Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Attention To Detail

Busy making Professor Hallux's Map Of Medicine a new series for Fun Kids and The Wellcome Trust, I'm in the middle of an episode called 'Concussion and the Paramedic' each episode although only 5-6 mins long takes me about two hours to put together.

First I edit the voice artist performances then place them on my multi-track template, then I add the sound design - music and effects and other elements - like Professor Hallux's 'body' (A kind of monster he built in a previous series) The body is asking for his teddy and having a cry about it at the end - I provide that voice and the imaging voices around the series.

On the script is an FX direction that reads "SFX AMBULANCE SIREN (MAKE SURE MODERN SORT NOT NEE NAW) as you can tell Fun Kids have high production values.  I know exactly what they mean, about ten years ago I worked on a project with the London Ambulance Service and the NHS - highlighting fake 999 calls - the budget was about threepence but the production value had to be of a very high quality. (It won a health award - which was nice)

Challenge number one - find an authentic London Ambulance siren - Solution - I got the guys in the LAS press office to 'borrow' a siren from the maintenance department, we hooked it up to one of their company cars and then drove it (rather naughtily) at speed with the siren on, up and down the little road behind ITN TV studios - where LBC was based.  I recorded the whole thing using a stereo mic to get that passing left to right sound.

Challenge number two - find 'callers' to copy the authentic calls that the service gave me that I had turned into dramatised scripts.  Solution people from the office to whom I gave a mobile phone and told them to run around the atrium (the posh name for the ITN basement) until they were out of breath then read the script.

The result was such an authentic sounding call that the BBC inadvertently stock filed in their archives as authentic and a couple of years later I was horrified to hear it used on BBC Breakfast News as authentic.  Luckily I knew the Editor at the time and a quick Email made sure that mistake wasn't made again.

So its amazing what a little thought and application can create, right back to Prof Hallux, in the next episode he is off to see a speech therapist, u u u uh oh!

No comments: