On Tuesday afternoon, Max got the Far Far Away workshop off to a fun start with the ball and name game : you throw a ball to someone in the group, but you have to say their name first – it’s a good way for people to get to know each other. Then Max explained to us all how, when we make a radio play, we create the sound effects. He explained that these are called Foley sounds. These can be anything from the sound of footsteps on a pavement to a flushing toilet. Using his audio equipment, Max played us some of the sounds he had prepared and we had to guess each one – not as easy as you might think. One of these was a series of different sounds that actually formed a little story : the sound of someone filling a kettle with water; the kettle being switched on and beginning to boil; a doorbell ringing; footsteps crossing a room; a door opening and the sound of a human voice gasping in surprise. It was a challenge identifying all the different elements of this “sound story” but we enjoyed being audio detectives !
Our next activity involved dividing into two groups; some people went to record Foley sounds with Max and the other group worked on the play text. Recording the sound effects requires a lot of focus but is very rewarding when you listen back to your handiwork. Max got the group involved in creating the Foley sounds that will be used in our production and these included making the sound of rushing water to evoke the sewer scenes – this was done by using the kitchen tap and the washing up bowl – easy when you know how ! Max demonstrated how to use the audio equipment and, just as in a recording studio, called for silence from everyone during recording to avoid any background noise.
Our other group of young people focused on some of the sewer scenes and had fun exploring each character’s motivations and intentions. We talked everything through first and everyone made a very positive contribution and put a lot of thought and energy into imagining how their character would feel along their journey. We read through the scenes several times and they really came alive, each character gradually becoming more and more defined.
Towards the end of the session, everyone had a brief time “on the mic” again – getting another chance to hear how they will sound on the microphone and everyone had remembered the techniques they had been shown, such as leaving a four-finger distance between the mic and the mouth.
Thanks to Max for a really enjoyable session. We look forward to next week……