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Taking inspo from other mediums
I’ve written before in this newsletter about taking inspiration from novels – letting the ideas and style of fiction writers fire up our creativity in audio. For this issue, I’m widening that to take a look at other mediums — film, TV, music — to see what we can learn as audio storytellers. Here are a few nuggets of gold that have captured my imagination recently…
I watched this only the other day so I’m still slightly reeling… letting it settle in my mind. Written and directed by Scottish filmmaker Charlotte Wells and starring Paul Mescal (for which he got an Oscar nom), on the surface Aftersun is the story of a young father on holiday with his daughter. But there’s so much more going on beneath, just out of shot. It’s staggeringly beautiful and delicate, profoundly moving without being sentimental. I can imagine how an aesthetic like Aftersun’s would work in audio fiction – plus it has a fantastic soundtrack.
📺 Sex Diaries
I was dubious about how The Cut’s Sex Diaries column would translate to the screen, but wow, they have done an incredible job with this HBO mini-series. We talk a lot about the intimacy of audio, but this show might be one of the most truly intimate things I’ve engaged with. You are really taken inside a person’s erotic life in a way that doesn’t feel voyeuristic – and it really caught me off guard how poignant it is. Plenty for us audio producers to learn here when it comes to compelling characters and remarkable access. And I assume it goes without saying, this one’s NSFW.
I’ve unintentionally read several memoirs so far this year (they always seem to be sad memoirs too, although are memoirs ever not sad?) Jean Hannah Edelstein’s This Really Isn’t About You and Michelle Zauner’s Crying in H Mart both explore the pain of losing a parent. Written in fairly stark, simple prose with descriptive scenes, they’re useful texts in thinking about how to write personal essays for audio. Then on the other end of the spectrum, there’s poet Ocean Vuong’s coming-of-age memoir On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, which is rich in abstract visuals and cinematic language. Rendering Vuong’s prose / poetry hybrid through sound design would be a great challenge.
🎶 Topical Dancer
This is the debut album from Belgian duo Charlotte Adigéry and Bolis Pupul, protégées of the legendary electronic producers Soulwax. Their tracks blend synth hits and driving beats with biting commentary on race and sexism, not to mention masterful production … you think you understand a song and then it reveals something new on every listen. Hugely inspiring for thinking about voice manipulation, sound design and scoring. Especially check out the tracks It Hit Me and HAHA, (FYI when they perform the latter live, Charlotte does the laugh live each and every time).
What’s been fuelling your imagination lately? I’m all ears 🐚 💌
🍊 Producer (Audio/Podcasts) ~ Proximity Media ~ Los Angeles, CA
🍊 Senior Producer ~ PodPeople ~ Remote
🍊 Producer ~ Wondery ~ Remote
🍊 Supervising Producer ~ Lemonada ~ Remote
Events and classes
Reaper Editing For Beginners ~ AudioTrain ~ 17 March
Making Proof, from America’s Test Kitchen ~ AIR webinar ~ 23 March
VO Atlanta ~ voiceover conference ~ 23-26 March
Making Your Show A Community Hub ~ AIR webinar ~ 30 March
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