'The Ark' - PRODUCTION NOTES

Print out the four pages of the script. Each section is numbered on each page, beginning at no 1 at the top of each page. This helps you to refer to a place in the script.

Screens in the Studio - you turn the absorbent side of the screen towards the actors if needed, or the reflective side.

Script changes may have to be made. Do not avoid challenges and do not make production too easy. But some changes are needed, as you will learn.

You are given some alternatives here in how you direct this script. Production has to be flexible. Note that 'FX' means a pre-recorded sound effect (mixed in in post-production, or played in to the sound mixing board in production). This is opposed to a 'Spot' effect, which is created by a sound technician in the Studio, alongside the actors.

For the five positions at the microphone (and the sound picture and perspective), see Beck, Alan, 1997, Radio Acting, London: A & C Black. (Consult index.)

Make sure your actors mark up their notes on their scripts. There have to be pencils available.

You will learn here about:

 recording a 'wild-track' first - Step 2
 what to leave for post-production

 balancing sounds against each other

SEQUENCE 3

 making changes in the script

SEQUENCE 3

 the sound centre and perspective

SEQUENCE 4

 edit points

SEQUENCE 5

 approach the microphone

SEQUENCE 5

 take the Effect as Spot (in production) or as post-production?

SEQUENCE 5
 

GETTING INTO PRODUCTION

Step 1

Divide the script up into short sequences - a section of script which is produced in a particular sound set. You learn here that this is not a strict science, but for your convenience in production. You work this out for yourself and experience helps. Crucially, you look for EDIT POINTS - the ending and beginning of sequences, where in post-production you can more easily edit the audio together. PRODUCTION IS REHEARSE-RECORD and then REHEARSE-RECORD. You put all this together in post-production.

Step 2

Record the 'ark-building wild-track'. Get all the cast into the Studio with the building tools. Put them behind the various screens. Record a wild track of building noise effects and of singing and whistling. Record two minutes of this. This will be what is called 'peaky', with sharp, sudden noises. It is best mixed in with the dialogue (in sequence 1) in post-production when it can be better balanced in detail. And none of it will mask (obscure) the dialogue. If you try to mix in 'ark-building wild-track' while sequence 1 dialogue is being recorded (live from the Studio), you do not have the control.

 SEQUENCE 1  SEQUENCE 2  SEQUENCE 3
 SEQUENCE 4  SEQUENCE 5  SEQUENCE 6
 SEQUENCE 7    

=====================================================

SEQUENCE 1

1. FX: EXCITING MUSIC. CROSSFADE TO ARK-BUILDING NOISES.

2. NARRATOR (neutral acoustic - position 3 - like children's TV programme - very enthusiastic)
We follow our reporter Sally to her most exciting
assignment yet.
She's interviewing Mr Noah, hard at work on the Ark.
So far, she's caught up with Mrs Noah.

The sound set: NARRATOR at the microphone. CD technician has the introductory music cued up, and at the agreed level. On 'go' (you are recording), the music is played and then faded down under the NARRATOR. You have already pre-recorded the FX 'ark-building noises'. This will be added in post-production, when you can better judge the balance of this against the dialogue.

======================================================

SEQUENCE 2

3. FX: EXTERIOR, DAYTIME, DRY. SALLY AND MRS NOAH APPROACH THE ARK.
BUILDING IN HANGAR. WALKING FOOTSTEPS ( x 2) ON GRAVEL.
ARK BUILDING SOUNDS HEARD INSIDE BUILDING.

4. MRS NOAH Don't mind Noah. His bark is worse than his bite.
He's great when you get to know him and he's got a
great working relationship with his gang. They're my
sons and daughters, you know.

5. SALLY I want to interview him too.

6. MRS NOAH He's mad. You can quote me on that.
He has them all at it.

7. SPOT RUSTLING NOTEBOOK AND NOTE-TAKING

8. SALLY Mad. Noah. At it. I've got that.

9. MRS NOAH Could you get this door, Sally, or I might spill Noah's tea.

10. SALLY Sure. (as they go in) Gosh! I can't believe this!

The sound set: Sally and Mrs Noah are in the gravel box, walking on the spot. Put two screens less than a metre behind the box, absorbent side towards the gravel box. You have to direct this with caution - just a step or two, otherwise the logic of the steps will be lost, and the noise of the gravel box will be too great against the dialogue.

SPOT - 'RUSTLING NOTEBOOK AND NOTE-TAKING' (no 7) - best done by a Spot technician, kneeling between the actors and the microphone, and holding up the notebook and pen. Try out the level of this Spot effect after you have rehearsed Sally and Mrs Noah, and before the first take. Although the script says ' RUSTLING NOTEBOOK AND NOTE-TAKING', better NOT do the 'RUSTLING', as this sounds like a production mistake - the notorious script rustling, when an actor turns a page too loudly and this is picked up by the microphone. You do not want the listeners to get an impression of that.

POST-PRODUCTION: outside atmos - open coutryside - or a hint that this is alongside a farm? 'Dry' (no rain).

======================================================

SEQUENCE 3

11. FX: DOOR OPENS. THEY GO IN, FOOTSTEPS FROM GRAVEL TO WOODEN SURFACE (x 2).
FADE UP INTERIOR AND WORKERS

(end page 1)

This is one of the most difficult production/post-production sequences to cope with, and that is why it is in your first script. The task is: GETTING FROM 'A' TO 'B'.

For full guidance, see Alan Beck, Radio Acting (Consult index.)

You have the following alternatives:

(1) CHANGE THE SCRIPT

End the scene as they go in to the barn door, with a steep fade down, and a swift fade in for the new scene. So the changed script looks like this:

9. MRS NOAH Could you get this door, Sally, or I might spill Noah's tea.

9A FX - PRODUCTION NOTE - FADE DOWN ON THE FOLLOWING.

10. SALLY Sure. (as they go move towards the barn door)

10A MRS NOAH You go first through the door, Sally.

10B FX - DOOR OPENS AND WE HEAR MORE OF THE ARK-BUILDING.

10C SALLY Gosh! I can't believe this!

10D FX - PRODUCTION NOTE - FADE TO SILENCE AND SWIFTLY FADE IN THE FOLLOWING SCENE, IN THE ARK.

Page 2

New Scene

1. MRS NOAH Thanks for managing the door. Come on through! So what do you think of Noah's barn? You'll soon get used to the hullabaloo.

(2) KEEP THE SCRIPT AND DO A 'We go with' TECHNIQUE.

For a full description of 'We go with' , see Level Seven : Script: 'We Go With'.

It is a bit adventurous to attempt this at LEVEL ONE, but here goes........

9. MRS NOAH Could you get this door, Sally, or I might spill Noah's tea.

10. SALLY Sure. (as they go in) Gosh! I can't believe this!

11. FX: DOOR OPENS. THEY GO IN, FOOTSTEPS FROM GRAVEL TO WOODEN SURFACE (x 2). FADE UP INTERIOR AND WORKERS

(end page 1)

PAGE 2 'The Ark'

1. MRS NOAH Thanks for managing the door. Come on through! So what do you think of Noah's barn? You'll soon get used to the hullabaloo.

2. FX: DOOR CLOSES. FADE EXTERIOR.

PRODUCTION NOTES: This will depend on mixing your Studio takes along with FXs (pre-recorded sound effects) in post-production. Record these as separate takes:

9. MRS NOAH Could you get this door, Sally, or I might spill Noah's tea.

10. SALLY Sure. (as they go in) Gosh! I can't believe this!

AND

1. MRS NOAH Thanks for managing the door. Come on through! So what do you think of Noah's barn? You'll soon get used to the hullabaloo.

Fade down the OUTSIDE ATMOS at no 11. Fade in and mix these FXs - BARN DOOR CLOSES, ARK-BUILDING WILD-TRACK.

As the ARK-BUILDING WILD-TRACK is so peaky and so dominant, the listeners will not hear the FOOTSTEPS FROM GRAVEL TO WOODEN SURFACE (x 2). So we can ignore that instruction.

===============================================

SEQUENCE 4

2. FX: DOOR CLOSES. FADE EXTERIOR.

3. NOAH (shouting at workman) Do you call that a straight line or what, man? Would you look at that naffin' plank, lad!

4. SHEBA I'm not your lad, I'm Sheba.

5. MOABIT She's doing her best.

6. SHEM Just Dad having one of his jokes.

7. MRS NOAH This way Sally.

8. FX: FOOTSTEPS CONTINUE. BUILDING SOUNDS LESSEN AS THEY ENTER. WHISPERS AND SHH'S. THEY REACH NOAH.

( SILENCE)

PRODUCTION NOTES: You now learn about perspective - arranging the sound events in relation to the sound centre. We have a fixed sound centre here - we are 'with' (or beside - as listeners) Sally and Mrs Noah. At no 3, we look further into the Barn, and notice Noah shouting. So, in the Studio, the actor playing Noah is placed further away from the microphone he is being recorded on. You direct Noah in position no 4 and how he is to use volume and force of voice. This has to be rehearsed, so Noah is given the appropriate note by the director about the level (or volume) he is to use. The director has to ensure that Noah keeps to that note for the take (and that is the need for all radio actors). 'SHOUTING AT WORKMAN' does not mean full volume. Noah may need to face sideways to the microphone, and not full on. You have to experiment.

You also place your actors around the studio. What is the sound picture you create? What are the dimensions of the Barn? What is the logic? What is the size of the Ark?

==================================================

SEQUENCE 5

9. MRS NOAH Noah, this is a bright young reporter, Sally.

10. NOAH Looks too young for the job. Bet she couldn't bang a nail.

( PAUSE)

11. SALLY I'm here to interview you.

12. MRS NOAH Here's your tea. Stirred, not shaken.

13. NOAH Thank you, I'm sure.

14. SPOT TEA STIRRED.

PRODUCTION NOTES: The top and the tail of SEQUENCE 5 are convenient EDIT POINTS. (EDIT POINTS are the ending and beginning of sequences, where in post-production you can more easily edit the audio together. ) So you join the pieces together at no 8 ( SILENCE) and no 14. SPOT TEA STIRRED.

MOVEMENT OF NOAH - At no 10, Noah has to move from his position no 4, and into position no 3, near to Mrs Noah (and Sally). This is technically called an 'approach to the microphone' (as opposed to a move away from the microphone). So get your actor playing Noah to write this in at no 10 ('approach') on his script.

SPOT OR POST-PRODUCTION - you decide! (Note from Alan Beck - as on my radio course, we have so many sound effects, I prefer to put in an effect like this in post-production. This gives more control. And takes less time. Spot SPOT TEA STIRRED. can take up quite a lot of production time away from the actors. However, you should also take the sequence 'dry' - without the Spot effect. This gives you the choice. )

===================================================

SEQUENCE 6

'The Ark' (cont.) (page 3)

1. MRS NOAH What's got you wound up?

2. NOAH (slurping tea) It's that so-called carpenter daughter of yours, Sheba. Can't get any line straight.

3. SALLY That planking looks great to me.

4. SHEBA Ta! Who are you?

5. NOAH (slurping) Great tea.

6. SALLY Sally, trainee reporter. Hi.

7. SHEBA Can you use a plane?

8. SALLY I certainly can. Done evening classes in DIY.

9. NOAH Thank God someone's useful. These uprights need shaving down. Can you do that for me?

10. SPOT SHEM STARTS HAMMERING.

PRODUCTION NOTES: Again a good edit point at the end of this sequence. Are you going to put SHEM STARTS HAMMERING. as Spot, or in post-production?

======================================================

SEQUENCE 7

11. MOABIT Hold a minute, Shem. HOLD IT!

12. SPOT SHEM FINALLY STOPS HAMMERING.

(end page 3)
1. SHEBA Take this.

2. FX. SALLY TAKES PLANE AND HELPS SHEBA AT WORK.

3. SHEBA Like this. Takes a bit of technique.

4. FX. SHE STARTS PLANING. SMOOTHLY, THEN STOPS.

5. SHEBA Got it?

6. SALLY Sure. I think.

7. NOAH Get on with it. The rains will arrive.

8. FX. SALLY STARTS PLANING. JERKILY.

9. SALLY Ouch! My hand!
10. FX: SALLY THROWS DOWN PLANE.

11. NOAH Those tools are expensive. Be Careful!
12. SHEBA Give her a chance Dad! Stop hassling her.

13. FX: SHEM STARTS HAMMERING FURIOUSLY AGAIN. WHISTLING AND SINGING RESUMES.
14. NOAH Life on the Ark doesn't suit eh?
15. GRAMS ESTABLISH AND FADE JOLLY MUSIC FADE
(page 4)
(END)

PRODUCTION NOTES: Your biggest problem here is to keep control of the EFFECTS, as they are high-impact, noisy. Perhaps you will get better control over these in post-production, though it is quite fun to do these as Spot. Be aware of HEALTH AND SAFETY ISSUES here. Do not use the actual carpentary tools as Spot. They are too dangerous. For SALLY THROWS DOWN PLANE., you should use a bunch of keys, thrown down on the carpet floor. It will give that metal chink you need and is safer. In terms of acting here, you have to deliver on the end of this comedy sketch. And get the point of no 14. NOAH Life on the Ark doesn't suit eh?. You have to get the snappy 'sign-off line' at the end (as it is called). You could use the same music choice for the end as you used at the beginning. This helps to signal to the listeners that this is the end of the sketch.

 'The Ark' - introduction
 'The Ark' - SCRIPT
 To - Level Two: Your second Script: 'The Ouija Board'

 

 

 

 

This site is 'Radio Drama - directing, acting, technical, learning & teaching, researching, styles, genres'. See INDEX to navigate also.  Complete curriculum of scripts, techniques (acting & directing & post-production & genre styles), advice, sound files - effects and atmoses (with no copyright and so free to use), detailed script commentaries, etc.

Academic material on this site is Creative Commons License Alan Beck is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

Learn about radio drama on this site along with my book - Beck, Alan, Radio Acting, London: A & C Black ISBN 0-7136-4631-4 Available on Amazon. CLICK HERE.

To the WELCOME PAGE for Alan Beck's sites. See more of Alan Beck's work.

Disclaimer

Any opinions expressed in this site are the personal opinions of the owner of the site. IF YOU HAVE COMMENTS, PLEASE EMAIL TO : radio@savoyhill.co.uk

Read more about: noah and sally
Page provided by FREE GoFTP Client