Local People make Radio Plays?

Hi folks. Since the last time I posted to this blog, I met a group of Science Fiction enthusiasts in Seattle who are making an anthology series called Reality’s Edge. This is awesome, because it means I can learn more about all of the parts of audio drama production that I don’t already understand! So far, there are 10 scripts nearly all finalized for production. I’m going through some of them today in order to outline what sort of sound effects will be required. Some scenes will have one character “in the room” with the audience while another character is talking to the first over a phone, so there’s filters to consider. Some characters will be robots or other artificial people, so that will require some more filters and sound design. And, of course, there will be lots of other sounds required to help listeners better understand the scenes.

It’s fun to come up with creative solutions for these situations. How do you use sound design to imply different people’s actions and points of view? What sort of foley tricks can you use to allow the listener to imagine the movie going on in their mind?

Meanwhile, in a few weeks there will be auditions, and I want to be there so I can observe the process and make more contacts among the acting community. Yes, I want to steal actors. Hehe. Once I have written the first season of my “Project A” radio play series, I will need *at least* one actor to bring it to life. While I’d be happy to provide some incidental voice acting or narration, the main character will need to be pretty versatile.

So, how is Project A coming along?

While I was down in Portland yesterday, I picked up a copy of 45 Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt (because of a recommendation from Mur Lafferty’s I Should Be Writing podcast). My co-writer is a dab hand at coming up with character designs, but now that she is super busy, I may have to make more characters without her help. The book is intriguing! I have only skimmed it so far, but it goes through a bunch of characters from film, tv, and literature, and organizes them into a number of archetypes. Each of these are named after a character from ancient mythology, such as Aphrodite: The Seductive Muse and the Femme Fatale, or Apollo: The Businessman and The Traitor. Then it goes through the cares, fears, motivations, relationships, and good pairings with other archetypes. I’m looking forward to digging in deeper.

I also have Crafty TV Writing by Alex Epstein. I mentioned having TV writing books in my previous post, but didn’t name any of them. This is one of them, and it seems to me that I can draw a lot of parallels from TV writing and apply them to audio dramas. I suppose Playwriting would be another good resource for taking plot structure conventions and modifying them for a radio play.

Aside from getting resources to study, I have not made concrete progress on Project A, but I have a better idea what I’ll need to do first.

And what about Project B?

I have not made any progress toward the Dredmor Arrangement album since my last post. My goal is to plan exactly what I want to make, and what I need in order for that to happen. Whee, ambiguity. OK, let’s be more specific.

What I’m currently envisioning is a two-disc set. Or maybe two separate albums that can be bundled.

One of them would be a string quartet plus piano or some other group of live orchestral instruments. I previously wrote a suite of miniatures for an “Eighth Blackbird” ensemble (Violin, Cello, Flute, Clarinet, Piano, Percussion), so that could be another option. The Dredmor tracks that would work well for live players would go onto this disc.

The other album/disc would be electronic, or mostly electronic but perhaps including a featured live instrument. For this album, I’d update and re-imagine some of the tracks that are probably not well-suited to live instruments.  I’d also love to have other artists do remixes too! I know a couple of people with some awesome synth collections, so they could go nuts and it’d be great.

I was a backer for Big Giant Circles’ Impostor Nostalgia album in 2011, and I think I remember that some stretch goals included remixes by other artists. Perhaps I am mistaken. But that may be a good thing to consider. If I crowd-fund, then I can commission others to provide tracks. Good plan? I don’t want to ask other artists to work for free. And I certainly don’t have the funds to bring in live players. This is why I need to make plans and figure out how much these things would cost.

In the Not Mine category, I made a few sound effects. There are MANY more to make.

So that’s what has mostly been circling around in my head lately. While I do have a day job and a number of Eww, Real Life things to work on, I want to make progress on all of these. Until next time! –m@

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