Episode 13 The Doctor and the Slaves of Time

written by Royce Pentaghast

edited by Carolyn Rutter and Damien Crompton

Royce has given us quite a dark little contemplative 2 parter and some new pictures ¬†ūüôā

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I’ve wrapped it in two soundscapes – one’s epic violins and soaring vocals Alex Doan’s ‘ Beyond the Horizon’ a heavier version of his ‘Between Mirrors’ . The other version has Kevin Macleod’s “Summer Rain”, which someone described as suitable for a samurai’s deathbed reflections. Here’s the first:

and the second

A Muse

The male muse – is he really just there for our female Doctor’s amusement? The brief for this episode was Terry get taken as a slave.

Poor Terry functions as the script writer’s male muse – what situation can he man-ouvre into that is a galactic mile away from his nuveau-hipster urban comfort zone. If you have watched Breaking Bad think ¬†Jessie Pinkman. Kudos to Michael for the taking the punches and the falls as well as delivering a very natural performance.

cast

  • Narrator – Dian Smith
  • Doctor: ¬†¬†– Moira Seward
  • Terry: her companion a 20 something male earthling – Michael Rutter
  • Butler-Bot: service droid attached to the luxury suite of the QUESTR – Adam Brooks
  • ALIEN POLICE 1 (Douglas Barbieri) and ALIEN POLICE 2 – part of the West King of Sandal‚Äôs armed forces ¬†(Damien Crompton)
  • ALIEN VILLAIN – named Veedoo who is buying slave workers ¬†(Richard Butler)
  • SLAVER – ¬†named Mindoo ¬†(Royce Gale/Pentaghast)
  • MARKET SELLER – who has the stolen Questr (Adam Brooks)
  • market walla – Carlos Anon

The credit roll now also includes 3 robots from http://www.fromtexttospeech.com as the alien police Harry, Daisy and Emma, and i’m really rather in love with Harry ( English male voices – don’t ask. )

music

Theme intro music courtesy Benjamin Rossiter

Beyond the horizon  courtesy of Alex Doan.

all other sounds unless otherwise noted are licensed by attribution creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Deserted by Fesliyan Studios, Echoes of Time by Kevin Macleod, Seeking Loot, Summer Rain by machinimasound.com, Frost Bitten Sunrise by Teknoaxe.com

SFX

freesound.org

178673__vedas__fight-fighting-men
362859__richardemoore__chainwrapping
250704__aiwha__coins
207280__rtb45__camel-ride-through-pushkar-india

sfx were made from this photo’s PIXELSIMG_1027 into the Questr ‘shudder” for 12/13 (links to the coagula software on the shownotes from ep9 )

You can’t say that!

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scary virus worm from episode 4

The City park radio programming guidelines are strictly G so we had to invent an expletive Terry could say on air Рhe is after all a male 20 something bogan and aliens are shooting at him, so our actor Michael came up with flip! for our f word. The sound editor shall fire a handy blaster shot any time he tries that s word.  

Testing the Translation Circuit

It’s science fiction so there are long technical explains and worse – alien words. ¬†The Questr is equipped with a handy translation device that magically works at a distance. So we can stick with english as the truly universal language, and use fake alien accents – the radio equivalent of a Dalek costume ūüôā

However¬†it’s always a surprise to a script writer as to which innocuous little words trip the tongues of the voice actors. Star shines will become shar stines, capacitors morph into capacitators, and time saving efforts turn into marathon recording sessions. After handling the periodic table with ease¬†Rowena created the Thornhill capacitator, our take on a flux capacitor.¬†So now its super special. “fruity tropical lime with a hint of hazlenut character” that was a little line i got off a bottle of Josef Chromy chardonnay and seriously regretted. Took a dozen takes and script writer was about to be strangled since the bottle was empty and we couldn’t just drown our woes.

Our script writers actually dodge creating alien names. just alien 1 alien 2 etc… They have no problems creating characters and convoluted plots but were so pleased I found¬†this handy thing online fantasynamegenerators.com¬†I haven’t yet tried hustling them into making up a language as involved as say Dothraki. Maybe season 3.

Mixing Audio 101

¬†“See 1 do 1 teach 1”

A quick behind the scenes look at how we take our voice actors onto alien worlds. Did we mention we are all amatuers and volunteers?

rowena-d¬†Firstly the lines are recorded by Adam Brooks the director¬†with the actors¬†in¬†studios at City Park Radio Launceston using Audacity. Audacity is an audio editing program that’s completely free which I found useful for recording streaming audio lectures broadcast at inconvenient o’clock ¬†so I could play them back later. Download it here for mac pc linux¬†audacityteam.org¬† ¬†It’s quicker and easiest to do each actor separately, in case they fluff their lines¬†and its very flexible – there are no rehearsals needed, it fits in with everyone’s busy schedules, minor changes to the script are often made on the fly with several versions recorded. And it allows collaboration at a distance. With a ¬†very quiet room and a good microphone Terry’s lines are recorded at his home on video and then the audio is stripped off and shipped thru cyberspace to¬†be pasted together with the rest by Adam. Use the free VLC media player to do this by simply converting video to a pure audio format audacity understands like OGG Vorbis or mp3 ( the conversion tool is in the media tab).

“sleep is for the weak”

Next we optimize the voices following the basic algorithm of this youtube tute https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYF5ytMDFpA Рmaybe a bit of treble boost for the females, both bass and treble for the blokes and a pitch shift for Izzy. For the aliens a few more effects are applied over whatever accent our vocal talent Brooke Maloy has come up with.

izzy-phaser-settings
eg. Trevor edited Brooke’s Izzy voice on episode 6 with these settings
inside the type 40 Questr time machine
inside the type 40 Questr time machine

To get them aboard the Questr the¬†sound effect “reverb” using the preset “voice II” is¬†applied to¬†the appropriate sections of the vocal track. The pre-recorded background hum is then imported¬†onto a separate track to the vocals. Next¬†any other sound effects or music are added – either cut into the vocal track, or layered as more separate tracks with their volume lowered by¬†the envelope tool when someone is speaking so as not to overwhelm the storyline –¬†see ¬†this tute ¬†https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXfVKSx7WtY ¬†by Alan Levine who teaches aspects of it as part of¬†an open online course in Digital Storytelling called DS106 http://ds106.us/open-course/ based on previous syllabi taught at the University of Mary Washington. These guys are funny, the community is great btw. If we get time we then compress and normalise the volume.

kevin_macleod_1
a creative commoner ūüôā

If we didn’t foley them ourselves, the sound effects come from a variety of creative commons licensed sources –¬†mostly freesound.org . The full attribution is listed on each episode page.¬†The cinematic soundscapes are from the generous folk at¬†machinimasound.com and Kevin MacLeod¬†who is responsible for a mass of free youtube scores incompetech.com

Lastly the lot is exported as a .wav file for broadcast later at City Park in the good old fashioned way over the airwaves.

PS to save youtube tutes for offline viewing i use http://www.converttoaudio.com/

The Questr

So the fun¬†of the radio play is letting your imagination fill in the visuals but inevitably SOMEONE WILL WANT A PICTURE – Indeed Michael aka Terry asked me all about the inside of the Questr today, despite having been inside it¬† read the script. By happy coincidence the¬†multi-talented¬†¬†rabiddog008.deviantart.com¬†( who also¬†clipped together our first trailer and¬†voices several parts¬†) drew these …..

inside the type 40 Questr time machine
inside the type 40 Questr time machine

and here is the outside – the grey metallic cylinder from the academy in episode 1 (although it looks like it could have come from Ikea ūüôā ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† disguised as a gaslight lampost from Narnia ¬†France¬†in episode 3 and as a retro wooden photobooth complete with creaky door in episode 4 when we pick up Terry.