Audiovisual Cultures episode 33 – A Day at the Fringe automated transcript

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this is audio visual cultures the podcast Patrick Simons signed an image based cultural production I am the creator and host Paul the bladder and this addition Andre Sheila and I spend the day at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and speak to one quarter of just these plays will see back Montefiore apart the comedy trips shows on tonight also talk about it saying she's an improvised silent movie and the play and taken a nine iron we begin though with some thoughts on our previous friends experience why is it that we are speaking out going to help in the background we're in a very face eight %HESITATION during the French the festival anymore do we just do this thing that inhabits the fringes of the festival but which has basically taken over from the first time the enemies make a this is our third time yeah a third time as a unit I did a bit of stuff for me yeah thank M. A. N. meaning the specific reason that we are here we wanted to just do a little bit of it but this year we don't three day stint before this time we just come out for the day there's a reason why we hate us because we just got back from a bit of traveling elsewhere and the specific reason why we are in this the company in the present time and we're just going across Bristol Scranton a bit to see a show at the gilded balloon TV it is the colonels a friend of mine is of a four person comedy sketch troupe called just please please whose show starts in Hoffman and we just bumped into imagination flaring in the places as people are wants to do for their own shows often have a visitor's register at the front and the somebody else doing it use my people to be firing for money for somebody else but someone with the right people who do the show's firing themselves with fliers that contained images of their interface so it's like just a tiny little celebrity encounters although it doesn't seem trusting coach people to go and see the shows %HESITATION anyway we are here to see his name's we'll see back once and he was a student at Nichols university I never told him so that's why I call my friends rather than well afterwards and then going to see at least two more things but tickets for an in person to see if that thing that we haven't because this free stuff on three different things my currency and then clean as anything with leaping straight about Lexaria onto a train and heading back to Newcastle and X. it up a little bit more this year because normally we head straight for the comedy and so we're going to see later we did see if I'm not here but I want something that we did get fired for and we thought oh sure why not let's give it a go we thought the archery interestingly the name of the pay he doesn't display properly on the ticket because the ticket continental and he with a capital even every possible an Irish so it can take in a marriage I think it's a mixture of mention Irish history right down my alley where for the second out right now %HESITATION so what comes as branching out in our lives he's seeing only mostly comedy or an entirely comedy your Highness next year we might see the Hoff committee last year I did a bit of a write up on my blog about everything well most of the things I think we did last year so if you are interested in reading about our adventures from last year and sent me a flyer dot blogspot dot com or something like that but if you don't know you want to read this blog entry because only name did not there was the real any of the past because last year and I have some videos actually and I put some images of the blog post about changing nightmare live it's really good fun yeah people remember that TV show that right here okay game shows on the fringes really it's still in the early nineties one where they wear a helmet which blinds them and they would direct from a that makes but then after awhile I realized it was a bit silly so they gave the machine within our unit so they could actually sure %HESITATION nice the size because I knew you wouldn't be able to see what was going on in the show that you pay for it was very funny because the people there were four people together volunteering themselves trying to become the chosen one those people were not there and they were to women as well which is disappointing so there was one and he was killed off pretty quickly because they want to defend and all the four people right now and then there was only I think you do medicamento very funny he was very different right okay let me to become a performer and a shirt and didn't get to see the show yeah you were very useful as a colleague on that particular day because you're able to fill me making it one of us are not able to do that zero like India's record signed by my technologies are much diminished the moment Phil Murphy people for the first year we came to the we did the last week last year we date the first weekend this year we're in a day right in the middle of the when we did the most weekends the first year and it would look like it's been through traumatized it was knee deep in people with their exhaust just trying to get from a to B. all the performers were at Monaco after seeing it's a really tough time of year and miss so in coming to advise like bringing rice to the biggest rice market in the world six bringing coals to Newcastle times ten but you know what that means is that one of the performers are being beaten to within an inch of their lives for the situation we are spoilt for choice when it comes to companies like the hustling to get people to go into your show that's so much a part of the performance it's a whole other performances exhausting and then supporting each other trying to see the shows is a manual cortex that does attract which involves lots of singing on the way in which they go out of business is they just come out in costume to sing short songs and public service was one thing that you would be well advised to do if you're gonna do a show in Edinburgh is something where you can just go out and do snippets of it in the street conspicuous so that might be %HESITATION would be conspicuous you know you're singing that carries in the sense of amazing costumes whether six weeks away that kind of thing do something about it on the street and that will get you distinguish McConnell but that means planning is going to be with them only to be thanks for your the business is this is what one must bear in mind if you were quite well see we decided to see the menu castle when they're on their way to London is coming out from underneath this is a very good thing about living in Newcastle it is sent to the other one in new castle because they're just trying stuff rounds on the way out and also for the same reason cheaper because they're going to run this for a fiver at this time did you cancel so yeah richer parents usually gets our undivided attention but when she's not getting any of it this time because this thing happened about a month I understand and you got some anyway assisting the feminists and northern states next month yes we are this is the first time you've told me about you know okay right because this would be a cool and yeah I decided to take you with my other ticket okay do I get the chance to decide whether I want to come with you maybe I'm trying to educate it would be the second time you're on I've been sick because feminists together we can happens to be here on Thursday we make it for one day and get it taken care of coming at the end of August this time for just a day so it didn't really work out anyway yeah we're going to be able to see them in half so it's quite rare that they come out for number so citing a demonstrator recording this and put into a criminal record Newcastle's possibly because opposing offensive these faculties they're gonna be fun it's never not been fun it's always very tiring there's always really good things take away so many good memories please check back in after some may even have an interview with Hans a for the comedy we're about to see it would be nice all right so we will if you're interested in giving regular support for the podcast that aren't too keen on peach tree and I know I have membership options and buy me a coffee dot com forward slash P. eight there where you can get the C. Max Strus as well as some others exclusive buy me a coffee head over to buy me a coffee dot com forward slash P. A. B. L. A. I. R. to price membership options or drop a fiver into this charge thanks and enjoy the rest of the episode where site %HESITATION just please please I was really impressive to me finally it was so well written this is a fantastic thing several different variations on the world in the coming minute costumes on registering the six I'm not gonna tell you who we are and then it will become apparent the company reveals during a sketch about who we are and then everything was expected to become funny so that that was the times that they may need to do with it from just a few small repertoire I did foods of twelve thirteen schedule to get the server roughly three and the rules and really really well written mail had four or five big tanks in the longer ones and the short ones for just a single guy activated inside of a minute even in a concert hall and just please please will Tom Georgie and just these days is the name of the troops and also it seems at the moment the name of the show more contestable with having a show that Scott different titles in the name of your committee contact and I think the name Jesse space X. quite telling because it's quite a polite there is some swearing and some gnarly ness and there but it's a very sweet and very good natured show there's nothing maintenance to suppress it hi he takes that one is really good use of musical acts are and that was when you do it for you sure about this in a tiny room that held about sixty people you get an eighty person who does a very limited lighting setup and a bit of audio but the use because there's really retiring constantly switching to pain points to show that they were between scenes because that's the kind of rearranging the furniture just moving around in order to get from the end once into the beginning of the next with very little going offstage as well so that the lights were switched to say now don't run X. sketch with music in between each sketch was always a preparatory sketch this coming up in seventy nine yes I am able I was really good at doing this I was confident character for delivery they were getting into the account is snoozing really confidently for the area for the tiniest restricted area you'd be tempted to get quite distant from the phone at home is to keep the movement of a room we all have done from school training because they were doing dancing singing some points it wasn't tons of what their characters in the sketch we do hundreds of accents they must access I bet that took ten months to write what you want to go for a different time I think it took a significant amount of time and right here so I need to get it tight and then once you know what the space that is for her saying the transitions while also remaining of the chairs to position them for the next batch coming night stand to get props on and off it takes a lot of practice and knowing high care spaces and because I am a friend with one of the four people with well we are going to try it because going to hospital now we're gonna try to get his own suggestions about what's involved in doing this kind of service Hey we're really super excited to be joining might well come to here I am I saying that correctly the single way and hear from just these plays and we've had a reading in the free time watching on the session if we can just give me a few questions hi would you describe show is twenty five sketches in fifty five minutes from the very fast paced SO of silliness the grown ups that is also quite clever it'll be a very modest yeah I thought it was very clever it's not only to give compliments lightly yeah it's recorded for ever it's a I'd say it's like a classic sketch and we cannot sketch comedy and I love the with the advent of my stand up comedy and character comedy with lots of breaking the fourth wall and trying to the audience which is amazing but it is a group of princes of Maine who do it really well it's like this weird amalgamation standup and sketch but we were just like let's just do sketches just still sketches thirty four if you wouldn't mind because we only remember everybody's first name mine just Rhymin everybody's name yes Philippa Carson Georgie Janice Tom Dixon and myself within Siemens hearing this anytime and so in your own well yes trying to make your way in the world of showbiz thing with day jobs some nine days thirty isn't because yeah so hard to express and getting on the of the the A. B. player graduated from my ear drums because anyone of them who has not got a second job I think that's probably what everyone has of the stuff that I have to do because it's changed so much but that's the compromise you make when you doing something that you love and all the necessary financially stable but it's what you want to do on your own and it killed at the main branch which is probably one of the better known locations venues which might examine how you can convince a lot because it's your first range is a great day this offers them a fringe as a group repeat that just say if you're gonna put the question on is constrained and I we've gotten together billions of because we've been gigging in London just trying stuff out on the fringes always angry because we wanted to do stuff and we found doing things off our own back with anyway tonight on and get his agency in a career that saw that latency and is often not a meritocracy there are so many variables and got you can be the bank like amazing do great job in the state he's too small which is the night it's just about how it works what sentence it wasn't seven that's too small I need of intend to find out is the other thing yeah seventy but we were like we have this thing we work well together we like working together to make something today and if it is in London to indifferent directed you contact people we contacted all the big ones disseminated thousands gathered them under running a bunch of the smaller ones a couple of places offer those places and gilded balloon unpleasantness I came to see us %HESITATION the fall festival because we managed to get into the office today until one night together but after seeing reductions in that package it was on a hiking condition I can understand ten minutes of the show before his run of consecutive minutes I really kind of a still okay and is like awesome stuff but I go to the place off the back of that and so it was a nice balance of work on not getting someone in doing so that was good enough for the people Hey and you and also the kindness of the venue's going oh yeah we're going to take a chance of someone we've never heard of that's how we say so that anyone can do it but it takes a lot of again a lot of and let's be a testament to Hiero day earlier incarnations of the show if they thought well yeah we will give you time yeah I think so I think we'll invested in it because we feel that it was good which I think makes is unique in that address I think everyone has sex with the but yeah definitely I must've been and still is we find of his tights you know leave a lasting contest I really like that the Joe Klein it was very good shares a lot of it was very in a sense that's quite refreshing in a world where everybody's fighting I don't know why we made that choice I think it's the idea of someone going and if we don't going to see shows you feeling uncomfortable let the people in St John St Thomas after I think was definitely like why things are so common tree which we love but we just want to make it a lot alike this is the way we've done it so it's been a long thing to one group of people can see us out a bit sat by it might be Correa's advises one line which I completely disagree with which is over and the work of a crazed by and the only reason I know users from Newcastle because my car is about coming together and it doing exactly what I'm doing because of my it really keeps me up at night and that was one point in the show to do that I think yeah it's not offensive not offensive but also we would never know you know we just we like people have an ice times put in context even at twelve fifteen so in a roughly sixty seat venue it was in the basement we went up and down a lot of states the area and I think it's on just below the ground yeah every single seat in the everything was taken I would check my journal with several human listen to something seventy six yeah the past five or six days we decided to sell out yes that is ME ten seats empty today there's only about three which I think comes to choose a selloff I don't know that's the thing that's really been my gosh this is remarkable because we struggle to get reviews and stuff but without just word of mouth it's friends family and people saying Hey go and see this and then it's also strange is seventy stand is going to say I'm liking it the full coming of a missile was complete without social media would any fertility people you'll hear the same shows ever ever again things and and that's the only reason I can say that we that's amazing %HESITATION service while the kids think this is such a massive parts of friends I guess even the visual culture transistors because right right please bring her phone background and your last name the things you love goes to circle their sections you know maybe do the right thing and the most really very interesting the communication nearly complete circle for the title anyway so it's the same company the card yeah it's a really formation it's very clear and then on the back of the prior year and now you said that you wear during the show yeah which is the state and the computerized how did you go about defining turning for doing the photo shoot there are a couple of things we knew we had today %HESITATION wanted to do one which is helpful about faces on it because I glance that's what you want young people to recognize the poster on the faces not see what's on stage what we were going to say that's what you're selling we so we want to be ourselves we want to look like on comedy we don't want to be today we're approachable and quite lovely anyone in particular as ideas that you would overseas Kim I've been told he's that might be just because he's a full time solicitor but it was this is skeptical that the John and then an old sketch group two guys who went to John this is John financial planner thing says though not so light aircraft was invading neutral but still threw things away and I think I quite like that it was trying to be grown ups but not ready succeeding some rain AS laboratory choice that we're like okay %HESITATION let's see if it works really well she's an Philips %HESITATION decided to buy some white suits on Amazon I just tried it and then we try them on the ground and let them we've today the post and then you can see what we have to and striking there's an it pleasing formation no we so I think it works yeah it is to the rule of three as well I think he's on the line on the faces and the bottom tanks they logo the idea was like a tea stains come down that is the latest version of our friendly development is a friend of ours who design stuff and we gave him a break we took thousands of pictures we've got a friend take pictures Lawrence and download the different formations but this one just relied on the contract it was a real confetti gun more it's Georgie well no she no I know it so for those from Ireland Georgie has second is Jones but she's a glass behind homes could have been because you're almost a four nation yeah Republic of rather than in the U. K. do you do you must have more from it helps because then it would just an Englishman Irishman and a Scotsman it was a little shocking it seems for a couple of the other members of your home when there was some intakes of breath at this point and that point Tom's playing this movie is the kindest meeting that you buy in the shops and the point was when he put the gun in the mouth and nose with officers maybe it's to show just how willingly we suspend disbelief I think it goes I wasn't holding guns even though I know it's made of plastic and because we have different things and this is the shocking images thing the I do you especially with the joke is that she's appearing she goes on a dog because it used to be spoilers everybody the premises and the PA being sent on the behalf of the boss for catch up yeah so the PA has to do everything the bus as a natural extension of that is the boss gets his he does have to go through it just like a very silly just not to the extension of the job but this is you bring suicide so I think what's changed involvements is Jodie's gonna fire but now has been playing with the likes flexible said one six it gives you when it's time to go okay this will be the darkest sounds doctor and disposing of it let me tell you the full scope is waiting for the big this is where another time sketches sculpture and I want to yeah well I mean they were like all the sketches %HESITATION all four of us have input and change and stuff it's just a natural spot every single catching this has been added these are the schedule to and then if it's not to be here yeah the bark for life sketch this is a conversation with you about how life feels neglected they are very it's just a great we accept being fell apart from we've played in different pots so we try and keep the casting by general so judging I've done it Tom and Jody again at the all the policies of the exchange well known in Edinburgh we've kept it the same just a piece of serving as a good representation of a road safety five hours who was on stage at any one time yeah we try our best to do that if it will worry to some people than on this motion I felt my god given rights will punch lines we spend so much time talking about making sure that it's like because I think this is the greatest thing sometimes again this is not always about persons show to join in and I think we've done I think it's a haunted and one who'd brought what which we used to do some I don't yes what we have been doing this initially when we talk when I had written the both of which I want to do that and they're like yeah great just bust the bank tells us that as a boy it's written from a male perspective and written for ourselves and so working with them well god that's not something that we do being you know open and liberal wealthy people and feminists were like how did that yeah it's really it's just so funny how great is that he says that's missing and stuff like that so but it was like I want to write more sketches just women and I was gonna kill like talking to her and we were like that sounds great J. just extended from NASA's further provided receptacles with it's one of those places where people primes entertainment for this contest was with these problems and then the basic even though I am a person who was wearing a seat something else so you have to blackrock questioning you date the bank the best person I'm assuming as soon I'm gonna buy the head home you have to imagine that I wanted your team to be aware that you can generate yeah I'm gonna change my customers in the from now one must be different yeah I am not like when you were done with the the builder and the because posted on yes the business to be complete I think big adds a bit of noise and also I think if you're not doing it really really well I think what you lose in the transition time because I get to the same quickly jumped from the scratch if we have like a minimum cost on something in to fill out this is why we studying onstage this time was like I ran a scan is all about and if we feel that we have to get a bug Hey welcome to the boat and going as you can guess from from some completely willing to go with okay this is one of the and so that's what I specifically did a lot of information there is that still rules of improv this the time that they use which is ironic detachment they're trying to avoid ironic that option and I think we try very hard to play the sincerity of the conversations we have a life in exile as if it was a real relationship the audience laughing I mean we try to maintain the tension the whole basis of my tongue in cheek Matt this is funny we may not always pulls me out the two men are like well this call may be a factor well I guess there's a pipeline okay there's nothing you can push through there's a question mark this is Nancy disbelief people are willing to just there's a few members Russell what these people are doing in front of us is absurd I'm never find myself going I'm in a room watching some of the things that are doing it every month every day from get okay that was my job today I'm going to go and pretend to be with me and then I. F. and I'm like it's very strange so the frivolous and strange things that it'll make sense within the drummer if each yeah there's a serious man this movie is about to give in to me exactly how to be yeah yeah when when is a collection of the most whimsical see the products you get if you survive to show he can how many thousands of Americans is the I think we had enough to give us a seven session in a recent I put my bags in my pocket monocled Wilson alters things on the phones as well we do have a there was a very neat callbacks within the sketches but you kept them relatively discreet my mom's biggest what I think is the minute he was meeting with we never thought I've got a lot that's one of those really strange things that audiences I need to grab the audience's appointed you they just recognize the audiences on stupid and very small and very brave please keep coming to see us it's all becomes like an in joke for that room of people because it's like if we were that and is this something I think %HESITATION sketches about things that people recognize that because Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton sketch people like with the double right I really appreciated that a lot of the sketch is very conscious of being gender neutral and stumble home and interacting with the server bodies this is nice to have those sorts of things just not be an issue you know the the next meeting %HESITATION yeah yeah it's something that I'm in I think we're all very conscious of his listening to each other in the group in a specific time and I who initiate written most of it the knights like I said it's very much a modernist all four of those yeah this escape is that we don't have anymore they used on the web page in it there's a malpractice and all this bitch and it was a high and %HESITATION very setting and I've written a line of sight and then the Filippos sent chills I I'd done things good words for us to be saying I was like I genuinely don't see the problem but let's go not because I don't understand how bout with you since then we came up with a funny word current board it was but we ended up saying something so inane and childish that actually was funny because it took away the status of the it's just about listening when Thomas that's not right the man and I was trying right from the email because sketches tend to be mutual definitely why not just right as a woman because my natural just right so I could just change that and just imagine George into the big old big old liberal con the box a little but it is just because of the women in my life been aware of that and I think that's important sometimes with comedy it's an excessively it's a novelty you know we're doing sketches you can so that I it's easier to make an actor in a limited relationship because but it is funny to do different things remember if you ask the question but I'm almost yeah one of my team needs me being very embarrassed about sex is very cute it seems like the jobs going to have the from the storm the mayor may not it was just nice it was a rather than I was in the in that case yeah that kind of thing and it's just funny more because this is known as thank you to that's something we just find it funny is people have describes like all for nine days yes an interesting that they chose to male names that do you know what for you guys after the friends apart from months of France but myself unit into the girl professional actors and %HESITATION is this this is also a professional the idea is that this will again it's been a mentor Hey Scott how to plan because it's so based on that will definitely happen as I got home for a little bit and then right and he didn't they were very resilient what do you do yeah depends on the time I don't think I can take this much holiday offer free we will have to work on that but we will it's the thing that we do and we love to do more stuff with it the idea is to just these days to come up big thing that we can make stuff in the bag and then we can make stuff on the top yeah many great bands the first phase fighters the names of the title going to be expected to remember one thing yeah exactly a month to month to come in to read just please come from is and tightened that is a quick question charming until midnight but and may and then radiation and it was that thing just these please when you put something down a shop just these days because you want to be Brian yeah you know what to say these are just these days it's qualifying is on what could be happening the other this is a way of saying please when you sell meetings I want the same time same place recently nothing else I don't want anymore things that those are like the same justice based just the sketches I still doesn't know what it means anymore because that's where it came from but it's just a name that people keep forgetting do you continue to hold the J. T. something we do and we got a lot of the type and I insist on the common between just these in place at the end of our last visit makes is that okay stacking services we've had a really great time so even if this happens yeah well just a space where can we find you on the internet good just please please someone else stole just these days H. J. U. S. T. H. E. S. E. says just the space but with that one U. S. first team and yet just tease please is what has and then we're on just these days dot com if you search just these these into Google you'll find us and we just released a sketch that has like two and a half million views a new schools which is cool when you order coffee with an Irish name and by financial G. well judging for that that is George's main idea is that this is a difficult yeah George zero and for the rest of us for as well and then we found out together for an incident on a friend I'm trying to get the filming and editing I was online this is just please please thank you would you like to receive updates thanks and special offers straight to your inbox then they said forty visual cultures dot wordpress dot com to sign up to your mailing list yes again thanking you for having been told to go into the thing that I'm going to do it well I wanted to say that one as well before they had a pretty nice and countered with a jaunty chop from my neck of the woods firing poker area something from another area I was the only person to bump into poker you would have been I would have to follow new video converter I should have done was just go way back I have to confess my girlfriend and I would have had it won here calling me a you can keep he's as hairy as possible right the tier three funny men from Northern Ireland here we saw him a couple of years ago may have neglected them for awhile please send me send you counseling and family I think when you see someone firing for sure that they're doing this French and we're definitely not going to see venture for you consider that at some point you become the most forening pessimist possible to be solved and expect nothing but Justin Wallace it was the phone twice entered yes there's a group of I think knowing people pull together KOSPI project the findings will cut off and credits at the end of may %HESITATION name servers a good seven people who doing performance and then there was a guy he was completing the intertitles our favorite topic and writing a sentence and this happened sometimes I could even hear the type I yes it was coach an improvised side in the face of course we have to go through this I couldn't have a have been anybody but Italians because they continue to have probably the most respect for the silent era film if they put even RDMA anybody cinema notes to shame the Italians have reference for it please reference of course because early cinema is dominated by committee I'm a college that and so even though it was supposed to be a drama they were improvising they stopped in those moments of comedy dark comedy having a pair of dark comedy mixed with Anderson Scotty yes it was pretty effective for the wonderful performances particularly there's a couple of people playing what one does find a dog another's pain you can't never particularly for me yeah the visit of gender mixing because there was a woman playing a man very effectively and probably in a calm way both were kind of surprised to getting across the types of characters ever find something we find ourselves observing all the time when you play the six that you're not a customer make up on your side you have to stop and of course the guy playing the woman was coated very much in flux %HESITATION I would say so honoring a faction S. of the performance of the flapper girl and a man in the iron to quite smoking and having a baby gnarly to okay you're on Thomas conventions of the era including lots of poking fun at forms of Damascus and can save twenty five as well a new truck source was used to describe the foreman foreman is coming in and these two guys standing in front of the auditorium completely silent Ali constant acting sit down sign and the bass from the centers and we set the front row and then after I sat down to go notes in the file manager from the room and then they go to any concerts and the principal was someone in the audience had to write down on a slate one of them is holding the touch of a job they did it several times I got the right one so if you wanted to write about whatever was on the site the new one on and then we did a kind of reckoning up between %HESITATION was undertaken and it was the have to find somebody suggested secrets act somebody suggested that with the yeah server there were several that came down to the most lots of hello your clothing so the firm we chose the telephone was the on the take and then they started to improvise this firm I'm aware of that was done where is the screen it was I'd say about three fifteen for a similar scenes behind the pharmacy area such that when it wants on informants area you could barely see the screen written off you could project something on demonstrating what sort of beginning and then the project hello from the lights behind the screen to go on to those lots of surprising Q. seven and then within a performance based performers are coming from either side with a limited number from and I hope and wish to start think they've got a repertoire and they're picking them from that record but then after awhile I started thinking if they're adapting it really really well the principal of one of the characters please stay on undetected because that was a job for Mr they did do comedy along the lines of this character has to pick up this other character and this performance is strong enough to listen to their problems there was a bit more of the onyx detachment that will was saying they didn't do him justice please yeah I'm running for president when one is doing a show about something similar is basically it's because people love off silent films so much even when they're not too even in the dead straight loss because they're so strict please come general happen after the initial while this seems like it's going nowhere was it into pointed type story even if the results of the initially which is the undertakers and started but there's lots of different ways to die service levels darkly comic and people find themselves in buildings and some people falling asleep at the wheel of a car crashing or accidentally knocking somebody off everything just to get you in may for the sorry and then immediately when those are happening deciding right this is the kind of story that we're going to try to do too mature to notice because I was very convincing yeah they call it he said story lines may be there for course to resign and take it up to whatever profession is chosen the three nine right relationship with the person doing the job it shows and then they have the relationship with this person and it breaks down for whatever reason whatever jobs on to the next court hearing that would make sense of one of the scenes in the greater of the things that were specific to take it would have been rougher on the edges of the design process with engine over the course of the trip it seems to have physical not to be they have a specific time today have something called the forty three year I think it was the same person he was playing the woman in the relationship how may I think the name of the character this person it's very we can even get using them thanks for coming to life story told people about paying crews and things like that shorter people are paying out of all of the kind that we often think of it in the film acting is being circulated to contacting you don't it's from Spain it's just a very elementary money combined with other forms of some of the phones that come to mind for us to get us he gets on the phone for anyone landing now doing physical comedy learn some of the ways of using forty used from someone to go I want you to share without blinking but you'll flushing I looks as to how to do that we take hands from the new school year four fingers and promote fire it's great put a new wave your finger check on a man who thinks that yes and I love the way they come and get some youthful liberals believe it turns out and she's showing off the engagement ring on this thing I this is not the shivering after hours but then using the other hand to flash dot something diamonds the timing of course is everything one eccentric define the penis is doing a cracking job because there's both playing music that she's turned and playing notes the sound effects and music and trying to get this is sound effect from this rejection of the long lines if if you just hammering the same note again M. as in court again and again and it's quite a place known as well that tends to come across as %HESITATION that somebody slamming into this is just really insistent music this work to do that unless it is doing very well there was a lot of undertaker characters must be very strong so if he's too strong sometimes and break things tells of door handles over something sign ready have a certain amount of lifting the heavy lifting their assigned if I was doing the metaphorical heavy lifting about that yes which I thought was quite figure just because it was pretend he's lifting their metaphorical heavy lifting about the metaphorical heavy lifting that refers to some user habits that's a matter for instance was clear that they have not just seen a lot of some films but seen some specific phones the idea of a character he just doesn't appreciate how strongly fourteen September is a specific mmhm and it's nice and then cut off the courses taught today yeah for the company from about nineteen or character somehow when was it takes possession or something and I don't think it would be much Linda Phil Mickelson cure for Cavendish and for extra translates as a medicine for strength and he takes his medicine for pain Caledon becomes unnaturally both brave and strong so there's a lot of comedy and people not knowing to expect how strongly also the two rivals for women's affection that's in about every other song from service contemptuous effective at getting back to Poland lots of fun I'm trying to represent a front runner I think so let them into something that I thought was that we could see quite a lot of what was going on on the side to probably figure further back that would have been a bit more of a surprise to us yeah it was very funny but at certain points people who are in the wings not being part of that particular skit no particular scene the heat off of what people were doing the same the fed I think one the woman who is playing the big heavy garden when she was carried off stage which was put down for some reason she found it distracting embarrassed when it's just been done and her face I could just about see if you're desperate times the result from often having done that but this is another instance of a reserve this morning it's the we're gonna put in front of you is not supposed to look like what it represents we are calling upon you to do it again when expressed in disbelief someone from the main on the ticket counter Kevin throws his rifle throws it out the door D. mind throwing one another for McCain on ramps heavy there's a huge fight stuck on the shoulder and lifted her off into the wings for mine the morning interacting with things %HESITATION yeah I mean you can mine being the subject of the actions of things around those willing to put those two together you can have somebody being for someone and again something which works within the scenario is that there's no need to call back somebody pretending to defend every meeting that simply pretending very well to give an impression of I don't know if it was the inventiveness often exploits what was funny at all costs of three coverage even think of selling arms to emulate option but it's not really works because that's very community communicating monitoring and of course they're crossing several language sorry for Sharon's high end that means that they can travel I can do this it doesn't matter but the language they just need somebody within the intertidal second okay and whatever language country houses its dominant language but also it's not language of silence sentiment that so alien and quite car ninety two people might because Sandra hears ago if this was going on did you notice that when the thing looks up at a local footage at the beginning it was the lack of for just fifteen of us universal was formed in nineteen fifteen those are the kind of counter did the music means to determine in nineteen thirty one the universal film company was formed out of a conglomeration of twelve existing from companies it was called universal because the other was already around at that point the film is universal for them to choose from I do no Sir the language because language or style specific characteristics and film doesn't fit this kind of sticks but the universal unknown numbers decrease specific communication means and they were having a damn good government that was like an Italian mostly comedic melodramatic music drama which had been given creative English interface which was a normal time according to some scholars friends of mine are Italian work on Italian cinema I'm trying to take it or so I and I taught in comedy a time companies are really quite dark chopsticks and we're all living above us he showed us some of these Italian comedies that he was looking at the rest of the server British Irish Americans my neighbor family quite distressing thoughts are essential to being about death and the undertaker and not from the edge and the quite dark and tragic despite the settings I do wonder whether there was a bit of manipulation isn't loading this decision making any units we came up with about six different titles yeah it was we would close those down through a process of elimination to to get invited on it was that the guy stopped the process when he had undertaken another one in north he said it was if we had a couple of people which we probably would have been on their minds RT some mystery and what which is about thirty pounds %HESITATION you're free and up is that what you wanted to your investment bank all right I thought you were going to do I don't know I was different RT from historians yeah it's like putting a mirror in front of the mirror just make it really matter after like in the future the address for the starting to be very important for everyone we care very much appreciate Christopher Lambert as it is your right and I think we're seeing is %HESITATION just waiting to see ninety nine yeah so the tech in the bay area so we're not on night of ninety giving him any key to see if we can get and see the skeptics and we're hoping to see the C. K. alley came up off and take any marriage started may and run over so we just didn't make it so that one is over here this was our contingency plan when we can get into this when I get into this so let's see the plane was intense it was probably a bit more intense actual contract everyone sat in the near future brexit has messed everything up toward the north and ardens parts from the apparently there's not very much the same old legacy so if absent fathers stuff that's been done a million times before only this time it's Spain comes over to some women they still are concerned so many ways their father never wanted instead of getting on with their lives on the main character's anti a religious or Catholic the lord's prayer keeps saying number pages Hey she and her other siblings her sister and two brothers their father dies apparently during the contacts they were taken and has children by the reality is Russian Fabian it's apparently situated in west Belfast you seem to be Scottish and had a crack at the accents hello one character was Jerry and all the rest of the characters are specific they all signed in for Terry then that every character dates about their very different accents so we will I think my main criticisms are actually they didn't really seem to know much about anything that under certain actors role for him they worked really hard did a good job with I thought that there may be material was very under researched serves very talky there was a lot of stuff provides the disappears can't get mentioned in a very fake way but when details were given there are entire day problems so things like dozens and dozens one seventeen fictional characters at first J. as being world distance not in the upper prominent loyalists that kind of thing never happens it is usually people who are in the house like for national communities usually accused of some kind of forming for being traitors and most of the time it was probably mistaken identity or it was just a sign today the community this is what we will do to you if you do you inform the types even more tense for tap on the actual contract was in many ways one thing was there's a character called a author and it's actually a leader and then union carnation of loyalist paramilitaries McCall there at times what was the right essay our age you read something wasn't terribly and my sister but anyway this character to fight it with quite a lot of compassion which anyway was different from the typical depiction of the loneliness because usually there are stand alone as she was but they're usually so I called back and really enjoyed torturing people they would have just done away with people the way that she does so I don't know if the writer not knowing how it all works for the city because of some of the S. and room to run and take a man's stories of Sophocles and then it's all these religious infractions I wonder if I'll if this may be trying to take on more than they could come to the right team speaking nothing they're just young and starting right I don't know who this person is it's a good attempt and everybody worked really hard C. company hopes anybody for me and all I know is we but as lesbianism thrown in there for good measure of representation is scared but not if it's a shame on them for the crack yeah the traffic citations and that being said one thing I recommend to play for I did make a point of there being a multiplicity of Ireland's somewhat higher than it is everybody is a very individual thing and what it meant to the previous generation the next generation is very different from one of the younger people many of the same they were crumbling under the pressure of trying to keep that up and I just the excess study hard if not how to been explored a bit more and make more effectively probably would've warms more it was I think it just got buried under needless pointless violence all honors very simplistic canceling that didn't really make anything anywhere maybe that was the point but it's just not really reflective of the current time and it's you know in twenty nineteen to twenty this is when there's no sitting assembly the house in order to be referring to women's and eating with the price of well we wish we could get back to that actually it was written after the brexit referendum I just called about his reference often the reference but before the assembly start when their time was for a small window of time time and it was quite a long time ago sales nine along top and had a lot of key thinkers have died have retired so it's very difficult to write something like that to make it relevant because the crying dissecting underneath it so quickly it's a very difficult I read research I just really have been trying lately because everyday something no not somebody else's fire and so hard to keep up with everything to try and do something creative and not something I right reuniting Ireland Austin not really understanding what it is we probably ought to be changed location haptics he was quite large and it seemed like it was going to start quite nano my worried by making a chance without we just tell I haven't changed how to decompress because if you try to do too much and I guess really overwhelming and I think three big things and I was actually quite a good day trying to give some credit to dance again even pretty fearless when serving humans getting into conflicts where that brutalize making it something that's not to say in the real world may have been a mistake maybe it should have been able to set an alternative world read the names of the fractions roommate the countries are made up of my thinking okay I think we're on the same page being a religious who is going to lead to conflict suddenly suffering lying on the being willing to commit violence whole have them turned up to eleven the main character was not a fan practicing I don't really know maybe that is generally known by people the research extensively on willing to be six we ran it does seem there but I think their points we can pick up on other times to explore more taps thanks very much for listening there are links to many of the acts and shows mentions in the expanded show notes which are available to patrons fi a Petri on dot com forward slash P. E. A. prior where we gratefully received funds of any amount to keep the podcast going and improve what we do please help the community grow by liking the audio visual cultures PH on Facebook and emailing audio visual cultures at G. mail dot com I keep a list of ideas for future episodes and requests are very welcome we'll get to the mummy can and we encourage you to join us and discussing your chosen topic thanks again for all your support and catch the next time

Audiovisual Cultures episode 90 – Just Keep Going with Dan Hughes automated transcript

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this is audiovisual cultures the podcast that explores different areas of the arts and cultural production with me paula blair visit forward slash av cultures to find out more and to join the pod well hello i hope everybody is doing well out there we’re having a bit of a music theme this april it turns out on audiovisual cultures i’d like to extend a really warm welcome to my guest this time dan hughes dan would you like to say hi and tell us a little bit about yourself hi there uh thank you very much for having me come on i’m a professional musician i’ve been doing it for 10 about 10 years maybe maybe a bit more than that and i’m i’m in a musical project called dht and i compose music and i tour and gig and do different kind of stuff and work based on a working musician whereabouts do we find you today dan i am in sunny northamptonshire which is about an hour outside of london between birmingham and london sort of east midlands yeah so we’ve got quite a lot we can get into you’ve given us a little bit of an instruction there to the different you’ve got quite a few different areas of your practice so we might take some of those and have a deeper look at them and then we might get into well the big issue of our times the enforced lockdown and how that’s impacted you and that sort of thing i think before we do that if we just get a bigger picture of your work so you’re singer-songwriter guitarist and your composer would you like to tell us a bit about your singing and the live aspect of your work sure so i started um playing my father played guitar so yeah i still played the guitars through that and as a teenager and then my late teens i started playing in bands and then um i went to study music in brighton when i was 16 and i was lucky enough to audition and get into a place called bim uh which is uh now scattered all around europe and i’m lucky enough to be taught by and some fantastic guitar players and then sort of since then i left when i was about 20 21 and then literally i’ve just gigged as much as i could uh within that time and making records and sometimes doing teaching and touring and just collectively lots of different stuff how would you describe the music that you would play or write that’s a good question i’d say like very rhythmic and melody driven stuff usually quite soul-driven maybe and euphoric so quite like positive stuff with a groove base and try and add some maybe some humor into it as well there’s lots of dots it’s very difficult to describe your own music i don’t know it’s like um very sort of maybe um kind of earnest in some respects and the fact that it’s just um i just try to try and write honestly yeah well i suppose then you know in your songwriting what would you write about you know what kind of topics what kind of themes come up life really things that happened maybe when i’ve been traveling gigging or some things that pop up in a conversation or um for instance i’m working on something at the moment called joanna which i found the inspiration for that after um connecting was with somebody from linkedin i just thought that name’s unusual so i thought i’ll write a song about it and and you do songwriting for a band is very different songwriting for a project where someone commissions you to write like they set you a narrative that you have to write towards whereas when you write for yourself you write because you feel maybe a bit more emotionally connected to it so would you say there was an element of storytelling do you think you get an idea for a story sparked by something and does it take you that way or is it emotion based is that what lead you when you’re writing songs for yourself i think it’s very melody driven my music as opposed to lyrics lyrics are important obviously but um very rarely do i write the words and then write the music it’s usually the music and then the words fall into the melody if that makes sense yeah no i think that’s useful do you think then the the music the sound of the music the melody do you think then that’s evoking feelings that would maybe stir something is that or the idea yeah like so i i i always think i come from a place where the melody is more important like i’m not necessarily like a bob dylan kind of writer where i write lots of verses and fit as many words in like i’m more about the melody like i want the listener to be walking down the street or driving in the car and then all of a sudden that melody hits their head as opposed to um i don’t know i i always think there’s a lot there’s too much depression stuff in the world already it’s like that no one needs to hear negativity in songs i like people to feel happy when they listen to this stuff all right i think that’s a really nice answer so the aim is to try and make something that can draw a smile or just distract somebody from a problem for a moment or something like that yeah like like i have a sort of euphoric feeling my favorite artist have the ability to when you listen to their music almost take you away to a different world which i would like to always like to try and capture that makes sense i think so yeah and maybe that helps us move into then more of the composition side and perhaps the projects that you were talking about because you you know your profile says that you you also compose for likes of film television and podcasts and other media there must be a real difference for you between you getting an idea for a melody and you being maybe commissioned to do something and tools okay so i want the listener to maybe feel oh this is inquisitive or this is a sad one or this is happy but not kitsch you know like how does that work for you i think in some ways um when you get commissioned for stuff it’s a lot difficult because uh it’s like you’re trying to get in the mind of the person that you’re being commissioned for to try and figure out what they want so it’s like trying to find out what somebody wants in their mind is very difficult like it’s hard enough trying to get songs out your own mind but it’s harder to get songs out of other people’s minds that you never even met so it can be a challenge at times but it’s really enjoyable i like it and i really enjoy like hearing my music on different projects it gives me a sense of um pride that something i’ve written has been used for different things do you have any examples you know do you get commissioned to do maybe adverts or is it maybe the likes of someone one day it might be a jingle the next day it might be music that’s designed to go underneath the voice or you know how what kind of thing would it would you be doing exactly it can be literally anything from doing like a video for an independent film or a podcast or working for ecologists or lots of different avenues predominantly it’s been podcast really it seems to be there but i think podcasts are so in vogue there’s a lot of them and um there seems to be a bit more work doing that kind of thing and also obviously film it’s a lot of it’s budget dependent so lots of people write films but they don’t necessarily come out especially in california there’s a lot of wannabe film directors that want to are trying to crack it and um don’t so you end up writing for projects and they don’t necessarily come out whereas podcasts tend to all get used eventually yeah i think they’re probably more avenues for being able to put our stuff out when it’s audio at the moment how do those commissions work do people get in touch with you or is it a mixture do you have to hustle very much or are you how is it working at the moment i would like to tell you that i just sit there and the emails flood in but really they do not so i have to email every day every day contacts and um sometimes contact them again and again and um um it’s like selling anything it’s a massive game of rejection almost all the time you get it like basically if you don’t like rejection don’t bother doing that job because almost all the time you’ll get rejected most people will say no but it’s that five percent that make it worth it you know you only need that um five ten percent of people just to like what you’re doing then you’re successful at it i think that’s an important area actually because we don’t talk enough about rejection and i think i’ve seen more actors including quite famous people talking about this more recently where actually most of what they do is getting rejected even people you’d be surprised at you know we only talk about our successes really and those are measured in quite arbitrary ways if you do anything that’s worthwhile then rejection’s almost a natural part of it if you’re putting yourself out there to try and succeed at something then rejection is almost sort of like the main ingredient of success because success is something you learn from not something that you that defeats you you have to get up and just fight again really yes and it could be many different factors involved in either a success or a rejection as well it’s not necessarily something personal and it’s quite easy to take it personal i think so i think i think certainly on early on when i was doing what i was doing i take it very personally and get upset about it but the more the longer i’ve been doing it the less i sort of get phased by it really do you find it easier to just go oh okay that’s fine file it move on to the next thing yeah i think i think you have to otherwise you just be like a blubbering mess that you love you have to just get on with it but you’ve tried out so many different things as a musician you know as a jobbing musician as well as you say can you give us any examples of any other things you’ve done you know when you’ve been able to gig around and things you told me before that you were flat out before everything went into lockdown so you must have been doing a lot of traveling and lots of different venues and i mean is there anything sort of weird and wonderful you can tell us about well yeah definitely well the past sort of like nine ten months before the lockdown um i was just digging around the midlands area really and that sort of become very tiresome in places because he was doing it a lot so in a way the lockdown was quite a blessing because it made me have a bit of a break but before then the year before that i gigged in the i had a residency in hull to belgium on a ferry for about three months um which was interesting and then i after that i went to the caribbean for six months and did a residency there and then um for the past four years five years i’ve been gigging out in the far east so i’ve been going to south korea and japan and um touring the records i make out there what’s reception like in these different areas you know hire your live audiences or um if you’re touring with a record that you’ve made you an album or something you know how do you find from place to place it’s how you received i mean the far east is amazing some of the best gigs i’ve ever done have been out there and the crowds are so good so good so kind and generous and nice and um just fantastic really there’s an amazing part of the world that holds a special place in my heart for sure the audiences there are amazing some of the gigs i’ve done have been insane like i’ve done a lot of major festivals out there and i’ve played um i did i guess one gig in front of a thousand people in this small village for the government and it was like insane it was just amazing yeah it’s wow so good i’m quite curious about the residency on on a ferry so was it transit so it wasn’t you know how long was it was it sort of eight hours or something like that and you were entertainment it was overnight ferry from hull to amsterdam and held to belgium okay i don’t think it’s there anymore actually i think it’s they’ve stopped it but um yeah i mean what what kind of things you want to know about about him what did they expect from you i mean were you doing were you doing your own music or were you having to do covers and things you know how did it work that kind of gig is predominantly covers sometimes you’ll do stuff i’d want to maybe throw some my own stuff in there when nobody else is there maybe or less people there those kind of jobs are very corporate to us yeah it was all right it wasn’t great it was okay it was experience and it was going from doing your own thing and being freelanced to being strictly employed and especially in a situation where you don’t like it’s not like a nine to five like you get to end your day and then go home you spend 24 hours on a boat so you’re working all the time it can be intense there’s a lot of real sort of bitter uh musicians that get on that boat that gets stuck in that gig forever and um that can be quite a negative experience to hang out with people that are sort of disillusioned by that kind of life i think i think those kind of things that are better to kind of dip your toe in when you need money and then try and leave as quick as you can you know don’t make it a lifestyle make it something you use for yourself i think yeah yeah i mean is it something you do they tell you what songs their audiences you or their passengers might want or that they like themselves or do you get to choose what you think you’re comfortable with you know is it an opportunity for you to play songs you really love and really inspire you for example i always try and play songs that are even the covers i do like their songs that i feel connected to because if i don’t then i’m just lying i think it’s a balancing act from making them do what you want so sort of doing enough to get them off your back but then also doing your own thing as well like a balancing knack between the two like you can’t go and play avant-garde jazz or play being pro rock or or heavy rock or anything like that but you sort of like play the game enough for them to sort of amaze your player top 40 hit and then go and play something you want you like contrast it a little bit going from something like that i mean you mentioned that actually being enforced to stay at home and and not be able to have a choice to do that sort of work anymore and the gigs have stopped certainly in in an in-person sense what has your lock zone experience been as a musician well initially panic because i was like my money’s gone what am i gonna do probably like most the world and then i still got into a new routine so i i thought well this is a fun i kind of looked and looked upon it as that um i have the rest of my life to gig and perform and um you know i’ll probably be doing it when i’m 80 they’ll be wheeling me out to the local pub or something and i’ll be playing a gig so taking two years out three years out even hopefully not but in the grand scheme of things it’s not nothing too big so i thought well i might as well try and utilize the time i have to try and be as productive as i can be and um flex new muscles really when you do lots of gigs you end up you end up just being on autopilot and sort of um doing the same thing all the time it’s this sort of can be very relentless from 23 i’ve done like 200 gigs a year pretty much so for the past 10 years so that’s very tiring um so it’s good to kind of step away from that really and be creative and write music and talk to people like you on podcasts and creating new people is good yeah it’s strange that um we were speaking earlier certainly me making this it’s opened up a lot of the world to me and as you say just this ability to make new connections and to after that initial panic to be forced to go okay well look there are creative solutions that are possible here there are things we can do that opportunity that the circumstances have enforced but in a way gifted to us it’s that chance to okay i mean what if you were on the verge of a burn out or something because as you say you’ve been grafting away and pushing yourself maybe and when you are freelance and you just have to take a gig a gig is a gig and you’re you’re just taking it when it comes you know there’s not really much time to to stop and have a rest have a holiday that sort of stuff so you know it’s good that you’ve had a positive response at least to try and use the time really well well i i think um you know above you know people kind of put themselves in a frame of being like either a musician or a filmmaker or podcast social media person or really above all those things with creative people they’re just vehicles for what you do above that you you should be creative and try and like for me i play music but actually above that it really is is for me to be creative and to pursue like a free lifestyle like and navigate myself that’s more important to me than actually playing music as much as i love playing music like i want a lifestyle that i can control and be the king maker of basically and i think most creative people strive for that because they’re like there’s a little point being in i’ve had jobs playing music where um on paper they sound amazing but at the end of the day you’re working for somebody else and you’re in a controlled environment which isn’t always good yeah not creativity it’s not always something that can be forced um you know if somebody’s arched over you you know saying right come on write this or it has to be nurtured it has to come from somewhere and sometimes you just actually need to procrastinate or rest or think about something entirely different for a while and then it’ll come to you you know and i think if you have a sensibility where you don’t work you can’t maybe work you might not be wired to work in a uniform nine to five way but if you have that space you might actually produce something i mean has this been a time where you’ve been able to reflect and maybe do writing or maybe try different things yes i’ll compose like um before gigging i found very difficult to find time to flex the right in muscle because it’s a different muscle when you’re performing it’s a different outlook on your performance whereas if you’re creative it’s a different muscle so like going from one another it can be very distracting because you you aren’t sort of in that vein of creativity whereas a lot down has sort of provided that kind of chance to be more creative i think sure sure there are a lot of musicians who’ve still managed to find online platforms for doing live work i mean have you been able to pick up any teaching or any live stuff yes i’ve been really fortunate to have a few students before lockdown came down like a handful of them and touched what they’ve stayed throughout they’ve been fantastic it’s been an absolute blessing for them to be still coming to lessons and i really enjoy teaching them so i’ve been doing that and obviously been doing my composition side of things so those two things have been the two main things really i think um i’ve done some like livestream stuff for other bands that i’ve played for but i haven’t really gone out the way to to do live stream stuff really because um i don’t know it’s kind of like a force side to i think as much as anyone can do you have any ideas for the future for when we might begin to emerge from all of this or are you taking it as it comes and you’re you’re still just concentrating on unnourishing that creativity at the moment well regarding gates i think it still hasn’t opened up yet enough to see where the land lies within it’s a good question some days you feel like i suppose like anybody sometimes you feel like one thing and the other day to feel like another i think i i think it’s still element of it happens to be a waiting game to see where the land lies and see where you can kind of um if you can carve out a living again and hopefully live music will return and come back stronger i hope i hope i really hope i think so i think there’s a i think there’s definitely a hunger for it but probably the likes of singing isn’t the safest thing at the moment so maybe hoping for good weather and do some outdoor stuff where people can spread out yeah like i have a few gigs in the summer books and stuff like that so that’s that’s all good but i think it’s just a case of just continuing on what i’m doing really and see where that takes me and and then um just wait for just keep keep hustling and reaching out to people and seeing where things lead everything changes with a phone call in an email when you’re freelance like that you’ve got to have that mentality that all it takes is for one phone call to turn up and then that will change that can change your life mm-hmm yeah definitely so dan i was wondering as well because we before we started recording we got into this a little bit but i was wondering if you wanted to we don’t have to but if you wanted to maybe speak to we were talking about you know just the landscape for freelance creatives at the moment in the uk and um if you had anything you’d like to say because i mean this podcast it’s about the work and it’s about practice and practitioners but i mean it’s also about well the other factors involved with that is what are the things that enable that creativity and it is things like um you know funding structures and distribution platforms and things i think you know we were talking a bit as well but you know maybe our audiences are different kinds of audiences they might have some preconceptions about what it is that we do and how we get paid and things and that we get paid at all it can be a misconception you know i just wondered if you had anything you would like to say about you know free or cheap labor or the support or lack thereof that people like us have had or you know if there’s anything at all you’d want to speak to because i think it’s all relevant and important and people really need to know well i think it’s massively important to make people aware of that situation because i don’t think it’s made aware enough really creative people provide opportunities and provide jobs and provide avenues for people to be able to create a life i think the way that a society treats creative people is a reflection on how they treat people in society in general so if the powers that be treat creative people or uh people that um try and push the boundaries badly then it’s just a reflection on how they how they end up treating everybody else really and i think like in britain there’s kind of an attitude of a lot of the time when it’s well i’m all right jack so it doesn’t matter about you and that’s not really the truth because everybody needs to succeed it’s not just about certain sections of society succeeding everybody has to have the opportunity to better themselves i think and i feel like that it’s getting harder to do that in the uk and i think the self-employment help has been really bad like i’ve known people that are whom who are self-employed i haven’t had a penny of help throughout the whole time which is awful i’m really quite passionate about the way seven more people have been treated yeah i feel the same so many of us just didn’t qualify at all for the self-employed scheme and even this latest round of it i think there there’s a massive delay in even releasing it for this lockdown that we’re in at the moment in spring 2021 yeah it’s been like a month and a half isn’t it yeah which is insane even the amount of money that you even even like i’ve been lucky enough to qualify for it but even the money that you get for the qualification of it is pathetic compared to how people have that have been followed they’re getting basically full 80 to full pay and we’re getting i think the average person that gets self-employment help check is around 1400 quid for three months it’s crap it’s not good you can’t live off that can you no no no so i mean i think that again that’s important for people to be aware of because we’ve all been consuming culture so much throughout lockedown especially people where maybe they haven’t been continuing to work if they have been furloughed so many people have gone to streaming sites or youtube and you know the content providers are um still beavering away working at everything and trying to put stuff out there for people i think there’s just an assumption that you’re recompensed for that or you do it for the love of it and that’s enough nourishment for you but it doesn’t pay rent yeah yeah like exposure plays the bills doesn’t it apparently yeah so it’s been a really tough climate i think and i’ve been really lucky on making the podcast where you know i’ve had a lot of people who are maybe at a point in their careers where they’re relatively successful and they’ve reached out to me and said oh i’ll be a guest on your podcast and that’s been a huge help to me actually because that’s exposed me to people who know them and like their work so then i’ve had some more lessons because of that and that’s been really kind i think certainly in the podcasting worlds where there’s so many of us who are indie podcasters we’ve been trying to help each other out a little bit more by guessing on each other’s podcasts and we’re all doing this for free nobody’s getting paid for it well i think um independent and alternate alternative culture is where the real art is made it’s where the real music is where the real podcast is where the real creativity comes from like all the best bands and all the best movements that have come from independent or alternative avenues so that needs to be protected otherwise we’re going to get a world of justin bieber’s and corporate rock no absolutely so i mean it’s just this constant battle to survive you know so i just think it’s it was important really to say something about that and i’m a real yeah i think there needs to be a a a conversation with about how the streaming platforms work if we’re heading towards more of an automated world then we need to have a fairer chunk of the pie really and that’s not being greedy like something you create you know because i don’t know how much the stream earns you like naught point naught naught naught naught naught one pi one p or something ridiculous like it needs to be more than that if we’re living in more of a content driven society well then content needs to be valued more not being devalued well it is valued but it it reaches the wrong people’s pockets it hits you know they’ve got the ceo of spotify and far too much money for what he gets and i think there’s an element of creative people are obsessed about numbers and views on facebook and likes and stuff like that it’s more of an ego thing like i i would rather us get better paid than have to than have a hundred thousand views on on youtube yeah totally agree completely um yeah because there’s some there’s something visible and performative almost about the likes so that’s something i try not to worry about is uh oh nobody’s paid attention to this in social media well actually maybe lots maybe hundreds thousands of people have seen this but they’re just not hitting that button you know and it’s the quality of the engagement i think from your viewers your listeners that sort of stuff isn’t it rather than the in mind yeah and all all it takes is one person to listen to your podcast to listen to your music that gets affected by it then you know if you’re making something but then that one person is affected by it that’s a huge thing that may not translate to money but if people are uh moved by it and they love it and then that’s isn’t that the ultimate kind of compliment yeah and i think it’s nice as well if when we are moved by something we’ve spent some time with it’s really nice to let that person know you know the person who made it recently i’ve had just some really really lovely encouraging feedback from the odd person and you think oh gosh that’s just made my day that’s made that whole thing worthwhile yes okay so it’s not going to pay any bills it’s not going to buy me food but it makes me want to keep going which is really important i think just because you are being creative doesn’t mean you’re not necessarily desperate for downloads or you want to be massively like i certainly didn’t get into music because i thought i’d want to be famous but i am famous but i would do it because i’m looking to be famous i’m doing it because i love music like somebody loves fixing cars or i think if you do something you love then eventually things do work out i hope that’s it you just have to keep plugging away and hopefully it does work out for us a previous guest i’ve had on said just do good work just make sure your work is really good and it will come right that was somebody who had struggled in audio drama body fiction for about 14 years before it’s finally just clicked and he was getting requests that he couldn’t even keep up with and finally start to get money for projects and stuff yeah like you hit veins of success do you know what i mean like um before locked out i had a vein of success gigging like i was and indeed but there was periods of times before then when it was like a desert and there was nothing or very struggling normal i think the key to success is just keep going and sometimes success isn’t what you think it is so in your mind you think there’s a destination that you can arrive one day and be like yeah i’ve made it i said i’m done i’m finished but like even when you arrive at that point you just keep wanting other things so like i remember when i came back from brighton and i didn’t have any gigs i was thinking oh man if i didn’t if i could get one gig a week and then like five years down the line i was getting like seven days a week and then you think if only i had a night off you know i mean you never kind of win you it’s like a feast of famine i think yeah

dan is there anything we haven’t chatted about so far today that you you really wanted to get into that you really wanted to talk about i just released a new uh ep well collaborated with a girl from taiwan well she’s an artist and she’s called sea drop we met online and we did a remote ep it’s the first time i did a remote ep we both sort of composed the tracks together some of the tracks are in uh cantonese some of them are in english and it’s like almost like a concept album about um wake up in the morning to going to bed at night we both sing on it so it’s like uh conversations it’s almost like a conversation between the two of us and it’s it’s i’m really proud of it it’s a good uh record that sounds brilliant and where abouts can people find that uh you can find it um through my uh website but you can also find it on my own facebook which you can find it through my website which is dan hughes music and spotify it’s dht and the record’s called breaking the day brilliant sounds great that international collaboration that’s been made possible from your house has just been amazing i think this past while yeah it’s a crazy concept that you get to be able to collaborate with people that you never gonna meet also also i’m working on um i’m helping translate at the moment um a beatles book from english to korean and hopefully that’s going to come out at some point too do you speak korean then not very well that you can help with the meanings of things i can help with the meanings yeah i i can speak a little bit not loads enough to get by you kind of need to when you when you go out that part of the world because some places you go there’s no english excellent stuff yeah so you’ve told us about your website that’s brilliant and um do you have any other socials or anything you want to point people towards all the socials are on my website anyway but facebook is probably my main and youtuber my main two social media platforms well dan hughes thank you so much it’s been a really lovely conversation i hope you’ve had something out of it as well yeah thank you very much for um having me um as a guest yeah you’ve been most welcome thank you so um i’ll put your website that’ll be in the show notes wherever this is going out so people can have no excuse but to go and look at your work fantastic thank you so much for having me

this has been a cozy peapod production with me paula blair the music is common ground by airton used under a non-commercial 3.0 creative commons license and is available at we are av culturespod on facebook instagram and twitter and you can also join the conversation on discord if you’ve enjoyed this episode be sure to subscribe and your favorite podcast app including youtube if you find auto captions useful and please share with your networks you’ll find links and ways to contact us at we’re always really happy to hear from potential guests and ways to improve the show as well as supporting the pod and receiving member benefits over on patreon you can also help at forward slash p e a blair thanks so much for listening catch you next time


Audiovisual Cultures episode 85 – Performance and Diaspora with Shea Donovan automated transcript

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this is audio visual cultures the podcast that explores different areas of the arts and culture of production with me Paula Blair visit Petri on dot com forward slash AP cultures to find out more and to join the policy I am really pleased to welcome shade Donovan he parks transatlantic trade as an interdisciplinary performing artist educator and artistic director of the indigo arts collective the very warm welcome TJ hi are you today hi Paula thank you so much for having me and I'm doing well I had a day of creating and some collaborating already so off to a good start since I'm sick hopefully we'll get into quite a lot of fear practice when it comes to collaboration and all areas of Europe because she have a lot of strings to your bow so there's a lot for us to catch three today could I ask you to give us a better sense of life line of your practices and a bit of an idea of all the different areas your work touches on absolutely so like a lot of practitioners I think I started off as a performer growing up I was dancing professionally in a really young age and then ever to is that right got into singing and acting and studied at university who went to LA into the actor thing for a while and worked as a cracker for there and time that I came to England to do my MFA in acting and east fifteen acting school and as I was leaving I was like okay well I have all of this training to be an actor now but what I need is the work but obviously I already lived my early and mid twenties in LA doing the whole addition saying that ran that momentum and the energy is great but also entering my you know late twenties and and sort of leaving that young performer space I was really really excited to start developing my own practice and so that's what I did when I left drama school I was like okay great when I start my own company invented my own work and see where that goes and fortunately for me it's been going well and I really been enjoying that journey and but so you know speaking of my background Hey do you have a lot of interdisciplinary spirit in the work that ideal it's a lot of the body work a lot of work having to do with dance and movement and sort of the blending of dance with film as well and projections okay the work is sometimes text to stage right I've written and staged plays more often the not it's collaborative I work with groups of people I ran workshops with them do generate material right so we devised in group settings or it's very %HESITATION installation based so the last physical project I did I was in a real place right now but %HESITATION I guess it was during coal bed but we did it safely was installation performance art gallery so I have a lot of curiosity is I think the heart of my practice is very much an inquiry we'll find something that I have a burning question about and then usually that has to do with issues of female identifying characters right social justice looking at communities that tends to be the teams that I got really passionate about that song generating free on one of those teams and then see where it goes and so it could be a play could be a dance piece it could be a fellow can be an installation lights while that's a lot said get started with I was going to ask you about the sorts of things and she sat here south flat work got into the server was very interested to hear more updates as you say the women identifying female identifying areas and what kinds of concerns that we re is we've got some really brilliant videos on your website there's a really fantastic demonstration of the really white breasts of work that you see but you seem to get ready take bend to specific issues as well so you've got quite a range but I could tell from your website that there may be particular things and it might be something really currents like the murder of fly Remicade here somebody like facts or reading huge as she sent a fax to selected by rights and equality and things which I like to maybe talk to Siri some specific examples maybe if you have something that you feel like work to reading reading pile just to help flash site first yeah so to speak to the example that you just mentioned I did complete a piece I guess in December of last year so we have an audience then it was sort of an auto ethnographic exploration of identity right which was prompted by an assignments that I was given as the second masters actually last year in contemporary performance practices and so the prompt was to create you know an automatic before its exploration and I grew up third generation Irish in New York to a very transatlantic Irish American family right so we have a lot of family in Ireland that we went to visit a lot and that was very much part of my growing up and serving the differences I felt personally and culturally between them I didn't care because it's kind of like Irish American nine people with Irish she sounding names that maybe originally came from Ireland centuries ago and then like the contemporary sort of Irish diaspora in New York and where those intersect and blend and other similar color difference out there elements of that that I explore in that piece through the use of bringing in some Irish language and tying in sort of the contemporary discussions around what's going on in the north of Ireland and the sort of attachments I was looking I guess at three different facets of my own identity one of them was Irish cultural identity in the diaspora space and that was something particularly I was a growing up with that culture friend of mine in the states but then moving to England and experiencing it then in a different way product even more front of mind than usual and so I played with that by bringing in elements of Irish language in questions of what parts of identity we sort of hang on to you they have these maybe sort of romanticized folkloric elements and and what parts are useful in creating identity today but then also the difference between things being very far in the past and things being part I have sometimes with instructor asked for identity exploration there's this desire to either bring things that were quite far in the past and resolved really friend of mine and focus on them in a way that might not be productive but then also the flip side of that taking difficult obstacles that actually not only were recent history but had implications on current history and saying well that was a long time ago we're not going to discuss that so I play a lot with that in the peace and I create a soundscape for the work a lot of which is some spoken word poetry that I wrote for the peace and a lot of that speaks to that that sort of juxtaposition between what belongs in the past what is the pay asked how is it relevant how do we look at it and then incorporated that whole narrative with this American female commercialized beauty standard pressure and also I thought was something I wanted to explore and the fact that our now ex president fortunately I feel apologize upon him to political but at that time our president to add a lot to say about women and their bodies and how they should look and what's appropriate in terms of how to engage with women right very much outspokenly sharing funny you know asides assaults that he thought were you know fun little tidbits all that sort of nonsense made for a wealth of sound bites that I could pull from that I also incorporate in the soundscapes are juxtaposed some of the things that he had to say about women within my own self who is performing in the peace physical Ising this struggle I was surrounded by mirrors of all different sizes all over the space constantly putting on and taking off makeup putting on and taking off clothes yeah that's sort of one example right there was an element at the end of the work right invited people up from the audience and I gave them each I'm here to hold and I manipulated their bodies with my body to sort of ask the audience to come into this world that I've created and explore for themselves what it feels like to be on display and sort of at the whim of other people's implants so yeah that's one recent example and my sort of last project I was able to do with physical people and with touch and not participate or any element signs ready partial certainly I think with theater we have this invisible division okay here they're performing and I just sit here in the dark and I don't get involved you know in the audience and separate cuts he deliberately destruct that's I think that's what I find really fascinating about its experimental forms of performance art in areas of visual art where there's a deliberate destruction see that passivity and enforcing of a performance on the spectator I find that she shared interests and how did people respond to that when you got them to be active and monkeys you know I think we get vantage was that I had an audience of a lot of artists and theatre practitioners and people that were game for that sort of interaction obviously when you're doing it in a more public forum with a little bit more of an anonymous audience there may be some levels of percussion there you know heads up you want to give them things like that but I found some of the feedback I received was that it was actually a really powerful I'm sort of connecting experience because the piece did build for quite a while right with the audience just watching the interaction really didn't come into the end and there wasn't necessarily a suggestion that they would be invited to participate so it did sort of comes a little bit of a surprise but it tied in with the invitation that I was offering with the work for the audience to sort of think about these themes in their own life and how they might apply to their own personal identity but I'm bringing them up and giving them the mir you know some of them shared that it was really nice to be able to connect what they've been thinking about watching the peace to then what was physically happening with them in the space so yeah nice overall way to connect the teal I think if I were to do the peace again I'd be interested to see if there are moments I could explore earlier in the work to begin that invitation a little bit earlier hopefully you will get the opportunity do you think there's any way of saying that kind of thing online or as other creative challenges that's the sort of thing you're having to work Sir at the moment is hi can you say something participate hurry and an online space even just performing in an online space told must be really challenging at the moment yeah I mean I think it is and I think part of my philosophy a little bit here has been to kind of resist adapting existing work to the digital space which I see a lot of people do beautifully and I think there's a need for that and that's a great way to exercise practice that that's your you know what you're feeling called to do but I think for me what I've been enjoys creating work specifically within these restrictions like being very intentional about embrace those restrictions and those obstacles and maybe mine them for a different way of making work rather than trying to adapt my normal practice within the constraints of the digital space I've been enjoying creating collaborating in new ways just in fun well that's great to hear that's really positive so have you find it a really positive experience adapting your approach that way yeah I think what I found so early on in lock down in the spring you might remember there was all this conversation right about Howell Shakespeare wrote some of his best work in the plague and all this is to me Shakespeare became circulating around is this icon for how we should all be generating work in lockdown and my training as a classical actor and I loved me some Shakespeare and he started thinking what can we do that's not bad right it's not locking ourselves in in writing our greatest masterpiece but how can I use this exciting momentum of Shakespearean creation right now to create an interesting so obviously the man right a hundred fifty four sonnets we think I'm sure there are lots of scholars who would love to get into with me about that you know we accept you know generally that he whoever recalling Shakespeare created these a hundred fifty for work and I was like well that is a lot of people that I can get involved in something so I decided I was going to create this virtual gallery a hundred and fifty four performance pieces I sort of just reached out to my network so they ended up getting a hundred but for people from all over the world a handful of them I knew personally some of them I knew through sort of networks are friends of friends are we run set together once or something and then most of them just sort of expand out from that so I ended up assembling this beautiful international ensemble and to keep the peace sort of consistent I created a little workshop activity to sort of approach the task and I gave that to all the participants to sort of kick start that process and then give me a few specific restrictions but mostly it was up to them to take this workshop and to generate whatever came from itself some people did traditional delivery of the tax rate but most people really take into their own hands I had original music compositions coming in animations stop motion choreography group works happening in digital ways that were then recorded and sent in Sam it was really incredible and it was at a time when we were really starting to just settle in this is in March April really started to settle into like what we were doing in the world that people were losing contracts and it was all still very fresh and confusing I think for me personally and for a lot of the participants in the feedback I received was that it was really grounding that we were all all a hundred and fifty four of us plus some right to send a few people did group works we were all kind of in this together and I continue to collaborate with some of those participants in different ways on other projects since then but that to me was really miraculous and emphasize the power of the flexing our technology anyway so you know it was a late night sleepless idea that fortunately snowballed into something that has now sort of I think really reshaped my practice in a really positive way since obscenity wonderful let's install second great that it's hot the lag say generate closer collaborations for years while little wonderful thing to have it isn't put together so workplace can people find that it's not something that we can stumble upon on the internet somewhere yeah absolutely so it's linked to my website but it's also on the email itself is a showcase on video now and it'll be there until March of twenty twenty one so it'll it'll be there and showcase form for the full year and then after that all the individual videos will remain available there dot com slash showcase slash summer response series this is what we're talking about collaboration which I'd like to talk is a bit three the end to go arts collective is that an extension of four easy to projects that you've been doing and they attach to box or is that something that you a separate Titus and to go to work yeah so essentially I am it's just sort of the umbrella under which I create my work at this point right and then I sort of set up like a production company when I launched my first show which was a one woman show when I left drama school because I wanted someplace to then put the proceeds which at the time I was like hopefully I get some proceeds right once I was sitting up and shown to be able to take whatever I mean put it somewhere that was set aside just for work and continue to produce out of that so it started off as just me but the assets of all from project to project depending on what my needs are all take on other artists students support the project and then they with me become part of the collective rights on the side of response series I had to really great women helping me out with marketing and was sort of rounding up and communicating with some of the participants and things like that and then they came under the umbrella of the collective while they're working together and then now if I need support like that for a future project they'll be some of the first people go to and say Hey do you wanna come back on board and help me with that but it really is just me ultimately having a space where I can create under sort of a United front and just to sort of continue to build my practice with this body of work and tastic I mean how do you go about finding collaborators and you mentioned earlier that sometimes people are already in your network or is it you've worked with them before and so much I think I have your they can for some some specific can mean hi T. cast that net heights to find people it's interesting right because typically but back when I was making work mostly choreography and small projects like that in Los Angeles I would just put out on casting websites right like I would post on backstage or you know sort of the U. K. equivalent of Mandiant spotlight right things like that but for the last year really during this whole block I'm curious I found so much response on social media I haven't needed to use any casting sites %HESITATION which really I think speaks to the power of that as a tool right it has its downfalls as well right into consumes a lot of our time and can be sometimes distracted but I think also super helpful so you know attach that I'm looking for artists in the post and other people that I've worked with other companies I work with a loss and then share that and I end up getting all of these great submissions and I really don't have to do much more than that I think also to the advantage of having gone to a drama school at U. fifteen with a lot of alumni that are working and really active that's been great about snow all ten of the fifteen people from different years and different cohorts in different you know areas of study that I never would have known otherwise so that's been wonderful I even connected with a few people accidentally who ended up going to the same undergrad university is me two lane university in New Orleans and we found that out in common as we were already working together on a project so it is I think it's a small world but having the advantage of having a New York network and L. A. network and then when you're in London I do get quite a lot of friends of friends of people of people of you know that extended performer world really is quite large I was gonna ask you bite your transatlantic connections and how you work because obviously it's the before times so we're thinking of that must have been a bank and packs in the in a massive change for you because it's normally you're working between the UK and the United States sayings recently have had a bit of a hotel not a mountain are you managing to keep some saying virtual going there yeah it's interesting because I've been in the U. K. over three years now but I realize this last year I go back and forth a lot right so I've never actually banned it just here in London you know whole full year I'm usually back in the states between three and six months out of the year depending on what what I'm working on so yeah it's been strange it's definitely the longest I've gone without travel a long time summer of twenty nineteen night toward a show to New York LA and London and I was supposed to be taking it to Edinburgh this project now bumps at December twenty twenty two it also had to reschedule things like my wedding and they're important life events but yeah it's been challenging but I think what's great is that although obviously there's times I was to negotiate I still have been able to do some collaborative work particularly with some artists in Los Angeles I recently completed a project called choreography can find it she collected six dance artists %HESITATION after movers from sort of all over but mostly I had a handful of them in Europe and then two of them in Los Angeles and we did these virtual movement workshops over the course of the week that we did together on zoom and that were all about mining the space for choreography which sounds maybe a little bit abstract right there was one day where we looked at lines and textures rates like the texture of your carpet or your couch like how do you transition that into movement right if you had to make a piece of furniture in your space your dance partner how can we create partnered movement with that objects that it feels participatory and then what if we take that movement okay be there in a place something totally different so you know he's really fun to play and they generated really beautiful work but I am yes some of those artists are based in California so we're you know he does mean sometimes weird hours for people doing the best to keep that up because I think it's important for me personally to just logistically to stay connected to my my U. S. collaborators as well it sounds like a healthy way of working as well if you can build and play time as you say with your work so you're working but it's fun and it's playtime and is probably very different from the typical working from home experience do you think that something that people Hey maybe Hausa inverted commas normal job he can only get office job rich Intel laptop all the time do you think that something that you know eating curries incorporating into your day is an exercise like that I mean it's not because I know you have an educational I'm spent so what he did as well I mean is that something you grades maybe China courage people today is think about those things I mean you turning your domestic space and she announced JD %HESITATION and just totally re framing Heidi thank and maze in space yeah I mean I think absolutely there's something to be said about getting to know your space in a new way and finding the possibility and the fun in that I mean even if it's something as simple as rearranging where you put your desk time to time like when the seasons change can you move your desk so you're maximizing your natural light breaking you change your view are you seeing different things at a different window slightly just minutes just to diversify your confined experience right one of the activities we did in our workshop process was to find a place in your space that you've never really looked very closely at such a really zoom in on it for me the example I gave was like that small space between the arm of your sofa and the wall right that like little gap like what's what's going on in there like what is it what does it look like what angle do there what's the light like what doesn't make me think of right and it is a little bit abstract right but it was really interesting and what sort of movement and creative impulse could come out of that really simple almost stupid thing of just really intimately engaging with corners of your apartment was really off the funds I think there is definitely a space to think about you know if you're someone that's open your laptop what can you do to get to know your home environment in a way that feels fresh that's great stuff it's really interesting way of thinking about things and it makes it fun because things are just so happy at the moment and then I think we need reminders set we should try and play and have more fun at times today to try and left things a little bit I was wondering as well if you're not working because you've done some voice over acting before in the past I was wondering it's not something that's quite viable for you at the moment is that something you've been doing lately hi just out park free yeah absolutely you know it's funny you should I just finished recording a radio play okay recently actually become a resident artist you know radio play company and was started by he's fifteen alumni and lovely talented man name Shaun Dale he's great the company is called borderless theater company in this particular project of theirs it's called radio plays and they're taking new work that hasn't been produced wrestling then produced a small scale and then they have this company of voice artists and they're recording this place they have a director that guides the work and then we release them sort of in podcast format so I have been doing that and then actually just schedule those just cast in another project and there is a great start recording soon so yeah it's definitely a really great way to be able to do some work right now for sure that's great to hear how did you get in safely Saxon and providing voice overs causing you some some documentary type park as well hi did you fall in salon the first place really just from I mean obviously it's always when it's on your mind right is something you can do as an actor right have that scale but when I was eight fifteen we had a unit specifically on voice acting and we had this wonderful professor command to just work with us on that in small groups and really got a lot of sort of personal coaching we got to go in you know a professional studio set up and really tested out play around and I found it really exciting and it hadn't occurred to me prior to that that I would get that scene buzz from it as I did performing onstage I always sort of relegated to this like we could do that if I may but I don't know if it's for me right beginning to flex in a real way with some of those give me life feedback I was like actually this is really fun and exciting so from U. sixteen that I just started sending out some demos here and there and trying to build up a little bit of work it's certainly something that I'm still you know I'm feeling fresh in and I'm wanting to continue to develop it's fun to you because you got to be I mean I say most of the work that I've done has just been my traditional voice started with a slight accent every once in awhile here and there but I find them people that do animation and you can put all these ridiculously other to you sounds and there's this anonymity that you don't have what you're the body onstage sort of freeing and in a fun way to because it's no longer about what you're looking like or who you are even in this way is when you're on stage performing you have a little different kind of freedom that I think it's fun to play and for sure I'm a great lover of animation and voice actors and stuff yeah I just really admire and I'd just imagine it must be so much fun because you're not self conscious by what you like I can be as silly as you need to fade together performance I you know so it's really ready because they're based on experiences making network we touched on this earlier but you mentioned that he writes as well so I mean you're doing a huge amount of stuff is there any part of your writing that you you want to go three of and a bit more detail and she said your poetry and perform spoken wires and spark an arms race what was it that drove you to write your own place and not just asked in somebody else's did you have a burning desire to have stories to tell that sort of thing Jack great question when I was a teenager and stuff I was really really into poetry and I did you know local and state poetry competitions and it was like something I was really had a lot of momentum with and then the acting in the dance took over and I stopped really writing for anyone other than myself up until very recently so it's something in the last three or four years that I've kind of just brought back into part of my creative identity but I really been enjoying doing that and it really started with writing that one person show when I was leaving drama school because I was like okay well I need work I'm graduating I was based here in the U. K. right with an American accent and I was going to be back in the states are part of the summer and I wasn't in a position to be auditioning for summer stock or anything that was going to need to be in the same place for a while because I had quite a few months ahead of me of bouncing around and part of our dissertation is fifteen was to write a short ten minute solo piece so I had the base of the work already and you know it existed and I really enjoyed what I came up with that I I wanted to give it more life and I think transcribing story to tell right part of what I think is important as an artist is to tell stories of people who maybe weren't able to tell their own stories at the time or similar me to guide current people and communities into a safe way of telling their own stories that might otherwise be difficult to tell so looking at this sort of other side's perspective and bringing that to light I think it's very important and the piece that I wrote was about a woman %HESITATION in the nineteen twenties who had been sort of wrongfully put into an asylum for having a child out of wedlock and and that sort of narrative is really a tale as old as time and initially I had developed a piece based on sort of the ongoing news about the mother and baby homes in Ireland specifically starting with two of them right back in the mid two thousands and for people that aren't aware I encourage you to maybe pop that into Google and you'll just be overwhelmed with the amount of incredible resources and news articles and things that you can find about this ongoing developing story of this system of institutions that went on for me up until the nineteen seventies in Ireland and it's a whole fascinating thing yeah I did my and my second master's dissertation sort of all about that but anyway that was the impetus in my brain the play ended up shifting and it took place in the U. K. it was based on a collection of different women who were real %HESITATION but I sort of research quite a few women stories and then pick the pieces for all of them to create this one fictional woman who appears in the play but it was because I wanted to explore this idea of institutionalized women women and shame right and this challenging Gino somewhat gender specific relationship between women and their bodies and what their bodies do and how that impacts their worth they are right so that writing to me very much came naturally out of this desire to tell the stories of these real women who at the time many of whom right ended up only getting out of these institutions as elderly women when they were finally being closed down only for people to discover that there wasn't anything wrong with them that would have merited the meeting some sort of special care that was that work and I think all of my writing comes from a place of really needing to get out someone else's story or a collection of people's stories I think that Santorini enough anyway if coming back full circle in a way because thanks so much of that is so important to see and hear and tracks and Irish diaspora X. stories as well you I'm from Northern Ireland and there's been so much theatrical work in the past twenty years since the agreement and so on and they said there's official pace where there's not really much fun things thrown at arts and culture but it's in those little spaces where those stories of trauma and collective trauma but from so many different angles are beginning to come straight a lot of that and that similar ways to what you're describing is some new projects that bring people from all different backgrounds together and I community theater projects and and their stories and then I suppose in a way it's out of west across I could see you were saying earlier it's based on their tree stories but their identities are anonymized but it's a really specific experience you know so it's really wonderful that you're engaging in that kind of work as well and these are stories that they probably J. have affective connections with similar things in all parts of the world but that you keep coming back to see these Irish questions and specifically the Irish woman's experience so I'm just thinking it's really lovely that you bring the sayings to lights and see an audience that's been hidden away from society for such a long time thank you and I think to particularly right in the Irish diaspora community in the United States there is this sort of selective curating of cultural understanding right and so a lot of it has to do with old ideas of nationalism and like a condo it it sort of stuck in time a little bit I think for some people what they cling to as sort of a desperate national identity I think what's missing in that conversation in a lot of space is certainly not an academic spaces but I'm kind of a pedestrian you know Irish American space is a connection to contemporary understanding I was Irish and non Irish national identity and also on the flip side of that taking a look at some of the historical parts that are more difficult to explore right like this collaboration of church and state organizations to not only institutionalized women but also to be reluctant to cooperate up until very recently %HESITATION in terms of opening up conversations about that and looking closely in sharing information with us right and then also the fact that there is this need to sort of been look internally as well and why that was able to go on when it did and how to some extent it was even a secret to some people in society at the time right depending on the sort of life you're living and the degree of privilege that you had that might not be something that ever came into your purview but for someone who lives down the road from you that could have shaped their entire life in a really catastrophic way and like you say those teams right a shame and secrecy and cultural sort of looking the other way on things that need advocacy are universal across the globe and when I presented my dissertation work which is called to the point of disappearance that focused specifically on to %HESITATION and sort of historical realities and then the contemporary implications and this is of course before the recent report which just came out and has been released I'm trying to make my way through all what is IT nine thousand pages of it when recreational reading but the piece was presented in September so is prior to the release of that information looking at affirmative it be objects not space to translate a feeling around that so that people that weren't necessarily informed on the specifics of the history could still walk into a space where they get a sense of all of those elements right the shame and the secrecy and that search for justice and I there were giant laundry sheets hanging from the ceiling at one point that we projected a film on to you and then we had seven hundred and ninety six individual baby socks number in a big pile in front of the queue and then myself as a performer in that piece durational mom and I'm just sitting there and sewing them together I didn't get through all seven hundred ninety six but had it been you know re presented I would continue to build from there and there is an element with that shadow puppet theatre where myself and in a non coated world we had to adapt to this but the audience was supposed to be invited to participate in cutting out B. is dolls and hanging them up in this larger than life sort of theater and ended up just being me because he couldn't physically involved them so is this sort of Trinity of object based sensory experiences right there also accompanied by the soundscape to sort of give all of these feelings without there needing to be a direct understanding because there has been a lot of narrative work done around these topics in the last five ten years or so lots of plays and site specific work and things that I think sometimes if people don't know enough about the topic can make people go oh well I don't know anything about that that's not for me but I had a few participants come through that really had absolutely zero prior knowledge she did walk away feeling how I was hoping it would feel so that was a nice way to exercise bringing those topics that are really important to me personally into a space where they can have the value and then personal value for anyone absent yet I imagine that's the physical presence of said sells socks and the sheets that's a massive number hi many people can imagine that many individual items and of course we're talking it bites bodies that those numbers are related to a little tiny probably some things and see find a way of visualizing physical icing that for people and confronting them I said say this is what that looks like that's incredibly powerful and amazing and deeply deeply sad so I imagine it was not necessarily an easy experience but I would say a very important one forest does abstract numbers are hi many finance stocks just lots and I think it's easier to put in a box and forget about it but if you can see it and you can what you know in an ideal world war Oxford walk among staff and top and the experience must be incredibly powerful that's exactly right and I and I was inspired by there's a lot of people protest art that was happening particularly when the pope came and visited I'm forgetting the name out of the group but there is an organization of women that had cut out little strings of paper people holding hands sort of thing they cut out the seven hundred ninety six of those and put them up on the gates and their images of baby shoes that people are bringing the candlelight vigils and seeing them on the ground response to that in objects I thought like you said the step our call and I was like what would happen if we actually I could settle the space with the correct number of these objects so that it is something that you're forced to confront in a real way I'm personally as well it was really challenging said I mean it was at a dark projects develop and certainly you know I was very hands on and I was collecting these objects and touching them and using them and it was certainly I think in some ways I mean for me personally I felt like some way of honoring some of those answers some of that energy in a way that was positive right like even though they're not people that first of all I got to live out their lines but also obviously people that I had direct connections with Mabel to sort of honor their existence by calling attention to it in some way I think it's important you know as well when you're creating to connect to the purpose of what you're doing especially when it is difficult material so you can power yourself through rather than really get too bogged down in in the realities of what you're looking at because it can be challenging when it such difficult material yeah it must be pretty tricky to find a balance between doing justice to the subject matter and keeping yourself mentally while while you're doing something like that and also %HESITATION approaching it and an ethical way ends hi Fardy patient and he's going to react and what way and not sort of saying it's a lot to juggle do you find that you have ways of work injury G. check in with people that sort of thing I mean in terms of them representation and it being ethical and that sort of thing that was a big concern for me going in right because I'm away here that it's not my story right like I didn't have a relative in that space like there are many and this is I think some people don't realize that there are very many living people right whose brothers or sisters those babies apart right whose mothers were in those time they're very much alive in an active many of them and speaking to politicians and organizing and telling their stories right now those resources are accessible so I did spend a lot of time going through people's accounts listening to advocates speaking to politicians hearing sort of what their priorities were and and some of them are different depending on the group right but trying to make sure that what I was doing wasn't advocacy for a cause that wasn't mine to advocate for but more in support of these Sir yeah more in the interest of just bringing awareness to something that current advocates were affected by it are wanting people to bring attention to and I think the challenging thing with this particular topic as well comes a little bit with the role of religion and and so that's really a key factor in the story and something that I certainly represent in the work as somebody that was brought up Catholic I feel I have at least a little bit more space to play in the representation of that because it's coming from my own right in terms of background but taking care to not alienate any audiences with the message that I'm communicating but also true and you know representing my feelings and understanding of how all those different socio political or religious elements sort of shaped that's right but in terms of keeping tabs on myself personally with the work you know it's five chat about it with my mother and my grandmother is that something that you know I have an interest in these things because of their interest as well right when the story of this broke when it did that to thousands that wasn't the first time that I heard about the sort of I was brought up with a little bit of a knowledge around the subject already said we chat about it and my grandmother who's ninety one an absolutely delightful state things you know like well you just are constantly having all of these really cheerful research projects what are you going to do next or how was your day or how can you know so just somebody that knows where you're working you can take you out of that space if that's all you're talking about because there certainly were parts of that process or my mother and my grandmother both would be like this is all you've been mentioned in the last few times I've been on the phone maybe let's take some time to discuss some of what you're doing to bring levity to this you know the stage because it was part of my dissertation as well so not only was a creating a work rehearsing it I was writing about it I was compiling a year's worth of research about it so certainly I think it is important to have someone that knows you know to voice that when that's your process whether it's your partner or your friends your family say Hey this is the amount of time devoting to this kind of work and I'm calling out now that I know I'm gonna need some monitoring here you could call me on it when it's consuming me when you notice that or if you could check in if I send you a message you know being an advocate for yourself in that way and reaching out to your network I think is key yeah that's a really important points yeah definitely because it's a lot to carry other people's trauma you know you can fail at and a post memory sense perhaps as well associations reconnection string a lineage back to the homeland but yeah I think it's a lot because I know certain MIT subbase it was not dissimilar areas that was traumatic relating to the complex and so on so it's a lot to carry so those other people's stories when their horror stories essentially and they're very very meals are all too real and you know you are dating west facing up to I mean you can't not be political affect something exact sincerely house said be prepared to confront their religion and anybody subscribe so that religion is like these people they said they said yeah they talk the lightest upright pro life celerity set with stock it is the work of art T. ask those confronting questions of people just invite them to maybe you should have to think I thought I'm just going to present this and you take it as you find it so yeah that's a really healthy approaches ten I probably should have taken more of what kind of approach myself the number of years ago but it's hard it is because it is like you and it's so important it's real people it's recent history set and it matters right and I think the key here in offering the stories as questions particularly I think particularly when it comes to religion right where that what's supposedly the heart of those institutions it's hard to write the idea is that you're supposed to be aiming for higher ideals than the average person right so even more so I think it's important to pose questions in that direction and for people that really are doing their best to live their lives in that way right I've seen some positive responses to that sort of challenge I think it is important time in Ireland also in the United States and I think globally to really have these conversations now so that we can unpack some of these really difficult incongruence he's right and be able to then voice and say yes this was inconsistent with what we say we want and yes that should not have happened and yes we're going to name all the ways the stakes remain and then be able to put that to rest and then move forward thank you so much and so powerful now I think more than ever and a lot of ways a lot of these issues are ready Prashant even in the United States Lindy because there's been so many hard fought rights have been rolled back over the last number of years they are related I think because if you cut time abortion access for what comes next year gonna start shaming people he have crisis pregnancies and it's just going to snowball where do you draw the line before it ends up becoming something like those long trees in those homes I think in a way it's a reminder that we need to have conversations about these difficult divisive and she's you know we need to be grown ups about that and people have pregnancies people get pregnant for all manner of reasons and all sorts of things happen and so it comes down to eight what do you want from women what you want from bodies that can get pregnant absolutely and it's and it's not like we haven't already lived there and seen the many many detrimental consequences not policing women's bodies and what damage that can do so you know it is interesting particularly in America where it is I think somehow this is that people are constantly Mr Mannering and nation of immigrants right that was taken from an existing group of people founded on the idea that everyone experienced persecution of all different levels from anywhere in the world should be able to come and live with their rights to practice their life as they choose right that's literally the definition of are very new country and yet somehow there's this imposing colonialist Christian European ness on to everyone's bodies and and right and I think what we've observed is that it's only divisive right and it it's not constructive anyway to try and be policing people's bodies but yeah I could I'm sure at you could as well go on and on about this for quite a long time but fortunately and I think Joe Biden is a great example he somebody that is outspoken about being a man of faith right like identifies as being Catholic and also recognizes that his job is to lead a free democratic society said his personal beliefs on abortion for example our birth control whatever they may be don't actually matter at all because that's not his job his job was to govern for a diverse nation of people so looking forward to the separation of fundamentalist ideology from ability to govern I think we're really overdue for some of that yes I know I know it got his work cut out for him really does or guy extra ice cream for gel exciting times this tentative times but exciting times it's really amazing to see work like yours as part of such a huge network of telling these really important stories and I think you know you mentioned earlier I mean being somewhat of an outsider I happen to think that the outsider I mean because in a way if your night cider best affect and the door maybe that's the best kind of approach you know and I I see a lot of value in being able to see things from the art sites and to have that perspective because I know I encountered this a lot when I was doing research by northern Ireland's and you know I mean this from there I was in the playoffs but no where to places to Hanjour sometimes because people do you know where we are and %HESITATION what side of the track she might be from and that sort of stuff but I think whether you're naive or not you can ask the naive stranger and really pack a punch I think I see a lot of volume now I think it's hugely important that you've done this work yeah I think yeah I think to you know when I at some point it could have been sort of interrupted my dissertation I was interested in trying to find some sort of temporary home for the peace in the states because there is all this enthusiasm around Irish American nous but then sometimes a reluctance or ignorance to doing the work of educating so I'd love to be able to sort of share this there and get some eyes on in the states to sort of igniting awareness in some spaces where maybe it needs to be ignited but I think too yeah it's been this interesting last few years of being somewhat other right even just being you know immigrant that sounds silly for me calling myself that but like coming to live in another country even though I come with a lot of privilege and don't really experience a lot of the other things the same way that somebody else might there are certain things that I've experienced and observed and encountered that I'm like oh wow this is giving me such a unique perspective a tiny tiny glimpse into what it must be like for people that are coming from extremely different cultures into totally new cultures you know different languages getting to glimpse at that for Stanton has really been wonderful I think of a gift for me and also being able to look critically this is something hopefully I'll have the opportunity to do a little more research on and explore a little bit with some community generated performance practice in the future I have some work on building towards us down the pipeline but looking comparatively at the our staff spread in the U. K. and in the US particular comparing London and New York and taking a look at where those differences arise and where they come from how it informs the creative and performing live cultural work that's come out of those spaces you know like you say answer straddling all of those little zones I have been in and out which is a nice place to be excellent yeah that's science last name so I'm very conscious step I've taken up quite a lot of your time and you've been so generous about a talking Siri so many of your ideas and direction is there anything that we haven't talked to you to say that you'd really like to mention so that people know about it stay with your work I guess it's just that you know like I said a lot of what we've been doing virtually is workshops that I'll create and then leave but the group of artists to then generate whether it be a Filmer virtual gallery or something like that I was actually just chatting this morning collaborating with someone who runs a dance school was looking to adopt some of my workshops to be used for kids right so if there are any practitioners out there that are interested in creating some somewhat misspoke workshops to run with your theater communities I'm very happy to hear from people who are maybe wanting some support for some guidance or just about some ideas off of in terms of generating something like that and also we are running a little virtual project right now but hopefully we'll have a home as sort of a projection element to the future project later on but something called doorstep dances never to be sharing on our social media starting mid February and it's essentially just a bunch of movers who created really interesting movement work exclusively in their door frames and death we're doing it with a little virtual fundraiser for U. S. nonprofit called dancers responding to aids which is a really all nonprofit who I had the privilege of working with as a young dancer they do incredible work and right now they're raising funds to be able to provide meals for people in the performing arts who have been affected negatively by coding HIV related illnesses that need extra support due to the crisis so we're doing the stress of dance virtual project to raise some funds for them I will be putting that out on our Instagram and social media channels starting in February so if you want to have a little click over and watch some really interesting movement explorations we love for you to check that out too wonderful and he sent them in to goes that that's what's or what %HESITATION what kind should we be looking for for that J. yes that's just acting in the arts collective on Instagram that's fantastic thanks do you have any other socials or your website that you want to point people to words to keep up with those projects shops or Instagram is probably the closest to the polls because we're posting a lot of stuff on there and I website is while it's through my website so just J. Donovan dot org I mean you get to the home page you can click to either look at my stuff for then you can click the indigo arts collective side so you can head over there for more information as well and then on the website is where you can sort of see and hear some exact projects I've shared with you all about today their video clips and sound clips and some press and things like that that's wonderful really fantastic thank you because you've been through the ringer I think what we've had to re create the peppy topics and we've had a lot of joy that's coming through in a lot of your current projects as well so that's really adequate positive notes and done after you went to that dark there so so I really encourage everybody to the Cape flats shade on offense thank you so very much for your time today is really generous of you to talk through everything and send your work just signed so wonderful and important so thank you so much for joining me today thanks hi I really enjoyed it and I have so many wonderful questions about some of what you shared about your research as well so we'll have to connect later for me to hear more about that absolutely SO talk your ear off I thought

Audiovisual Cultures episode 78 – Audio Production with Jack Bowman automated transcript

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hello and welcome to audiovisual cultures podcast with me paula blair i’m really delighted this time to be joined by audio drama and podcast producer jack bowman and he’s going to tell us all about his pretty extensive career in all things audio production so i’m really really looking forward to this one thank you so much to all our amazing patrons all our lovely lovely members on forward slash av cultures your support is so very valued if you would like to join the membership if you’d like to join the pod you can check that page out and look around our tiers the different things that are on offer for each tier what benefits you get and have a think for as little as a pound a month you can access loads of extra stuff so please do check it out because it really helps the podcast keep going and keep improving and all that sort of stuff so um as well as that just before we talk to jack uh just thanks as well for everybody who’s been engaging on social media and even if you’re not following but you find us and you’re engaging somehow hello and welcome please give us a follow you can check us out on uh on facebook and twitter as av cultures or instagram as av cultures pod and i’ll be back at the end with some other ways of being part of the conversation getting in touch always looking for guests really happy to hear from from people and a big thanks to jack as well because he reached out using which is a website where podcasters and podcast guests can find each other it’s a bit like a dating site but for nerdy like being on podcasts so if you’re one of those people uh please do get in touch it’d be lovely to hear from you i’m really open to all sorts of ideas anything that could be vaguely in the ballpark of audio and or visual culture i would love to hear from you so i really do hope to hear from you soon okay so i’ll be back at the end with a few more bits and pieces but for now please do enjoy this chat with jack i’d really love to welcome audio drama and podcast producer jack vogman hello jack how are you doing this evening i’m really well thank you how are you doing i’m fine thanks yeah so jack you have got a really extensive career in audio production in many different roles and hopefully we’ll we’ll unpack quite a lot of that as we chat tonight but um i was wondering if you would be able to just give us a bit of an overview of your career and anything you want to highlight any specialisms you want to focus on okay so i graduated um from university in 2000 and i started a career as an actor um 20 years ago now and from there um i had i actually had two three good years working um as work began to dry up someone recommended to me i was a stage actor primarily and someone said uh you know if things aren’t going your you know things aren’t going your own way make your own work so okay cool we thought all right i’ll do that and i went off to write my uh writer stage play uh for me a little two-hander called frozen which ended up being performed at the et cetera theater in north london in camden and at the same time the day job was working at the london dungeon which had a phenomenal actors company at the time a lot of really talented people in there like matt berry was there and ben whitehead and also in that company at the time was um mario ranika temple who was a massive massive fan of voice acting and audio plays um and she came to see the play and she had had this idea about us you know as a little collective just kind of getting together creating our own content and just putting it on the internet through a website for people to download through mp3 and this was the exciting new medium as it was then known at the time as online radio yeah that’s how far back it goes and and and then in the year or two basically we were creating scripted podcast content uh which people could come to the wireless theater was the company still is and people could come to that website pull down his plays and walk away and that was my first foray basically falling into writing so i ended up doing adapting that first stage play for them uh a few months later we got a call from timothy west of pinellas scales they were looking to do something with the company so i was asked to pitch and write a bespoke piece for two of the biggest theatrical actors in the land no pressure second second play second play as a writer um and then from there um it just fell into a groove of uh writing little bits of pieces for them 3d horrify and that’s when we uh got we pulled an old idea of mine at the draw which was uh spring hill saga which i’ve actually written back in 2000 so i’ve been sitting there for a few years along the way um because my acting career had a little bit of a jump start again didn’t last long and the answer would be obvious in a second was uh i was doing a play and we were all having such a terrible time i literally just turned around and said you know what i think i could direct better than we’ve been directed right now uh three weeks later he popped a script and we in box to direct spook squad with uh david benson in it so literally it was like okay challenge accepted there’s your script off so i had to learn how to cast schedule um find the time to you know learn on a job and how to direct play and then that was my first foray into learning how to work with engineers editors post-production sound design um at which point uh spring hill started became a thing and that’s where then was effectively a joint producer so i it seems like i kept getting moved sideways and up a little bit along the way um so that started basically yeah i went from actor who just wrote on the side to audio producer in about three and a half years and every every step of the way learning on the job because i hadn’t gone through any formal training or any sort of media courses or anything like that no broadcast training and that was ten years uh at wireless and then we got to 2017 when they asked me to move over to work audible uk which was studio managing and producing some of the long-form multicast dramas like murder on the orion express and the darkwater bride and arabian arabian nights and towards the end of 2018 this is where um this kind of probably gets relevant for anyone interested in podcasting um i got a phone call from uh dagas media fred greenhouse and the uh late great bill dufrese and they like started telling me about how the podcast market in the us has started to explode and there was a massive upswing of interest in scripted podcast uh drama and fred fred had been doing it as long as i had he actually started at the same time and bill dufrese was a veteran working with like people with dirt mags right back to the you know like i think the early 1990s of bbc radio 4. so they they all they had a kind of understanding of the culture of audio storytelling here in the uk and originally we were looking at an idea about how we could team up and do something together but what eventually ended up happening was that i joined daggers for two years and we were developing um and we still are we would have had a series uh in production this year and not the dreaded bug got in the way um but uh yeah there was a case of actually then moving into kind of international uh production and how to coordinate projects between two continents and different time zones so we produced a pilot there um and that led on they were impressed enough with the the draft uh fred and i had worked together on this pilot called wholesale solution and they were impressed enough to say look uh you’ve actually been off this rather exciting gig to create a trans media storytelling experience called uh expeditionary force home front uh which was actually gonna be uh it’s a book series and the books are narrated by the great rc bray um but what they wanted to do was insert an audio drama between two of the books so we spent about a year working on that um and that did incredibly incredibly well and that’s roughly the point where then um bbc studios then approached me and i became a production consultant for them uh for nine months as a joke i did nine months and four months contract and just uh just somehow i’ve ended up you know going from just not just like a me a producer but um someone who’s been thrust into the heart of all these different networks and platforms and the scripted podcast space and you know the advances and changes that are going on so it’s it it’s you know not quite sure how but i kind of ended up in this very blessed position where um you know i get called on by a lot of companies to help their scripted audio content do a lot of matchmaking between content creators and platforms now as well so um i’ve sort of ended up uh being a consultant and particularly for the us as well so you know no no it believes me the future historians this is recorded in the year 2020 and for the record i got to the us twice this year so um so yeah that’s that’s kind of like you know every everything i’ve kind of done along the way and just just to say it’s it’s pretty much in the last 15 years uh in america let’s say oh you’re a podcasting veteran it’s like i’ve just been doing it a long time and learning as i go and just just watching how the the market is changing and particularly how scripted podcast fiction is now becoming its own thing which is the most exciting thing thank you for that overview that’s brilliant jack um yeah there’s a lot there to try and try to get into but yeah i was really wondering about that media landscape and there’s a lot of scholarship now trying to figure out where does podcasting belong is it something with radio is it between radio and tv and film or those kinds of things but it was really interesting about you mentioning transmedia projects and you know um i was watching a lot of the trailers almost for the audio plays that you’ve been doing and then there’s something slightly cinematic about those but it’s really just for the the teaser trailer you know and yeah so i was wondering if you had any observations about because you’ve been with podcasting before it was even called that you know really from the start you know what what observations you had about the media itself is that the polite way of saying i’m old not at all not at all so um yeah so i think one of the things that we we worked out quite early on and i was quite passionate about was uh because we initially had this label of online radio and a lot of our media tradition in the uk in particular was because of bbc content you know that has carried on whereas in the us kind of scripted uh dramatized radio fell away the end of the 1970s um because of you know that association that this kind of form of storytelling is the kind of thing you would hear on radio 4. i think it has taken an awful long time for people to realize that um podcasting is a different form of storytelling it’s not just a different form of delivery for the audio content so um i use uh an example that um if you if you were to put out a radio plate as a producer you were desperate for one letter to come in to the bbc or um cbc or wherever and it’s the listener who says i was in a hurry i drove to the supermarket and uh i had to be in that store by eight o’clock i turned on the radio and i listened to that play and i couldn’t get out of the car until it was finished we all know this story right now with podcasting you know that means that basically what that listener is saying is that whether it be music or scripted uh dramatization or radio plays um they’re effectively got a bias to treat the sound they’re listening to as um as potentially as wallpaper is noise rather than something to engage with the big difference with what uh scripted audio podcasting is that the second any listener picture podcast 99 of the time they’re going to use a pair of headphones they are challenging you to get into their ears and into that uh that imagination of this and that is where i think the last year or two you start to see people wake up and realize that it’s not just a different delivery method it’s a different form of storytelling and in my book yes you could say is it is it radio well i say some of the traditions for the storytelling yes come from radio is it between pog is it you know between audio and television i don’t think so and there’s a i think i’ve got a a good business argument why it’s not okay if you look at what’s happening in the us i think what it is is it’s a complete inverse of the old radio play it’s something that demands to be intimate listen to immersive um and you know with with some some radio and you know some radio plays and some audio performances it’s pushing the story out at you but i think a brilliant podcast story is actually saying come here it’s it it i think it goes back to sort of our campfire tradition that makes sense of like i’m going to tell you a little story now and i think that’s starting to make people realize that they need to you know rethink things like sound design the way the story is structured um because you know it’s taken a long time for people to realize that you know particularly they come from a radio background that an episode doesn’t have to be say for example 22 minutes and 14 seconds long because that’s a radio four slot and it can be as immersive and as expansive as you need it to be but it’s hard the story the storytelling has to put you in the middle of it so that’s that’s why i would argue podcasting has and you know someone is listening to this uh podcast now even though this is uh you know conversational podcast it’s not scripted in any way they are demanding that we engage them enough yeah to be to be pulled in um and that that’s what i think it is and i tell you why i don’t think it sits between podcasts uh sits between being something that’s almost television or almost film at the minute there’s a lot of experiments going on in the american market where people are going oh we’ve got this tv show we can’t quite get it off the ground or we don’t want to spend three four million dollars developing it so we’ll turn it into a podcast we’ll just put some sound effects on it and push it out and that doesn’t work so that tells you that the language uh of television cannot easily convert to audio if you just like dramatize the scripts and put some bells and whistles on top so it is its own unique its own unique art form in that way so yes there’s plenty of crossover and i think the one the one point where that is valid is there i certainly think because of the way podcast storytelling works you’ve got to remember it’s in its infancy as well there are things we can draw from film production which are valid there are things we can draw from television production which are valid because it’s all very very experimental right now but in terms of what it is it’s absolutely 100 its own form of storytelling

that’s a fantastic answer thanks yes um that’s because i’m old um not at all um no i was just thinking because we’ve we’ve had oral forms of storytelling for longer than we’ve had written language so it makes sense that we would keep circling back to those forms in some way and now that we can make them in this way and circulate them and it can be pretty instant you know we can they can just be released as soon as they’re ready pretty much and almost anybody can hear them you know there’s something really special about that i think yes i mean that’s the thing i always this is another thing as well like um with television or film or theater you know you always wanted to play to the crowd or play to the gallery or play to the largest possible audience or demographic with podcasting what you’re actually doing is you are after a listener a single listener who connects with your material what hopefully will happen is that you’ll have one million a listeners if that makes sense that you know there’s there’s a million individuals out there who are individually connected with the storytelling and um that that’s a really lovely thing when it happens but you know as a you know it literally just does demand focus on one person to listen and be engaged rather than say this is this is something you know six people could listen to at the same time or something like that in a in a room i think one thing i like about audio whether it’s radio or podcasting is i can do something you know i can i can be doing something else you know so i’m listening and i’m concentrating and i’m engaged but i can be doing something else that doesn’t take much concentration you know so i can do embroidery or something like that because that’s what i’m into um but do you know what i mean so it’s something you can be doing actively something else with your hands while you’re going what’s gonna happen next you know and and that’s the other thing to say as well it’s the headphones that i think are are that link i mean um there’s you know there’s a few podcasts that i have sort of played over over my speaker just because i couldn’t find my headphones and i’m desperate to listen to them uh i was like that with uh the missing crypto queen sounds which uh non-fiction if you haven’t listened to that one do it’s just like a stun a stunning uh piece of uh journalism and the dropout actually as well which again is a non-fiction but when i when it comes to my scripted content i need to put these headphones on and direct just you know i’ve been listening to sam at my dirt mags recently and it’s just like headphones on in the dark take me into this story because you can almost see it the the the signs and the design design of it i was listening to quite a few samples of of you of work that you’ve been involved with on your website today and i was listening to i listened to the first episode of the spring heal saga and you know and yeah i could it was the signs of 1837 london were just making me see in my mind those things you know and almost smell it you know and it transports you and your imagination actually opens up from just that one sense all your other senses start kicking into action which is really fascinating it is because like when we started spring here you know we were having a conversation just in the cafe before the first recording session and this is where like um my tradition as a kid was like my dad played me the jeff wayward worlds um and he played me journey into space which is a old bbc classic it was the last radio program in the uk to get higher uh higher audience figures than television

and i had kind of been turned on to that kind of audio storytelling as a kid anyway but uh along the way uh you know i started to absorb the work of dirk mags who basically has he’s been making you know podcast level drama since the 1990s so he was you know he was you know years and years ahead of curve in terms of the way he did sound design and telling stories and audio movies um and i remember just sitting there saying um i think i think we should try dirk mags this and we just went hell forever but what i find fascinating about your comment is that you know something like an audio movie like spring hill is incredibly laid so there’s les you know it’s not just one level of atmos sometimes it can be six or seven then we have the dialogue and how that is all treated and edited and tightened and paced up to remove what i call um you know sort of traditional radio rhythm which they don’t normally pace up the actors words or dialogue in a radio play because it’s kind of recorded you know as it is it’s always recorded live and then treated afterwards um and that leads to what i call radio rhythm where there’s a line and then the next line and then the next one there’s always a second delay because that’s the actors working through the cans and that’s the brain receiving what they’re listening to um yeah so spring here we did all that type but you know and then we had layers of spot effects and like you know scrapes and you know whatever it whatever it takes you know it’s just all that you know in the real world that would be that but what i find fascinating is that by giving you more i think you’re kind of implying it’s actually freeing up your imagination rather than us quite as as loading that with more owl more arrow whimper it’s kind of letting your brain go to places that um you know you see what i’m trying to say it’s like you’re trying to get you know you’re saying you could almost smell it you know all we did was you know break various sound designers along the way by adding 600 more layers to each scene

but i i find it fascinating that um you know that you know we kind of just we really made a beeline to sort of homage that great work and um and that’s kind of the response from a listener point of view that’s that’s that’s fascinating for me okay um yeah and i i i thought it might be interesting to ask you about genre as well because you seem to a lot of your projects seem to go for mystery and possibly murder mystery and with an element of the supernatural would that be fair to say yes uh well i mean i always joke it’s like uh you know where where’s the explosions where’s the monsters and uh where’s the running around uh but i mean that that’s that’s part of i think the tradition of the kind of stuff i absorbed when growing up so like um you know you know a typical british kid growing up of course you know it was a lawyer you had to watch doctor who yeah um you know i was introduced to things like jerry anderson even even before you know way before jerry anderson became cool again in the 90s i knew jerry anderson well uh star trek um you know all these kind of generous stuff x-files not actually weirdly masses of horror um but now you got me wondering where the murder mystery started i mean my mom was a little colombo okay so maybe maybe that’s where the the mystery stuff comes from um but you know it’s at the end yeah i’d say it’s fair that i do gravitate towards a lot of a lot of genre-based um content simply because it’s it’s what i love doing and it’s the kind of stuff i enjoy yeah and and as i say write what you know and uh to be fair after frozen i didn’t have many more domestic kitchen sink dramas left for me so um you know and also strangely enough i mean some of the horror commissions that um i did things like intruder and autopsy i was actually asked to write rather than being my own idea so uh i mean what i mean by that is that a company called 3d horrify said writing some scripts that have got to be scary but just pitch ideas and um i think that’s probably what gave me the reputation for being a horror person is doing those autopsies become quite cold i found out i didn’t know this but because i wrote it under a pen name um i was speaking to another podcast a couple of weeks ago and they said oh you wrote the autopsy and i said yes is that a thing do people like it oh yeah it’s good all right okay um so yeah i think that’s where the like the the association of me doing horror comes from is that spell where i was churning out a lot of those but the thing is you need you need stakes you need jeopardy in any storytelling so you know and you know in genre the stakes tend to be higher therefore more frightening so there’s always going to be shades of the mysteries are going to be incredibly mysterious the horrors are going to be potentially incredibly horrifying but hopefully that means that hopefully that means that the thrills are particularly thrilling so yeah fingers crossed yeah and i think as well um because because you’re not seeing anything and you’re left with your imagination of what people characters might be saying or not saying or what shadows are falling it’s it might be even scarier than what a horror film say doesn’t show you for example because it’s your own imagination and that can be a very scary place absolutely i mean like i i i keep meaning to write a blog and i’ve probably got to do it this sunday yeah before the last episode of circles comes out but i i was massively blown away by a film by scott derrickson and uh cargill robert c robert cargill called sinister with ethan hawke and that is like uh i i’ve got to know cargill since he’s such a cool dude he’s like bill and ted in one person it just just is so bodaciously wonderful and yeah so like he did they did this film called sinister and what blew me away was the fact that it was absolutely terrifying it was all about what wasn’t seen and the use of sound and the use of jump scares is so restrained in that and it’s terrifying for it and uh it was like i i said to him i was like you know you know you why were you pulling your punches and it came out this big r rated movie it was like horror horror horror and he said well we kind of got screwed by the mpaa because what we were going for was a pg-13 horror like poltergeist so we removed all the gore all the violence and we just relied on you know cutting away in jumps and uh cutting away in sounds you know to scare you and the mpa just went this is terrifying and slapped an and i just went something there isn’t there there’s more about the the horror of what your imagination can do if you’re just pulling pulling those levers um you know things like patterns repetition um we play with this recently in uh with circles where um some some of the listeners have started to clock some think we’ve left in the soundscape okay um and i’m not going to spoil it because we haven’t seen last night yet but someone someone’s like going what’s that because we were just sitting there and i was doing like the the final tweaks on it and we’re listening no we just need you know you just need to put something in there that puts put your your brain just a little bit off

so but um yeah i mean it’s it’s it’s sound does a lot more for your imagination you know you sit in bed one night and you hear a tap in your bedroom see it started already yeah you know you know people don’t like creaky houses that’s just science that’s just the house cooling down at the end of the day yeah yeah but it’s creepy can you hear a creak or a thud or a scrape or you know what i mean i think i think one of the thing is it’s someone said something cool which is uh technically we all live uh we all live in the past because it the time it takes for our brain to process what we see but sound is almost instant yeah yeah and i think i think that’s another thing as well that when there’s a creepy sound it’s just ahead of your eye and then you’re looking for that threat yeah and your body’s reacting before you’ve identified what’s gone on yeah interesting yes and there’s another sorry just following on there’s another great example from the commentary on the you see what i’m talking about so you can learn things from film and i think it’s when tom skerritt gets killed by spoilers for a 40 year old movie uh tom skerritt gets killed by the alien and he he looks up and he’s terrified yeah as it leaps down and kills him and he says oh i played that wrong because the first thing that happens when you see something terrifying is not to be scared is that you’re bored because or is your brain’s default moment of i’ve got no idea because you can you can have a winning lottery ticket but you’re not going to jump out you know or is this this zone you go into so one of the things i’m always like particularly when doing horror or you know looking at those big big scary moments is don’t go straight into the fear because you you’ve got your brain is working out fight or flight or freeze the script is going to tell you what that reaction is for the character but you need that moment because then you know otherwise it’s gonna you know that note of using or in times of extreme fear and stress has probably been the most invaluable thing when approaching horror work which is just get that moment where your brain is locked and if you get that then i think you can take you can take your listener anywhere right gosh yeah i’m just thinking because i listened to the first episode of circles today as well and um it’s really fascinating how it’s done because you’re left wondering all the time what’s going on what are they scared of what is this thing and it’s revealed to you quite slowly and it just unfolds gradually through this series of phone calls and um so i mean would you would you like to just outline circles because that’s what you’ve got oh you re you know that’s that’s current it’s happening right now sure so circles is um a project we took during the global lockdown it’s a four-part mini horror series podcast event for halloween spooky and it’s about a group of friends who have to take refuge in chalk circles because they they took on uh when they were kids they took on a demon 15 years ago and due to circumstances beyond the control that demon is back so their their only line of defense is to all sit in chalk circles and talk to each other over their cell phones and their mobiles and uh from there there’s a classic game of cat and mouse because if they’re in if they’re inside the safe space how how does that demon get them and that that that’s what’s unfolding it’s uh it’s it’s a great mystery in like who who you can trust where the threat is coming from how it’s going to get to them and uh you know first clues unfold probably at the end of part one with the cliffhanger uh which you know i i when i heard that the post-production i got chills as long as yeah but i thought is it just me but um like a lot of people literally lost over uh cliffhanger sort of thing okay all right i think i think we’re okay now we’re on good grounds here yeah it definitely had that effect on me as well today because i’ve i listened to it and i thought i don’t don’t know about this i’ll do i’ll give it away i’ll give it a go share and then got just more and more oh this is quite creepy and then yes by the end of the episode i thought okay that’s yeah okay that’s that’s the thing because we we’re not going for uh we’re not going like that it’s just all about you know we’re saying come inside inside come inside the circle come listen to this podcast in your ears but what it’s a you know what it’s actually doing it’s not betraying that trust it’s yeah the the script that uh brendan put together with his writer’s room um i’ve been working with brendan for a year now on another pilot he’s got and he pitched me this idea and just within seconds of when we’ve got to do this yeah i i can hit this is the thing i can i could see and i could see how it was going to sound it’s paradoxical that’s kind of how my brain works i kind of see sound it’s my weird superpower what good that is for saving the world i do not know but i could instantly see the podcast and it was like yeah i said yes because the next challenge was with no studios or no setup or anything like that it was like i i while they were busy writing the script and i said yes let’s do it i was literally running around calling up colleagues saying how do we do this so there was about three weeks of research going back and forth between two colleagues in the us and peers and all over the shop um and yeah i ended up working out okay production wise um because we we actually did that across two continents and three time zones life with the actors wow uh and the uk actors were working in the dark whereas one of our cast was working in the california sunshine so it’s like how do you invite cora with that around um no it’s like we we never betray through you know because all the actors work together live yeah you get that you get that spontaneity and that was actually very good for controlling that creepiness because we can control the pace we can just oscillate things and that i think shows that we we don’t you know do anything cheap with it we don’t make it go all quiet and do a a big jump scare or anything like that we’re absolutely relying on the performances and the realism which the cars give to to unnerve you and there was a lot of notes about or as well so particularly the end of episode one um yeah yeah brilliant great stuff and um yeah so uh and i mean it is it is maybe it’s pretty on the nose just how relevant it is this year because the i mean the strap line is stay safe stay inside and of course there’s um a very big parallel with the messaging we’ve had in the uk about coronavirus of um stay home stay safe and that kind of thing so just this idea that if you stay in a particular confined space it won’t get you so um but it might get you though it’s a scary thing yeah that’s that’s that’s the thing because like uh this was like brendan’s artistic response to what was going on it’s really good yeah and uh yeah though i care there’s a lot of you know stay and say uh stop stay inside stay safe or stay in your circle um you know we’re now using the phrase bubbles stay in your bubble um like brenda was like why can’t i said circle but you know point taken is that that you know it’s like this whole uh you know you’re right it’s all about characters locking themselves in for safety but they’re not safe you know so you know where does it go from there that’s it yeah that’s it great um yeah and so it’d be if you’re happy to be nice to then uh think about the spring heel saga as well because i’ve got really into that now too and um so just for listeners are you happy to just outline that story as well because that was when you co-wrote wasn’t it under your yes we yeah yeah with robert valentine uh so we still so originally i had that idea in 2000 um this is a fun fact i was given one of those great big books of the unexplained okay you know where um uh you know like what are grey aliens and what’s what’s well um and my dad bought that for me and i i was devouring that and going through and there were two entries that really really fascinated me one was about the uh the one talk project in the us which is a huge urban legend in itself and i was going around saying what about this montauk thing and i said everyone said no there’s there’s no creative mileage in that at all hashtag stranger things and the second one was i found um spring hill saga uh sorry i found spring hill jack and that’s uh they said because i was a i’m a south london south london lad uh and uh in london through and through and what fascinated me about this was this was an entry about a mysterious entity known as spring hill jack who stalked the streets of london he had a 70-year reign of terror from 1837 right really up until his last proper selecting which was 1901 and i never heard of him so i delved down and i wrote this idea and i sketched out what i thought would be sort of a very exciting itv 9 p.m um show kind of x-file you know x-files meets the predator kind of thing and i quickly realized that i was insane and no one was going to give that kind of show to a 21 year old so i put it in the drawer and uh a few years later i was having a meal with uh with rob and he’d read the treatment back in 2001 and he said uh why don’t we just stick that out and see if wireless would take a look at it so we went back and we we re re-jigged the whole thing from top to bottom but kept the core idea which is basically um spring hill jack is on the loose and a police officer is out to capture him so it literally becomes a man and his monster trying to it literally becomes a man and a monster who then their dynamic and uh it’s a nine part we turned it into a nine part um podcast series uh which spans the entire victorian era and beyond just uh telling uh using some of the key events from uh from the spring hill jack legend but fictionalizing them to allow this character jonah smith played by christopher finney to go on the journey of trying to capture this monster and yeah we spent oh gosh i think two years on and off in production and you know we made it quite difficult for ourselves with the sound design um you know it took six years to make nine episodes which uh it was all for a long time um like you know we maybe we could have made things easier for ourselves but um you know we we wanted to stand by making it sort of bells and whistles kind of uh audio audio movie experience and um yeah so we did that for six years on and off and um strangely enough it actually broke into america which was um amazing but the problem was the podcast market just wasn’t as like it’s not the beast that it is right now okay um i always joke that basically if you can imagine there were 10 podcast listeners in the world spring hill got to eight of them but the problem is that you’re still only talking about you know it being a relatively small number of people but i mean it was reaching 50 countries worldwide and uh you know people really actually latched on to enjoy it and they they were very very tolerant of us taking a long time with the episodes bless them and yeah um you know it was like a massive education in you know teaching me how to all the things i’ve talked about that was the one that i think taught me you know the writing the editing the studio managing the casting the producing the post-production file delivery you know some really exciting and glamorous things and some really dull and tedious things and some really pointless obvious things that people sometimes miss and yeah that when we came out of that that sort of completed my journey from uh struggling actor to audio producer yeah okay great um yeah because the the nice thing about that actually i suppose both of those dramas that we’ve been talking about is the range of accents in them but particularly in spring hill saga because you’ve got a range across the london accents and it’s just a and again you can almost see what kind of clothes people were would have been wearing because of how their voices sound you know whether they’re very high class or they’re working class and on all sorts of stuff and are those things going to have to be decided in advance because um people people like even their jaws drop or they cry for me when we say by the time we got to the end of series three i think we’ve used 65 actors across the nine episodes um they’re never doing that again um that said he was in the studio doing the 74 actor piece today um it’s 11 episodes so that’s okay um no so like what you have to be very very clear and very particular and making sure it’s keeping within period and you know there are obviously certain characters like lord wayland played by julian glover who are very you know he hit game of thrones just well we’re not saying we helped get cast in game of thrones but um it was just before he did game of thrones but you know he plays that high status aloofness so well and it’s not necessarily just uh about accent it’s also about the attitude you’re bringing so you’ve got uh uh smith our hero and uh his uh police his police partner hooks is also cockney but they have very different attitudes and that’s reflected so they’re not just two companies bouncing off each other so like um sadly like a east end gangster movie they’ve all got individual uh you know quirks and and mannerisms within that their personalities which uh help the voice and the second thing i think we learned very early on which was really useful was you have lots of um supporting roles there are literally one or two lines that come on and they come off and it’s one of the best pieces of advice i think going to pass on if there are any actors listening if you get a line that’s two three parts long just work out what their job is work out an archetype and go with that have you listened to episode three no yes no okay that’s right so this is this is not a spoiler but they run into um a farmer and the actor who plays him said oh yeah how do you want to do this and we just went west country because that is an accent associated with farming and that actually literally has four lines so play at west country we establish he’s got a horse he’s got a car he’s a farmer they’re in farmland he does west country does it does it make any sense that there’s a west country farmer in south london before it was a metropolis probably not but the thing is it’s that shortcut just to get through yeah through that moment so it’s about sometimes making some clever choices um that you’re you’re going for the type of character rather than the accent is for differentiation if that makes sense when i when i talk to drama students i always say um like you when you put your reels together i’ll go through a big long list of things i want and at the end of it i’ll say and what’s the one thing i haven’t mentioned and they go accents because these types of stories are not accent showcases they’re not um they’re not there to put as many different voices so you know oh you know this character’s scottish so i know who so i know who john is and therefore we’ll have to have someone who plays irish because that will differentiate it from no it’s um it’s it’s about making really sound dramatic choices for your casting and your performance and the attitude um and you know the human brain is very sophisticated we can tell you know sound is the first sense that we’re born with um so you know it’s the first one we use and it’s the last one we use um so our areas are actually pretty fine-tuned that you know if you if you can’t fight you’ve got different swagger different attitudes and the actors are directed in a way that helps break it just just differentiate and oscillate it the human is going to get it and you’ve got to trust that your listener has you know really you know we trust that they’ve got good ears yeah no they do have very nuanced soundscapes the all the shows i’ve listened to so far and it is it can just be very slight differences between two actors that are using a very similar accent you know a very working class uh cockney accent and that just the different ways the two actors are using their voice you can tell who’s who you know i find and it’s just that nuance is really important so that’s really um fascinating to hear about i was wondering as well because uh they’re so layered uh if you had any insider or anything about the technical side of these things you know so the actual recording and editing processes or even just some of the basics you know just a little bit of behind the scenes for us for sure so uh yes i i don’t do any engineering to my shame and i i should learn um i don’t do any engineering and i don’t uh really do i do have my own equipment for recording and i’ve got portable equipment but um yes uh i have done some um i mean i’ve done a fair chunk of post-production so you know when you’re the basics you’re looking to build up in any scene are starting with your dialogue once that is cut then do they require because remember you have to remember if you’re treating like three dimensional sounds because it’s not binaural but if you know what i mean for it to be a scripted podcast it’s then about voice placement so how is the eq you know first of all are they in a big room small room uh then it’s about distance so it’s a character walking into a room if so how do you make it sound like their voice is carried because most actors uh i i don’t go with the bbs the bbc approach is to use uh basically one stereo pair mic in the middle of a room and the actors move around it okay and that’s what creates say the the room sound which is where people pull away from the microphones whereas i like to keep my actors on where i can create that artificially because then that’s another thing you can help control the pace of say say if you wanted actor to come into the room faster um so you’ll be looking at all your placements and speed about how close they come into the year um then after that you’re going to be once you’ve got the eqs right on the voice and the placement and the pace you’ll then be looking to add the atmos so you know on the outside inside um hopefully what should have happened was that if uh your script has said like for example they’re in the middle of a disco show in the middle or like a nightclub do you remember nightclubs um or a pub if you remember those um that you know they would have noticed that okay so is it a quite public pub all right loud pub so the actors should have pitched their voices up okay so if that work has been done in the um in the recording by the actors vocal performance then you can start to look at in the atmos so that’ll be a basic track where say it’s your pub setting you might have some uh wild track of a pub uh if you’re listening to this and you want to start an experiment with it there’s a great uh website called free sound okay which literally gives away sounds up they’ve got tens of thousands if not more sound samples and atlases and stuff like that um which you can you know you can pull down you pull down your tracks and have a little play with them so you mix in your atmos which is your general general layer of sound and then next thing is do you require spot effects um so we’re in a pub so maybe we have a pint or a wine glass and the wine glass is going up and down and we’re drinking it again the the drinking side of the performance the slurping because everything everything is enhanced in audio isn’t it

um you know the actors will have taken care of that but do you actually need the sound of the glass being put down on the table because uh you might you might not have done foley at the time foliage sound effects will work live with the actors and again that’s a very very bbc thing but you might be you know if you’re listening to this and you want to experiment you just might start with a couple of actors recording their dialogue on a mic and you have to build all this up artificially so um and then it’s like uh is the character going to leave the room so to do you know and start thinking about the physicality of it it’s like uh does a chair scrape as they stand up and a big one that always gets debated i know it drives me into my head is it do you then start to layer on things like uh footprints uh footsteps uh actors walking in actors walking out i know there’s it’s a love hate relationship with certain audio uh drama producers about whether you include them or not um so so you’re looking there atmos dialogue spots being spot spot effects being your basics when it comes to podcast storytelling it’s there about i think enhancing those layers so um there’s a good example i think in uh season three of the spring hill saga and i won’t say who those characters are uh but there’s a scene where two characters are having a standoff or one is really angry at the other he’s really mad but he’s cool as a cucumber to the surface you can tear in the performance that he’s mad not letting the rage get to him um and the atmosphere does its job and you know the wind is blowing and it sounds ominous ominous wind um but in the distance in the the final polish i mixed in an alley cat in the background and that alley cat is uh just doing that cat thing and crying out in pain and it’s just push right right the subtle layer of the sound design but what that’s cat is reflecting is the inner anguish of the character so this is where i talk about it start with podcast storytelling it’s about finding sound that can sort of emotionally and immersively reflect what is going on both inside and outside of a scene um and then you might like with the uh like say with the atmosphere in the pub for example you’ve got your general chatter going into the background but if things gets uh like a little bit tense between your two characters we’re following another thing i might do is actually go back and i might find some uh you know lower baritone pop muttering which is obviously a sort series and you blend that into the scene so you just add a little bit of bass quite organically as if the the atmos is organically responding to the emotions within the scene or it could be that things it’s like things are getting quite heated and maybe just subtly there’s a broken glass behind the bar someone drops a glass and you’re using that i mean it’s like um finding ways to do that but not say like oh this is an ominous alone oh there’s a thunderstorm in the back yeah yeah yeah you can find little this is where i say like little paint strokes like this and that’s what makes podcast storytelling it’s where you thought about the fact that uh to reflect that a moment emotionally they’re in the scout soundscape i had uh this touch which is almost imperceptible um particularly after everything gets squished down to mp3 format from web but um you know something like those little touches there where you’re building a living organic universe around your characters that is serving the story and it’s serving the needs of the wants of the characters and the needs of the wants of the listener at the same time um and that’s where the path to my handless lies because then when you get to that though it’s like okay so uh right what if that character was playing with the beer mat and you’re adding the tapping of the beer oh okay maybe they have a packet of peanuts now um

what will start to happen is once you uh avoid anyone if you’re going down this part of this um you start to immerse yourself and the better the sound design gets and the more specific the more inspiration begins to open up that hang on you know do i need uh um someone calling time in the background or do i need someone getting angry with the jig box and giving it a slap you know something

it can get insane but you know when you’re looking at that you’re probably potentially looking at something that’s going to have around 30 to 35 layers of sound um which you know you’ll be probably running through you know if you can’t afford something like pro tools or say that you might be doing on audacity or or reaper and that’s that’s all purely valid the choice of a daw is always personal it’s what people like and with what they can get on with as long as you’re always bouncing to what at the end most most eaws are fine some of them if you bounce that file straight to mp3 like audacity can go a bit squiffy it’s always about to have and it’s the format you want as well um so you you know you’ll be building these layers and then you know get a decent pair of headphones like a sennheiser or something like that that you’re listening in you know um for you know you’re listening to things like artifacts on the track those little clicks uh little those little dots you suddenly see that can uh you know just destroy your sound quality in a split second you know that artifacts are as bad as a dodgy accent uh they they instantly throw you out so trying to keep that sound as clean as possible and then you put it all together and you end up with like 35 50 tracks of your uh of your audio movie masterpiece and then bounce it down to wav um always be editing in mono as well um unless you have a particular reason and this is another thing to do as well with the immersiveness of it is that you can always be playing with stereo but i think a mistake we made very early on was we got carried away so there was a lot of hard panning so some sound being left here something you’re right completely um and that’s that’s not a valid way to go because someone might have if you have apple headphones for example one side is always going to carve out before the other um so you potentially end up with sometimes uh half of your information getting lost if you do hard panning so i always recommend you know do use left or right but sit on the you know you know sit some of it in the center just in case and then before you bounce it down because you’ve listened to your really super posh headphones

the last thing i always do uh is i always then go and find i have a pair of headphones from the pound shop um or you know and i i plug it in and i listening on that because because you’ve got to remember not everyone is going to own a pair of sennheisers they’re going to probably own a pair of white apple headphones or they’re going to you know or they’ve lost those are broken they’ve gone to the pound shop so you’ve always got to be uh technically conscious of what you’re listening or how your listener is going to hear it um so you bounce that down and you’ve got a beautiful wave and then once it’s in wave you can then bounce the wave down into mp3 but where possible um you know stick with at least 48 000 megahertz this year this year bitrate sample um we have moved in the last 10 years from 44 100 up to 48 so i can assume it’s only going to be a matter of time before we start sliding up the scale um because spring hill is done in 44 100. um whereas circles is now done in 48 and i think you can probably hear the difference in this in the sound you know we talked a lot about kind of future proofing that show back then right and the conclusion we quite correctly came to was um this is something worth bearing in mind if you’re gonna make audio drama or any podcast it’s like the conclusion we came to is well that that that bit rate is okay because the human ear is never gonna get any better and the human ear says that’s fine here we go that makes sense all right we’ll go with that logic um what of course we overlooked and is that it’s not the human ear that gets better it’s the playback devices yeah the speakers are getting better the headphones are getting better etc so um there’s a series i’m currently producing at the minute in la and i believe they’re mixing it in 128 right just to try and keep that um that potential future proofing moving forward uh that means masses of issue with storage for sure yes it’s a lot of space um but you know uh you know just just being aware of you know what was acceptable was a bit great because you can accidentally through the aw do something beautiful and mix it down 22 000. it’s very easy to do um actually if you do want a quick shortcut if you’re not sure how to use uh like say a telephone filter um and you have a scene on a telephone uh any any professional is gonna kill me but for someone who wants to learn how to hear what they’re looking for record some dialogue clean mix it down in uh 11 500 i think it’s exactly mix it down export it as that then play it back and you get telephone quality without even trying quick money saving tip for you there if you learn how to do telephone without playing with eq um yeah so uh you know and again a lot of it is experimenting because it’s subjective artistic and creative choices like you know what sounds what sounds right to you in terms of um you know you want something to be over the phone um you know does it sound too phony or is it is it a phony phone or is it say you know do you listen to that goal it sounds a bit like radio and i think what you have to do is absolutely on the one hand first of all absolutely trust that if it sounds doesn’t sound right for you it’s not going to sound right for your listener that’s but on the other hand

here i am quoting tv tropes there’s also an aspect where reality is unrealistic and that’s where again what we have to acknowledge is the um work that’s come before us in sound design which is where you know uh in real life uh a gun sounds like a firecracker yeah not like you hear on television or um for example um

rats don’t squeak all right they they don’t squeak um so rat squeaks generally tend to be uh bat noises that are used or you know uh so you know a punch doesn’t sound you know noise so there is there is an aspect where you have to um you do have to cheat and you do kind of have to respect the sounds we’re conditioned to accept but at the same time you know hopefully you blend these in so a punch that doesn’t sound like a punch but it sounds like what you expect to punch the sound like works which is literally a rubber mallet a rubber mallet in the cabbage versus getting something right which can be infamousable like just it’s just the sound of a telephone filter and you listen to the way the voice sounds through the eq or the way it’s been bouncing and go it doesn’t sound telephony enough

so yeah i mean that’s that’s that’s kind of a you know a little little insight into what goes on in post-production and i mean i could do two three hours on that it’s you know at the end of the day you’re always trying to search you’re trying to serve the story so story is designed for the ears yeah so you’ve got to respect what your ear is liking and disliking and you’ve got to respect what your ear is telling you it’s engaging with and what’s throwing you out because the odds are the best advice i can give is when you’re in post-production and you’re playing around if your ear throws you out it’s going to throw your listener’s ear out so again this is where madness lies but it’s just about getting it right so it’s serious yeah that’s so informative jack thank you so much um i think just i don’t want to take up too much more of your time i think um just on the back of that i was wondering if you had any um advice quite generally for people who might be maybe starting out but also maybe who have been trying for a while and maybe struggling and because you’ve got so much industry experience if you had any just tips or pointers for people who might hear this who think i’m i’m really trying hard but i feel like i’m not getting anywhere or i’m really keen to start out on this but it sounds really overwhelming and hard you know what kind of thing would you say okay uh first of all is um like the joke i make is i’ve been doing this for 15 years and it’s pretty much been 14 years of muddling along and getting by and now it’s been 14 months of absolute insanity um because it’s now starting to be taken seriously so that’s that’s the first point is like if you’ve been here for a while don’t give up hope people are starting to notice we are an amazing form of storytelling if you’re just starting out welcome to the club but for everyone everyone in all this i’ll let you into a little secret from the very very top previous spotifiers all the way down to uh like the smallest indie who started yesterday good for you enjoy the journey come visit me on my website i’m happy to help um the thing is right now we’re so new the one thing is we are we have never been and we’re not yet is monetized we’re not because we are we’re independent audio we’re not publicly publicly funded we’re independent creators there’s no commercial model for there to be us making a piece of drama that makes a piece of money for example because of that i’ll tell you right now from the top to the bottom nobody knows what they’re doing they’re all trying to figure it out yeah and in that chaos a lot of like in america and uh someone said this is the world west and i went no this is the second world west the first wild west was 2006 where we started out and nobody was taking it seriously for a long long time enjoying the work but not taking it seriously as a medium so hang in there because things are starting to happen from us what you need to be doing is if you like if you if you’re starting tomorrow you know okay all right do you have a professional studio set up no okay well grab your smartphones record voice memos um get a free piece of editing software like audacity or reaper go to the free sound project maybe script yourself a three minute podcast a microcast uh maybe it’s seven minutes long but start start small just give yourself seven minutes to because the thing is there isn’t at the minute any sort of training course to teach you how to do these things yes there are so several unique um unique elements that get taught in isolation um at various various colleges and universities but a lot of the people in the field are self-taught um so you know right right settle in the script find uh you can probably find one on uh you know at least 10 podcasts in your favorite genre with your favorite topic uh to have a listen to and start breaking down you know when you’re listening to it what you like about it what you don’t like about it um one thing i i love and again it’s a hate thing for me recommended this is a book uh by blake snyder called save the cat okay and basically what he did is simplified um storytelling um because so you’ve got the uh

the seven basic the seven basic plots which is like considered the the the the holy grail of uh story and plotting and uh and writing um but uh uh save the cat just condenses it down and makes it a really light read and changes the changes there the tropes around to make them uh they get modernize them and make them more relatable so um i i always recommend that book for anyone who wants to be writing just have a look at that and it will just teach you a few of the bare bones basics for just zeroing in on what story is stuff like that if you’re doing that alongside listening to the podcast you like you should be able to begin to identify the storytelling and then from there um you know when you’re getting getting your actors together or they’re sending you voice memos which you probably will be in this current climate i mean good good bit of advice if you can’t be with your actors ask them to do their lines sort of uh five or six different ways okay so these five or six different takes you do five or six different takes and they’ll start that will help uh start to teach you uh like take selection howard’s put together if we go from um wide light is like this next lens like that next slides like this doesn’t sound again it’s throwing your ear out so you know you start to you can start to um learn how to take select how you know is it you know looking looking to find the naturalism in performance so when you’re not getting it what you should end up doing is kind of teaching yourself how to direct going oh i wish why didn’t if they’d only done it that way and that that’s actually switching on your brain to like if you were working with that to say i like that could you do it like this okay if that makes sense yeah uh and that will start to train you to to learn to work with with uh with the with the actors and then you’ve got the performances that will teach you post-production and you’ll find a daw digital audio workspace that you’re happy with and stuff like that so that’s that’s what to do if you’re starting out if if if uh you’ve been in this game a while it’s getting a bit dispiriting don’t worry trust me um 15 years and like i said it’s only been the last 14 months where things have uh started starting to change quite dramatically and yes you’re probably seeing these big things like uh like blackouts and and the homecoming happen and leaked television and the limetown but um just remember those the creators of those shows they all started in the same place and the best thing you can do is just keep building not only do you uh do great work the one thing i will take away from working at wireless was that um uh you know mary always said you live or die by the quality of your work so make sure you are doing good work you know and if that means you’ve got to keep learning and practicing and experimenting to find your style and your voice it’s like being the author of a book you will find your voice if you keep working at it

aside from living you know just just making sure that the quality of your work is good the uh the next important thing is i think to cultivate your fan base um work on you know there’s a big generation uh generational difference between those of us who started in podcasting in 2006 and those who sort of came a little bit later like uh the the things like the wooden overcoats um and the orphans like david and uh wk barnes and uh zachary’s shows where they were we didn’t have social media we started broadcasting it it was my space yeah yeah do you remember um but they uh you know they were very they came they those podcasts were born into a very social media savvy world and they are absolutely brilliant at building fan bases and um cultivating fan support because we do live in this is the thing to remember if like you’re getting two three thousand listeners podcast series don’t be dispirited we do have an industry-wide problem with the medium which is discoverability because nobody knows how to discover your podcast nobody knows that you mean a lot of the time it’s an uphill battle because like uh heard a phrase of the radio today pushing water uphill that’s what it’s like to get a podcast out there particularly in the independent sector because there’s there’s no magic algorithm there’s no like netflix in code for like saying oh you like the wooden overcoats come and try this podcast um so that that’s the second thing and so don’t be dispirited because it’s it’s not your fault that people may have discovered your podcast it’s the thought of the podcast ecosystem um that hasn’t been fixed yet so i i will make a prediction that two to three years from now because you know i’ve had some conversations with uh people in america and europe etc they all now agree that the scripted podcast fiction space is the next thing that needs to happen it has to happen but the two fundamental challenges are discoverability and monetization now best friend in the world if uh you know if i was good at monetization i would have made money on my podcast right now and you know a lot of independent creators of uh they just want to tell good stories that’s what drives them we we don’t know how to fix that problem i have a feeling given what’s going on the top end of the us right now one of those big three players will find a way to fix it the other side is discoverability and i’ve got feeling one of those three players will fix it because there’s now too much going on in the us market for this just to still be random if that makes sense if they want you uh to sit down and watch the next big television show they go out their way to make sure you know that television show exists so there’s no way that they’re going to have this market where it’s like a gold mine for new ideas new ip you know especially since locked down more celebrities have wanted to get involved casting on the scripted and unscripted so you know now now that turning point has been reached where big to is talent all want their own podcast series it’s only going to be a matter of time before the pressure is there is fix that problem

so i can see two to three years from now that um we’re going to be at a point where one of those two problems gets solved and if you’re making content just hang in there because once it’s cracked for one per once it’s cracked for one podcast it’s going to crack it for the entire ecosystem i hope so me too because it’s like people people say have you heard this podcast i didn’t even know it existed do you know what i mean exactly it’s it’s really infuriating that um i know a lot of good content goes by and sometimes i catch up with i mean this is a really good example but i love cinemasins okay uh a fascinating thing again if you’re interested in storytelling watching them nitpick everything apart yeah even something like citizen kane yeah okay you know i now actually want to write that’s a cinema scene delete um but you know they turned around last year and said oh did you know we’ve got a podcast you have a podcast okay and it started in 2016. right now so it’s three years that one of my favorite youtube channels and i didn’t know um so you know it’s it’s it’s a strange old time but i mean the best thing you can be doing right now despite these problems as i said is just make really good quality work yeah um because that is the thing you know there’s you know if you were like um an indie film director and you made a hit low budget movie then let’s take scott derrickson for example with sinister he’s in like he makes a really great with uh with cargo and makes a really great low budget horror indeed and then he’s moved up and given a big studio movie and eventually he’s there then directing doctor strange and then working on that as a team doing doctor strange for marvel um so you can see there’s a logical progression there the thing with scripted podcast and storytelling is all you can do at this stage is literally just make sure your last podcast series is high quality work because it’s not necessarily about being a commercial here mass audience etc like that it’s got to be quality storytelling and to use that terrible phrase that’s what you’ve got to leverage moving forward so um just just make sure you’re doing great work good storytelling using the medium um you know pushing yourself to to tell that story to immerse and entertain and you know get as in you know make it as uh as an engaging and internal process between fred greenham should say the the the theatre of your mind you know um and that that is what will help you step up because if you just keep making series after series which is good and a great listener experience in the podcast space you don’t necessarily need to worry about something being a huge hit because people understand that kind of model doesn’t exist yet two three years from now it might but just just be really focusing on telling great stories yeah oh that’s brilliant advice um is there anything else that you would like to say that you feel we haven’t covered yet um well good question uh because i talk a lot as you can tell so um no i mean like i could say just just remember this this is a it’s 20 20 right now and i genuinely think this decade ahead particularly for scripted audio fiction is is going to be the game changer okay um another thing to bear in mind is that the i i’ve done a couple of talks uh for podfest this year and the last one i did was the fact that uh there’s all this terribleness going around the whole world right now you know with all this distress and worry and fear so a couple of things come out of that which is one um you know it film television theater is all you know at standstill groundswell hall and a bottleneck right now so audio drama is now becoming a very very good place to find the entertainment um but my i think the best advice you can give if you’re looking to create audio content from this point here on in i’m going to say one word and it might seem counterproductive to where we’re all at right now fun make it enjoyable because um we hadn’t like said we had a series fred and i we did the pilot on wholesale solution and we built the writer’s room on the 15th of march lockdown start i then flew back from florida lockdown started in the uk nine days later um and then after that we had a regroup and we went we think the world is just too depressing for a dystopian science fiction horror series and that was a big moment we were sitting again yeah i think it’s time for uh it’s time you know for some fun because it’s got to the point i think where this experience is

right now in the world it you know people

you know they don’t want more misery yeah piled on top of misery with their entertainment so um i’ve done a complete pivot on what i’m putting forward to make okay make it fun i think i think people will come out this year and people will start enjoying comedies and wanting things that are a bit more i’ll be actually you know as rob used to say a great barometer of culture uh how culture is feeling is about how in tune a bond movie is right with its audience at a time so to die another day for example came out i was in production during 9 11. okay so when that came out it was all about super villains and windsurfing and it fell out and then that’s the same year that uh 24 came out yeah and i’ll be very curious to see how um no time to die lands with audiences now because it’s probably going to be a little bit gritty very serious daniel craig one movie yeah because that’s where they are the grittiness serious and just just just watch that one see how that one’s received when they finally release that film next year and they can’t current climate i think i think you’ll see that basically the next bond will actually be closer to roger moore that’s like this one that’s my top prediction there a bit more spike who love me rather than the living daylights so fun keep that in mind yeah i i really hope you’re right yes we need more joy i think it will come because i think this year is like it’s just accelerated the the the pain and the misery a little bit and uh you know i’m not saying we’re out of the woods yet with where we’re at uh as a planet or individual societies uh wherever we are but um i i do think there’s going to be a a swing towards um needing lighter entertainment so and i don’t mean that as in variety what i mean is it’s you know we will steer away from dystopia which we’ve had years of we’ll stay away from grim end of the world kind of stuff uh because you know we we’ve had a dress rehearsal for once yeah you know um yeah somehow where we’re at a year from now which we shall see yeah yeah well it’s been an absolute pleasure jack thank you so very much no worries it’s been it’s been lovely to talk and um just just one last thing to say if anyone is interested in following up uh you can go to my website yeah contact form i’m always happy to give advice to anyone who’s looking at their scripted podcast uh sector um and that’s and go to the contact form and that goes straight to me ignore the thing about um agents it does come to me it’s just if someone says to me work i send it on um but yes if anyone’s looking for advice or guidance or any help uh more than happy to to just have a conversation and the more people we get into audio fiction in the podcasting space the better so hey let’s make that happen yeah and it is a friendly bunch as well i think we all like to try and help each other because we’re all struggling a bit no matter where in the strata you are we’re all trying to i i feel like we’re all trying to pull each other up so absolutely because like um as a friend a friend of uh bill dufrese came over to the uk uh joe dooley and he said to me uh rising tide lifts all boats yes that is absolutely true and that plays into the fact if you look at the work say that ella watts has been doing for the last two years and like getting the community sort of mobilized and that’s that’s a nice thing to remember as well that uh yes people are you know we we’re we’re in industry but we’re still quite at that community level and i you know i’ve been talking to various networks and commissioners and quite a few of them as i’ve said on the qt it’s like um you know what we’ve got to figure this out because we love it and i don’t care if we’re arrival to that network but you know we can actually just sort of softly alive for five or six years and then you know once it’s all fixed then we can be bloodthirsty

and you’ve got to think about it if the networks are thinking about it at that level yeah then we absolutely should be reflecting that as a as a community that’s it of a podcast creatives um yeah we’ve got to look we do have to look out for each other because like say it can feel trust me i know that for many many years you’d throw podcasts out you wouldn’t even know if you connected with an audience we didn’t we didn’t know if spring hill was connecting for people for a long uh with people for a long long time so you know um just you know that’s that’s the other thing it can feel quite lonely but you know we we’re fast becoming a community we’re fast you know organized you know and that community is now becoming global which is lovely um so the get-togethers that oh i i missed it there was a monthly get-together ella used to organize uh in south london um you know we i i miss that physical community but we’re all still there we’re all still at touch of a button so um you know stick together keep keep an eye on each other’s backs and and do great work and help each other by the end that’s so lovely it’s the perfect place to leave it

so you mentioned your website do you have any socials or anything you want to just point out yeah yeah sure um i’m i’m on i’m on linkedin you can find me there on twitter at real jack bowman and if you’re interested in listening to circles you can find that on twitter uh which is here circles it’s on instagram as well that’s where social media left behind instant right now uh instagram it’s here circles twitter it’s here circles and if you want to find that on facebook it’s circle’s podcast okay and it’s highly recommended thank you thanks very much yeah serious finale this sunday yes yes brilliant okay thank you jack that’s great no worries thank you very much

this has been a cozy pea pod production with me paula blair and my very special guest jack bowman the music has been common ground by airton licensed under a 3.0 non-commercial attribution and it’s available for download from do check out that website it’s got loads of cool stuff and all of the other stuff has been done by me i’ve been editing and we’re doing the recordings and all of that stuff and if you would like to support the podcast but you’re not too sure about a membership you can drop me a fiver at buy me a coffee dot com forward slash bea blair because that just goes towards all of the work that i’m doing with the podcasts and writing and other bits and pieces as well and it’s hugely hugely appreciated all your support and as well as the social media that i gave out earlier in the episode you can get in touch by emailing audiovisualcultures if you want to chat about being a guest on the show or if you’ve got an idea for a show that you’d like to run past me something you’d like to hear us do we’re really grateful if you don’t want to give money but if you want to gift something so if you want to send me a dvd to watch or you want to um send me a link to a film that you want me to see or whatever it happens to be uh just just just give me a shout that way or you can find us on the socials uh so yes huge thanks for listening huge thanks for engaging do keep it up it just means so much and i hope these episodes have been really really useful it’s been amazing hearing about people’s experiences with their lockdown creativity as well so if you have a story you don’t have to be a professional just get in touch because it’s all part of that fabric that network of just cultural production and that’s what i’m really really interested in and that we can all learn from together okay so take care of yourselves be excellent to each other as always and i will catch you next time you


Audiovisual Cultures episode 77 – The Amabie Project with Johanna Leech automated transcript

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hello and welcome to audiovisual cultures with me paula blair i’m really super excited to be joined this time by artist johanna leech who is going to talk about the amabie project that she’s been working on and curating throughout the lock time period in 2020 and it’s hopefully going to culminate in an exhibition but it’s all online and you can see it on instagram so i’m going to let her explain more about it because she’ll explain that a lot more articulately than i can um huge huge thanks to our members over at forward slash av cultures for all your really valued supports if you are interested in joining and there are three tiers of membership at the moment there’s to pay what you can which is one pound one dollar one year or whatever um and that’s that’s going to get you access a bit early to the new episodes that come out you’ll get to hear it a day before everybody else and then there are a couple of other memberships there’s a behind-the-scenes membership and a star supporter which will get your producer credit on any future stuff so do take a look through those if you’re able to help out and for other ways to support uh and just help out the podcast do listen right to the end and i’ll give you some other ways that don’t involve a membership um but do make sure you subscribe you hit that button just so that you never miss a new episode and i’ll help us out as well so this one was a lot of fun to record uh joanna is a it’s a very very good friend of mine and i’m really proud of all of her work it’s a really visual episode as well so if you’re listening to the audio only i have put the link to the video in the show notes and do make sure you go and see that um because um uh joanna actually shows us through quite a lot of the work that all of the artists involved have been creating and shows us through the instagram so if you’re able to see that i’d really highly recommend it so enjoy very much and i will see you on the other side

so i am super excited to be joined by my longest serving friend and artist joanna leach hello joanna hello how are we finding you today not too bad thanks just in limbo like the rest of us i think so trying to continue on at least try and do something productive excellent yes we’re gonna talk a bit about your productivity and what you’re keeping busy with and if it’s okay can i just ask you to explain to everybody a bit about your background i mean um i mean we first bonded over our mutual love of dinosaurs and i think that’s something that’s held us very close together all of these many very long years yes definitely and it’s in my artwork you know fascinating sinclair uh dinosaurs from the world’s fair absolutely um so would you kindly just talk us through a little bit of your own arts practice and then we’re going to talk about the really big project that you’ve been working on more recently sure so i’m a visual artist based in belfast and i also work as a program manager for a local cinema and arts center so sometimes a lot of those influences working quite um across lots of different art practices and arts fields and work can bleed into my practice a little bit um so instead of kind of having a sketchbook or kind of doing lots of drawings like every day like most artists would or quite frequently my thing was to collect objects collect stories and um making notes and taking photographs so you know like if you look at my iphone now there’s like 20 000 photographs that i’m kind of constantly referring back to so that that’s my sketchbook so it kind of gives you an idea of what kind of way i sort things in my head i’m also dyslexic so it just means that a lot of the time maybe written format isn’t as easy for me and the visual stands out really clearly because of that so it just means then i can have this amalgamation kind of like my work is almost like a little museum of its own you know you could have a look at my exhibition and there could be stuff that could be historical that i find something interesting there could be local lore and legend um or there could be just an experience or a place that i’ve been to so the working kind of become things where it’s maybe like more social practice where i’m maybe using the objects in a way to perform to an audience where like the object is shown in a way where it tells a story or it itself is quite humorous and you kind of look at it and it gives you a chuckle you know like i always like the work to be familiar to the audience and very much um kind of open for everyone to interpret um so my recent exhibition would have had things like a neon sign that said guns and gold and kind of like a really um particular lovely um neon golden color and that was a replica of one that i’d seen in america and just that ideas of those two words together um is it’s quite interesting and then i had wall drawings including wonderful dinosaur um and then i had stories about the dinosaurs that i’ve done work with and collected from all around the world so i had kind of display tables which had objects as well as stories all displayed together so it’s kind of it takes you on a journey and that’s kind of always say to people like i’m explore um showing you my discoveries essentially and then there was other things like photographs from kind of um attractions or places from around america so that that work kind of stands alone quite well just as a photography as a photograph um but um and then i’ll do sometimes just really kind of scale back drawings so it just it just really depends brilliant yeah and this has a really close connection with the current project that you’re working on so you’re curating this group of work of all kinds it’s it’s cross media and it’s artists working in all different modes and from different backgrounds and all sorts of things so um can you tell us a bit about the amma bay project please yeah so amabe is a japanese yukai and ukai is kind of like a mythical kind of magical creature within japanese mythology and this particular character would come out whenever there was sign of a pandemic or else maybe something to do with um crops and um different times where you know people would have worries about things they could look towards the emma bay for um some comfort so you know she’s a mermaid character and she kind of comes out of the sea and is very kind of mystical and i was just kind of really interested in that with the internet kind of in the era that we’re in now this character made a resurgence kind of through the start of the lockdown and it just meant that there was a lot of people kind of posting pictures of her or a lot of japanese people like taking a bit of solace you know to actually do a little drawing over or stick a little picture up of her in a window and with everything that was elsa it was happening throughout the internet and in the uk we kind of had all the kind of things so like help the nhs and the rainbow kind of became this icon of camaraderie and hope for a lot of people and that came from kids in america he just did it one time and you know then people started to kind of replicate that and it kind of spread like a virus but uh a very positive one and amabe was kind of doing a bit of that it was um kind of trading on kind of um if you kind of had like hashtag a mabe challenge and when i saw that i kind of thought oh you know but what i’m really interested in is i had been to japan last year and um i have connections through flex art studios where i’m based with a really cool art space called arts ongoing which is in tokyo and i kind of met those guys and i kind of always kind of thought oh you know what like what would i do if i went over and did a japanese residency so at this time where you know there’s pandemic i can’t go to japan as much as i would love to and looking at those connections and just i think the event manager in my head of kind of going what can i do you know i can’t go into the studio and you know it’s a really hard time to feel inspired how can i reach out and make that connection between that kind of sense of this viral connection but also bringing it back to artists practices but then looking at the connection between japan and belfast and especially because of flax art studio so they’ve been running for a number of years in exchange and one of the main artists who’s a really good friend of mine um shiro masayama um he is the only northern ireland artist based in japan and i was like me and him were like sharing each other like pictures of a mabe and being like oh you know we should get everyone in flax to make an imabe and then we’re like but why should i be kind of making that quite narrow so we owned it out because we wanted to share it with three artists arts ongoing and various other things like shearer would have a lot of connections um just you know to see if artists in general who are based in japan and uh the isle of ireland um or someone you know who’s still kind of connected to ireland are still connected to japan um what would they do and to kind of make it initially like an instagram that could become an exhibition so it was just to see like what would happen so i think it was something that kind of came up between me and sharon were like hey wouldn’t this be fun to do that and they kind of grew from there

and so um with the irish connection is there was there another mythical form from from irish mythology that you were looking at as well or was it just the mlp

well originally um i was talking to um close friend um martin boyle um and martin was kind of my sounding board and very thankfully and just about the right up and like how i was going to do the call-out and what he was interested in and what i kind of thought was it’d be nice to give people that option if they don’t want to do a mabe so whenever we did the call-out we kind of had it that it was if you could create a mythical creature to protect you what would it be and surprisingly a lot of people just did do your marble and that that’s cool too i mean she’s so beautiful and of course i did one of her but um i did like that idea of looking at art mythology and it just meant then if there was japanese artists who were like you know mommy’s quite a normal thing for them they could choose to do something different or an irish artist who feels very strongly with that now we didn’t get as many kind of ones that are quite irish-based we did also get one that was a beaver which i thought was really cool because um that person was just kind of had their own reason of thinking why he could be a quite an iconic character so it is it is mainly a mob but i think whenever we’re displaying that in the gallery you know it can maybe have a couple of different zones it was originally inspired by the irish connections of saint brigid and it was like the first of february and it was kind of the start of spring and how people would kind of um make woven um crosses that you would hang up on your door and there’s these kind of ceremonies called biddy boys and it was basically like you made like an effigy like this female character who sometimes was dressed in your grandmother’s clothes and again it’s this idea of bringing forth a good harvest and and hoping for the best which a mabe does as well and and i was just like when you look at the documentation of you’re like what’s so bizarre and then it brings in connections with mummers and the idea of going door-to-door connecting with your community and making these kind of woven hats and things they’d have on so there’s one of the pieces is me wearing a mummer’s hat and you know i think that could maybe be a bit of a project on its own and i think mabi kind of took over because i think a lot of artists were making work from home and it was probably a bit easier to do that so i definitely think that that could grow in a different way but there’s only maybe a few that are kind of included within that okay great it’s really fascinating and stuff so um so shall we should we take a look at some specific examples of this and the the really wide range of approaches that all of the artists took because you’ve got animators you’ve got people working in sculpture in different ways you’ve got people here illustrators and comic creators and all sorts of people so um shall we have a quick look at some of the examples sure we definitely had a you know a wide range of people but i think i’ll maybe just start off with the original image that is mainly known about a map so this is one that would have been like kind of in the local um news and kind of documented before so i’ll just share my screen here so you can see

um so you can see this here um which is just a really beautiful image and you can see kind of the three legs coming from the sea a beautiful man of hair and um i just thought this is a really good starting point because it’s it’s also that flexibility that people can can change her into anything that she wants to be so i’ve got the instagram here which is kind of the format of showing it visually online so we have um submission from different artists to despite 25 artists including two young people that have been included and i like that because you know it’s the fact that you’re in lockdown and your children are there so i really kind of like that one of the artists is like oh you know can i include my child’s one or you know someone was actually collaborating with her niece which was really nice so um as you can see this is just a really quick thing and this is just you know like uh shiro playing around with a new app that he’s brought together but it just it just worked so well and it’s that kind of again embracing the kind of online kind of quality of that so just for the audio can we just describe what was happening there sorry um

okay so with shiro’s um video he’s using this app and um can i turn the music on or would that i think yeah you should let’s try

so um he’s just made a little drawing of an amabe which kind of pops up in this app and then it kind of comes and scuttles around the floor so it kind of like moves around on the table which is just really sweet and then um we had some more stuff that was a bit more obscure so this one here i really like because there’s kind of a description here this is by chris watt and he kind of just looks at this idea of um stories of contorted human forms or similar kind of rock faces and the natural forces and the ancient humans and bones and you know um that one there i just thought was just really nice and quite unique um some quite a skeletal image that we’re seeing and um so it says he came up with a concept for the painting after visiting melon head on the very north coast of ireland so um yeah so there’s just this skeletal form that’s it’s almost like it’s embedded in the rocks it’s against the rock faces in a bit of a kind of fetal position yeah there’s a triangle protrading from an eye that kind of an obscure kind of um things in the foreground and kind of makes it quite dream like um really kind of bright neon colors and along with this really kind of strong blue blue and white for the skeleton’s body itself which is really nice um i will just see i could go on and talk about every single one let’s just have we scroll so you can see just like some of them against each other so um this is another japanese artist um which is absolutely gorgeous um sitting on buildings on fire almost yeah so emily um she’s actually just studying um at the moment and she’s studying in london but she’s japanese and she had a couple of versions there’s a couple of versions of this one um this is a collaboration with grace mcmurray and her uh five-year-old niece oh the embroidery little embroidery which kind of has a mermaid she’s got wings um and just like a couple of sequences i like as well it’s like just you know like weak cuts of purple and and blue so paula thought you’d enjoy a bit of embroidery so just really simple one um clinton patrick and again his one is more that kind of unseen unknown character because when you talk about the japanese uk sometimes they’re literally an inanimate object sometimes they can look almost human and sometimes it can be quite bizarre so i like that his was much more free in the way that was represented here we have an artist who bid on ebay for um something that was supposed to be made from a mabby’s hair right it was a brush on the internet so his kind of piece is um and he ordered it here it is in his home and he had done a residency in flax recently so he was over in belfast so it was just really nice to kind of have people’s work so um that was that one in particular was cool like you said about graphic artists yeah i have some graphic artists in here so we’ve got vanilla doran and we have um grace farley and then i think there was and molly henry in particular this kind of one too hmm as you can see you know there’s a real mixture of things um tomohiro tomahiro to also been to flax on a residency t and it’s weird because now that i’ve been in japan i’ve seen these kind of you know this is just outside a shop somewhere but i just love as well that it’s got it’s got the mask on so this is kind of like an everyday image someone who could have stumbled across this kind of um amazing kind of sculpture and then it being put with like there’s a kind of scroll to my bed it almost looks spry painted but obviously done on photoshop or something beside it so it just supposed in the tools i think is is really interesting definitely love these little guys with their masks so it is a real mixture of things so sometimes people made things in their homes some of them have done ink drawings or used like found objects like davies here um using hair um this is the image that i had mentioned before myself the kind of bummer hat on um so there’s kind of two in the series and i had actually taken these quite a while ago back in the america or back in the folk park i think it’s the one in belfast yeah so um is that the ulster folk and john smart museum yeah no one’s else’s [ __ ] transport museum so you can go there and there are often weavers i’ll kind of show you that and then if you want to look up mummers there is um different mummers groups from around think the main ones are in antrim and they still perform wedding ceremonies and do different things when i worked for um belfast photo festival a few years ago as a director we actually had an exhibition um by jim mcginn he actually went around and documented mummers over the years and looked at folklore but also looked at the traditional music he was very interested in traditional music so he has a lot of work that’s to do with those so i think that probably had placed it in my head originally um just looking at that um and then one little miniature performance um

this is just done over zoom oh actually we do have sign for this one let’s let’s try it again

so this and another worker kind of a gif so um what you have here is um she need brennan casuals doing a live performance on zoom to me and she has put in the background um like there’s a big kind of um mummified fish in the ulster museum so it’s in the background and you’ve got the ulster museum itself so she’s put on kind of like a sequined top um a nice long wig and has like a duck bake so she’s kind of wiggling around kind of as if she’s looking at herself you know um which i think is really sweet it’s kind of like just reminds me of the internet it’s like a weird kind of tick tock but an artistic tick tock or something um just really simple um which is nice so um and then we have some ceramic pieces like chris’s um here and then the more irish one um jim rick’s was one of the first ones but this was the kind of ones i was hoping for this kind of amalgamation of irishness as well and so he’s kind of muggy mutant various um kind of characters um and jim ricks is a he’s an irish um oh forgotten the name

he lives in america but he’s an irish i wrote this down didn’t i yeah he’s an irish conceptual artist so um yeah so that’s kind of examples i haven’t got all of the work up and the last one i’ll show you is my piece apart from so i have the irish piece which is the two photographs together and then this one is a drawing that i made and it was just that kind of like cathartic drawing and because i i like tracing things and drawing them over and over again and getting them really simplified but then whenever it’s locked down and you have to like stick it to your window it’s like coming through you know trying to draw it i kind of like that lockdown process i had because then you’ll have people here who yeah maybe you can’t go out and and make things i was surprised we did get as many ceramic things as possible so some of the artists might have changed to video pieces and we also have fantastic one um by amy mcgee and she has and i’m going to use it as the opening piece for when you go into the exhibition and it’s a video piece and she’s made puppets and she tells you dma by story and it’s just absolutely stunning wow really nice so i’ll hope by the date where we do hopefully show it i will have all of them online at the moment that’s just most of them and we also have um this have a video of how to make your own amabe by a japanese artist azuri um and that it’s about 15 minutes long so we have to just kind of uh link over to that and so he makes a little paper and a where the little bake is kind of in the paper and you can make her talk say whatever you like okay so you can see like it’s already such a wide range of work and there’s still more to come yes so you mentioned um a hopeful exhibition as do you have any more detail on that at the moment or um what do you know what can you tell us sure so um pollen studios uh based in belfast um had offered to do the exhibition with us so and um quite a few of the pollen artists all submitted as well so um they’ve been really tight knit with us on the project and with current lockdown methods there are some galleries are currently open at the moment but maybe some of the larger um organizations like the mac and the golden thread gallery and for pollen then um people will probably do it by appointment we’ll have an opening hopefully november 5th which is usually like a late night art where people come out um and we have we’ll have all the safety measures in place and you can basically book like an appointment to come along so i’ll probably put you know some weekend dates in and an evening each week that people can come along throughout november fingers crossed and um if it does get put back because naturally that’s what’s happening at the moment you know it’s kind of part of the project yeah in a way because the project was made during lockdown and it means that if you have to book in for an appointment see it it’s almost becoming a performance you know you’re becoming part of the exhibition by able by being able to come along and of course then with people who especially aren’t able to uh for health and safety purposes and things come out i will have the instagram up and i’ll maybe kind of do a bit more of like um an exhibition online and kind of look at that just for kind of access to make sure and especially for the japanese artists as well that they can kind of see all the work together and for my previous shows i always kind of shoot a video where i can talk through things and just means then that people who can come can still feel connected to it and um do you think you’ll have a lot of the physical works there or will it be you know because there’s quite a lot of sculpture for example um so would it be photographs of those or will the actual workspace and do you think to show so i’ve contacted each of the artists and kind of just had a chat with them and as well like i’m kind of self-funding this and i don’t have any funding for it but obviously i’ve been supported by the arts council for years so i don’t mind you know contributing some especially my own time but also some resources so i have a small budget for kind of contempo temporary prints um for some things and then a lot of the local artists i’m able to kind of go and collect the work but i just kind of ask the artist you know what way they want it shown because some of the video works obviously will go on screens and which particular one the beaver that i mentioned um which is lovely um it’s a gif and i think it would look really nice on on a tablet or on a phone so it’s kind of displayed in the way it was meant to be viewed but yes especially as japanese artists obviously i give them the opportunity if they want to post it they can post it over and i’ll return it but you know we don’t have unfortunately enough budget to kind of get that over um but we’ll be able to reprint some of those so especially like a zoo um which isn’t a zoo and the work that had the um amabe hair object don’t want to lose that on getting it posted over so um i think a print of the two beside each other so like the internet um image of it being sold and then the image of it in the house i think together would look really nice so um actually we will have quite a lot of the artists um are up for having the drawings or the ceramics physically there and then the rest of the stuff then we’ll kind of print um maybe in like a temporary manner or i thought about have mine displayed on the window because i’ve i do often have window drawings so i think it would work really well as a window drawing as well so you know the work will change a bit in the space too

and then i suppose you it must be a factor now you have to figure out how many people you can have in a space and how far apart your things you know that sort of stuff has to maybe be considered now as well in poland’s not a huge space so that’s quite complicated yeah i think it’s kind of um well then again in the millennium court art center that i went to recently it was like one bubble per half an hour so and then it would be frequent cleaning and things like that but because i’m coming from a venue i’m already used to doing that currently for my job and work so i’m very aware of all the exciting terms and conditions and health and safety policies um all over that so i can make it as safe as possible okay well fingers crossed that can go ahead but as you say even if it’s delayed it just adds more time and possibly more overlooking from the email base to help us out hopefully i know come on guys

um that’s brilliant joanna thank you so much for that um do you is um

before i ask anything else um shall we because we had those links of scream but just for the audio and do you want to point people just towards where to see these sure at the moment no worries so to find out more about the exhibition so it’s and that’s spelt

j-o-h-a-n-n-a-l-e-e-c-h and then um you can do forward slice forward slash amabe so a m a b i e and on instagram it’s a mabe underscore project and that shows you all of the stuff that we’ve came in so between the two of those we’ll kind of have all the details we hope that we’ll create a facebook invitation page soon enough so otherwise um if you follow pollen art studios on facebook and they will then have that online i also have a facebook artist like page so if you just search for my name that i spelt earlier on um you’d be able to just kind of like my page and then those updates for things like the events and stuff will come up as well um i suppose just on this i mean how do you feel about exhibitions going online more and more because i’m personally loving it because it means i can see stuff in belfast and i’m stuck here in newcastle so um but how are you personally finding that and feeling about that as an artist i think it’s good and my previous um solo exhibition that i mentioned before um it was in millennium court arts center and it’s only you know about 40 minutes from belfast i think 40 minutes to half an hour away from belfast city center but there’s so many people who can’t drive um you’re artists mainly um i you know i didn’t learn how to drive until i was 30. so there’s just kind of there’s a lot of people here although it’s not that far away and on our transport system isn’t great that actually i realized even when i was doing an exhibition that was just outside of belfast um i did a recorded walk around of my exhibition which was called wanderlust and fantastic oddities so if anyone wants to look up you know what the work that i kind of described that showed a lot of my work was kind of like a little survey of everything i’ve done so far they can look it up online and there is like i have like a ton of photographs really good documentation and then just a little walk around with me with video and then that’s great because i can share that to people and i have artists that i work with in the states and you know even then all the people who are in belfast that just couldn’t get so there are you know three other reasons can have access to it and i think you know i discovered that before lockdown how important that was and i think it continues to be very important because there’s also even times where i maybe go to an art exhibition opening and you’re too busy kind of chanting whoever’s with you having a glass of wine and it’s quite busy and then you’re kind of like oh you know i’ll go back and then i’ll sit with the work or i’ll look at it for longer and sometimes you just don’t get that opportunity so i think the more that arts and things can go online i think it’s great but it doesn’t take away from that actual experience because a few weeks ago i mean i’ve been self isolating um quite a lot and working from home and um i just decided that when the mac reopened i went to see the exhibition at the mac and again you booked into a certain slot and it’s a huge space so you know it’s it’s a bit safer than maybe going to a small kind of gallery space and i also went to the golden thread to see their show um on the same trip and it just is like there’s no way like that buzz and feeling of going to a gallery you know it’s not as if you know all virtual stuff is going to make it worse or people won’t go out to galleries if they can look at it online that you never nothing can change that idea of just the silence of the space the concentration on an artwork the experience of the artwork being out of your house just you know you can’t you can’t it was just such an amazing experience it almost felt like i was going to a church and it was my religious experience like that’s that’s what it felt like for me was getting back into gallery and just gave my heart that little extra beat that i needed that’s you know like i think seeing art um in person will never be diminished essentially what i think yeah now that’s good to hear or is that very romantic romanticized yeah no it’s no it sounds good i totally understand you mean i imagine i’ll feel the same when i feel able to go to a gallery again um but for now it’s just not really for me and um but yes i i know the space as well that you’re talking about so i can just imagine it and it would be a bit i can imagine it would be a bit safer because they are really big rooms that you’re in um but also it must be nice to have peace in them because they’re only letting so many people in at the one time so that must be quite a nice element of it as well you feel like you have maybe a more intimate experience possibly yeah and i hope that’s what maybe the mabae project would be like because then if there’s people like you both of us are saying you know we don’t want to be you know gallivanting around with um everything that’s happening in the world right now whereas if i knew that it was just myself and my bubble going to a place for a specific time we know people have claimed it and you go in see the art and go away and like you said and have that piece to experience and for as long as you want um i think it’s really nice and um if it’s okay and you did mentioned about working at the strand art cinema as well so you’re used to that is it okay if i just ask you quickly about how that’s going and sure you know the cinema experience because that’s quite similar it’s another sacred art space that we need to protect and um how is that experience are you finding of working at a cinema but also people coming to that cinema again

like i think from i kind of had to make it kind of you know oh welcome back to the strand covert video um just to put out on social media just so people knew the experience and i mean like as far as any kind of covered procedures and things like we have every every box ticked and more you know we’ve changed our screen in times where it is and people coming in and out of the building and there’s um like special cleaning that we have like a fogger machine that antibacterializes the seats and everything never mind then you know just having cleaning stations and cleaning more so we we have that all kind of ticked so i actually have been to a few screenings while two screenings since lockdown because i know the strand is as clean as it can be and also we’re a small cinema and we’re in a rural space we’re not the city center so we’re never super busy anyway and then with we’re not particularly busy but it just means that you can book exactly where you’re sitting you’re socially distanced and so i was able to i went and saw tannen and um the other event i went to was a global film screening um which we’re doing at the moment and it was with green book and then we kind of had a discussion on kind of black lives matters and um different things like that so if yeah just give me that buzz because you know we’re kind of you know a vintage cinema um designed in 1935 so that kind of encompassing kind of red curtain feel and you’re sitting in half back seats and the experience is just so lovely and just being immersed in the film because i just thought no matter how many times i’ve watched inception um boogers for nolan i’ve forgotten half the time what happens in it and it’s because i just kept on watching it at home a few times or maybe had a glass of wine can’t remember the ending very well so it meant that with tenant i had that full attention span i went in no one not it it’s christopher nolan and you know there’s gonna be questionable things about it too but it’s gonna be an amazing cinematic experience so i did feel like i kind of said there maybe it’s because of my previously religious background but that kind of i’m that ultimate buzz of being like in your synagogue you know it’s like you know the room itself and the space and and just being spread out and and the feeling of being feeling safe because um people around you are further enough away and you just get to switch off and fully enjoy a film and i notice so many more things in green book than i did watching it at home because i missed it and the first kind of cinema release there was a few times with things i was like oh oh that’s not and i was like doing the talk afterwards like i was like i was noticing things more and i’m supposed to know more about the film so yeah i disagree if you’d like you know the experience of being innocent is never going to take away from watching those you know films on on netflix and whatever yes it is great that those um platforms are there so in the global film screenings i’ve made it that you can go on to the strands website and you can read like a resource about your green book so it has the recording of us doing the talk it also tells you that you can watch green book on amazon prime so i’ve kind of make packages afterwards and make it accessible to people who can’t go so they can still feel like they’re part of it so they can watch green book from the link and then um obviously they would need to you know pay for that or have amazon prime but then i would recommend and give links to the films that we mentioned in the talks because you always forget when you’re listening to something like that brilliant so i have resources of different films that are good to watch like moonlight um and then i have a connection with belfast which talks about frederick douglass who um you know would have been one of kind of the main people to kind of abolish slavery and he had been the belfast and that connection i had read an article about it in 2012 so i was able to like place that too so we’re in the strand we go beyond film sometimes and with special events then i can still bring in an online audience or i just give people that chance to go what was that film she was watching and then i can tell them about the original grain book and how it really was for americans um and you know recommended documentaries and stuff so um i think you should get get out there and support your local spaces if we can all stay open you know they’re closed in the south at the moment so um it’s good to support those spaces but uh not you’ll never get over that kind of cinema experience or um my partner was telling me oh we were talking about vr and he said you know you can get vr which makes you be in a cinema and then it projects your netflix film oh yeah but you have to wear a really heavy headset and you can’t it’s the smell of it too it’s other sensory things it’s the way the light is it’s the way the sound kind of almost hugs you because it’s um soundproofed and it’s all of those things you know it’s when the lights go down it’s like oh you know give a ticket you know he had all those things like um like i think uh there’s uh i was gonna say um mark cousins always talks about the romanticism the cinema but in the way he kind of describes it you know um like on how he he likes it i think he’d say like sitting in the front seat is it in a front row i like sitting in the front i like just ignoring if there’s other people i like feeling like i’m there by myself and it’s just for me with the big screen exactly well if people go to this round you might be um very small amount of people there and it will fill it likes your own screen if i could get your feedback probably exactly but the feedback you know from customers when i did that covered video and i got a couple of voxpos was one of them was like a guy who was a film student and um he was just desperately back he’s like i’ve been three times this week it’s like oh it’s so lovely and then you know it’s weird because the family audiences haven’t really came back so i think families have got so used to being in lockdown and getting to schedules i think you know i’m hoping there’ll be a time where those guys are able to come back and enjoy themselves and that bit of you know your parent as well okay you might be watching a kid’s film but you know your kids are going to be quiet hopefully beside you for an hour and a half enjoy it you know take the time for yourself to watch a movie and and enjoy it yeah it’s just worrying with so many outbreaks and skills at the moment so it’s very worrying to take children anywhere i think at the moment that’s one of the things but yeah we just have to find a way to help cinemas survive i think if we can yeah um and i think well the strand is spoiled because we’re supported because we are a charitable organization we’re supported by the arts council so loyalty burned

well just compared to maybe some of the other independents um who you know like my wage is funded by the arts council because i’m doing all this outreach and whenever it was locked down i was doing online videos and events and supporting artists and pain artists so we can kind of do that and we’re a bit luckier than some of the other spaces that might just be going on on solely the income they got in the door

right um is there anything else you would like to say put out there or anything before we go well no i think we’ve already talked about it so i had mentioned my website so if people want to see my work because they can save the exhibition at millennium court which kind of encompasses all of that and yeah keep an eye out for the amabe stuff you can get um most of a sneak break you get on the instagram at the moment there is most of the work there and so yeah so um just thanks so much paula for having me on the chat it’s been really good brilliant yeah no thank you for doing it it’s brilliant i’ve been following the project with interest and it’s such a lovely idea because it is just that idea of care and something looking after you but also a collection of people who are all spread out they’re all dispersed coming together to work on something like this it’s a really beautiful things it’s a lovely thing to be able to highlight and put out there really so thank you very much for showing us so much of the work it’s wonderful no problem

this has been a cosy pea pod production with me paula blair and my very special guest johanna leech the music is common grounds by airton license under a 3.0 non-commercial attribution and is available from episodes release every other wednesday and you can get those anywhere that you find podcasts but also you can subscribe to my own personal youtube channel if you find pea blare you can see the full recordings now that we’ve been doing the video versions as well do please share and subscribe to help other people find the show be part of the conversation with av cultures pod on instagram and iv cultures on twitter and facebook we’re always happy to hear from potential guests so if you’ve got an idea for a show or something that you’re working on that you’d really love the world my tiny bit of the world to hear about then please do get in touch i’d really love to hear from you and if i’ve invited you and i haven’t heard back from yet i’ve got an open door policy so there’s it’s never too late and um everybody’s really busy and stressed so don’t worry about it um i’m always also happy to have suggestions from listeners about topics that you something that you think you’d like to hear us try to cover i do try to make those and i do keep a list um there are loads of suggestions that have been in the past i haven’t got to yet just because i haven’t been able to access this stuff and that is partly where your support comes in so even if you want to send us a dvd or access to something that you’d like us to see that would be really helpful so i do wear all the hats in the making of this program and um so if you could support my work and you there are the memberships and patreon as described earlier on but you can also drop me a fiver at buy me a coffee dot com forward slash p e a blair or you can give any amount so like a pound or something if that’s all you want to give at paypal dot me forward slash p e a blair and just anything at all really really helps so huge thanks for joining us i hope you really enjoyed this i loved making this episode keep well stay safe and as ever be excellent to each other and i will catch you next time