So, I'm almost paralysed with tiredness after going to work, but I thought I should probably do a quick blog entry before hitting the hay.
In terms of narration, I had spontaneously asked my friend Melissa to read out the lines for our rough cut, but for the actual film we needed to record Adam, who we were introduced to through Ellie as someone who was good at doing a variety of voices.
Through recording Melissa, I learnt that some of the narration (either hastily put together by me or revised by Alex) was difficult to say, or didn't convey the ideas or messages fully. For example, the line "when his colleagues returned, oh how they would squeal!" could be interpreted as Joe's coworkers experiencing excitement or joy instead of anger, and words like 'consternation' also deviated from the Seuss-like effect we were trying to produce (because, honestly, how many picture books have you seen the word consternation in? And if you have, then what the hell are you reading your children?)
Another concern that was raised by our peers in the rough-cut screening was that the narration was a little too sparse for the type of feel we were going for. Although we do need to cut down on some of the scenes in our film, I also thought that the narration could be a little more stretched out, and so thought of things to add to it that would further the story along. I tend to go by the logic that it's better to spend the extra ten seconds recording something you can later take out than be mournfully wishing you'd decided to record something earlier and be left with nothing.
I'd been letting a few different rhymes run through my head over the past few days, but I only wrote out a new version of the narration when I got to the city, half an hour before we were scheduled to meet Adam. (I had less than half an hour, really, because I had to go borrow a H2 Zoom and I also ran into a former classmate in the cafeteria where I was typing). In addition to that, my Mac decided to freeze after I'd written half and I had to do the rest in the edit suites and have Adam read off two separate screens. In the end, though, I feel quite proud of my last minute additions and tweaking.
Alex showed Adam a few different clips of narration styles he would like him to emulate, and Adam simply 'found a voice' and away we were. I was quite amazed by this and he seemed very experienced and professional. We did a few different recordings, or 'takes', as sometimes lines needed to be repeated for different emphasis.
I am going to put this next part in bold as I think it's something that's actually helpful.
An important discovery we made was that the narration was clearer when Adam paused between the sentences, rather than reading it all together like a poem. This was because when he was pausing, his voice remained strong until the final syllable of the sentence. However, when he was carrying on to the next part, his voice often faded away. Most people do this, and I remember teachers in primary school trying to get us to speak clearly and pronounce the last syllable of each sentence, but the reality is that most people will get quieter.
If you're recording narration, get them to pause. It's amazing. (And shitloads easier to edit!)
I'm also glad we used Adam because his voice really brought it all to life, and just listening to him made me filled with excitement and motivation to finish our film (as if the impending deadline wasn't enough-!).
So yes. Peace out until the next update.