This week saw the second part of our fascinating workshops with voice actor and radio producer Jack. In last week’s session, Jack took us through lots of top tips on how to use a mic and showed us examples of different genres of radio programs and a video of a working recording studio to give the Far Far Away voice actors and Foley artists a real feel for the professional world of radio drama. Then, it was over to the group and in just 5 minutes they had made a radio drama, confidently narrated by Tia and accompanied by a team of Foley artists who brought Tom Tom’s fate vividly to life in a scene from Richard O’Brien’s Pig in Boots.
To start off the workshop this week, we listened to the raw version of last week’s recording to see what had worked well and what needed improving. We all agreed that the narration was clear and the sound effects, especially the fall and the splatting cabbages, worked but were too quiet. How could it be improved? Jack played an edited version with 30 seconds of pauses cut out, the volume of the sound effects enhanced and some funky music added and the change was amazing. With a just a few simple edits our scene was starting to sound really good. So, what did we need to remember when using the mics and recording? It was time to think about Jack’s top tips from last week:
1) Stay hydrated
2) Warm up with vocal exercises
3) Check your distance from the mic
4) Check your volume and be careful when making loud sounds
5) If you make a mistake, don’t panic. Say the line again as the mistake can be edited out.
6) Don’t P on the mic and watch out for the Bs!!!
Keen to get started, we then began our first read through of the original script the Far Far Away group planned with Karim in the first sessions of our Radio Theatre Project. It’s a really great script full of lots of cool characters and a rabbit that gets…ok…no spoilers here, you’ll have to come and see our live recording, but, I’ll give you a clue – it gets stinky!! The group rehearsed some of the lines speaking into the mics and thought about how they could change their voices to show the emotions of the characters. Amelie had some good ideas for a funny voice she could use for her particularly wicked character.
To finish, we brainstormed some ideas for the sound effects the Foley artists could make. What is a Foley artist? Foley is the reproduction of everyday sound effects that are added to film, named after Jack Foley who in 1927 first started to create sound effects for films in postproduction. In radio drama, the sound effects are recorded live at the same time as the dialogue. Jack’s top tip for budding Foley artists?
“Start to listen to things and think about if what you are hearing sounds like anything else.”
Can’t wait to hear what the group comes up with next week!!!