'The Egg-stremists'

PRODUCTION NOTES

Keep to the position designated until a change is noted.

Alternatives noted - cross out as appropriate

Job of SPOT and Cubicle to prepare for alternatives

Team work

Sets, SPOT and FXs

SET(S) / ACOUSTIC(S)
(1) Narrator
(2) Kitchen ambience
(3) Outside kitchen door
(4) At fridge door

SET EQUIPMENT
Door - kitchen
Door - fridge
Screens

SPOT
Radio playing pop music on cassette
Choose track on pop cassette
Kitchen door
Fridge door
Dishes (in sink)

FX
First Music Stinger for top
Second Music Stinger for out

SPOT OR GRAMS FX
Egg smashing - eggs, bowl, newspapers, cloth
or
Egg box thrown onto hard floor surface (avoids mess) plastic egg box AND cardboard egg box

SCRIPT: 'The Egg-stremists'

WILD-TRACK 1

SEQUENCE 1

1. FX: (MUSIC STINGER. Cut before 2, or fade under.)

2. NARRATOR: (POSITION 3) It's dateline - Monday. The location - we find the gang in Billie's kitchen and our story this week - 'The Case of the Filthy Fridge' or 'The Egg-stremists'.

SEQUENCE 2

3. FX: (ESTABLISH AMBIENCE OF KITCHEN. RADIO PLAYING POP MUSIC.)

4. BILLIE: (AT POSITION 2. FRUSTRATED, YAWNING AND GROANING, OR HUMMING, ESTABLISH PRESENCE) No, no, no. First day of the holidays and nothing to do.

5. SPOT: (DISHES IN SINK.)

6. BILLIE: (MOVE TO POSITION 3) Oooh, look at the mess in here. Meant to be the first step in my new life. (SITTING DOWN.) Nothing, nothing, nothing.

7. WIN: (POSITION 5. CALLING FROM OUTSIDE THE KITCHEN.) If that's you up finally, Billie, it's your turn to clean the kitchen today. And turn off the radio.

8. BILLIE: (GROANING) You what?

9. SPOT: (RADIO OFF)

10. WIN: Your last warning. You're on the rota. Clear that battlefield.

SEQUENCE 3

11. CHA-CHA: (ENTERING THROUGH THE OPEN KITCHEN DOOR. FROM POSITION 4 TO 3.) Had a look at yourself yet? Billie? Any fruit juice left?

12. BILLIE: Oh, ha-ha, Cha-Cha. Shut the door, I'm under attack.

13. SPOT: (CLOSING THE KITCHEN DOOR.)

SEQUENCE 4

14. CHA-CHA: (MOVING TO FRIDGE AND THEN OPENING THE FRIDGE DOOR. INTO FRIDGE ACOUSTIC.) You and your friends last night. You know you drank them all under the table and then you joined them there.

15. BILLIE: Feels like I slept there too.

16. WIN: (HEARD THROUGH THE CLOSED DOOR.) You can start with the fridge - it's disgusting.

17. BILLIE: Fridge - breakfast - food. (BILLIE MOVES TO FRIDGE)

18. CHA-CHA: (JOSTLING WITH BILLIE AT THE FRIDGE.) Clear out of my path, Billie. That's the last egg you've just nabbed.

19. BILLIE: (BATTLING OVER IT) It's mine, gimme, gimme.

20. CHA-CHA: Oh no, watch out -

SEQUENCE 5

21. SPOT/FX: (EGG SMASHED.)

SEQUENCE 6

22. BILLIE: Disaster, Cha-Cha. That's my breakfast on the floor.

23. CHA-CHA: Mine actually.

24. SPOT: (DOOR OPENED)

25. WIN: Have you started yet - ? What is this mess - my egg?

26. CHA-CHA: Egg-sactly.

27. BILLIE: We are - The Eggstremists.

28. FX: (MUSIC STINGER FOR OUT)

PRODUCTION NOTES

CASTING

All these roles can be M or F. Billie is the strongest character. This is set either in a communal flat shared by young people or in a family, with Win as the mother or father.

PREPARATION

GRAMS
Prepare two or more choices for the Music Stingers: intro no 1 and the out, no 28.

SPOT
Choose no 3 FX, the pop cassette.

DIRECTOR and STUDIO MANAGER
Select the two Music Stingers from what Grams has to offer.
Listen to SPOT's choice for no 3 FX.

SEQUENCES

Wild-track 1 for 21 - egg smashing

Set Up

Egg to be smashed
Newspapers
Plastic bowl
Microphone A
Cue Light A

SPOT
Lay out newspapers around bowl but be careful not to rustle them when working. (This is a bit of a tricky problem.)
Drop the eggs, one at a time for each take, from three feet into a plastic bowl.
Microphone set at lowest position down the stand.

DIRECTOR
Test first egg smashing for levels. Record each take, including the first, as you want to do three takes of this, maximum. (It's messy enough as it is.)
Mix this FX in at post-production. This gives you more control over the comic timing and the level.
When finished, get SPOT to remove bowl and newspapers right outside the Studio.

NOTE
If egg-smashing is too much trouble, replace this SPOT effect with an egg-box thrown onto the floor. Try cardboard and plastic.

SEQUENCE 1 nos. 1-2

Set Up

Microphone A with Narrator
Cue Light A for Narrator

CUBICLE
Choose the Music Stinger for 1. It is to have attack at the top, so it is straight into it.
Decide whether to straight-cut or to fade under 2.
There is a straight cut at the end of 2.
Check the fading in and out with the Studio Manager.

STUDIO
Set up the Microphone A for Narrator: Position 3 standing.

Takes
Narrator is to be energetic and clear. The mood is either children's radio comedy or more adult situation-comedy.
AS IF: This is a regular 3-minute episode in a popular Saturday morning radio show about Billie and friends.
Make sure the pun in 'Egg-stremists' comes over.

For the First Take:
WE'RE GOING FOR NUMBERS 1 AND 2. GOOD LUCK EVERYBODY.

SEQUENCE 2 nos. 3-10

Set Up

(1) Build the Set
Block the moves

STUDIO
Microphone A for 3-4, 6-10
Microphone B for 5 with a screen
One or two screens for Win at 7, 10
Cue Light A for Billie at 4
Cue Light B for Win at 7 and 10
Cue Light C for SPOT dishes at 5
SOUND CENTRE between fridge and kitchen table

DIRECTOR
Kitchen acoustic:
This is created by the radio SPOT, the dishes SPOT and by the dialogue. Nothing more should be needed.

Check Microphone A level for Billie at 4 and then Billie at 6. Check Cue Light A.
Check 6 - Billie's move (to position 3) and the 'sitting down', which is actually not the actor sitting down, but merely the suggestion that the character has settled at the kitchen table. The actor stays standing up and embodies this. You use the same microphone, so Billie does not have to move far, but only a few steps.
Having agreed the level for Microphone A, you are ready to block Win.
Audition Win, who is blocked the other side of the screen(s), for 7 and 10. You will get the best perspective if you use the same microphone and you do not mike Win separately unless you have problems. Check Cue Light B.

PROBLEM-SOLVER: If you still have problems with Win's perspective, record all of Win at position 5 (numbers 7, 10, 16) separately.

TIP: Get Win to think of some house-cleaning activity, such as dusting, brushing or collecting laundry, to get movement and purpose.

(2) Radio playing pop music - kitchen ambience

SPOT
Set up radio-cassette with a cassette of pop music. Best choose a track which is not too intrusive into the dialogue and maybe is instrumental rather than with a singer. This should be easier to work with and rewind to your cue, if the Director demands a number of takes.
(It's not a useful idea just to tune the radio in to a pop station because this can let you down in the middle of a take.)

TIP: If the radio SPOT is too difficult, it can be mixed in, in post-production. But this radio SPOT is lively and gives the best sound quality as SPOT.

DIRECTOR
Get the level for this radio. Have SPOT place the radio-cassette on the blind side of Microphone A about four feet off, and on a low table, and set the radio volume medium to low.
Cue Billie's dialogue (4, 6, 8) and set the radio pop music against that, instructing SPOT by the Horizontal Visual Cue.
TIP: Let SPOT choose the cassette track.

Check 3 and 4 with SPOT. You may need the radio at a slightly higher volume just to establish and then brought down under 4.

(3) Dishes
SPOT at Microphone B behind screen
Cue Light C

Audition SPOT for levels
Check their Cue Light

TIP: Keep the dishes SPOT effect down. Because the crockery noises are sharp in their attack, 'less is more' has to be the rule here.

5 should extend under the first part of 6.

Takes

Before the first rehearsal:
Make sure everybody understands their cue lights and their moves.
And that they have marked up their scripts with their moves and director's notes.

Rehearse Billie at 4 and decide how much paralanguage you need to establish presence. Try Billie out at humming or half-singing along with the radio. The impression to create is that the kitchen scene begins with a 'close-up' on Billie.

10 is fine for post-production editing.

For the First Take:
WE'RE GOING FOR NUMBERS 3 TO 10. GOOD LUCK EVERYBODY

When you listen to the Take and decide in the Cubicle it is successful:
THANK YOU STUDIO. WE'LL BUY THAT.

SEQUENCE 3 nos. 11-13

STUDIO
As for Sequence 2
Kitchen door
SOUND CENTRE between fridge and kitchen table

DIRECTOR
Make sure Cha-Cha sounds different from Win and especially from Billie.

TIP: Try a change of local accent (which must be convincing) or emphasise one of the voice aspects (intonation, pace, qualities such as huskiness).

Keep Cha-Cha near the kitchen door because of 13.

SEQUENCE 4 nos. 14-20

Set Up

NOTE: SOUND CENTRE is between fridge and kitchen table, and then moves with Billie nearer fridge at 17-20

STUDIO
Microphone A for kitchen as before
Microphone B at screens for fridge acoustic
Two screens for fridge acoustic
Cue Light
Fridge door (adapted SPOT door)

For the fridge acoustic:
Place Microphone B in the narrow gap between the two screens which are placed in a 'V' formation.
If you do not get the close acoustic of the fridge you want like this, try Microphone B at a 45-degree angle to the screens in closed 'V' formation.

DIRECTOR
Test out the fridge acoustic and blocking in the two alternatives given above. Tell the actors at 17-20 to be conspiratorial as so much of an acoustic is created by the actor's voice.

STUDIO MANAGER
The tricky technical point here is cross-fading from Microphone A at 17-18 to Microphone B, and also to catch Win at 16. Keep to the level previously set for Microphone A, if you can. Make sure you fade Microphone A out to black.

TIP: Break sequence 5 at the end of 17, and record a separate sequence 17a at 18-20.
Do this if it looks like you are losing time.

SPOT
Adapt the SPOT door for the fridge. [Squeaky hinge] Move this near Microphone B.

TAKES
DIRECTOR
Get Billie and Cha-Cha to play this as a funny game which goes wrong. The 'JOSTLING' demands embodying with grunting and giggling. And to get the impression of them sticking their heads into the confined space.

SEQUENCE 5 no. 21
This is left for post-production. Mix in the wild-track at the end of sequence 5 if you think you can but it does require controlled timing.

SEQUENCE 6 nos. 22-28

Set Up

Microphone B as previously
Two screens as previously

SPOT
Return the SPOT door to its previous use as the kitchen door.

DIRECTOR
Rehearse blocking.

TAKES

GRAMS
You should be able to cue in 28. If there is a gap, this can always be tightened in post-production.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

World Wide view of spot and billie
Page uploaded by Go FTP FREE Program