Development Diary Week 8

This week I created the fourth and final draft of my script, recorded the podcast, and started editing the podcast.

The final draft of my script was based off of the feedback I received last week during the rehearsal, from the people acting in it as they all had suggestions on how I could improve it. One of the pieces of feedback I received was to have more interaction between the characters of Jason and Dr. Winter, because in the previous drafts those two did not speak to each other they spoke about each other to the host of the show. I used this feedback to add more interaction between those two characters and less of the host talking to them, making it feel more like a debate than just the host asking separate questions to people and controlling the flow of the show.

Script Zombie Time

When I was recording the podcast I used a sound proof room to increase the quality of the sound and make it sound like an actual radio show as there won’t be as much echo to interfere with the recording. One issue I had while recording was adjusting the levels for certain parts, such as when one character screams in fear, as this part could have been distorted if I didn’t adjust the levels correctly. I also recorded the foley sounds that I was going to use throughout the podcast. The only issue I had with this was finding a prop that could make a sound similar enough to the sound effect I want, for example for the rustling of chains sound effect I used my keys as they were able to make a similar sound but it wasn’t completely perfect so I had to edit it slightly.

Once I had all my sounds recorded I went online to freesound.org to get music for the intro and outro of the podcast. I also got a Wilhelm scream from freesound.org because at one point a character screams but it is unknown what character and I wanted to experiment with a Wilhelm scream to see if it would work, because the Wilhelm scream is an iconic sound effect that is used in many products .

Once I had all my recordings and the music I wanted I started to edit it all together. The only issue I had during this part was synchronising all of the foley up to the speech where it needs to be. I also edited the sound from my keys to make them sound more like chains. To do this I changed the pitch and amplified the sound.
Change pitch on chain

Amplify chain

After I had put the wilhelm scream in I listened to the full podcast and decided the wilhelm scream was unnecessary as it didn’t add anything to the podcast and seemed very out of place so I removed it and decided not to put another scream in its place as I think the podcast works better without it.

I think the podcast does match with my original intentions because it does offer advice to people on what to do when they encounter a zombie and some of the advice is better than other advice, and it does contain funny elements which I hoped it would at the beginning of the project.

Freesound.org (2015) https://www.freesound.org/people/griffon_designs/sounds/320553/ (Accessed: 7 June 2016)

FoxyGamerMC (2006) Wilhelm.wav by SweetNeo85 Freesound.org.

 

 

 

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Development Diary Week 7

This week I created the second and third drafts of my script, and started to think of ideas for a logo for my podcast. I also did a run through of the three scripts with the other people who are going to act in it, and got feedback from this.

For the second draft of my script I created new dialogue and events that happen during the show so that I explored different options from the first draft. By exploring different options it means that more possibilities are created and I will be able to improve from my first draft.2

Script Zombie Radio Show draft 2

For my third draft I took elements from the first two drafts that I thought could work well together and combined them. I did this because I felt both drafts had good parts of them and I wanted to see if they would work if I put them together.

Script Zombie show draft 3

Once I had completed my second and third drafts I started thinking about possible ideas for a logo. As my podcast is a zombie themed radio show my ideas revolved around a radio station surrounded in fog or mist to add to the atmosphere that it is set in a world with zombies.

When the three drafts of my scripts were completed I did a run through of all of them with the people I am going to have act in it to test how it will sound when it comes together and see if elements of the script work or not, so that I have time to make any necessary changes before I go to record the actual podcast, and the actors can start to learn their lines so that they are ready for the final recording. Feedback I received from this rehearsal was that the host is too controlling of the debate and does not allow the other characters much chance to discuss each others arguments, and also the guest characters do not interact with each other enough as their only interactions come through the host. From this feedback I decided to give the host less dialogue so that the debate can feel more natural and this also allows for the guests to interact with each other and actually argue against each other. I think this will make it feel like a more natural debate and will also make it funnier to listen to, as each response won’t have been set up by the host.

My original idea for this project did not include creating a logo for the podcast but I believe creating a logo would make my presentation of the podcast better as professionally produced podcasts have logos for users to identify them, so I am going to create a logo to go with the podcast for when I publish it.

 

Development Diary Week 6

This week for the development of my Final Major Project I created character bibles for my four characters, I wrote the first draft of my script, and listened to and deconstructed an episode of the Bunker Buddies podcast.

For my character bibles I researched what information I needed to include about them. Once I had done this I thought about each characters likes and dislikes, as well as their strengths and weaknesses to help me get to know the characters. I also thought about their different personalities and their backgrounds, so that I would know what kind of person they are which will help me write the script and also help me when acting as these characters, and describing to anyone else acting what kind of person they need to be.

 

 

 

 

 

Once I had created my character bibles and knew my characters I started the first draft of my script. This was challenging because I want my finished product to be no longer than five minutes, so I had to make sure that the script would not take longer than five minutes. Also I want it to be funny so I had to try and make it funny with the dialogue and additional things that are happening in the background. Also getting each characters personality a chance to be shown off is difficult in the time frame I want the podcast to fit into.

Script Zombie Radio Show

After I had completed the first draft I listened to an episode of Bunker Buddies and deconstructed it. To do this I was thinking about things like what music they used and why, any sound effects they used and why, and if they talk about things in first or third person. I deconstructed Bunker Buddies because it is a podcast series that discusses apocalyptic events but with humour which is the style I want my podcast to be, and by deconstructing an episode I can learn about how I can present my podcast and learn the kind of things I can include in it to make it funny, such as music. From doing this I learnt how I can present my podcast and make sure to include the other guests on my podcast, as this podcast features more than one person. I also learnt how I can use music for comedy, as this podcast has music that juxtaposes with the subject they are discussing and that is something I want to include in my podcast.

I also researched techniques for character development and story development. The information I found out doing this helped me create my characters and develop them, and also helped me write my script as I learnt how I can keep the story progressing. My research into story development will help me as one piece of advice I found was to wright about my experiences, and although I don’t have experience in a real zombie apocalypse, I have seen a lot of zombie films and TV shows, and I have also listened to some radio shows so I can use my knowledge of these to help me when writing abut a radio show in a zombie apocalypse. Another way this research has helped me is I now know that it is important that I have a them for my story that will influence everything the characters do, as this will also allow me to think about each character and what will motivate them. I also learnt about story questionnaires, which are questions about the story and characters, and about how the audience should respond to the story and characters. This will help me when I’m writing the scripts as I will be thinking about how the audience should be feeling at each point of the script which will help me write a script that will be as appropriate as possible for my target audience and make them feel what I want them to feel. From researching character development I learnt that it the character bible I create will be useful in developing those characters through the story as I will know their key information and what motivates them, which will make them easier to develop throughout my script.

The scripts and characters I have created do meet the requirements set by my original idea as I have created a radio show where people talk about zombies and give advice to people which is what I set out to create. The information I found out from my research will be very helpful to me as it will make developing the story and characters easier now that I know useful tips for development.

None. (2015). Development. Available: http://thescriptlab.com/screenwriting/story/development#. Last accessed 19th May 2016.

None. (2015). Theme: Three Points. Available: http://thescriptlab.com/screenwriting/story/development/25-theme-three-points. Last accessed 19th May 2016.

None. (2015). Story Questionnaire. Available: http://thescriptlab.com/screenwriting/story/development/26-story-questionnaire. Last accessed 19th May 2016.

Melanie Anne Phillips. (2010). Be a StoryWeaver – NOT a Story Mechanic!. Available: http://dramaticapedia.com/2010/02/07/be-a-storyweaver-not-a-story-mechanic/. Last accessed 19th May 2016.

Michael Esser. (2016). Characters 101: The Importance of Weaknesses. Available: http://www.liferichpublishing.com/AuthorResources/Fiction/Importance-of-Weakness-in-Characters.aspx. Last accessed 19th May 2016.

None. (2016). Character Development. Available: http://writingcenter.tamu.edu/Students/Handouts-Guides/Guides-(What-Are-You-Writing-)/Creative-Writing/Character-Development. Last accessed 19th May 2016.

Fun, M. (2016) Haitian zombies: LIVE! Available at: http://www.maximumfun.org/bunker-buddies-andie-and-travis/haitian-zombies-live (Accessed: 17 June 2016).

RJBlain (2013) Creating a story bible: Characters. Available at: http://www.rjblain.com/2013/01/creating-a-story-bible-characters/ (Accessed: 18 May 2016).

Arts, eh. and Entertainment (2015) How to write a character bible. Available at: http://www.ehow.com/how_2049246_write-character-bible.html (Accessed: 18 May 2016).

Project Proposal

FMP Project Proposal

Project Proposal powerpoint

This is my project proposal and my powerpoint presentation that I presented at my production board meeting. The proposal explains what I am going to do and how I am going to do it, and also has a action plan that shows when I plan to complete my work. The powerpoint presentation explains the platform I am going to make my podcast available on, my target audience, and my inspirations for this idea.

The feedback I received on this was to research the format of podcasts and radio shows so that I can make my podcast sound as authentic as possible. Also I should look at existing podcasts and radio shows and deconstruct them so I know what elements go into each, and what I will need to include to make my podcast sound like an actual radio show.

Focus group and Final Idea

 

For this task we got into focus groups and discussed each others three final major project ideas and gave each other feedback on what worked in those ideas and what could be improved and also gave feedback on possible ideas the person could use in their project.

Digital Comic Book

The first idea for my Final Major Project is to create a digital comic book, set during a zombie apocalypse in London, following two main characters as they try to survive. My idea for what caused the zombie outbreak was a virus that has been dormant for centuries suddenly becoming active and infecting the worlds population in only a few days.

The feedback I received on the idea of the dormant virus was to maybe consider a genetic modification experiment going wrong and creating a zombie that way. I think this is an interesting idea as having someone be genetically modified and accidentally become a zombie is an original idea that would separate my work from all the other zombie narratives there are.

Another piece of feedback I received about how the dormant virus could be activated again was a group of people digging up an ancient burial site that has contained the virus, and by digging it up they expose the world to the virus and it infects people that way.
This idea is good as it offers an explanation as to how the virus stopped being dormant and how it was able to come into contact with enough people to start infecting the whole world.

Another idea I got from the feedback was to use the other members of the class to create profiles for the different types of zombies as part of a character bible.
This could be useful as it would help me think about the different zombie types there could be and creating a character bible will help me know everything about the characters which will make writing them easier, and also I will be able to visualise them for when I draw them.

The final piece of feedback I received was that this project would be very hard for me to complete to a good enough standard, as my drawing skills are currently not good so I would need to improve them, also this project would be hard to complete in the time I have available to do it as I would need to draw and write everything I needed for the comic, then scan it so that its on a computer, then edit it by colouring it if I need to, and then publishing it. All of that is a lot to accomplish in the short time I would have so maybe I should consider one of my other ideas instead.

Choose your own adventure book
My second idea is to create a choose your own adventure type book, set in a zombie apocalypse, where readers would take control of a character and have to make choices that will directly affect the plot of the book. The feedback I received on this idea was to research what program I could use to make the book, as at the moment I am not sure about what I could use to do this. Also I was told to think about how I would incorporate the different choices so that they have an impact, and think about how having a lot of choices will create a lot of work for me as I will have to create multiple versions of the story to reflect the choices people have made. This feedback has made me think if I will be able to complete this in the time I have available, as I need to do research to find what I can use to make it, and I would have to think about the choices I am going to have in the book and how I am going to fit them into the story and get readers to choose from them.

Podcast
My third idea is to produce a podcast that is set as a radio show during a zombie apocalypse that gives people advice on what to do when they encounter zombies. This would involve me performing and possibly getting some other people to act. The feedback I got from this idea is this is easier for me achieve in the time frame I have. Another piece of feedback I got was that this would be a good project for me to do as I enjoy performing and script writing, and if I script it correctly so that it does seem like a radio show it could be a very good project . This feedback has made me think that this idea is the best one for me to do for my project.

Final Idea
From the feedback I received from this task I have decided that I am going to do my podcast idea, as I think my skills are better suited to a podcast than a digital comic book, and in the time I have to do this I don’t think I could do all the research for a choose your own adventure type story and creating the story for that and then fitting choices into it would be difficult for me to achieve. However I think creating a podcast will be easier as although I will still need to do a lot of research into the formats of podcast and radio shows so that I know what I will need to do for it, when I start production my skills are better suited for this idea. Also I have enjoyed the sound work that I have done during this year and I want to develop my skills in this area further and maybe get a job working with sound in the future.

Action Plan

  • Research existing podcasts/radio plays
  • Learn more about the editing tools in Audacity
  • Research how I could publish it
  • Start scripting
  • Record
  • Edit
  • Publish

Research Tasks

For the first research task I identified three things that I wanted to research that would help me with my Final Major project. These were what is the process of publishing a digital comic?; what software can I use to create a digital comic?; and how can I improve my drawing skills?

Once I had identified what I wanted to research I identified why each one was important to know, what I would learn from it, what the best methods and sources of researching each topic, and what I learned and how it will help me.

FMP research homework

This task has been useful as I now know more about how I can make a digital comic as before I did not know what software is available to me that I could use for this, so I was not sure how I would create my comic, but now I have a clearer idea of what I will use. Also I have learnt how I would be able to publish my digital comic which will be useful as previously I did not know what I would do with the comic once I had completed it. Doing this research has given me a clearer idea of what I will use to create my comic which will help me when I start production as I will already know what software I will use and now I know that I can research how to use it so that when I start development I won’t have to worry about not being able to use the software.