Audiovisual Cultures episode 79 – Circles with Brendon Connelly automated transcript

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hello and welcome to audiovisual cultures with me paula blair hot off the heels of speaking with podcast producer jack boom and last time this time i’m really delighted to be speaking with brandon conley who is a fiction writer specializing in fiction for audio and we’re going to talk to him about circles which is a drama that we mentioned with jack last time that jack directed and brandon has created it and written it and executive produced it so before we speak to brandon huge thanks to all our lovely lovely supporters on forward slash av cultures for all your support it means so much and it really helps us keep going and make improvements to the podcast if you would like to try and join the pod and get involved with the membership and support us do check out that page and if you stay to the end i’ll give you a couple other ways you can support if you’re not too sure about a regular membership uh you can also get in touch with us on social media with av cultures on facebook and twitter and av cultures pod on instagram and there’s always loads of updates and extra links and lots of cards with promotional stuff for all the episodes in between so do check out our socials and let us know how you’re finding the episodes on those so um i had a really lovely time speaking with brandon it’s been really interesting learning loads more about audio production in general and specifically in podcasting and um i really hope you get something out of this i think this is going to be a really emerging just field of of work and area for people to engage with and think more about so um yeah i hope you get as much out of this as i did i really really enjoyed this and you will too so i’m really delighted to welcome to the podcast brendan conley and brandon is going to very kindly talk to us about a current audio fiction that he has released at the moment um but brandon first of all could we just outline would you say that you’re an audio fiction writer or is that just one string to your bow it’s one string i think it’s the string i’m leaning into and playing most heavily at the moment i tend to think of it as audio drama more than audio fiction if there’s a distinction i think audio fiction perhaps to me implies prose or or something closer to an audio book i think i’m much more interested and i hope we get to talk about why i’m much more interested in something closer to full cast drama or whether it’s full cost but something that’s dramatizes a sort of a digest rather than is a narration i think okay that’s a really interesting distinction and hopefully as we talk about circles your current project decide at the moment that’ll become a lot clearer so would you be happy then to tell us about circles i’ve been really enjoying listening to it and just as we’re recording this there’s one episode left to go so i haven’t heard all of it yet but i’m up to date with it and um it’s uh quite uh for me anyway it’s a really interesting mystery that’s slowly unfolding itself and it’s got these horror inflections but uh how would you describe it i think that’s all fair it can’t be separated from the circumstances of its birth i think um i think the key thing to say about circles is how it came into the world i know a chat for jack bowman who has quite a long history of producing audio drama and at the start of the lockdown for uh the pandemic measure lockdown when the british government put us into lockdown i’d already been in lockdown personally for a little while as somebody who who was concerned about health risks earlier in march i went into lockdown when the government put everybody into lockdown jack was looking for a project that he could do i think the mission from jack’s point of view was to say creativity isn’t truncated you know we’re not handcuffed by by the circumstance and he described it as a sort of an avengers assemble project where people from the world of audio drama would come together and pull their effort and jack’s first project actually became an interview podcast not dissimilar to this but i said to him let’s pretend we can still make audio drama we can still make audio drama i pitched an idea to him i think at the time was what i thought was maybe the limit of what would be easily attainable okay so i think the idea came out of the idea that if the actors are all isolated let’s make sure we build the isolation into the narrative the means of production with the actors thrown to the four wins as it were we were in five separate cities the people making circles in case there’s any sort of audio artifact that arises out of this circumstance let’s make sure that it’s part of the narrative and actually one of the things i learned is that’s not actually going to be a problem it’s quite easy and in fact i think paulo i think people could listen to some of your earlier conversations and not always be sure whether you were sitting in the same room as somebody or or speaking you know i think i think that there are some giveaways but there are there are sometimes the audio capacity of these communication systems we use sometimes the illusion is good enough and if you lean into it with a bit of mixing and the right post production then then you evaporate that entirely and we can record two people months weeks days apart on the opposite sides of the world and make them so that they’re having conversations and i should have known this because this is what has been happening in cinema and audio drama for decades right of course henry in a razor head walks through a door when he comes out the door on the other side he’s one city and four years later right i mean that’s just just a circumstance where that film was made and yet the continuity of its editing completely pulls the wall over our eyes why would it be any different in audio but i built into the to the concept of circles this sense of isolation which led to me saying well what’s a narrative hook that reads like a pitch like what’s something you put a poster that’s box to isolation and i thought why why does this happen and there’s a lot of tropes you know bunkers and and space stations and all sorts of sorts of angles and the one to me that seemed the closest i suppose really the one that just resonated the most to my experience was staying at home in a protective circle and i thought you know when we heard mantras like to stay home protect the nhs save lives this sort of seemed like a magical mantra in some some way there was an element of magical thinking to it as sensible as i think the the practice of people genuinely following lockdown as sensible as that practice actually is i think that it does resonate with this with this little magical thinking so the idea i came up with was ritual magical circles the the witchcraft circle the wicked circle of salt or chalk that keeps forces at bay and if you stay inside then you’re protected that was the starting point um once i had that i knew okay i’m playing in the um slight supernatural sort of pool lots of ideas came to mind and as a lifelong fan of scooby-doo yeah and i hope we can speak about why as well it felt like a sort of a scooby or a buffy the vampire sort of sort of trouble i’ve often thought about you know as an adult who grew up watching scooby doo watching these teenagers and how they’re perpetually teenagers and the series keep getting rebooted and they keep getting you know redesigned and the reset button hit over and over again they’re perpetually teenagers what happens if you’re a teenager who stares into the abyss really right i mean whatever what would happen if a teenager actually spent there spent their time mucking around with these things so sort of one foot in it being a sort of a scooby-doo genre piece and another sort of foot in this sort of slightly more contemplative sort of i won’t say realistic that’s not what i was saying but sort of considering a story that talks about something a bit more emotionally matured i suppose really than the scooby-doo stories you know reflecting on on them from all these years i i spent with them i thought okay i’m going to make this about a bunch of friends who meddled with a demon and meddled the word that’s the scooby-doo word meddled with these forces when they were teenagers and now 10 years later they’ve gone on with their lives and they’re not friends anymore i think that’s the normal experience so what happens when you if i woke up tomorrow and i had to do something very high pressure with the people i know as teenagers um what what would the fallout of that be really so that’s what circles circles is so it’s characters connecting a long way away their means of communication and therefore the format of the thing is a series of phone calls i think that speaks a little bit to what i was saying earlier about the the idea to do something that’s um non-narrative and representative in the sense that for naturalism to what we’re listening to in the sense that we’re not being told we’re being shown if i play the audio of a telephone call you are in a very sympathetic position to the person who was on one end of the telephone call so your experience of listening to circles whenever you listen to a phone call you as the listener as much as possible i think enough for it to be hopefully very engaging and a bit transporting you’re in the position of one of those two characters and we sit in a cinema and we sit in a big dark room collectively with large numbers of people eating popcorn watching a series of images that rapidly change their point of view and time is alive and all sorts of stuff happens and yet we get engrossed and we we feel that we’re the characters and sometimes we we’re transported to those usages so i think experience suggests you don’t have to go as far as we did with circles to draw an audience into your narrative right it doesn’t need to be as one-to-one and yet we could do something that was that one-to-one that i wanted to

yes because i suppose that that’s the way of our lives so that it has been this year where we’ve had to rely on technology more than ever for connection but we’re still in a way it can make us more aware of our distance from one another yeah and i think that’s really coming across in circles is you can you know you really get the feeling that they are all spread out across time and space they’re not even always in the same time zone even isn’t that right they’re all in different parts it’s absolutely true and it’s sometimes sort of specified really where they say you know i must be early where you are or something like that there’s a little hidden set of there’s a lot of hidden codes and patterns in circles actually there’s an awful lot of um nothing’s an accident i enjoyed a lot creating a lot of extra symbols in there really and i think one of them is to do with where they are in the sort of law of ritual circles very often they’re associated with compass points and um each of the four characters is associated with a different compass point the symbolism that has been associated with those compass points in folklore we have woven into those characters and that can be on a very simple level like uh the north is associated with with having a plan and being the person to be followed in the way that the compass needle points north and then it’s also associated with the element of earth therefore naomi is naomi atkins and a very simple level atkins relates to adam maid of earth and red earth and there are associations there but she stood quite down to to her one in some respects but she’s also the one with the plan so this has become a sort of an organizing principle for the for the four characters in the way that they um have different narrative functions actually and that’s barely specified but if you were to go back and listen again you would actually see there are some references to it and geography is woven into it a little bit and one of the mysteries one of the clues actually hinges on where somebody is actually because you don’t know where they are when you’re speaking to them on the phone necessarily um and where physically somebody is is associated with their compass point it’s associated with their various elemental associations and the illusions around that that we we worked in and this is dazzlingly pretentious for what is essentially a sort of a a scooby-doo on ours but i think there’s a level in which organizing principles make sure characters don’t wander into one another’s lines from a writer’s point of view that’s a very practical way of um keeping things things straight once you know who they are and what they want you can build these organizing principles that also then sort of maintain the distinction between those in the way that they’re presented and therefore i think it reads unconsciously clearly that makes sense it reaches very consciously clearly in one way but you don’t portray it with various elements that are less obvious underneath and i think another thing is it’s fun to have puzzles in things oh yeah so so if somebody who who likes puzzles an awful lot i hope that there’s some people listening to who who enjoy sifting through these these little jigsaw pieces i think i certainly am yes because i listen to the third episode and that’s where things start to become revealed a little bit but you’re still not 100 sure oh is that you start to question things a bit and you do pick up on right so that’s the kind of location that it sounds like that person is in but is that really what’s going on and because we can’t see anybody where are they really and you know there’s this mystery about being able to get hold of one person and it’s really unclear whose voice that was and you know there are those clues and i think that it’s all in the sound design really isn’t it it’s so layered we have to be very careful with the sound design yeah actually um very careful it everybody was recorded kind of clear and then everything was everything was created around that to ensure uh we had full control of what the eq what the what the room ballot sounded like what space they were in and sometimes it’s very simple as in a conversation making sure that they’re differentiated across channels so if someone’s listening in stereo it’s a little easier to pull them apart but in a way that’s the audio version of the over-the-shoulder shot in cinema really it gives you a sort of sense of geography of where people are we come off of the starting block straight away with somebody saying something about where they are that i want you to question and i don’t really want to to dig into why but all will be revealed i mean the whole running time of the whole thing’s about 100 and uh it’s less than 100 no it’s not it’s much less than that actually in the edited version it’s less than 80 minutes so we’ve come in at something that’s about 80 minutes so it’s it’s like a short feature length thing but we’ve broken it into episodes and we’re using episodic structure very much as part of the storytelling and there’s there’s a lot of cliffhanger mechanics and this is this episode and this is this episode so the first episode is very much introducing you know it’s very much an introductory set of information really and to give us stakes and tell us who everybody is the second one is the mystery episode in which everybody is being a detective on some level the third one is about giving a different perspective and looking at something from a different angle and then the fourth one is it’s kind of the horror episode actually really that’s where we we’ve we’ve decided to to deliver on the premise i think you should have an obligation that the point i sort of said we’ve got a demon involved we had to decide what we were going to do with that and for it to have any emotional weight it had to mean something so i had to decide what it meant really what it was the various meanings of this demon are different depending on which of the four characters we’re dealing with but they all have this i suppose it’s an encounter everything that rode for away from damascus event i suppose really in their teenage years where they where they encountered something that was transformative right and it changed their relationships slowly but lastingly we’ve got a character who found faith as a result of this which has an atheist was difficult to write but something that i i wanted to write responsibly we found a character who wanted to effectively crack the science of it really um and that it was quite easy for that valmer character really to become the protagonist as being the one i could identify with the most we had someone who tried to push it down yeah and to to live a hedonistic life and to have a life of pleasure really and we had a dog who who we can only suppose right and that to me was obviously an inevitable part of the scooby-doo pattern so having a character like a dog whose reaction to something you know is unknowable to us just gives us a talking a sort of a contrast point a sort of control group for everybody else’s feeling uh but once you do bring it bring a demon into it you’ve got to decide whether you’re gonna gonna use that you know in a horror way and we decided to and we we we think that it’s very intimate having something in your ears like i was saying before really and i think there’s some scope to be a little unnerving when you’re that close to someone yeah and i think more than audio visual stuff pure audio stuff is actually more inside your head i think really i think our sense of vision is better at distancing what we’re looking at than our sense of auditory perception i think also with headphones and if people take our encouragement to listen loud the service away from you we are is on your shoulder at any moment to resist the fun you can have in trying to unnerve people when you’ve got the potential there how could we resist i’ve been listening with headphones um through an app on my phone yes i think when you have it turned up light especially that’s when you can really pick up on is there something going on in the bottom layer of the side what is that is that just me and you start to even i was starting to question am i is it my tinnitus is it what what is it that i’m hearing at the minute because there’s something quite creepy going on and um you know or you really pick up on i noticed and i think it was the third episode but i think there’s a shift in the point of audition where there’s a phone call between two of the characters and it switches from you being with one of them to being with the other one yeah and that was really noticeable i think because it’s in your ears yes and you really notice that difference in the voice quality that you it’s an auditory through the looking glass moment yeah really definitely yeah um it does happen in multiple episodes actually which is interesting to me that you’ve noticed it less often than i think you experienced it yeah i think it was just um maybe i was more distracted with the first couple maybe i was listening more intently possibly in the third episode because i think that was the one for me where i thought okay everything’s unraveling now this is brilliant you know and that really maybe that was the one that really hooked me in right so maybe i was concentrating more it was possibly that um so i think it’s one where you you need to really actually actively listen and i probably maybe i’m guilty of not doing it i think i think it’s encouraged and i think it’s quite easy i think it’s quite easy to i mean obviously synchrony between our our vision and our audition is essential right from an evolutionary point of view synchronicity between them has become crucial and part of the way that we process them and we’re giving you just one of these things so if you’re paying attention to something with your eyes i think it could be proven to shift what you’re hearing and vice versa um uh the mcgurk effect i think you may be aware of the mcgurk effect where you watch someone there saying da da da da and you can put it with lips that are saying it changes actually what you hear that’s a very sort of a clear representation of how this works walter merch the film editor talks about synchronizing footsteps for people walking and he says if you synchronize badly with one person it feels off it synchronizes badly with two people and it feels off but once you’ve got two and a half people once you’ve got five feet moving you can kind of put the footsteps anywhere and we can’t track it unless they’re all working simultaneously right they’re all in rhythm that might as well just be one person walking but if you’ve got five different intervals as it were really we can’t synchronize the audio with it and therefore you can just cheat as a form editor and just put it anywhere being aware of this i think it’s it’s a real challenge we face in audio drama actually is getting people to listen under the most conducive circumstances and i think that’s another thing that’s happened this year and i think there’s a real boom in audiences of audio drama as we approached the start of the year and in fact into this year and as people stopped commuting it’s really hit audience numbers first of all because uh when you’re working at home or something there’s nothing stopping you having i don’t know brooklyn 911 running on the television in the background or whatever whereas that’s a sort of a bit of a harder thing to have on your commute or you know you’re not as likely to to look at it so there are sort of um audience spaces that we’ve we’ve lost a lot of really but i think of people on their commute and how you know you get sort of highway hypnosis right you will go blind to your circumstances and you can get lost in what you’re listening to and that would have been ideal for us so i do recommend people listen probably in bed with their eyes closed we’re headphones on would be ideal actually that would be would be great i mean if anyone’s got a floatation tank go ahead but um the more you can uh remove other of a stimulus i think the less the less you’re doing two things at once and you know i think there is a lot of people scrolling through twitter while they’re watching television these days and things like that and i think that that’s her tv a lot and i think it’s it’s impacted on the way people engage with it in a way that i think it would shape what we’ve seen in future actually and i think um we’ll see more even more drama that’s designed to be casually you know with greater redundancy of plot points and greater redundancy of narration and greater redundancy of repeated stressed information so that people can um look at their phone while they’re watching it i think we’re just shifting towards that as a taste through our behaviors and um that’s sad but that’s not really something we can do we can’t monopolize your visual space through your ears so we sort of do need you to meet us in the middle a little bit really yeah it takes a great deal of imagination i mean i was i’m finding listening to it it’s sparking my imagination quite a bit you know you’re hearing somebody describing their location and you may be hearing those elements of it so you may be hearing a little bit of wind so there it seems like there’s trees rustling and they might be outside but you’re not 100 sure or you’re hearing somebody rustling through drawers and slamming them shots so it seems like they’re in a bedroom but they’re not necessarily and it’s so that you so you you’re imagining it visually so in a way it is playing out a bit like a film or television if you imagine it in your mind and then you can also think about well i can decide what these characters look like or um what their location looks like or whatever you know so in a way it frees it up quite a bit but yes it does take that concentration and i think it’s really interesting how the shape of the drama because it has done this non-linear thing of the third episode has actually gone back in time and i think that really grabbed my attention and it made me stop what i was doing and just listen so maybe there’s something in that maybe there’s yeah because i think culturally we have got very used to i have to do all the things all the time and we’re too busy and now in this a lot of us are in now these different tiers and stages of lockdown but it feels like a post locked down proper era and we’re back to you know we’ve forgotten all the things that we learned about stopping and slowing down and we’re going back to i have to do all the things all the time again and to just take the time to properly listen to something is you know it’s really valuable and so in a way i would recommend this series because it isn’t long it isn’t really that long at all it’s not a huge investment of time and you might get more out of it than a tv program that’s been you know not had as much thought or care necessarily and um might stop you in your tracks so if that’s something it can achieve then that’s a great thing hopefully

i hope ultimately it achieves the same thing that any drama does really which is that there’s some sort of engagement and that it resonates yeah and then we are building to a sort of a point i don’t feel like i’m i’m there to lecture and it’s not it’s not a new point we’ve got our own take on it but it’s not it’s not that i have some great revelation into the human condition we’ve millennia of dramas that that have covered similar ground people say stories are empathy machines right and i think i think that one of the things we’re talking about here again and again and again paula is about how this is about empathy really because i think audio is really good for it for the reasons we talked about so this story ultimately is about sort of living through some sort of simulated human experiences really there’s no way of putting it and i think that ultimately by the end of the fourth episode what i would like to happen is a sense of a good story in a truly aristotelian sort of sense of it really and i am going off the chance of my pretension about this you do how much i’m i’m fully aware of this but if at the end if people have sort of cared a bit about the stakes i think we’ve done our job and i think that some of the playing around we’ve done along the way works to that end and that’s why it’s there but it is interesting that there’s a lot of shifting of perspective whether it’s moving from one end of a phone call to another or people talking about a phone call to somebody who is not in that call or moving back in time so we hear a call a second time i don’t really want to give away too much but i think actually ultimately what we’re going to have to do to really maybe we shouldn’t do it i’m tempted to do a fifth episode which is non-narrative and non-fiction which is basically totally pulling back the curtain and explaining all the mechanics of the thing in the sense that there are quite a lot of puzzles in here yeah and i think it’s probably going to be fun to give people the answers because they’re not all narrative puzzles so i i’ll say no to anybody who’s listening to this now the names are not accidents so the surnames like atkins of course have some sort but the first names of these characters are all five letters long and there’s a reason for that looking at them reveals something but that’s not the way people normally engage in things like this this is an entirely sort of um ancillary sort of like set of meanings and hopefully pledges in there but i think because it’s short enough that you can listen a few times or you could listen to this sort of uh final behind-the-scenes commentary as it were and go back and listen again i think it might be worth it actually and also because i think i think the means of distribution through podcasts are such that um you’ll have people subscribe to your feed for a while but i think you can lose them they can clear up and tidy up after a point and things like that it’s not like we’re the bbc and we’ll always be there and we can come back you know the bbc took extenders off there for several months they can come back and the bbc is still there we would have to reconnect to an audience too we came back after several months so i think we might do something like that to keep the communication alive while we try and work out what if anything we’ll do next actually yeah because it is a complete and discreet story in four episodes but the nature of publishing anything in the way you know if you’re not disney if you don’t have if you don’t have some sort of pre-installed distribution network you’re starting from zero every time we’ve had small thousands of people listening to this thing which suggests that if there were going to be a hundred episodes of it we would be able to grow quite a good audience by the end but across the space of effectively three weeks and i think actually it’s less than three weeks it’s the release schedule for the whole thing because you know we’re playing with halloween season right that’s the rules that we’re trying to fit into everybody’s october mindset we don’t have long to reach people um so i have been thinking it’s a strange responsibility to feel i have as a sort of a storyteller really but i’ve been thinking about well how do we keep the audience engaged after the story is finished so we might do something like that yeah i mean i suppose even from a production point of view um because i think they no i don’t want to make too many assumptions but the average rear for example are that’s me from my phone background but the average listener the average audience member they don’t necessarily know how much goes into production of anything like this and if you asked any listener for example they might just think oh it’s just a bunch of actors and they talk into a microphone and then somebody patches it together and then they put it out and it’s so much more complicated than that so even from that production point of view and the amount of planning and the amount of planning of the puzzles that you’ve done might be interesting just to in that sense to reveal behind the curtains so just to show right it’s a it’s a big patchwork of a puzzle but also there’s all of these different elements to putting it together and and designing it and making sure it works so um like certainly from that point of view i’d be really fascinated to hear more about that end of things um and i’m a bit of a puzzler myself as well and you know maybe not a lifelong scooby-doo fan but certainly a childhood one it makes you smile when you hear those scooby-doo like references and the way they talk about frankie the dog and also there are some buffy references throughout as well and you know and there’s one character called the other a dork you know for being so into buffet and um there are quite a lot of us out there who are very proud dorks so

well they definitely are in this conversation right now i think um the dog frankie actually instantly is named after frank welker who has voiced scooby-doo for a long time now so it’s our our master to screw current voice actor um scooby’s original voice actor was called don and i think that’s a bit of a loaded name at the moment so we went with frankie instead um but but thinking of dons i think that speaks to why i’m really fond of scooby-doo it’s always been the series about how people manufacture fear and every episode in classic scooby-doo was normally somebody greedy but certainly some certainly somebody created a culture of fear and a bunch of kids who at the time when it when when the series was conceived you know were a little bit post woodstock or whatever but they certainly weren’t they certainly there was something lightly counter-cultural about them about them debunking fear monkeys i think that resonates actually it was a young show right and i think it spoke for something that still goes on a sort of a sort of um yeah sort of a manufacturing of consent through enemy through making monsters you won’t find anyone as overly invested in scooby-doo as me but i think the best episodes really do do do something about that and i think for years scooby-doo was rubbish right i mean essentially it was just bad craftsmanship in terms of its polish and in terms of structure because because our hands were tied because they had these these incredibly tight schedules just the high water marks of craft in it are amazing so casey kasem’s original voice performance of shaggy still everyone sort of has some connection to that and the beautifully painted backdrops go far beyond what you would expect to commercialize to be able to do on the schedule they were working on the good bits of it are really good the shining elements really do stand out and then about 10 years ago there was a show called mystery incorporated which was a sort of another reboot scooby-doo i think the scripts were kind of up to the task for the first time then actually and since then it’s actually been quite solid be cool scooby-doo which came afterwards is very comedic but much more tightly written than than it was before and the animation style is very different than we used to lots of good work from the crafts people on it notwithstanding the very disappointing messy sort of corporately butchered feature film of earlier this year scoob i think we’re going through a sort of a golden age of scooby-doo i think what happened with scoob scoop the feature film of scoob was given the responsibility of launching what they thought was going to be like a hanna-barbera movie universe because that’s a new paradigm right thank you marvel and they were really pushed to distort their film outside of any sort of practical story shape to sort of serve that function and it just collapses i i say the new scoob movie is very comparable to the late 60s scooby-doo cartoons in that essentially it’s rubbish but the really good things are really good it just makes me think of all the backdrops that repeat constantly but why throw them away you’re right they’re gorgeous they they’re they’re beautifully painted and designed and everything and um and the thrill of it when you’re i’m just thinking of watching episodes as a kid and the thrill of it is can you guess which of the two other characters

sometimes three bothered to be fair yeah yeah occasionally there are three cups under which the ball might be hidden and there were plenty of times when you didn’t get it right you know it had you guessing if you look at ag for christie a lot of agatha christie is guess which of these people is the murderer and you’ve got a sort of a small group of people but the best ag for christy is you’re asking the wrong question so at the risk of spoiling murder on the orient express the solution isn’t which of these is the murderers what’s wrong with that question i think that scooby-doo’s never had never once in the history of scooby-doo has there been this complete rug pull twist actually and that would be my ambition as a scooby-doo writer so if anybody from uh from boulevard is listening right now i would love to come in and do a scooby-doo that just completely like has a total and like chamberlain twilight’s own twist or whatever in which the audience’s perception is totally rearranged because there’s no sort of murder mystery in circles the elements of mystery that are in there it’s not such a straight-up guessing game right it’s not which of these two did it it’s what’s going on here then and i think some of it’s quite easy to pin down i think that we’re quite fair because in a sort of lag of a christy sense i think that it’s not fun if you don’t put all the clues in plain sight there is a formula there that if you can just look at it in the correct angle you’ll crack it so yes i’m looking forward to things being revealed but i don’t i really don’t know i’ve got ideas i’ve got questions but i don’t know the answer so that’s a quite exciting moment to be in um i’m thinking as well that just to think back to you were saying about it’s of the time that it’s come out of it’s it’s really very much a lockdown creative project and you were saying about you the manufacturer of fear and you know there’s such a fine line at the moment between being scared of something and is there a point where you could be too scared or is there a point where you’re not scared enough and that idea of this unseen threat and you know you’re being told by somebody who seems to be in control this is what you have to do and you’ll be safe but is it enough you know or is it too much and i suppose that’s that’s where i’m uh trying to tease things out at the moment do you have any thoughts on that brandon is there anything you can tell us are they doing spoilers or what do you think i think you’ve just asked all the questions that we’re asking there really paula i think you’ve come on board with our ideas and i think that as i said it was born very much from circumstance i think that what we conclude resonates with my feelings about our circumstance i suppose this isn’t a show about lockdown this isn’t show it’s a show a mid lockdown it’s a show that happens in it and therefore it can’t help but comment on it and obviously it’s where it came from but i think ultimately what it’s about is about that question of how do you relate to the people that how do you heal how do you put old relationships back together again did you put old relationships back together again and if you have to how do you do that and it’s about forgiveness i suppose really and it’s about it’s about old friends and it’s about these very simple emotional ideas really it’s that’s very much where it ends is about we started the story with four friends hitting the ground running because there’s a fire that needs to be effectively right there’s a panic on and we end with what happens because they’ve done this what we’ve got here is essentially is imagine you um you were staying with with old friends at the time of the lockdown and you were just ready to leave but you couldn’t you know what did the next couple of days look like how do you reconcile your old relationships in that space do you know what i mean it’s that it’s closer to that if if it’s really about locked down at all it’s about you know not everybody’s though will resonate with elements of buddhist experience it’s not the universal lockdown story i suppose but i think hopefully we can all think about relationships we’ve had we don’t have any more old relationships we’re trying to maintain how relationships change over time our regrets from when we were younger how we live with them now how choices we make now are informed by choices we made a long time ago and that can be as simple as this you know the road tour from damascus thing i was talking about well we have epiphanies or i’m not one to necessarily believe i think it makes good drama that there’s a single clear cause and effect between an event happens and life changes i think normally it requires a little more accretion than that real trauma has to happen which is why you know we’re operating on such a bright cartoon scale i suppose really whatever happened to them has to happen has to be big enough that it feels like it would have this effect and i suppose just to to think about well what it was that i had actually happened in the past there is this that you do have this um isn’t it like a comic strip of the in a prequel when i saw that i thought gosh that’s a bit scooby-doo isn’t it so i’m really glad you didn’t talk all of that because i wasn’t sure about bringing that up before but um but that prequel bit does tell a bit of that story of why it is they’re doing what they’re doing in the present and um so why did you decide to do it in a comic form i think it’s impossible to pull it off but we gave it a go anyway and i think there’s a there’s a stylistic change between when they were teams and now they’re grown up if you look at the difference between scooby-doo and buffy they’re very similar but they’re not the same are they right and scooby-doo’s sort of um more naive i suppose so this sort of nostalgic aesthetic of the comic strip sort of speaks to that really they were young it is in the style it is evoking the genre of what happened to them for one of a better way of describing it um these events that happened to it it really is supposed to say it really is to post on the level all these sort of kids on but this sort of the subgenre i think goes by the handle of kids on bikes these kids on bike stories like stranger things or i suppose in some way e.t these sort of um suburban nostalgic today people feel very nostalgic about sort of stories that’s our backstory here so we’re going to tell a less naive but still sort of hopefully very story driven second chapter that comes out of that that’s the main reason it’s like that but also when we put together the sort of visual materials we’re going to use to introduce circles to people what was missing was the characters and some sort of sense sense of who our cast was i tried to sort of balance that because i’ve done all the social most of the social medias that have been invented by me they’re not executed by me i didn’t illustrate the comic i didn’t design the beautiful graphic design says that there’s a chat called happy toast great name he did our comic and there’s a guy called ryan field who did our graphics incredibly talented people but the briefs came from from me so if you look at our very moody circles artwork it’s actually one of the rules was you can only use the colors in this painted scooby-doo backdrop right so so there were sort of coats even sort of in terms of palette and things like that but nowhere were there characters nowhere with this was there some sense of this is going to be a story about some people it was just telling you genre really it was just saying slightly creepy all the message it was giving you is like this is going to be a bit moody so we sort of wanted to put something out there that said this has characters in it it really is simple as that that this is a story about people and relationships so i think under the circumstances it was only really possible to do that in a visual if we’re going to in any visual way as a comic strip really so i think that was important to making it seem like a good idea but it’s a problem because the style of chapter zero isn’t really the style of the main story we’ve had to try and sell the point that 10 years later things are serious because they’re not particularly serious in the hanna-barbera style if you if you know what i mean i mean frankie is anthropomorphized to the same extent as scooby and that enough to pull you out of the sort of empathy driven world rules we were trying to use in the main drama so it’s nostalgic it’s a nostalgic flashback it’s a look back at youth and i think that’s why we’ve done it that way and it is a very much a message of this is who they were before this thing happened and this is who they are now and um it makes that clear

i hope so is there anything more you would like to say about circles um or would you like to think about anything more broadly i mean i mean how would you i’m quite interested to ask because i think it’s very lean uh at the moment or pro probably in general but how do you get something like this funded how do you get something like this pulled together especially in this climate you know would you you don’t actually pull i think the answer to that question and i think under the circumstances of its production it happened this was made i mean it’s not really my part to speak about i’ll tell you what i can when this was pictures and everybody come together to be creative there wasn’t a check involved in that and everybody everybody volunteered everybody donated their time and yet i think i can say because the press release is going out today we gave everybody part ownership of it and what has happened our little independent show has now attracted a podcast network who have actually added it to their slave shows and today the announcement will go out so people will be listening to it and it’ll have a little promotion for one of their other shows on the front but what that means is that a little revenue will make its way to the actors oh that’s brilliant news producers and so on so you know in a sort of on a royalty basis effectively and i think that’s beautiful i think that’s really a good outcome my only rule was that advertising didn’t the show didn’t stop halfway through for an advertising break if they wanted to put a short promo at the start for something and they wanted to put a short promo at the end for something i think that was great but disrupting the narrative once it was was rolling i think was not going to work we’ve been quite clever in that our sort of narrator voice who reads our credits we provided him to the network to do the voice for the promotion feels sort of cogent with what we’ve we’ve done keep the mood going i think it’s not unfair to think if you’re going to the cinema there might be some trailers before before the movie and the secret is paula you’ve got a little button on your podcast machine that skips you forward 25 seconds or whatever it is you know and and i shouldn’t be saying this but there’s certainly no real-time media rather than print media where it’s so easy to skip the commercials i think that’s a happy outcome for our cast who did this to be part of of a project of people being creative at a time when when because audio drums normally made in studios and nobody was going into studios and it was quite a creative undertaking i think um the way jack puts it five cities into three time zones on two continents all linked simultaneously working together to produce this thing and that meant every actor also had to be their own sound engineer and they had to make sure that they were getting clear audio and that’s a bit of responsibility for them that they don’t normally have and a little bit of technical know-how that they had to acquire just to make it happen that they’re rewarded artists should be paid for their work i mean yeah oh that’s good news really good news it’s such a tough climber anyway most things like this are sort of post funded really by things like patreon or kofi or something like that and i think that the people i know who have some success there are three models for this actually there’s the huge company somebody like gimlet who makes these huge expensive hollywood star sort of audio drama productions kind of as ip farms really so that they then then sell the tv rights to amazon on netflix for x squadillion dollars um so something like homecoming started with catherine kina as a podcast and then became julia roberts and later janelle monae on amazon and their business model is to create a brand and sell the ip and that’s the exact opposite end of the spectrum of what we can do though it could it’s not impossible it could happen to anybody but we when you come with catherine keen are attached you have amazon’s attention then there’s the one that’s sort of the ongoing series where people run patrons or or something like crowdfunding kickstarters or things like that to get things done and actually our protagonist tal they uh do lots of these their career really is as a combined actor and sound designer editor on a number of podcasts for which they create revenue through patreon and kofi and so on and they’re quite successful because they’re good for tell i have some friends who have had the success of making a little money to go back into the pot to fund the next thing that way but also apply for grants particularly in the uk there’s quite a few arts grants if you can demonstrate some capability to pull this off then i think you’re likely to get support and then the last way of doing it is just selling these things i don’t think people quite realize there are ways to produce something to put on audible no matter who you are now it’s quite easy to create something and distribute it as a podcast everybody in their dog has a podcast these days right but actually it’s quite easy to get things on audible now it’s much less discoverable and audible again is very much about what title of hodder and stalton paid tens of thousands to put on the front page right or whatever but if one were to go and search on audible under my name they’d find something under there that generates revenue per purchase there’s a royalty scheme there’s a kind of a sort of a similar to sort of kindle self-publishing way into the audible system that i think people don’t know about we’ve not talked at all about about my project that’s on audible but it’s not something i self-initiated it’s a sort of a project i came in on as a writer somebody else’s project to bring a bit of story shape and structure to and to work it out but what’s been interesting is looking at the numbers is that despite it being a much more direct financial model in that people have to purchase your product and you will be get a revenue share it’s much less likely to actually generate revenue in the long run because it’s much harder to build an audience for the thing and that’s the sort of space where huge publishers and big brands and stars kind of have a monopoly i think it’s much easier when you’re giving something away for people to take a punt on something actually yeah there’s nothing to lose perhaps 20 minutes not even 20 minutes in the case of episode one that’s exactly it yeah yeah you can and you can i think you know after a few minutes whether you want to stay with something or not generally do give it those almost 20 minutes so people i’ll say that one of my regrets about circles is i think we fall into a bit of a trap that netflix fall into actually regularly often there’s a temptation where you have a big story beat or a big turning point in your story that would be a good cliffhanger i’ll put that at the end of the episode and so we build towards the end of the first episode being quite big and i think in respect i’d bring that forward quite a long way in the episode actually and restructure so that that we leave off on a different cliff hanger i would break the story in different places and like pace up the front of it and it does start immediate and we do hit the ground running and i think the first episode there’s a lot of working out where we are but i think that what happens at the end of the first episode people like that so much that i would like to bring it forward so that everyone gets to know that that’s part of the deal you sort of learn what the show is by the end of the first episode and i think we could have done a better job in teaching them a bit more quickly i think well um but maybe 16 minutes isn’t too long i don’t know that’s not i mean that’s still shorter than an average episode of a television program say your cliffhanger was 16 minutes into a 22-minute tv show that’s still a big moment isn’t it i loved the good place the tv showed a good place and one of the things i really liked the good place is it got to its block points a couple of beats ahead of schedule every time yeah i was thinking about the good place actually when you were saying about the cliffhanger i was thinking about that exactly because they just hit a big cliffhanger in the middle of an episode sometimes or the whole end of the first season and you think oh oh gosh that’s everything you know or um the seeds of it are planted so early on about what’s actually happening so um i was thinking that as well in retrospect i wish i wish i thought more about the good place when we were making circles to be honest actually because i think their little band of four people thrown together in a natural circumstances is closer to what we’re doing than i even thought of whereas each of their seasons sort of ended with a with a reboot had a new season in mind we really are wrapping things up at the end of the fourth one but i think i think it’s always possible to tell a second story i mean if someone said to me what’s the sequel to casablanca i know people be very skeptical about it but i believe that there is a good story to be told it might take a long time and a lot of work to work out what it is you have to be quite self-aware of all the problems that you could be getting into and you have to trust that an audience won’t just immediately put their defenses up just because you’re sequel to casablanca but i believe that there’s a great story that can be told probably subsequently to any story because anything can be the foundation for a story and similarly i think when it comes to adaptation when people talk about fidelity and adaptation i think it’s a bit of a red herring really i think if someone said to me adapt this jane austen book or this stephen king or something i would totally treat it like a piece of clay or a first draft that i can change in any way to get to telling a story that i believe in and can tell well myself i don’t think i can tell someone else’s story as well as i can tell my own so if i have to change things then i think i would i think that’s too much concern with fidelity when it comes to adaptation and i don’t know why i think people fetishize continuity in canon and that’s something that i’ve tried to weaponize in circles a little bit part of the game is what riff on scooby is this or what riff on buffy is this or how can that knowledge help us here or what continuity of cannon is at work here what did they just say her boyfriend’s name is hang on what did they say her boyfriend’s name is this time and so on and things like that so maybe that was a bit of a smoking gun there but things like like that are hopefully weaponized the peripheral little bits of additional information the stuff that would be in those star wars extended universe novels that i heard drag through the mud on one of your podcasts maybe that’s not fair but um but that’s all the material how can you use that and that was something i was thinking about a little bit on this story okay that’s really fascinating stuff yeah a lot to think about there um okay then is there anything else you you feel like you would really like to cover that we haven’t got to so far the only thing i say is i think you can probably tell any story in any medium if you’re prepared to change the story to work in that medium yeah but when you’re doing something in audio i think you kind of have to grasp it i’ve written a few audio things before a few produced audio things before and a lot of unproduced audio things before and yet i think there’s still a lot of learning to be done but i think you know like if i want to tell you how to cook pancakes paula i’m not going to do it for sculpture garden i’m going to write a recipe on a piece of paper and while i could do it with a sculpture garden and you walk around in each sculpture quite literally is a figurative representation of the steps and you can see an egg cracking in the air and the yolk’s frozen is it coming into the bowl or whatever i can quite clearly relate to you in a way that you can decode but it’s not very practical how are you going to consult that when you’re standing in your kitchen with the ingredients right i think you know without getting into the mcluhan the medium is the message i think choose the medium that suits the message really but i did that sort of backwards here i had to choose a message i think suited the medium and i think it did come out of the idea of getting in people’s ears and being on the phone and and i think this is this is about phone calls and i think an awful lot of audio drama is really disguised prose a lot of it is captain’s log or or sort of variations on on that i’m not interested in that personally very much as much as i have written a couple i’m always looking for ways to use audio in which it doesn’t get in the way which is not an obstacle to the storytelling i think that was one of the things that shaped circles more powerfully than anything else in what way does the audio not get in the way in what way does it best benefit us i did a shortcut the hypnotist in which i wanted to dramatize lots of events purely in audio and i thought well i need a device through which somebody’s going to be giving an account and i thought the trope of hypnotic regression works that way so what you’re literally listening to is a drama of two people sitting in a room and yet you get their subjective impressions of something that happened a long time before recounted for you so it was about finding audio devices to tell the story i think that’s still quite untapped and i’m quite excited to hear what people do and i’m excited myself to explore more ways of doing this i think certainly if the world does need to change at least for another couple of years that’s a really exciting testing ground for working in audio and actually re-privileging audio over the visual as well so i mean because it’s because podcasting it’s not the same as radio but they do have parallels and similarities i’m just thinking back to other radio dramas that i’ve heard you know on radio 4 and things and i think you’re on to something with it feels like well maybe it’s an adaptation of prose where they’ve lifted out the dialogue and fleshed it out a bit and used that to describe what people are doing but i think that’s the difference with circles there’s so much going on in the soundscape that i can hear what people are doing and then that helps me see it so yes i think there’s definitely something to especially with the technologies that we’ve got and if you’re saying that i mean the actors themselves using whatever they’ve got in their houses for example you know that’s it shows you what we can do more on the hoof even more than before never mind just in a recording studio there’s a combination of means of creating the soundscape in circles and sometimes you’ll hear an actor literally interacting with an object and sometimes you’ll hear effectively completely artificial sound design and sometimes it’s somewhere in the middle it’s a bit foley that was laid in afterwards this was all done quite carefully to create the final end result and i will say i think we went a bit wider the mark a couple of times and i think there’s a couple of sound effects in the first episode that are a little close they’re a bit too bold they’re not quite natural enough really i think they don’t we didn’t quite weave them into a tapestry not for any lack of skill on the part of our sound editor but because it was a very difficult ask our sort of shaggy character jeff we were trying to evoke his shagginess a little bit and i think we went a little cartoon in some ways a little bit with him but by the time you get to the fourth episode some of the audio in there is so incredibly complicated i don’t think anyone will ever really know what is the sound of an actor moving in space or what’s laid on them and in fact you kind of can’t tell and we’ve sort of officialized some stuff for reasons to do with the narrative and things like that that it was quite a complicated undertaking of which you know i lit the touch paper and sort of told people what they had to do and i just had to sit back and listen to them do it and be grateful that they did it and again during the whole production i just sat there and listened i was there for all of the recording sessions listening in as a voyeur really because once the scripts were delivered there wasn’t much left me to apart from the occasional notes and it is fascinating to see that the many levels of production and post-production that go into something like this cinema is my first love really moving image storytelling i i’m sort of past making a distinction between tv and cinema now really i think the fundamental language is the same but the minute i’m really intrigued in sort of trying to do some stuff in audio where i think there’s just so many people rushing to do it the way that they know that it can be do something that’s already been done i don’t i just want to try and try some stuff that’s not quite being done so i’m going to probably you’ll be you’ll be hearing some failures over the next couple of years paula as i said failure’s good though that’s that’s the testing ground isn’t it i mean scientific works because things fail so that’s we need to experiment we need to be allowed to feel that’s what the arts should be allowed to do as much as science i think that would be that’s the plan yeah but i really look forward to hearing all your failures and your successes from the coming years i’m sure there will be many successes um because if circles is anything to go by then it’s really exciting to see what else you can come up with and to really start to pave the way in what can make audio fiction and us but i suppose audio script writing really distinctive from the likes of audiobooks or just telling a story or not just telling a certain video telling a story in a in an oral storytelling tradition or something yeah actually using you know well i’m telling stories through people making sounds whether it’s with their mouths or stuff they’re doing or whatever but actually using sound as the medium creating a living real-time i think is the thing that’s the game here and i think bypassing the eyes learning to lean in doing a little bit of visualization or encouraging a bit of visualization and again the audience have to meet us halfway and i would say paula if your game when you’ve got all four episodes give it a go maybe just somewhere you’re not looking at anything right and try and see what that experience might be for you because though we can’t expect anyone to do that i’m quite sure that it’s it’s a better experience for the listener if that’s the case and there’s nothing we can do about that you know we can’t mandate that your headphones only work when you’ve got a blindfold on right it doesn’t it doesn’t work like that but um it does do the story the world of good i think if you imagine yourself sitting in a room in the dark just like these other people that you’re with then you might feel like you’re part of the drama actually you may feel like you’re on the end of these phone calls or bearing witness to these phone calls in a closer way than if you’re like i was saying yesterday banging around in the kitchen while trying to and not really concentrating properly alexander mckendrick the great filmmaker the ealing filmmaker was a film teacher and when he talked to his students about choosing where to put the camera he talked about this sort of imaginary winged invisible creature and that the camera would represent its point of view and i would say the closer you can be to being some sort of disembodied presence floating in the phone lines when you’re listening to circles the closer you can come to embodying that like you are a spirit in the phone wires just listening to this stuff the closer you are to the best circles experience we have to bring something as well to share in the process i think yeah sorry we tried to make as little of that as possible you know but but like reading a book you’ve got to read it well that’s it you have to bring something i mean even i mean the film critic mark carmod says the film is only what you bring to it as well so it’s with anything that we engage in any work of culture that we engage in we have to do some of the work that’s just how it is so the story happens in your head exactly every time it’s an individual experience for everyone who engages so that’s that’s just how it is and it’s a great privilege to get as close to people’s heads as audio allows you to i think really and i think that that’s why it’s quite an exciting medium i think and we’ve just been doing that for a very long time now so we’ve i feel like i’ve been sitting on your listener’s shoulder for quite some time

that’s fine yes i won’t take up any of your time but you’ve been so generous with talking us through circles and all your brilliant ideas and everything brandon it’s been an absolute pleasure speaking with you this morning not at all i’ve enjoyed it great i just want to really encourage people to really give circles a good go wherever you pick up your podcasts and really actively listen to it this has been audiovisual cultures with me paula blair and my very special guest brendan conley the music is common ground by our tone licensed under a 3.0 non-commercial creative commons attribution and is available at the podcast is released every other wednesday please do rate share and subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts and do remember that if you need transcriptions the best thing to do is find my youtube channel if you search for pea blair that’s the best thing to do it’s linked on all of our social media as well and you can get the auto-generated captions they’re not perfect but they’re the best we can do at the minute for transcriptions and you can also see some of the full recordings of the episodes there as well uh huge thanks to all our members as we said before at patreon and if you feel like you would really like to support the podcast but you’re not sure about a membership do go to buy me a forward slash p e a blair and you can just drop me a fiver there because everything really helps if you get something out of this it helps us keep going it helps improving um and it just means we can get going for a bit longer hopefully um so yes thank you so much for listening it’s been lovely to have you it’s been lovely to have brandon on this one i’m learning so much about the wealth of our audio production landscape lately and um yeah so it’s just a really exciting time and hopefully we’ll see loads more brilliant things to come so thanks for listening take care of yourselves be excellent to each other and i will catch you next time you


Audiovisual Cultures episode 24 – Skyscraper automated transcript

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hello and welcome to episode twenty four of audio visual cultures the podcast that explores different aspects of signed an image based cultural production we just contact from singing skyscraper we can have a bit of a child all right not a lot of the other sounds and culture an act to change just before and he joins me to get into class just when the same massive thank you to everybody who spends liking sharing most important last name and enjoying if you have seen him finding useful discussions that we've been having everything you do to help fight is really much appreciated if you can support on peachy arm to help stand under the podcast that would be incredible can I eat discussion and I'll be back in the end the demerger mission thank you she would act again toucher outlay or be involved in some line that was very strange yeah was tense Schembri citing problems going why isn't he can't really sweaty click on those same streets many qualities I give it much credit I'm one of those courses was giving a sense of just how dirty it was becoming to the cause of this phone this is our first one of the many things that shows with Tara is that too early less than a minute welcome right now I think Die Hard tarring inferno house to come up with a system we can avoid them it is like a twenty first century mashup of the sounds in a way a straight for me and then go except for the fact that the building was really well designed with fire in mine and when they finally get back if the actual controls the building because the internet seems to be controlled just from an iPad I'm of the phones and tablets are available and it's just cold attachments once you get control of it back on your template the building works fine turn off and on again Richard I want today has been telling us for years I quite enjoyed skyscraper actually I thought it was fun summer night ice for a firm which makes you go one of those kinds must be hot yeah it was at least an appropriate time of the year because what is it it's the fifteenth of July and husband every day which is very house or it's a phase described as a hot day and so it it's hot most of the northern hemisphere and that means I was inclined to care while there's people must be %HESITATION yeah but I was once right it comes up going really what do you can still be able to breathe at this point but again such a huge amount of heat pumped up towards them but I suppose there is this thing with these are known about the audience term contract which the filming courage's R. asks the words to agree to go on the specific direction these are sometimes not so why just thought to myself no human strength to do that whenever she will have enough stamina left to do that he's lost quite a lot of blood that's just not possible then going out in the parallel universe where this takes place it is possible for humans to be that strong have a stamina for those of physics working with different things where that number is that this is what family's capable of making us capable of S. cinematic and the sense that say the magic of cinema for human is able to do these things yeah because you're not we're talking the way back about them being moments went sort of start to heat the first was absolute limit any shops that are managed to survive a situation come out of it completely exhausted beaten and gasping for breath and booted a bit more and then in the next seat the delivery of the Clinton thing too about a minute later he's fine and he's trying out conversation somebody must get to the rim matching makes that possible I think that when we come out with action movies is that in addition to some syncopation movie world welcome to live by okay we couldn't do this much pricing because we can just added together lots of shots right active correct and not rush in addition to being shifted into park world been shifted one step further into the it is not even physically possible world there's been so many points in action movies work on %HESITATION person would die if they fall from the heights and landed on the rocks or anything on it so I think yeah you definitely wouldn't be able to hold a press on but then it's fine either I have a willingness to suspend disbelief and just care six months our success to omit but in the story space these things are possible but what else might be going on in the nice spending in this pretty little because in Austin got call it's not actually it's got conventions it's got standards it's got levels extremist actions increased I'm sorry one character chiefs a certain thing it's not even meant to make sense even within the world of the story is just saying that you have insurance I'm not saying I was going down one of these two routes for sure and it was a mixture of the two but both of them involved I'm pretty sure that this is not quite happening in this world I was not on it so because or if the contrivance for welding which is happening is how you invest with these things possible so I think that's part of the enjoyment is going this is Joe price of some kind I wasn't matching that there was a good degree of humor in this film I think it's important to have that humor not just to have a %HESITATION having a bit of a polls from the intensity in our stock come down which seems to be a stripper in addition to our stock market search let's see which necessitates having main characters you have a base has a sense of humor roasting Brussels Kitty that he could write quite funny government as well as content it's pretty typical rate you need some quick tips from there J. nine that tension there are some bakery nine several times and I don't know who these people are far away from us or what but wasn't tell quite near the end when you really needed to comic relief that I heard anybody else offering anything time is critical I wanted to get a minute take your mention because I was so happy to hear that needs combos and that's %HESITATION because we do not see her and knocks I think screen was a formative experience and my cinematic education as a teenager at Kmart when I was quite young I think I was thirteen when I saw it and it to detain solution center line to save screen cherry runners for change %HESITATION sands also remains in saying this is why they brought in those things twenty five most because their member the person on that task Askin me my friends RT at saying yeah my friends started offering our sins like shut up this is for you I remember I never happens on June zero therefore I would go and see if the whole ground for it my way and stuff read customer might be some reason where I mean I think the screen this is that they are scary there are the end things stop their post modern in the sense that they're highly referential and highly aware of characters you're talking about eight and inspired by lots of slasher movies or and the types of characters they are many councils Sydney as the crux of it all heard their child together that she species by Jamie Curtis and how did you yes lives and lives is also saying that's what a lot of oneness and non screen has stopped all sixteen her boyfriend's played by the ski %HESITATION shaving his name is Seth starter with him saying that ten minutes may yet our duty here doing it together the night everything kicks off he convinces are destined to finally see them because she's been resisting immigration issues wanted to weigh it out the party they're all laughing hi despite discussion of going behind the virgin survive spent you know a version you can die she manages to fight back and survive the screen was one two three four five six just a quick victory in addition to the screen she does she said a lot of lower budget films creativity but it's unusual to see her and quite make sense is something that's out of anything and she did a very good job of not more not just you know the conference and she did a very good job these women that just because usually at that they're not so good I think good job with the fighting their account I have to watch you do some I've been in the on court she's really kick ass and the screen comes our characters I've seen junior Hey thanks for being a strong person getting Siri the trauma of siting back she does not get back that was a lot of that in this character it was his death she's set me out the writing it's nine even that way her character was dressed very similar dress our system early on I thought this is a situation in which we've got two people who's been in the army the wine and you use that card yeah and he was %HESITATION this is what team is working with the FBI there's mention of having done something before okay so we didn't %HESITATION on after six years service members of the armed response even some special unit the prices are not cheap in the army so I got two characters are very capable yeah and she's a trained that said her character shirt and knock on the soccer here years fabrications that she's saying stuff we're dying to mankind okay the first hand that kind of training you need to be an option yeah right and what we're gonna have now is we're gonna have she's given a lot to just become a full time mom and he's got a career which isn't welcome anymore but it does involve actually going out and being pregnant I'm not so I'm not so I'm not gonna lie because I'm going to spend the whole time going to grumble grumble grumble what is that you're done with the amount of dependence is being gradually occurring over the course of decades of action movies but then they can put sparkly because they give her a lot more to do than just screaming and running around kids show support she has having on the police to do and ultimately when it comes to a climax she's the one who when sore during Johnson's character has just run out of things you can do she's the one who has an idea and scratch the entire situation under control isn't just save him although she does a map that that it's something he usually does for her and fixing her phone and the implication is that jokey relationship we better stop fishing because they are in the box or container and accept her phone regularly stops working properly and it is a specific she likes getting him to sort of write horror any indication as far out east the joke she makes S. that she's perfectly capable of trying to think he keeps just stating that works and that is simply repeating she says right just like very useful yeah but it's closely house so of course and that's the thing that solves all problems the end of this year St speak out yet he recruits I don't think as far as this film is concerned the way that you control buildings this is the same way that you control online banking on your device or saying we did you not get your home on your tablet and I suppose that's another one of those suspended disbelief things because we just have to go always sold on rates the common spaces that anybody could use running around the training to understand but it did make their visual from for the building and so screens screens all over the shop and so I'm telling you so much well there's one scene in particular we do need to come back to convert our character there were none of the fact that he thought screens up this is something that's very obviously call its genes from tiring inferno and Steinhardt boats to ferry talk with her %HESITATION building is the special work the public don't know what it's for and if you feel that it's a local east different types of screens account remembering the terms are used the whole thing is screens there's cameras search reverse camera Superbowl converse your whole thing is wild so that it can actually show you a Hong Kong underneath and around it as if you're standing in that hour it can also be a radio operator hall of mirrors and that's what it turned and she and the fake final sack pace it's built up to the solution really accent action set pieces throughout actually find it really enjoyable intends it builds up to that one I'm not really reminded me of course my houses in Shanghai because the big sappy said not from ace and hall of mirrors that's where this violence comes to a climax and %HESITATION so it really made me think about large scale but of course using screen technology and supplies conversely technology please enter active screens as a souped up version of the whole of merry set pace it's a huge leap touch screen environment there's a screens that you're interested in a variety of different ways and so one of the ways is that a lot of things that you might not think our touch screen actually are catching some of one point why can't still the structure in the first place some G. thanks bye chin Han okay %HESITATION this is where he goes into a ring which just seems to have three windows on one side looking after sixty years of journalism press handle on it she was a delight because it's not actually win the right screen which is cover for what he said and so things that don't even look like screen our screens this one point where any hand on the head of the line I think and it closed green as it takes his palm print those things which we not see other guys not security you know the fan is seen as the one he stitches up work somewhere his former colleague he stepped to sum up %HESITATION yes it was it's hand bringing an end to the meeting just on the screen hang on the windows and freight Burke latest this would have been incredible for her back the virtual window last year windows and screens basically there's a meeting be done using sure thing the firm is bigger how to have huge crowds at ground level watching the drama right the small digested unions are also watching on when they finally emerged in the building at the end and it's a kind of reuniting the family saying this story space audience have been watching the story of big screens of course I haven't been watching time discussing the kind of stuff you can film from a helicopter that's outside the building then we watch any footage from inside the building so as far as they're concerned there's been a surge protection from the outside the purpose of which they don't understand and then these people come out and they're okay but then it would be not and that's it so what we have in him is wrapping this story space version of us is the audience thanks in the in front of the characters doing a proxy of what we're supposed to be doing which is really celebrating the success of these characters I wonder to what extent we can identify them since trying to re write her %HESITATION seis nine Latin search there's lots of shots of people in the crowd and your niece watching through their phones or holding your homes up to found on watching it seems timely getting instant mediation what Sawyer might be doing the times that he comes right side there was one particular where the wire he needs to call to get access into the pan hice to be able to attempt to bring his daughter he needs to do this whole other fate of brilliance and spider man I the building is in talks with her he smiled too great %HESITATION style find but he has to go right side mesh part where of course he's trying to get back in and he's hanging from the rope that's hanging from his staggering the prosthetic leg is something we need to go into town three hanging outside of courses Lancaster reading to break apart with the way it's it's all right taxis time going there and then there should cost the card is your main lesson there Collins and I couldn't help but thanks operated New York centaurs partners nine eleven but people were selling the likes of suckling lamb and I couldn't help wondering is this a way of re writing not because that image circulated so and sent my arms %HESITATION should say and has been used in so many different ways and it can be wrapped in lots of different ways and that causes lots of debate Sir what would you do if you were in that situation would you say in the burning falling building bridges jump that takes the idea off socks %HESITATION either dying and another day program state or taking control but many might see it as the cards why always maybe some last burst of freedom because you've got a ton of me too Jones and she have making it quick celebrating experience during welcome %HESITATION I just remember debates about that kind of thing happening and what if you change the narrative what if he changed axing the guy down the fire broke being able to kind this way back in the masters two separate occasions when he's hanging off the edge of this building and one it's when the first cases were in the building it doesn't quite make it and so he's the age limit the best time to get into and he grabs a bit of twisted metal is hanging off the edge and just hang on the edge of it this is the middle of the spring and then second time is when he's dangling by a rope that's taxes and prosthetic foot and I'm thinking okay we've seen how this things attached to his stomach he's gonna be slipping up I don't have his own prosthetic foot very quickly but I'm I'm just to recover and so yeah this is the falling man climbing back up into the building and finding a way to make it so that the building can be sorry the price and terrorists the only ones who done the fact of having a floor which is on form to be a big part of the plot of this film because it's something that the ninety six four yeah really first set the fire and it's a chemical formula that is actually caused by the sprinklers coming on so this bill is using the mountains and Arctic fence against it and then the whole point is the building has technology for containing fires within compartments no just regular folk with a possible there anyway if I could spread from one part of the building to another is even as if the fire suppression measures are taken offline this remote control okay so this up to calm his way for a good chunk of from what we're saying is just one shoe on fire and then of course the planned terrorist happens to get control of this remote control facility and shut down for safety measures and even do things when they open up the fence and so the options being sucked into the floors that are far the result of that is the first US respondents before long the settlements by the floors on fire I will that's fine but then above it that's the high pressure situations situations and the film is all about getting that situation power under control even at the point when the fines reached its way to the very top floor it's still brought under control again so you know it seems to be a really intense fantasy of twin towers thing being flown into the tires which is completely impossible and what about that is that it's a way of taking that going not we are going to fix it strikes me initially as really is your ass on consciousness really still trying to deal with are actually back in the nineties and noughties America still re fighting the Vietnam War and lots of difference in my C. R. S. and that was well over twenty years off to market record problems %HESITATION so yeah still seems completely sensible one of his big we apologize now hi Angela I think that and then I think there's an obsession of great possible dangers of high rise that thing as well in the dystopian surround I was thinking of high rice you've been lately your short last year and the year before opposite of this from me first ever car just more at this similarity actually is and that the architects house the very special paradise like Tyson very tall maybe there's a so actually I think the film is there's a lot more to it than just starring in Fargo trying hard to connect those different things both of those jokes as well because I think with time I know it's been years since I've seen at home you know I think D. six fire chief I thank the thing is that some kind of bias being constructed and they haven't taken the right precautions isn't that like take time like rice that some higher I think it's his family his wife at least he's been out of party where they've been at a party and because between Hammond St craziness not that cuts between them being heroes it's Paul Newman's character's wife he stopped %HESITATION so and distressed person but I think she's quite a strong character effort remember correctly she's leading people through the fence she's keeping paper all together organize saying survivors after Iraq correcting things but maybe fourteen when I saw it on TV so sketchy I think would die hard she does things differently there are similarities but does he think that many I mean I think we were saying earlier when Johnston's shirt largely stays on and we're used to seeing during Johnson's office find other ways to draw attention to his folk yeah the character of band he stitched up when they embrace and encourage me whoa we're talking as well very well this is John McCain and how's the record with their police officer he's on the crimes yes it is sergeant Howell our panel and the other was a definite no to that for most the police chief who's in charge of all operations at ground level in skyscraper having no relationship whatsoever no he should restore its relationships media canister you screens at St you said H. coming in my house so you're saying things that he says will ever thing or elsewhere because there's a part where you got to call back to the building and I never understood high because you go to folks she's accidentally anyway so it's a one sided relationship this time but actually it's also immediate it's very neat combos character Sarah Smith so it's mediated three Sarah having dealings with the place directly and she'd be able to help they suspect turned yet they give her a police jacket to wear even when they're still suspecting her name might be involved in something like that turns light that she can speak their language she explains I think it's going does different things that I wonder because she said there but her character there's an implication and their lives and the United States say you don't know what she may still have her career fair in Hong Kong for her husband's business that doesn't mean she's no longer search and yeah this was the phone just by not mentioning having occurred so trains are quite young there is a sense that she is an absolute super woman why it's really welcome I think when we won women being represented more info we want well rounded characters we want them to be peaceful but then again it is an action may be and of course all the heroic characters are going to be super humans online but it is just a bit frustrating that and your landscaping %HESITATION experience right kids saving your lives she has on the train surgeons or surgeon it was also on the track and the languages I suppose yeah that's one of the downsides of trying to create parents is that the implication is that ninety nine point nine percent of people wouldn't be able to do this networks and non identifiable currency are there %HESITATION we're talking on the way home that the character of the damsel in distress since you've been transferred on to the children yeah as the others what we normally do have personalities they just have things about your letter plot points well the boy does look gory and graphic trends in the names of children %HESITATION yes and Henry's last Monday show courses fires more of a problem for him and the rest of them I had higher hopes she gets that up so the moms with the boy and that's with the girls I was hoping for an award because she did seem to just revert to a help me actually and I really wanted to just write a guy in her arms or start yelling get off my Daddy or start beat writer if we go back twenty four years the true lies our task is daughter who's suddenly yanked into the store in the film has a bit of ingenuity and that she next this monarchy cynics and runs off she has a an attempt to try to undermine the terrorists are using her losses that was a more active Dorset behavior all right main male character then we go into custody I was wondering to what extent again it is as far as I talk to say he's he's becoming the all American hero during Johnson's coming to face a class I think to what extent is it the United States needs soccer hero archetype it's constantly user it's it's that he's going in as the same as family he doesn't give a fuck about the politics of why terrorists is set for building why they've attacked him and stole on this tablet it's not it's a bigger picture and anyway this bigger picture is commonly known as this one moment where we're going he's the leader of this group I don't think terrorists is the right word charm terrorists in the sense that they're doing on all a lot of violence and killing personal ideological now this is their driver's crime syndicate thirty five people justifies all the things that happened to them yeah over all right I'm when the head of the terrorists isms course both access to windows counter will sorry he says if you don't open these doors here on a three would go for this building and that's the shock is not over the shoulder shot a person talking to sort of sorts face during Johnson's face it's been quite frankly by that point is being held up by the wrong parties to you guys and as the show if he's initially borrowed heads and these heavy lifts up stairs Virginia I it's not I will have to watch to get serious even our eight some of the stories him interacting with kids using the line which is yes that's it yeah and they checked me I mean it's also not as him carrying them holding them and as far as the firm also has these two images of people not stirring proper carrots kits because very early on we have the thing which costs sorters leg very little of it is explained it's the ten years ago seeing a male character who seems to tell the police officer and is taking his own family hostage in the house and when the swat team coming he's actually holding you learn something from him as human shield enemy question down reveals this way this was a vast and virtually the same of course it's a Brian this is one five zero the end gets it's just him there are always other critiques in jail it's just him and he's because practice sorry already turns round and of course is holding Georgia so you go to in front of them and run with that much of a shock grades caricature is contrasted with this hearty evil regard for kids one thing about those is set because he uses the screens J. orchestrate something there to make it look like he's facing nine back when actually he's behind him but photo was turned that way I should have seen him approach so %HESITATION novels we I don't think it would take some of that it's just a trophy %HESITATION largely there was no threat so I guess who's been on five hours yeah how does anything because the number of the end sure Sir was like turn on the finest person system again on every single for the entire building CO two starts being spread out of this forest person system in it chokes the four okay fine for a little bit I don't miss this anything above fifty also flows that are on trial work and everything been melted by that point how does the building still standing finds been intense most youngsters here you can't really cook at it with too many cigarettes even gentle questioning at %HESITATION rivals cinema scenes yet you won't get to it shortly the violence is pretty intense and require a lot of swearing given this a twelve day I just it's the opposite occurred and I will send her away this is how markings on it took about nine it's about things being well done he was there some competition because I be eligible for a U. certificate so this thing in the world and well right now okay I tell you I'm not telling you to go back and listen to every single we're talking about that well done to all right you know it was nearly a fifty that's when you start terms now and the second yeah I just saw it was a really tall and telling me nicely to so some of those effects on both her kids given that people take really small kids and twelve ways let's take a moment to consider the fact that our main protagonist having a person doing Johnson's character was apparently partly inspired by and when Johnson was trained by an actual MPG the end his name is escaping me I'd just rather they think I can't remember what website it was that I saw the article it was something I saw on Twitter I know on Twitter as much at the moment because my smartphone is dead this is one thing %HESITATION I so I think it cracked on it because the article headlined his post some since J. C. M. P. che thing and that needs council's character was a strong woman something like that I hope both these things quite interesting story the technique called me but I read it because that's all in the family I Kerr so I'm quite keen to see this night I read the headline and I solo women being strong characters as Polegate but I actually just want to be like people maybe because we're kind of springing back that you get a level playing field has been depressed for so long the spring back and then it will finally reach level the Caribbean here's NBC's called Jeff glass front okay so he does a lot of training with them I was reading about it thanks again this is green but when are we going to get to the point where I have to laugh peachy place not PC character this technician of this conversation before by actors playing characters in films and so on so forth at the same time might smarting %HESITATION yesterday morning I saw a story and it was something that led me to the guardian but then one of the top ten headlines with safari Scarlett Johanson blocking our user roles because to play charms character and it says female to male transaction a lot of times activists were really upset about that she seems to have listened to them and taken on board and she backed projects said it wasn't clear whether the project is going to go for rich after this I thought that was and since this is still fired a fresh memory after the ride over her casting and ghost in the shell being an example of whitewashing I think it's quite similar and she is using your probiotic doctors and disabled roles and then I think your gold record center here like this you have to bring into question the term this vehicle as we mentioned when he signed going from this past Saturday buy side thing and Stefan that he can pull the bag off and still put himself up sorry that part of one of his legs and saves his life that he's able to call he does manage to move extremely far off passing well for someone who at some points in the film doesn't have a sponsor he uses it to teach %HESITATION the door open when the door to the pet crisis closing in after he's gone through a lot can open its closing the user selected job open I mean this thing really should be in pieces and also I suppose in a way X. Max is quite a bit of probation I have is that he's cooperating quite advanced prosthetic my guess is that if you have a prosthetic the number one thing is that because it's not connected to your scope of work bearing the love your body is a flush of your system and seven can mean lots of chafing lots of cruising and just need a second wife and this is somebody who puts a massive amount of weight on his stomach this is not a realistic I have to spend this legal route one yes this is the occasional bit of limping but he uses that thing as if it's not supposed to so I was nervous and every time there is if we need to stop her expedition moment he was standing up there having lots of conversations and he was standing up and I was going to come on night and knew this is fiction but he needs to set di he needs to get off our Lancaster office the concern hello just for a reason but yes he is I can %HESITATION Superman's so you have to just ignore it Hey let's see action movies in which people and your mom is conscious but I can't think of an actual meeting with somebody and she use as much as his car those declining on the financing it will be when you get sort of sold the interacting with other people in a way that Mrs dominate them is featured in the trailers but let's just mention that the jumping off of crying through the open space between the grand opening into a window he smashed in the building using the Honda crying you just talking to jump when it starts to kick off and he said in Hong Kong he's been advance apartment it seems things kicked off between them I said mystery that's %HESITATION going dying and I think and what compels you to steal a placement right instead of talking to the place obviously you don't get action movie but he commits crime you know it's one of those action movies where the hero house actually commit crimes shaping the hero and entirely gets away with it because they're the hero and they done a big thing when I actually hi Greg this is eating and trying to see if three people are secured %HESITATION the firm for which he's being chased by the police but the please thinking that he's in on it with our team has taken the building and I suppose it was been a refreshing change the we didn't have to wait until the end of the song for the place to realize this place seems to realize this court and there so all right his family or the building he's trying to get in the building so all right he's just trying to get inside his family company with no point to the ever say why didn't you just tell us we hope to see the law also requires that you can just say this is what's happening here's as much as I can get heat please help my family but of course you don't get option maybe with lots of action set pieces that need lots of digital design yeah we can your business but you always sit through all of the credit actually some very gold mines commission only very curse really paying attention to the credits for films such as skyscraper will reveal to you that the overwhelming majority the personally worked on this film with visual effects confidential voter so huge my neighbor goes into making any %HESITATION and on those sounds the lists are almost endless there's multiple companies yeah many just a single company doing the work but work a portioned out to multiple companies because the so much of it at one point was the credit just far enough so %HESITATION that's a lost on performance it was an action movie of course I'm in Austin I lost count at about a hundred and twenty stock performance and then also okay there's going to be roughly an equal amount of visual effects artists but number is ten times the amount of visual effects are still being listed on the various different companies some companies doing a lot more than others because of that loss of visual effects we have to get back here just to see if you have a long skinny the music the total was strong I focus on the use I don't think it's in her while the box office it's nothing as well as other things which doesn't mean something mild but nothing is finalised probably expected we have just seen it on the Sunday of its opening weekend of course by opening weekend we actually mean something that began on one on Wednesday Thursday and it's been really good weather so I don't know if that's a fact and how many people you can go in the Senate this week I don't even know what else is like this week hotel Transylvania three okay that seems to be the big one is up against I think that is the one I read is doing much better at the box office but it has already managed to gross itself offers a twenty five minute and hotel Transylvania the third in a series so it's got an inbuilt audience with kids certain Finnish goes %HESITATION I know very little about this I was thinking it would be nice to consult my former colleague Carrie Pattinson because he works on Hong Kong cinema especially the relationship between Hong Kong cinema and D. S. this is just directing this transnational today this %HESITATION most firms are anything it's really obvious that it's shaky these two places you accent Hong Kong one thing that did strike me as there is one moment when he's yes the size is going to tell police are there to you guys were trying to arrest investigation that's a real problem and that's about it for people in Hong Kong not speaking with everyone else that he interacts with those I would now Taylor that's awesome %HESITATION yeah it was the evil in the star nicely done the actual have the villains wasn't English he wasn't on Richmond but they had one of the villains one day by Marcello Lippi English nicer the main guy was European Hans Gruber not quite more so European origin well the universe would look like if whether this is true it's the best Christmas movie ever made despite the fact that same miracle on thirty fourth street even the extreme as long as that is how the Grinch stole Christmas is perfect have I suppose the catch phrases of the likes of die hards Hey what are you going is that the thing that they used to they were just they would have the main hero just before they're about to kill somebody make your grip okay fine it has a question doing effectively but also it makes the hero into a psychopath yes it makes me to somebody because okay how about security funds going to polls and make some sort of harm before I do it and then I'm going to be sent back to us joining you reflect on the main campus on campus finally this is been judged to be something we ought not to be doing that's a lack in this case have something I can help you listen is what you do during jobs which is that you're actually wrapped up the attentive until the tension just becomes too much to bear and you have to do you have to grab something or you have to turn to one side we just will face palm but you keep it really minimal and your attention that are entirety of civil wars I think it was better it's just my anxiety spends to buy out the past few years probably thirty years ago this makes sense for her like crap but not even my nine year everybody was fine and there is no real danger to anyone I was just find that really stressful to sensory so I think that says more about my mental health has deteriorated over the last twelve years senators by this is just how I am not I always love doing the ructions is going to see lesser I got really worried about we're becoming crazy fans think saving quite a lot of stuff including Jumanji welcome to check when the sun finally started playing right now because the rest of us yeah I was dubious about it for awhile but they refuse to regain its actually really enjoyed it on the first show is quite awful but I liked it when I was a kid I really like to men's units can chat there was a cartoon that I watched as well I thought it Jumanji welcome to the jungle ready harnesses clarity right and then the thing is good crack will perform on the seven one that's very special place in my heart I know there's problems with it still but I went to see it with a very dear friends we're both having a very difficult time reading and Manchester Salford areas we went out together a rough time and it was just a little moment of joy and a very difficult periods it's special first thing well doing jokes saying a repair this is the cynicism which according to into expunged from my being I didn't think he was the one doing the singing thank you nothing major in Hindi films with me to switch to somebody else okay nothing great it's I'm sorry sorry sorry I will personally right sorry latitude where there are ones where it's great because you know the S. like stocks Kalenjin Christmas switches from Chris says I would be surrounded on to something else voices during this star is about WXYZ hi he is holy rates nice guy I think he just seems to be S. R. lady everybody and your peace and everybody who works with him just as he spoke yes her son he's not somebody articles across social start this is the same time is this the guy he's a wrestler who's having a bit of a government acting yeah then with wrestling exacting anyway because it's so complicated it's math this call service does and then this goes this goes the distance you from one source of performance to another and then this course of styles he moved from mountaineering to Entertainment Tonight that's what and actually that brings us full circle we bet because with the screen name combo hoping quite formative in my some experience will always make fun of me from the Swiss Brendan Frasier of course that was fired during the rock Johnson hi it's me great clips and then let me take ours the schools are making cool thing that nearly ended his rugby career than that because the CG version of is or I think people are going to cut costs not his hope I was really bad it was he's pretty here those were probably very roughly H. system time nineteen since become less some options below Christmas memories five nine several so fast growth time periods when I was eighteen when I made the effort to try and watch basically every action movies of the eighties and I did very well in the long kind of action movies that definitely added new things new things that are in some cases were just new because they mixed armaments from several different things from home but that's not the way if you find our discussions interesting and useful please subscribe on iTunes give a small monthly pledge on peach tree on I'm trying to raise enough to pay a monthly subscription to sign copies to make every episode available on iTunes and other pop forms and to upgrade the website which can be fined up audio visual cultures dot wordpress dot com thanks for listening and spread nowhere to catch you next time