Monday, October 25, 2010

Blue Hot Gossip's 13 Days of Halloween - Day 08

When using the background sounds I had to be careful not to allow them to overpower the character's dialogue. As such some sounds seem softer than they should as anyone who has tried to record in a moderately crowded room would attest. But this trick is used in entertainment all the time. Most of the time when you see a TV show or movie where the scene takes place on a street all the sounds and even the voices of the actors are mixed in later. If you actually tried to record two people talking on a busy street all you would hear is traffic.

For this episode I used two layers of sound effects. The haunted house sounds are in the background while the footsteps were mixed in with the spoken portion. I didn't want the footsteps to blend in too much to the haunted house sounds or Charlie's mention of them would seem pointless. They had to be distinct enough for someone to notice them apart from the haunted house sounds.

You may notice that I left out the footsteps of the characters in the hallway but I felt they would have distracted too much and made the sound of the footsteps in the haunted house less significant. It would also have been tricky to add footsteps for three people that sounded like they came from those people without putting them into all the other parts of the story as well. And people usually don't tend to pay attention to their own footsteps anyways so I felt I could get away with leaving them out. It's one of those things that I could have added but would have added significantly to the amount of work and I was just trying to keep the sound to the essential effects.

I also make a joke about him talking to himself. Normally, people don't tend to talk to themselves when alone but since I'm not working in a visual medium I needed to convey what was happening. In a movie it's possible to just show the character acting silently or overdub them thinking to themselves. I've run into a few situations in the past where not having the visual element made things a little more difficult and I've had to alter my approach to a scene to allow for that. If you ever heard Orson Well's version of War of the Worlds you'll recall there's one character that tells the story into a tape recorder. This is done to overcome the handicap of having a character with nobody else to talk to. The news broadcast portion of the play also helps with that.

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