Getting the scene boundaries right ( and with music)
You have to answer these following questions - creatively! What follows are recommendations - you make these techniques work for yourself.
SCENE BOUNDARIES - beginning and ending scenes - your choices
STRAIGHT CUT FADE INTO FADE OUT CROSSFADE 'ARCHERS' FADE - fade out to silence (2 seconds or less) and fade in the new scene Music bridge and music FX FX (sound effect) bridge ATMOS BRIDGE MONTAGE Non-realist and 'art' pieces - other techniques
POSTPRODUCTION - the Product - being creative and an engineer
'SOFT INTO' = FADE UP GRADUALLY 'HARD INTO' = STRAIGHT INTO THE SCENE
1. How does this scene end and how does the new scene begin?
Does the new scene establish itself immediately - a 'hard' into? Or slowly - a 'soft' into?
RULE: If the new scene is a 'soft' into - then you nearly always do NOT have a silence between scenes. You have a crossfade. Try out alternatives - and you decide.
2. What is the design of the play and this sequence overall?
Am I building up the energy towards an exciting climax? Do I need to have a silence at a scene boundary?
RULE: You probably need a silence (fade to silence) after a scene.
Especially if you have brought something to a temporary conclusion. Or if something very significant and exciting has happened.
You want your audience to have a little rest before the new scene.
THINK - Would it be too much if you pushed on too swiftly? Your listeners need some little time to catch up.
It's your creative judgement and design - try out alternatives. That is what radio drama is about!
3. Do I use a music bridge? It depends on the genre of the play, and copyright for music.
Music - underscoring, signature tune (for soap or play), emotional, dramatic, music bridge
You should try out witty and ironic music bridges. They are a great way of adding that entertaining extra.
Examples from scripts on this site - (plot situation) after a date has gone wrong - 'It's raining men'.
DJ Smooth, a character in 'The Canterbury Vampires' soap - (music bridge) 'Smooth Operator' - and as a character he was very much not a smooth operator!
You might build your scripting around these music bridges.
If you use underscoring music, this could come to a climax at the end of a scene. The next scene is a 'hard' into.
CONTINUING THROUGH THIS SITE: scene boundaries - more
Setting the scene
scene boundaries - more Perspective sound centre and Point of listening = POL To Index 'A' to 'Z' for this site - use to navigate
Structuring the plot
Narrative protagonist-dominated Narrator closure (ending) use a 'mystery' Realism To index
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 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.
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