Springline Radio Players
After months (and months, and months) of planning, sorting our the right script, working through the technical issues, we have managed to pull a cast and crew together with a view to record our first "Radio Play" in April 2016.
With the help of Amy Standish, Director and Trustee of Gobo Theatre Foundation, supported by Chris Scott who has taken the role of Technical Director and Editor, we held our second reading-through and workshop in March.
Our first play will be "Making Ends Meet", written by Peter Higginbotham and tells the story of the Fiona Buckingham Introduction Agency who with more creditors than clients is struggling to make ends meet. Cheap do-it-yourself dating through newspaper Lonely Heart columns has reduced the membership to almost single figures making it even harder to match clients up. Things start to look up when, within the space of a few days, two new members join. But then it all starts to go horrible wrong.
Springline Radio Players presents ...
The making of a radio production is much like any other dramatic production. First there is the picking of the play. Then there is the casting. Thus far same old stuff! This is where it becomes a little different! First, and you will be glad to hear this - you DON’T have to learn the lines. What you do have to do is have a very good working knowledge of it. This is so that when the actual recording takes place you don’t sound like you are reading it. Some actors do learn the script but lots don’t!
There is a series of read throughts to get the sense of the play and then blocking begins. This is different to blocking on stage as this will revolve around the microphones assigned to each actor. The reason for this is to give the listener a three dimensional image of what is happening. So if you are ‘coming into a room’ you would start a point away from the mike and then move toward it. Marks can be placed on the floor to show where the actor should be and these would correspond and in a stage play to points in the script. The above process can take as little or as long as the cast likes, within reason! There will be new techniques to master as the cast will be, in all probability, dealing with a new medium but these are not difficult and with a little practise become second nature. Recording, within the constraints of your business and personel situation, should take place on a Sunday afternoon/ early evening. This is so that final rehearsals can take place on Saturday and again on Sunday so that the cast is ‘hot’ ready for the final record. Some things to note. Just because it is being recorded it is far better to treat the situation as live. This way the cast does not relax and the production will flow better and have that all important edge that differentiates a rehearsal from a performance. There will be post production work to top and tail the production with an intro and an outro and to cut any ‘bad’ mistakes. Also cast members might be called in the re-record sections. It is usual to have the sound FX’s ‘spun’ in as the production is being recorded but it is also easy to add them later.
There you go. Not hard and a great deal of fun.
Here's a few seconds of a play that we recorded earlier in the year. All parts are played by one actor and then spliced or "slotted into position". The sound effects of wind, rain and thunder as well as the background music are added at a later stage and our sound engineers change the volumes, pitch, etc. to make it seem like one continuous production.