Field recording & dialogue improvisation

Jonathan Mitchell of ‘The Truth’ uses both to fantastic effect; so we invited him on to find out more

The Truth is a truly immersive, authentic, and thought provoking series of short audio stories, coined as “movies for you ears”. Writer, director, and producer Jonathan Mitchell joins us this week to talk about how he works, and why the show sounds the way it does.

“I feel like you get a lot out of doing location recordings, beyond just the sound of the place, in fact, it’s not even the sound of the place that I’m looking for. It’s how that affects the performances, how actors move around in a space, and how they will move in relation to a microphone. Like if an actor turns their head when they are talking, that can communicate something very subtle. If they’re bending down, and have to contort their body for some reason because they are crouching, that gives you aural information that helps you understand better what’s going on. I like these little subtle things that force actors into performances, I think it’s those little details that all add up to this really realistic embodiment of the story.

“I like it for example when we’re recording a car scene, I’ll always record it in a car. I don’t always have the actors drive but when I do, I always like it better. Even though it’s harder to edit because you have all these car and motor sounds that don’t match, so you have to be really careful and get lots of ambience that you can kind of mask these things, but it’s definitely possible to make that work. The thing it gives you is these little sounds like the creaking of the seatbelts, the turn signals… and he’s turning to see if a car is coming because he’s making a turn, and the steering wheel on his hands… all these little details that I wouldn’t think to add, or if I did they wouldn’t have the gritty reality, the sort of visceral impact of realness that I feel I get from a location recording.” Jonathan Mitchell

Elsewhere, a bit of chat on scene transitions (we did an episode on this before), maybe you’ve got some clips from your own show you’d like us to play that demonstrate a particular method or technique? Send them in to podcast@audiodramaproduction.com

Also, are you a scriptwriter who just wants to write? A voice actor who just wants to act? A producer who just wants to produce? Get in touch, let us know who you are, what you do, what you want to do, and we’re going to try and put a project together for everyone. Again, you can do that at podcast@audiodramaproduction.com

As always, we’d love you to join the discussion in the increasingly lively Facebook group, as well as joining our email list, and following us on Twitter.

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