.

Right up until they go wrong.

And the thing is – we have no idea how they could possibly go wrong. How could the little helpers turn against Santa?

Running, jumping, standing still - FREE DOWNLOAD!

At Action Science Theatre – thank you Carshalton just leave it on the table – we are always thinking about how to help others who would like to have a highly successful audio drama of their own.

So we have taken a step towards making the dreams of people everywhere come a little closer with the publishing of the Action Science Theatre Positional Sound Matrix.

Action Science Theatre Positional Sound Matrix

Cut out and keep. Go on. Get your scissors.

(If you’re not allowed scissors you can get a copy here)

Dignified Kings

The answer to the question this magazine asks is: No.

So, the main character in the latest episode was working on a paper arguing that Triceratops was not a real species. This, to be very clear, is something we made up. Triceratops is fine. We can all breathe a sigh of relief, secure in the knowledge that we don’t have to learn a new name to answer that oft-repeated question “Which dinosaur is the best one?”

But another three-horned dinosaur might suffer another extinction, thanks to Triceratops.

Editing Episode 3 – Things That Sound Like Other Things

Science Brian has promised that Episode 3 will have only a few simple sound effects, so I shall look forward to that
My Episode 2 Blog

So, “a few simple sound effects,” is it? Let’s look at that statement, shall we? Firstly, “a”. Can’t argue with that. At the other end we have, “sound effects”, and yes, there were indeed sound effects in Episode 3; can’t fault Science Brian there. But, between these two unarguable bookends, we have the words, “few” and “simple”. This is where the sentence starts to fall apart. If you listen to Episode 3 again (because you’ve listened to it already, yes?) you’ll notice that the 21-minute running time consists of about 3 minutes of dialogue and 18 minutes of sound effects. Give or take.

You've got to Accent-uate the Positive

“In linguistics, an accent is a manner of pronunciation peculiar to a particular individual, location, or nation.”
From the Wikipedia entry for ‘Accents’

Trouble at Mill

“Trouble at mill”

In the world of Action Science Theatre we stop the sentence after the word “peculiar”. Always.

When the world was made, 500 years ago in a sweat shop somewhere near Rhyl, it was decided in the interests of sporting competition to divide it up into countries. Some of the countries would be big, some would be small and some would be Denmark.

Editing Episode 2 - The Strumpet's Plague

‘Tis the strumpet’s plague
To beguile many and be beguiled by one

– Othello IV.i

Two bowls of cat food

Essential podcast-editing equipment

Let’s see…what did I learn from Episode 1?

1. Sort out sound effects in advance
2. Throw the cast out earlier
3. Remember to feed the cats
4. Don’t confuse 2 and 3

 

That’s not a lot, really, is it?

 

 

 

Blood simple

You’re squared off against your foe. You’re usually a good shot, but the rain is coming down pretty heavily and besides, you need to do some long division in your head if you’re going to get that bomb defused in time. Not to mention you’re bleeding pretty bad from the gunshot wound your foe gave you moments before.

A shot rings out, and you both fall.

Luckily, you manage to drag yourself to the bomb and type in the code before you pass out from blood loss. You wake up in the hospital and the doc is about to give you a transfusion. You thank your lucky stars for Karl Landsteiner, because without him there was a good chance you wouldn’t survive the procedure.