The making of…

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)

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?

 

 

 

Pythagoras has a posse

Let’s talk about Pythagoras for a moment, shall we? Everyone learns his theorem in school – the square of the hypotenuse is the sum of the squares of the other two sides. So if you take the length of one side of a right-angled triangle, and square it; then take the length of the next side, and square it; add up those two numbers and it will equal, as if by magic, the length of the hypotenuse (the long side of the triangle), squared.

Pythagorean Thorem

3 squared + 4 squared = 5 squared

It’s a beautiful thing.

And as any pulp novel will tell you, people kill for beautiful things all the time.

Editing Episode 1

It’s about 10 o’clock at night, a tiresome collection of buffoons has just lef… *ahem* the cast has just left my house, the place is a mess, and England are in the process of being knocked out of Euro 2012 on penalties. Time to go to work.

Editing a radio play seems a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. I am faced with a huge collection of dialogue tracks, sound effects and ambient noises; somehow I have to combine them into a coherent whole. This bit of dialogue goes here, this sound effect goes there, this sound effect… doesn’t exist. Ah.

Recording Episode 1

A sleepy suburban house in Watford. 6 people, 2 cats and a selection of food. This can mean only one thing: Action Science Theatre has begun.

First step: tea.

The morning read-through

Everyone is professionally focused at the read-through

Next, time for a read-through. Already problems. Science Brian wants to change things; as a result Producer Dan wants to have him thrown out. We clear the air and continue…

A physical push is required in the script. A cast member is almost thrown from the sofa.

The word “I’m” causes an unexpected problem. Resolved with a change to the script. The writers promise to avoid cunningly simple words in the future.

Read-through finished.