Audiovisual Cultures episode 110 – Diversity in Tech and Media with Damion Taylor automated transcript

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and though you're very welcome and see another audio visual cultures this is a podcast where we hope can poke and the Nixon crannies of media arts and all things cultural production I'm your host Paula Blair and I am really delighted to present this conversation today with Damian Taylor he does lots of software's loads again in this episode me and the team and has been using his vast experience and the technology industries to find creative solutions three storytelling to address gaps in representation and media and tech industries and you'll hear a love bite this in the episodes were gonna talk about Damien's podcasting particularly his series tak which of which he is the creator and co writer and we're gonna talk about aids Ludovic different experiences and it's a really lovely conversation I know you'll get a lot idea for this ninety S. so before I pass over to the my past self and Damien a massive sign Kate are amazing patrons over it PhD on dot com forward slash AP cultures for supporting the podcast it really means a lot that you keep supporting the show and may making asked if anyone else listening is interested and getting some extra content on some early releases we've called a special behind the scenes here and there's by PT Sierra which would just help maintain the podcast and help keep improving everything and give me something for it to work that IT making this show because I don't have ads on the show and I'm to turn amends to keep it that way however I am very happy T. T. and kind thoughts with us our podcasts so if anyone's listening and you're interested in that sort of thing yep I've got a little thirty second ads so %HESITATION just separate and see one of your shows and I'm very happy to do the same on a more fun notes I don't do it very often because it's a bit scary but I occasionally that casts a cast on the lead X. for the show and I think I have started to enjoy concentrating more on what countries were being unloaded and and Belgium keeps coming back on top by I don't know what it is but hello Belgium Bonjour you're so welcome I love the people there listening to the show or at least I'm hoping it's whether you're listening or not who knows that you're consistently coming right up of the UK and the U. S. so %HESITATION well done yay I'm just so excited to have you on board space to get in touch I'd love to hear people %HESITATION lesson from and to learn about why you're listening %HESITATION that would be amazing I'm gonna stop bothering you because I just enjoy it so much chatting with Tammy and I really enjoy listening to his podcast C. makes another podcast called professional confessions I really recommend because we talk about it it's come up in the podcast before that we've dealt way stocks are twenty hole and Rachel Breck we've talks about a toxic workplaces and abuse in workplaces and that sort of thing before so professional confessions is actually a really pretty helpful podcast listen to there's only a few episodes so far it's pretty quite a so please stay make sure you go in like in the show notes below where third links for all of these things for night enjoy this time with Damien he's brilliant Damien Taylor here so welcome J. audio visual cultures I've been really excited to talk she said Jeremy attend school and talks last week and your exactly Hey I wanna talk say on the spot so if you're so welcome thank you for joining me I thank you so much I'm so flattered I was really excited yeah so if it's okay can I start by asking you hi are you are you doing okay and where a bite sorry of course of course I'm doing great I'm enjoying this unseasonably warm fall that we're having and I'm going to Los Angeles so very odd Paul it's been it's forty degrees today eighty degrees tomorrow and Ben Rainey and the sun is out you're melting so these are but I'm enjoying it approximations okay he had over in the stylist rose of autumn where I am and you cast upon talking very cold I'm very dark so yeah and some enjoying the brightness of your screen while my son darkness so damn man I have been really enjoying lasting three year different call casts and read now on all your work thank you Jenna cross different media you have a real emphasis on addressing the lack of diversity across different media I'm sure we'll talk about it a lot of those issues we can I assign a lot of talk for people and pets so I'm really keen to hear about your your faction scripted podcasting as well as your nonfiction podcast saying I am missing a lot see professional confessions and I %HESITATION there when he was Olivier I don't race some really really getting a lot of thoughts but first seat would you be happy to describe your style and give us an overview of he Damien Taylor is what you're all about aids and the kinds of things that you're working on sure it's funny so I'm probably the most bizarre creative you'll ever need to so I I started off doing medicine and science and for my career yeah and so coming into I've always played in both creative and very scientific spaces and most people don't do that and I I get bored if I don't have both of those elements going on in my life at some point and so I have always approach everything from this perspective when I worked for major studios and when I work at studios I'm usually the date a guy who's building the strategy for which films to redo what audiences we want to go to what channels you want to use but by that same token I was moonlighting as a photographer and editor of the magazine currently working in studios and so I've always played in both of those counts and I take it awhile but I've been able to bring both of those things to bear into my creativity now I I can use data to help inform my created and that's really it's not that I'm not paint by numbers sort of creativity I have an idea but I never really fully know if it's something that's interesting to anyone else or is it just something that I can see and so I usually use data and test it out and see does anybody else like this depending on the the response then I'll try your choice which projects they work on first and yeah so I have to say geek with a creative soul I love flat nerves are very very welcome on this that's a good place to be yeah because I think on your website is that you say scientific methods for content it's not the kind of thing %HESITATION gotten into yeah yeah that's definitely their probes I take for a lot of the creative is finding out why do people like it that's the thing that really makes me happy even in my career I've always always been around sort of taking things apart checking out what makes it work and so getting to the crux of what discipline enjoyed about this movie this TV show this short video this photography whatever it is and then deconstructing that sometimes taking out everything that's of course was just distilling it down to about one thing classrooms into making my life so much simpler because I realize that a lot of extra layers did you and it feels very bind up and technology as well and hi much of part of our lives signee technology is and I think we're talking very modern technology and computers to digital and extra absolutely definitely I mean it's when I think about what a lot of people have told me throughout my career especially other creative sense I always go to my god I don't like to use data battle his way my creativity and I actually disagree with that very strong because our god is data it's a small data sets in a combination of all of our experiences and the things that we've learned and it impacts or they have or haven't had and we take that I mean we formulate that ones in district work based on all those experiences and so what I like to do is take my seat well I have the small dataset which is my experience how universal is that experience or is there a bigger audience if I just look at it as a way of supplementing that instinct that we have which is in essence a collection of data points collected throughout life hi are you in what ways are you channeling that and then into your more creative like pets night because I'm probably thinking mostly your podcast tak which which is in its second season and I saw today that there is work under way on an animated pilot for the past two weeks very excited yeah I've never been in the role of animation I've always wanted to but now finally get your enemies this is super exciting tech which is probably the perfect example of this is unique process that I I I like to use for creativity yet it was an idea that I had so going back to my main you're done I love fantasy club started by and I wouldn't able I was also watching I don't remember as I was watching something it may have been a doctor who episode or something in my head wanted to figure out I wonder if there's a way to make something that's both sides by fantasy I would be the perfect series for me and just through that process in my head I came up with which is to control technology would be and thus the idea was born but I didn't know if I was the only person who bought %HESITATION it was you know something more universal so that when I actually remember I I talked to a couple for you're working on a production together and I dropped the idea just kind of casually Hey you know what I just think it would be kind of cool yeah vehicle one was over okay I'm gonna ask a couple more people and they they kind of said the same thing and I figured well I should probably do some more testing because this is also my circle of friends and we all seem to think so and so I actually did I went to our guide to Facebook pages and we have one that's all of our content I went to the digital compendium H. and I could have been added Jack I had some help design a poster for a whole lot line and everything in a campaign as it was coming out tomorrow coming soon check out tech which I see if you want to be interested and literally overnight our page went from nine hundred dollars to eleven thousand and what happened and the people I love this is would be great register something so we decided to check which and it was initially I wanted to do an animated from the start the brand of music label partner who was going to work with us and for me music is really really important through everything I mean it's it's a big part of my creative process even in doing photography I usually start with music and the sound can be removed and then how do I bring that to light is only so I could use a cable is a perfect partner for doing this and then call me laid off eighty percent of the team and had no more money in my business partner and I and the writing team we're just trying to figure out what what do you do if no one's paying for this podcast we don't need much money to do it we can reroute the scripts and so that's what we did it started building it out that way and then we realized it was a perfect way to hone the story and tested out and build an audience before we did anything animated anyway I'm not was so such a frequent process I think most radio so many shows that way sank off the US television shows they started off as a radio serials so yeah that really works I mean if it's not broke why fix it we could go exactly and it is very visual when you're listening to it I find I was listening to the some of this is this morning and I think between both the speech and music you're seeing a world your world is kind of coming to life in your minds you know so I think it is really a access you you're ready picturing the characters I think because sorry I forgot the name of your narrator he's he's reading the stories okay okay and then not set and she's great at performing their dialogue of the character she noticed you so you start to actually flashlight these different people here and having conversations and things you know so it does feel very good you know and the artwork for it is very sad that so you can start to imagine it maybe as an animation so that's ready to go it was amazing I remember we were looking for voice over talent and I was thinking of going after all these actors and we're gonna have to do this big production %HESITATION and writing partner trade well why don't we just have a narrator leader like an audio drama comes on board with that because for me it meant it was cheaper to make and so I was really excited and I started looking I couldn't find anyone J. that happen to be one of my grade school friends her husband's cousin and she's all over my my my husband's cousin is staying with us for a couple weeks and she does voice over do you want to talk to her in my head I was thinking chore okay your husband's cousin and I spoke to her and she said just send me the first two days of the script and I just read them into recording for you for free that we can get a sense for my boys Asian so I did it and she read it and she brought all the characters to life in the sounded like different people even though it was just her voice in that moment I said forget it I'm not talking to anyone else no more auditions you have it this is great she's been amazing she's been such an amazing part of it she remembered around the writing process just to how would we bring this to life what do you think about this she has such amazing insight and I really like that we can now collaborate as a team hold their purses for segmenting and passing things off %HESITATION that finds underfoot systems a great process I mean it's one of those things are sometimes nepotism con work which is really wrong %HESITATION no I somebody so good and she's a singer choose at some point I'd love to into this year is but she's just so professional in such a brought recommendations and tricks that I never even thought of to bring and %HESITATION and she even made suggestions and really early on she was so incredibly respectful she said well I know that these are your words and it's really important so I don't overstep my bounds if it's okay with you can I make a suggestion and she was very accurate said no it should be completely fine but I've course you would let me know how and she's been amazing just hoping to stay grounded and even rising to the challenge right through a couple extra characters I I think one time I did for like five characters in the same scene and she's all you for doing that to you but I really enjoyed it because now I have these characters and their goal is not different in this scene because I'm the only person hello this is that it be helpful then if we can't actually tell people what we're talking about we're talking about the story this is true so tech which is a story about two twins local emerging Matthew who discover that their families it's been thought that their family just doesn't help matters that are kind of magical and then they discovered that that's not actually the fulfillment of a prophecy it's unlocked and their twenty first birthday where they discover that they can control nature like other which is but they can also control manipulate technology and so it's interesting to see their journey going from accepting the fact that they were critical magical does J. accepting the fact that now that they are the super powerful which is that kind of outside everyone and how they deal with that struggle but it's also interesting that what we'll see later is and this is way later in the this year's that there's this interesting conversation of is technology so different from each artist major different from technology to Berkshire becomes something that's different select biotechnology for example it will start to look at that it just it really fun and I'm white and I suppose I need there's a little touch of family drama and they're lots of family drama brothers and sisters by being that he is just so I'll holdings today goes with a during life out and at the same time by the way you happen to have these new powers and get I suppose that mode of storytelling I mean you told us about the creative process and I was quite she acts by our circumstances and lately but also are there any other E. Ms waste that method of storytelling is there anything else you're trying to address through the tech quick stories yeah that's what I do this I'm trying to do this with all of the stories and series that we bring out is I really want to be able to highlight diverse voices but not in a way that so egregious and I think other even creates more division so often I think you'll like it what happens is you'll get something in it if the main character is black it's going to be named black something so you know I mean my opinion is we have our eyes we know that we don't need you to tell us right instead of focusing on the universal nature of our community the job that they're expressed an ad experiences are different but the underlying reactions and emotions are the things that we all share I think a lot of times it doesn't happen it's I wanted to make sure that I could do that my story so what you'll see is intact which you don't hear anything about their race specially the first season we didn't even put visuals relate to them on purpose so that people can imagine how they wanted them to be but we included total himself or realistic to life so you would know what this character is going through so if you were somebody who had a similar experience you would know that if you're someone who didn't you wouldn't be locked out you wouldn't feel it you couldn't understand what was happening I think a great example is low in the arcade he's playing there's two this won't give anything away for you wouldn't listen but there are two guys at his school who have been picking on him for ever and so they're they're just basically believing him and she has a big Afro and throwing things in it I can imagine who's ever had a big curly Afro knows about happens or someone tries to cut your hair right it's something that subliminal it's not saying Hey this kid but it's saying that this is something that happens in life but the thing that everyone can identify what is being picked up yeah and that's the universal experience and we can identify it doesn't matter what color you are what you look like everyone has had that experience at some point and so I want to be able to draw on those experiences that we can all relate to %HESITATION some more than others in the specifics of it but really it capitalize on what the emotion as I tried to use this data to draw that out yes Sir any nice example would you like to receive updates links and special offers straight to your inbox and visit audio visual cultures tower presto com to sign up to our mailing list he mentioned this while working on digital compendium and they say you have a magazine that's not right yeah yeah so that's that magazine is slowly becoming the ground for that the series that we have coming out so right now there's tech which and there are two more stories are going to be coming out next year under it one of them is called incubus curse it's about a guy who goes to college and he's kind of really smart run of the mill but very average and for the most part forgettable she's mistaken identity gets in Kirsten he's turned into an interest or not he has to deal with the sudden really strong urges that happened in college sort of heightened college sexuality exploration but then also the fact that now he's visible because of it this new change in his life he suddenly really busy how does he handle that scenario what is it due to his life around him in other words I'm really excited about it's called muses I've been really big into Greek mythology there's a podcast called let's talk about minutes baby it's amazing it's amazing I love live she's that she's a host and she talked about a lot of Greek mythology and which is also really fun to hear me criminology is really misogynistic regardless specially zoos are not good people but it's still really fun to listen to your %HESITATION but in that %HESITATION I was postulating around uses what if there is no one knows how many pieces are ready or sometimes you're thirty sometimes there's not this exact number and I took that to like its most extreme logical conclusion what if there was an incident number they were everywhere and what is their ability to inspire actually allowed them to control and manipulate your animals so there's a story about uses about a woman who's a reporter who is following a senator around and discovers senators actually using that most if not all people in power users and they were just leveraging that to control him out into her mission to sort of expose it and let the world know what's going on is that I think that is really fun because it's really grounded you don't have like these big super powers of people their influence is I can make you do what I want I speak into your I sing a song you feel inspired or created motions and you answer her question suppose it actually puts her at in peril and so she finds herself running for her life and hiding out at the risk of just trying to tell him and what's really going on but that would still but and still he is the creator of those send your writing is that right do you have other production roles with those so yes I am the creator of them I'm writing I have a writing partner who's writing tech which with me I haven't found a writing partner from users that I really would like to find one I've had people who speak in Celtic but I'm also I don't want to be that person who has the respect I can write from this woman's perspective I can do it anyone else can that's not my experience so I want to be able to let a real experience %HESITATION through somebody who can really speak to it because what I'd be looking at from the outside in I want someone who can actually convey the nuances I don't have access to so when I opened it to find one and then into this curse I'm writing as well I do the production of the podcast yeah I love finding new music that's my favorite okay so for me think tank has been attacked which it is it is very electronic you know that the music and the sign design and that's one of those where what a sign design what is music you know it kind they slipped over one another car that I find so what do you eat you know for the music while involvement he has for detecting for you know what's going on there for years so it's it's funny it's it's usually sometimes music has been chosen before any work has ever been written I think we spoke about this a little bit earlier how just hearing something and understanding that this will be a motion you create an image in your head and so %HESITATION usually they seem to check which for example that haven't happened yet with them their third season out and I could use it for them already just because I I know that emotion I can feel it I can see in my head I happen to have been listening to Spotify or something and that song happened to fit really well with that visual that I had in my head he told that story and so that's going to but I usually really try to on the the more guttural emotion the music first and so for something called tech which it seems weird if I went in with like all of actual music it felt like it needed to have something that was a little bit more chaotic can that fits today's world where there's something always vying for your attention which is why I will help you know sound and music and sound that's how I felt actually when I was listening to and I focus I think this is deliberate where I did it you know because I find myself listening to the music and happened to really concentrate to listen to the voice again you know it this it's going back and forth and I thought this is what our rights are like you know Instagram Twitter whatever you know she expected and you know do your actual job all right %HESITATION that sort of thing that's important for check with your specially there tiger I want the music so if you never hear what Caitlyn is staying the music is telling the same story so you are really missing anything and so I wanted to make sure I have there are a couple of times where I usually find music without lyrics there couple times right looks to be in on purpose because the lyrics tell the story as well so let me be really quiet in the background then it'll slowly builds overtake the voice but it's because now they're competing and the one thing that's interesting is working with music you can hear multiple things going on at the same time it was just a bunch of people speaking you didn't get it but if it's music it certainly makes sense you can comprehend all the lines are conversations that are going on so I do have a purpose to let the music tell the story in a way that I don't think that we can do in normal speech %HESITATION we can't be as dramatic or as a motive in normal speech as we can and use again so I I I do that on purpose in some people it's it's too much and it's overwhelming and I I realize that I think the visual series will make that easier for those people looking for the people who are interested and want to it I think it'll it's it's a fun challenge I think it be an interesting experiments teach us a lesson ten a completely desensitized environment you know in the dark eyes closed and just the next nine yes so that's a challenge anybody's last name go and try and be with tax question not why and I think I will try that because I did find myself struggling to concentrate when I was listening tests it's funny I do that that's actually after we get to the final okay I'll do that and I realized that if I don't have something else in front of me it's a lot easier for me to listen to it and there been times right before I go to bed or %HESITATION listen %HESITATION Justin see what if I were someone else listening to this and have nothing else around what we eat can I find a gift will be pulled into the story though even though I wrote it I know the story when I remove all the other distractions around me it it helps it's a little bit of an experiment but I'm enjoying it that's gates at skip practice to be self critical as well and to try and imagine yourself as the complete the claim that Snapchat as well that's brilliant yeah I was gonna ask you as well because your studio Prometheus digital studio is that right and the name send I decide that that makes sense now that you've set up a lady and Prometheus and so your company I mean if I understand correctly you're using that company to try it said read the address of water gaps in representation across the board and it's not just race and not just standard but things like testability and you know social class and and all sorts of things to talk hi do we work together to tackle these things across cultural production media production police are said sayings you're so busy you've got all these different things go at is that something you'd like to set up special interest as well maybe just the role of that company and your role in that company and the broader ians and high you're going to buy no so one of the answers all the state has to be these podcasts but you know are there other things as well yes %HESITATION previous is it's sort of the bread and butter that forms the podcast and we have some a lot of consulting clients work with advertisers cetera and a lot of the of the conversation that you there and a lot of artists that we have %HESITATION all turn it around integrity and I and I know that a lot of people have this thing and it makes a diverse city and everyone has their own interpretation of it was actually fun to talk to because what you'll find out and we've done this exercise some people mean gender some people meet race race and gender some people get everything and so there's a lot of misunderstanding around it because everyone is defined it differently but assumes that we ought to say and what we really want to do it for me kisses to help address that in a way that's authentic but not through the lens you are so under represented or you are you drew the short straw we wanted to really do you from the lands let's remind ourselves of our common humanity I think we've become so accustomed to data and stats and numbers even more than we think I mean my company by definition is a data company and my goal in that though is to bring humanity back into it because so often we hear people talking about fifty percent of people in there just a number or just that they don't understand that you have to get behind it and so the way that we interpret our data is we have that number what does that mean for actual people what are the people behind it feeling how are they interacting what does that mean for daily lives and that's really the the lens through which we like to look at everything we do so instead of coming in just give me the number that you know like thirty percent your audience is women at thirty percent of your audience is women who have this preference or live this lifestyle or facing this challenge or whatever it is so that we can start to understand that these are people are not just numbers part of the way that we do that in is even how we addressed the audience we started to move away from demographics being focal point because demographics is usually just a short cut to get to a behavior or preference or something that you want to understand what people say oh yeah we want to target man for this series of this blah blah blah what they really want is they want people who exhibit these behaviors are like these types of things %HESITATION who do you have this preference and so we really try to get people to focus on that because in doing bad what you see is you start to understand your audience your consumer as a person and not as a stain or objects that you can move around right and you start to see more respect towards the people that were speaking to and so I think that's always been a really big part of how I looked at data especially when it comes up audience and consumers and Hey being told that that's not right there's a short cut to it and so I started a company because I was tired of waiting for other people to do if I want to see change I'm actually part of the problem I don't actually make a concerted effort to be the chain seven asking for so that's how Prometheus was born we'd love to be part of the conversation with AP cultures called on Instagram Facebook and Twitter and we also have discord just coming up and when your plane to bite people having different definitions of what what do we mean by diversity and I think there's I think we're experiencing certainly in the U. K. we're experiencing quite a lot of push back on the idea of woke tests so you're promoting you know any kind of can we just have any other kind of human being day's best thing that's you know I mean I love white man they're great it's a lot of them are not full but sometimes it's just it's a bit boring obscene O. comunque maps just anybody else or changing this thing but then you can get told off for B. and J. woke up bite stuff and that's a bit of a problem and so it's there so many tensions are Rhines trying to say even the playing field for people but also trying not to alienate the people who feel like they're having something right away from them when I say if we even the playing field we all when we all do you better everybody gets left it up to you I think a lot of people don't realize you man suffer because as of yet Cherokee as well if we sort the beat Cherokee we sort everybody for example many other examples D. N. kind tear any challenges Anne Heche back any toppling dying you know what are your experiences and trying to take a major names I do and I I mean I think part of the reason you touched on it as well as that people feel threatened right right now everyone is making a white man that big bad that's not fair right it's not like you guys out to get your that's not the case and I think the other thing is so I'm part of this group called the multicultural insights collective and so we do research around how can you be more effective at diversity in the first project that we're doing right now is called words matter what is the language that we use that we can make sure that we're talking about in a way that's inclusive but also that resonates across the board right that everyone can get sick we can align with us is a lot of the focus that we talk about they'll take a word and it means one thing to someone else and it becomes pejorative to a different group and serves you immediately create tension what I've discovered throughout that is a lot of even the most vocal critics of wokeness or diversity really when you get down to support it but what they're not supporting it is a fact they've been demonized right and so there's a there's a defense mechanism that's activated at that point right and there's there's also a fear of what you're taking away from me %HESITATION versus the reality of what what do we all gain and we talk to my other podcast professional compassion which is totally not scripted and it's it's very serious but the goal it out when it was really we did that because I realized that a lot of the conversations we had were people misunderstanding each other we're talking past each other and then there's also the piece of people activating about things but nothing ever really happening and I didn't want people who had really genuine intentions were afraid because he didn't want to be labeled as well or did not make a mistake and there's a service chamber on not knowing or asking the question how wonderful is there a way that I can help mitigate that so we created a podcast where people could not in this week share their experiences so when they don't have to have the same ticket ask the question I can bring on an expert could arrive there's no way I could get expert in all of these things right but I had to bring on an expert who can speak to that give a solution for what's something that you can do to you don't have to wait for your government or your job or whatever sixty you can just do today to help increase diversity and not lose your shirt on it right and that I think is really bad and seems to be helpful in communicating the fact that becoming more diverse that diversity is not a zero sum game you give up something I get something which on both sides I think you'll find a lot of people into treating it that way that they want people talking about humanism or black lives matter I just want the right to be in a presser myself and I'm like that's not that's not diverse I just basically put it so when you talk through the podcast we've been able to speak to a specially that notion zero sum game it's hard to break that down and kind of include everyone and point out that we can't have true adversity to be honest and last white men are also part of that conversation when my gas which was really it I think probably one of my favorite but also one of my more difficult episodes we talked to about their own handwritten express I see him but he's he's a white guy who wrote a book called lightning go from fragile to agile and I didn't realize until we had that conversation how uncomfortable it was for me to talk about a white man right got something done before and I realized in order for us to have that conversation I had did you willing to be open and receptive and listen but I also had to be willing to be vulnerable in a sense to express areas where it would for me it's a challenge but I think in doing that and having that conversation I think that will be okay great what was that we actually have to be brave enough to just have a conversation to begin and give each other room to make mistakes so often I think the problem with this is that we don't give people room to make mistakes no one's going to be perfect going to make mistakes and %HESITATION I think that'll get pushed back at someone else like it he tried there's are damned if they do they're damned if they don't so why pardon and it feels that I've seen it mostly on Twitter for people's responses can be and century you know they're explosive amount doesn't help when somebody's genuinely go and %HESITATION I've just heard about this what's going on and they want to learn and I think people should be supported and learning a night completely understands people's frustration with well it's not my job to educate you he you know I'm exhausted as a woman I've done not hello and I think you know it I've had experiences that may be you know at least call can't say what a black person may have experienced space oppression in certain circumstances so it hasn't happened to me as a white person but it something similar happened to me as a woman for example your accent test them you know I'm a northern Irish person in England so I I get bother if I open my mice you know so it might be small but I understand some things and I think when you can appeal to someone's understanding is you're talking about aids but it's having the environment that's safe enough to do that and I think social media has not helped in a way and it had a cage help it has to call raising to help because it has the power to create a lot of the problems in the first and I think you know and heart X. lights how far we have actually come in we haven't come far enough of course but we have come quite far and you're seeing big cultural institutions began to acknowledge their colonial past sins just be blown to bits because at the time from Asian I suppose coming back circled say Dada you know which information these things happen you know and if we don't say yes these things happens because we're not gonna get anywhere for everybody just because Bob so sorry here some money to make up for what your ancestors suffers you know it's not really going to be helpful but if we go this happens I'm get educated and that's try to do better for Austin for future generation I mean that's kind of high I feel about it I don't know what you're feeling about it as yeah I I agree I mean he recently come to the conclusion that yes we want our governments are our institutions or companies to have a bigger role but until that happens it's really important for us to embrace what we can control you should influence and if I'm able to work with %HESITATION speech to or one person two people have at least done what's within my power to do I may not be a big network but the network that I do have I can make an impact on I think it's good started taking perspective more it would really be helpful in understanding it I go back to my mother my grandmother you know certainly now that I'm an adult so why is right my mom used to always say to my grandmother deal with people where they are not where you want them to be of that section and it's it's something that's really hard but it I find myself having to remind myself of that not everyone is where you think they should be or not everybody's had the experience or the information that you do so instead of trying to shun them for not being where you are I understand that we deal with them where they are if they don't know it's okay to say I'm not in a place where I can educate your top my top but I'll tell you how I learned about your culture and maybe you can do the same right and leave it at that it's a way to allow them to make a mistake if it allowed them to me to ask that question but it also doesn't penalize him for having to ask a question and trying to learn yeah that's an excellent point I think that's because not everybody has the privilege of education so they might have privileges and they'll resent those things being called privileges because they don't feel very privileged and so I just say you know you have to make them on on where they are at that moment you know what's going on in their life they don't have the vocabulary that some of the rest of this might have because we are actively can shaming knowledge on these things and trying to just reprogram the brand I'm not sort of thing because we all have our prejudices we all grow up by Sam and we all think of some other kind of person as the enemy and it's a long reconditioning and read learning things and I'm learning things say wise up from not go north and holy and have either just tryin I'm rosary life the same as we are so some ready wonderful quite fair and I think you know that's a really really important one is the scale just be kind to yourself and if you can just talk to one person and say them why did you why did you do that are you homophobic you know just kind it gently talk to somebody you care by I know we a year say F. R. sehr and just have a child to buy what was out on the bike why did you show I thought at that person %HESITATION you know going on there yeah and just hear the story and then realized that a lot of the time it's something going on within themselves so they're angry if I eat and not necessarily the stranger exists over there exactly and I think it's it's interesting because that's where I am well not recently but I just over my life I increasingly see the power of media and having that conversation as well because a lot of times you may not have exposure to set group right that you don't understand them so you don't have anyone to refer back to or even to talk to and I remember I I was living in but when I lived in Spain it happened a little bit when I was in South America that was particularly poignant where I have a friend and I were going to subway we were going to meet some friends of his and this gentleman sat across from us and he heard us speaking writing me never in Chile were all speaking Spanish our actions were in Chile and %HESITATION so my friends from Porto Rico and I'm from LA but both have very Caribbean accent so he stopped us and he asked where you guys from and it's over from support returning to Los Angeles there's no way you can get from a senseless are you from Brazil sounds yes or no you're not white so where are you from leaving where is your family from and I told my parents are also born in Los Angeles and right at least one of my grandparents was but they're all just from Los Angeles and she kept saying nope that can't be right and she stayed on the subway he passed to stop state on the subway really and then we got off the subway or walking across a bunch he followed us and asking no you can't I've never seen a black person from Los Angeles they're surfers and their yeah all of these things you're not a basketball player are you around for them no I'm not actually sure business school both of them no one I'm from Los Angeles thank you must be games I've seen Danish people on TV you were black so you must be a he just kept going to everywhere he seen black people can be from African Jamaican and no I'm not in all his references are from what he'd seen in media and I realize that several times I have that sort of experience for people equate to what they see on television or radio station on social media and they assume this must be the world and so I started doing some research on just media in general and from its inception radio TV and newspaper media industry has been very self aware of it influence you get half over diversity and how people perceive each other and very pointedly has chosen not to or do you do it in a way that's divisive but gets industry more modern their riveting studies from even just the thirties and the forties are around yeah and in doing that I realized that while a lot of people think it's just hard it's just you know entertainment but actually it does more than not because it does create a cultural and societal reference point for people yeah I think that's important and it allows us to have some of these conversations about actually having them sometimes not so interesting that's just reminded me that because that you know I grew up in at an incredibly white yes and it was during that conflict in Northern Ireland as well so there was very little migration actually coming in well any that there was and the ninety days Hong Kong was still still belongs to Britain says Hong Kong but other than that you didn't really see very often unless it was a soldier or something you didn't really see but he did sometimes but very very rarely %HESITATION so I was very naive and and I probably had a lot of those beliefs says similar to that man I don't think I'd have stocks somebody say makes yeah I just remember one of my favorite films when I was a teenager it was empire records and it saddens go and then I grew up on a read loads of stuff at night watches his things I read those are things that are set and some friends asco and it's clear capital there's loads of different kinds of communities they're slot since led the team depot there's loads of African Americans there and then you go back to the sound and you go where's all that gay and not to white people all white kids had %HESITATION normative quite rich my name gosh and this is the nineties you know this is a boss like you know the fifties or anything I mean their sons in the fifties and you've got more African American characters in yesterday and they kneel roles but they're they're me and it was quite a shock and also meant so much to me as a as a teenager and then learning a bite there ray ensure that was going on and and maybe psych class and allowing kids like me elsewhere in the world to grow up believing that San Francisco was just fell of white people that is a real problem and it has been quite a shock when you do you learn about those things and not everybody does learn those things I don't you know I did a film degree so you know I I started to learn about those things but most people here generally aren't going to be so not so interesting that example but that sounds actually quite scary and I think that's where the idea of you for me at least starting to realize that there are certain privileges that I have right it's heteronormative male going someplace with a friend some guy following us not not much of a threat there two of us and one of you and so physically we don't have that fear of him attacking right and if you did they're still two of us to just one okay so there's something different I mean it was night or another country and I doubt I did never crossed my mind right I just thought he was like a sliding and knowing and I did you go away we're gonna go visit some friends and even though the last episode of professional confession I spoke about that a little bit where I realized I had actually been sort of on the receiving end of discrimination and completely threw me for a loop because it came from a woman Jewish woman and it's not a place right specter just yet and it's not a wall that I realized I found myself in the thought is that you know well I am a black males of course that was going to be the area where I would get discrimination but using the mail is on the part of it with a discrimination complaint with the black and so this time it wasn't a black man is described it was not something that should interfere with it said we need to realize that I had to have some level of privilege because I've never had that experience I'm used to I can hear certain questions right I can do something and it's never been a I've never had anyone talk about how it worked these men are useless or like you can't really trust them so having that experience was really useful in making me even more empathetic but also realizing that I can't clean the victim there all the time right there even in being a black male I still have because I'm male their rooms in conversations that I've brought into that women don't get pulled into and so coming to that conclusion was actually it was kind of a challenge to be Frank I couldn't say that oh no no no no but I'm always with the idea of intersectional there are multiple societal factors at play really did stand out so I am not even creating tech which end users and a series of recruiting I want to make sure that not being so full of hubris and the notion I can tell every story and really allow someone else to tell their own story right because it my perspective on it is my perspective but it may not be accurate do more harm than good but I really value tie lessons about episodes of professional confessions and I really value G. being so open because I don't think that's an easy thing for a man to talk about actually because it's something I have encountered I am have a former life as an academic and thought kind of delaying is quite right and a lot of institutions the worst Belize I've had to have been women and that's the sort of people he not and I'm malicious way I don't think they even realize they're doing a lot of the time but the the latter up after them because I think well and I try to get this taken away from the night and I can't help anybody else up because then they'll be better to me and you know so it's IBM started again but I really value to talking about that because I witnessed it happening she male colleagues by the CM senior women colleagues who were J. E. repelling me the repelling man who were my peers as well I think unless we talk about these things and an open way on is difficult and it's difficult for some people they hear a smile next you know I find it really difficult because you know sacrificed feminism you're not supposed to be negative about women but actually there's a lot of women night they're here not feminists even if they think they are you know and your sexuality again the ex what flavor is your M. S. M. and unfortunately I mean I can't speak said the individual that you're talking about I don't know what their context as but I have been quite church women who think that the way to even things always is to J. St man today Walkman have historically been doing to women all this time and now some high balance it all right but it was like you mentioned earlier you just become a carbon copy of the oppressor you know each just may fade and spot Preston he's a processor and that's not helping anyone I really valued you going through your own story and being ready open it but I think that's ready for yes an important and hopefully will encourage other people to do the same thank you know that that means a lot because honestly I I spoke to your team and I was really nervous about releasing that episode it's a really personal experience first and I also didn't want to come across isn't he being negative toward women in two minutes okay that wasn't the intention it was really easy for me to highlight that it helped make me more empathetic and I realized that in that situation there are temporary privilege but I also realized that not everyone is immune from bias sees and prejudice that I really wanted to communicate that and hopes I was really glad to get a positive response from it because I was so nervous okay okay I'm going to publish but it turned out well so I'm not actually I figured it was something that could hopefully help someone else yeah I think so I definitely got a lot I'd it's listening takes I recognized so much of what you were talking about H. me whether they ever hear it or not but I know if individual man that I'm friends waste you would benefit from this things yet so I'm going to pass it on you know just in case yes at con even if it's just you're not alone man you know this is happening to other people yeah thank you that I I think it's it's important I mean so much of the work is sadly just starting the conversation brought to light now and no one knows and I think the one good thing that happened with the pandemic and Andy ups follow black lives matter which has been around for awhile or certainly the people felt empowered to verbalize to express things that have been sort of laid under the surface for so long and they felt that they were just needs to suffer in silence and deal with it because that's just the way of the world and then once people started expressing and sharing it realized that it wasn't just in the world there are other people sitting and suffer in silence as well with a slightly different circumstance they were also doing it so it brings it back to the highlighting the fact that there are differences yes what you need at the end of the day that the commonality of the human experience as we have in the outnumber those those differences that we've been focusing on yeah sure well demand I'm wary of keeping a much longer and %HESITATION you've been so wonderful can you point people towards where to find out more about you eight website socials that sort of thing yes definitely %HESITATION so you can go to Prometheus digital studio dot com and we have a drop down menu for contents you can hear both of our podcasts that are active right now digital compendium podcast that's our our brand but you'll see tech which and professional compassion those in that you are working on and it will be added to that where you can find us on Instagram and Facebook digital underscore compendium or Prometheus digital either one is great and feel free to reach out to this messages we reply love to have conversations with people I think it really helps keep us grounded and we don't get too full of ourselves and plus it's fun to learn from other people well I really hope we can keep in touch I just figured I fear any advance speaking CA and I really enjoyed your company I'd love to hear more about your life in Chile I'm a little bit faster generate love to go there some day research it was fun it was really really great we should definitely do something about that and I I was actually working in media there and I ended up somehow on a news talk shows when I was there we were we were touring and TV station and they ended up pulling my classmates on air and here is it was really funny but yeah there's definitely a lot of media interesting yes okay thanks so much demand aspen just sum up that pleasure thank you so much for everything you're doing thank you so much for having me Paul I really appreciate that this is a great conversation hopefully we can reach and we'll try to get in sooner I love that you're welcome back anytime and you get your other podcasts fired up let's have a big chunk is definitely definitely thank you so much

Audiovisual Cultures 100 – Audio Production with Beau L’Amour 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 it’s great to be with you for another audio visual cultures i’m paula blair and we’re looking mainly today audio production and we might get into some other areas with my very special guest beau lamour i am really excited bo to have you on the show today and you to hear all about your amazing career that you’re having and have had and will continue to have in many different areas um but but i think most uh most prominently in audio drama production um so boa very warm welcome to you thank you very much so how are you doing today are you having a hot one over in la today it’s gonna get there it was it was pretty it was pretty warm here where where i am yesterday about 90. so uh that’s not bad it has to get i grew up in the uh when i was very young i spent a lot of time in the um coachella valley down in palm springs so it takes a lot of heat to make me unhappy okay that’s really cool to know um brilliant well thank you so much for for joining me today and we’ve got quite a big time difference so i’m really grateful for you accommodating that as well um so bo would you be happy to give us a bit of an overview on your work so far your career because you’ve done loads of different things but would you be happy to just give us a few pointers um i started out wanting to be a filmmaker um i went to the california institute of the arts i studied film uh with alexander mckendrick who is a uh uh you know a scotsman and uh was a terrific teacher a bit hard to take personally but he was uh he was an amazing amazing teacher and so he sort of he sort of gave me a grounding in traditional traditional film and i also studied with there with ed emsweller who was actually the man who invented um digital cinema he did the first piece of digital animation ever in the world and um and so uh i got out of cal arts i went to work in the film business i have worked intermittently in the film business over over many years um in the mid-1980s this is a few years after i got out of school uh then i have to back up a little bit my father is uh at least in the united states a very well-known novelist he passed away about 30 years ago but he wrote 90 novels and about 200 short stories and in the mid 1980s when he was still alive uh his publisher bantam books which is now penguin random house started a program of doing audio publishing and dad was always very popular and uh bantam like to kind of practice on things or experiment utilizing his work and his fan base because they always knew they wouldn’t fail too horribly um if they if they went out to those fans they would get a good trial run on whatever they did and so they decided they wanted to start with their audio publishing program um using his material and he was a little bit reticent and they wanted to start small so they wanted to start with short stories and he sort of said well my old short stories are not maybe not my best foot forward and uh what do you think if we created a little more production value than just that and did them like uh like old-time radio drama and they liked that idea and we went through a certain amount of teething problems when they first started off they were just going to take a story and being a publisher they were very literal about their literature and they just wanted to take a story and uh you know take each line from the story and assign a character’s line you know to that character and then any narration was assigned to the narrator and they did a couple of those as sort of a beta test and when my father heard them he wasn’t very happy with it he came to me and he said you know i don’t think they’ve got very good actors and would you go find out go to new york find out what’s going on see if you can get better actors well i went to new york and i found out what was going on and um i realized that the actors were terrific i mean a lot of them are people that you see in movies every day these days you know they were just starting their career in those days doing uh broadway or advertising or whatever and they would come in and do our our shows but what was happening was is the the people who are doing it at the order of of the publisher were just transcribing the story and prose is not drama and so we had to create you know we had to create scripts with scenes that actors could play they could actually dig their teeth into and do their job in prose if you write every line of dialogue it’s incredibly boring um on the other hand in drama you have to have every line of dialogue because the actor sort of stair steps their way into their dramatic performance their their the moments build based on what the lines and the intentions are and so uh i started writing scripts and i went out to ucla and a couple of other theater groups around los angeles and i collected a kind of a cadre of writers and uh we we all started creating audio scripts which none of us really knew how to do we were all film and theater people and and so we we kind of figured it out as we went along and ultimately we did about 60 plus um dramatized audios the early ones we did were about an hour so there were 60 page scripts that ran ran an hour we produced six of those a year for quite a few years and uh then the program slowly started scaling down but as it did i loving to do it produced a few more shows that were uh two and three hours long and were when i we did those especially the early shows we did them in a very kind of old-time radio format so the actors were all there at the same time the show was recorded pretty much in order there was a sound effects man who came in with a whole bunch of great old vintage sort of sound effects props and he had he had this vest that he had all kinds of stuff hanging from and he used coconuts for horse hooves and he was quite good at it they were it was remarkably convincing sometimes and um and all that stuff was recorded all at the same time and then it was cut uh you know quite because a lot of it was on one track you couldn’t do an awful lot of editing and in a scene there might be two or three edits sort of jumping from one take or another that were one was better than another and um and then throughout that program and definitely those last two long shows um i produced some shows with my own group of people on the west coast and we worked very much more like a film and this is more of what we’ll be talking about as we go along um we worked much more like a film production so uh every actor had their own track we did a lot of cutting the sound effects were all done in post-production and generally in the in the field was really you know with the real things and um and so it was much more like doing the uh the post-production on a movie because that’s what we knew how to do and um and so the last show that we did was in 2015. it was called the diamond of giroux and uh i i don’t know that they’ll be um anymore i’ve kind of moved on to other things but i’m more than happy to tell anyone anything i know at any time brilliant that’s amazing thank you yeah it’s really fascinating i was reading on the website to say uh you know that background of um getting started from your father’s work that’s just so fascinating um and either just eventually there becomes a blend when you’re editing so much to the extent that you’re actually becoming a co-author and you how was that experience i mean it must have been a lot to carry personally but also you know um you know professionally what’s that done for you as well do you think well particularly doing this in the audio was just an amazing training ground um and it it allowed me to look at a story and kind of what i i’m an old hot rodder so i say like lift up the hood and see what’s see what’s actually underneath underneath there and you know sometimes a story is uh not necessarily what the audience or the author thinks it is the wonderful thing about pros is that everybody experiences it’s just code you know it’s just letters of the alphabet and everyone experiences it differently um i’ve even caught myself i this is a remarkable thing about reading prose but i’m going to use an example about script writing i’ve even caught myself working on movie scripts where i realized that in my imagination a character entered a building that looked one way but when they were exiting in the building it looked a different way in my imagination this isn’t really coming across in the script but i would catch myself doing that and i’ll go oh my gosh you know if i’m doing that with my own work how in the world are different people taking prose writing and interpreting it differently and so the wonderful thing about reading a novel or a short story is you the reader turn it into the ultimate experience for you those characters look and act the way that your subconscious would like them to those locations look the way your subconscious would like them to and as soon as you start taking that stuff more literally so the next step literally would be like an audio drama the step after that would be a movie so in one where you hear it the other one where you hear it and see it and the director and everybody engaged in the production um starts locking down what those imaginary experiences are that changes the story quite a bit for a lot of people and of course successful filmmakers successful directors successful writers in those other areas the reason they’re successful is they find a way of creating the thing that is most palatable to most people when they interpret that experience um and so you know when you lift up the hood on a story it’s um i was working on a a mini series adaptation for one of my dad’s novels that was never made but it i it had been this wonderful adventure story kind of kipling-esque of a young kid in the american west and he eventually goes to europe and then comes home it was a wonderful story but i realized it starts off with his mother abandoning him his mother is a prostitute in the west and she abandons him to sort of seek her fortune in other things she can’t have a kid hanging around okay and he’s he’s fobbed off on this gambler who becomes sort of a pseudo father for him and later it turns out that his his real father has left him some things and by the end of the story the mother who abandoned him is now relatively wealthy and successful and but she’s trying to get this stuff that the father left him from him and the gambler um is a man who’s doesn’t trust anyone and he has only very limited relationships with women and things like this and i i just realized oh my god this is all about the relationship of the women this is all about the impact of all of these different kinds of women on these on these people and um ultimately the young hero meets this woman who’s very very dynamic and a little bit of a tomboy you know she’s exactly the opposite of her kind of of his kind of femme fatale mother and um i don’t think my father ever realized that it was all about sort of looking at all these different incarnations of what a female character could be but that’s what it is and you don’t really have a choice on the first page his mother abandons him okay it’s gonna be about his mother okay you know it’s just that’s it and um and so you when you start taking what’s in a story uh literally and like instead of like looking at the individual characters in the individual sentences if you take the individual individual actions seriously and take them as the code um which is what you have to do in drama um it definitely leads you to think about stories in a different way that’s so fascinating um just those the the machinations of storytelling like um how those how you see how the same story then crosses different media that’s really fascinating when you start to adapt it so it’s really interesting that you’re talking about realizing what the story actually is not just the narrative not just the plot but what the story is and what story is being told but then it’s translating it across you know from a novel to as a teleplay you uh an audio production that sort of thing so you must have tremendous experience now in that adaptation process and um is that something you’d like to talk about a bit as well you know just um absolutely i mean i certainly haven’t done this as much as some you know hopefully you’ll be able to recruit some wonderful executive producer you know for television or something like that and get somebody who’s really had an experience you know had the experience of doing it over and over i’ve written screenplays i’ve produced movies but i mean at a very minimal level and you know what you do have on your hands today with me is somebody who’s thought about it a lot and thought about it very personally because i’m working with my father’s work and so my approach is always one of gotta make this work but also got to be respectful um you know it’s not just another job so there’s a lot to get into there and um you know something we thought we might talk about as well is writing specifically for audio drama and how that differs from writing for say live action television or film or writing for uh new writing for print production you know and that sort of thing so is there are there things that you’ve learned in writing for audio so we we got some hints of some things you know and thinking about sound design and where that might come in and how actors need to speak and maybe interact with each other it’s it’s different um are there any things is there anything there that you think might be quite useful for people i’m not sure because i don’t think there are tremendous differences okay now let me explain that a little bit sure i started out looking at film i started out studying film but i became a relatively good writer doing audios and one of the things that the audios forced me to do was to really really work with the characters and uh work work everything out through characterization and so there is nothing wrong with that in film there is nothing in that that you shouldn’t be doing in film it just audio forced me away from what at the time was a a skill set of visual storytelling and and forced me to go somewhere else so i actually think that the two things are quite complimentary um obviously you you know you want to do as much interaction in character interplay in audio you know as you can and audio always has the problem of portraying action so i’m just gonna i’m gonna back up a little bit we started as i said just a few moments ago transcribing short stories so that meant we started the process even though we changed things very much along the way we started the process using a narrator um there are lots of people who do audio production who think using a narrator is cheating and that the entire story should be played out in in dialogue um i find that to be one of two things either incredibly hard and i have only been able in my own writing i’ve only been able to kind of do it once okay or it’s incredibly bad so you know the dialogue is always trying to tell the audience what they ought to be seeing and that puts an incredible amount of i keep saying incredible but that keeps putting a lot of emphasis on things that are other than the characterization the characters all have this second agenda which is the writer’s agenda which is to tell you what they ought to be seeing i hate the writer’s agenda if you see the writer’s agenda in the writing i think it stinks and um i all i want to do is see that you see what the character wants and that’s it and so the easiest way of doing that is to remove the writer’s agenda completely and just give it to a narrator okay so i have worked with i did one story where none of the scenes had a narrator um but there was a narrator that came on between certain scenes that was kind of like a historian and he kind of kind of got you to the next place where you could experience the next scene or the next series of scenes so he he bridged those gaps and i think there might have been one or two sentences of this is what you’re seeing in that in that whole show and uh that was about as good as i’ve ever done now granted i’m also working with westerns and adventure stories and all kinds of things that have to do with the visual physical physical world so there are plenty of other options in audio you know for different kinds of stories that might be less narrator specific um then i did a show that was a first person narrator and i really liked doing this a lot and so it was kind of a it was kind of a audio noir or you know roma noir story about a guy who gets himself in all kinds of trouble you could kind of see it as a minor alfred hitchcock movie or something like that and in that case the main character the protagonist or sort of anti-hero character is telling you the story but the way it was written and the way it was played it’s an excuse okay i’m going to tell you this story you really have to understand i’m not a bad guy okay this is this is this is what happened okay and so the narrator is all uh you know basically he’s telling you this story and all the scenes are flashbacks or flash into the thing that he’s telling you and and he’s trying to express himself and explain himself and then we did uh we did a i did another one that was kind of a hybrid and that was like uh a narrator that told you the action that was going on in the story but was often also kind of the historical guy and those sections were kind of in a very sort of 19th century language um and um and then i’ve done just a whole bunch of them that were kind of traditional traditional narrator and you always try and find a voice for the narrator that isn’t just the facts um but so the you know a difference from film is you mess around with a narrator a bit like a novel and in fact i think in a novel a lot of times i probably respect the sort of novelist like my dad who got out of the way of his audience and just gave you it was quite minimalist and not trying to push a bunch of style down your throat the idea was that his voice would disappear into your imagination and um when you’re doing an audio that doesn’t really work all that well and so sometimes having a particular goal for the narrator a particular way that the narrator presents information is important it’s also very important i’m going to jump around a little bit here but it’s also very important for directing narrators because directing narration is awful directing an actor you know you can say you know he’s talking about something else but you can say get her to give you the shoes you know and that’s his subtext and that’s his doable action that’s what he’s trying to do and so the actor’s like oh okay whatever i’m doing i’m trying to get her to give me the shoes um it’s really hard to come up with that kind of stuff for a narrator you know you’re basically saying tell the story well duh the guy knows that having a particular style or like with the first person narrator you know um explain yourself you know make people understand that you’re not a bad guy all right well that helps a lot when you’re working with a narrator so audio can have a little more of a narrator type thing audio might work out more things in scenes that have dialogue than not but they’re still they’re pretty similar i’d say i bring a lot of my audio skills to film and uh you know maybe that’s one of the reasons i haven’t worked in film all that much i don’t know but there you go yeah uh it’s so interesting um hearing your thoughts on on the narrator um and narrative point of view because i think certainly in film even when there is no literal narrator of the film there is an implied narrator in the film itself you know so like you were saying it’s in the visual aspects it’s how a certain scene is framed you know how yeah you know how the actors are blocks or whatever you how it’s lit all of these things can communicate what point of view an implied narrator is coming from and so all of the things that you’re saying there about how to get that into audio production when it’s things you can’t see but you’re trying to put it in the mind’s eye say of the listener that’s really really fascinating so um you know it’d be quite interesting to try and probe that a little bit more if we can if we can dig in it but we might get there through some other ways as well well the first thing that popped into mind just as you were saying that doesn’t have anything to do with my work and i do a film and i was thinking about well so how does that work and the first thing that i thought of was horror movies and horror movies are uh an interesting point of view they they alternate between a voyeurs point of view which is quite pulled back okay so that you know a little more than the characters and then of course if something’s going to scare you you jump into the character’s point of view um but uh that was the only thing that just popped into my mind as you were as you were talking and uh and please ask me some questions yeah no it’s a useful example i think um so i mean i suppose then it’s um as you were saying when you’re trying to get actors to maybe convey it maybe in the way that they say things or the way they’re carrying their voice for example um you know so then you know it’s those directing techniques because you’ve written undirected for quite a few audio productions together and you know that communication with actors you know how do you how do you decide right this is how i want you to set the line or you is there i suppose like with any kind of production is there a is there a dialogue then between you and the actors of you how do they think their character should be and how much autonomy do they have and is it a negotiation between you all or do you have a very set vision you know how does that work when you’re working with them okay so first of all that starts with writing and one of the things one of the things that doing the audios allowed me to learn one of the just incredible gifts in my life was that i could take a script um to in the in the early days i could take a script to new york i could watch 60 or 80 actors audition on scenes from that script and then i and then the script would be produced but watching a whole bunch of different actors play the same scenes was incredibly educational and the first thing that i realized was if you hand a scene to 60 actors and 45 or 50 of them do it poorly it’s not them it’s you and you need to write a better seat okay you need to make their intentions clearer in their actions and their lines you need to make the words more purely appropriate to their character and you need to give them the a logical build from one emotional moment to the next and um and then if you can get 45 or 50 of them to do it you know it’s never going to be your ultimate expectation but if you can get 45 or 50 of them to do it and you’re sitting there going huh okay you know if we printed that if that was if that was what we ended up with i could live with that and then as a writer you did your work so the first thing to do is direct through good writing and um that means the director has to do less and less once i and then you’re and then you’re casting and so the next the next step of directing is is picking who those actors are going to be and i like to pick interesting people luckily you know we’ve always had a wide assortment of people that we could cast i live in los angeles the the last show that we did we cast um you know through the internet which i hadn’t done before and um it was we had 2500 submissions and i mean you know we we ended up reading 400 people and it took a week it was harder than doing the show um and uh i you know i look for actors that have an imagination when you when you watch them doing what they’re doing is like is there some sense that they actually see or feel or imagine in the environment that they’re in um and actors that can work in front of a microphone but they still can use they still use their body they still you see muscles firing you see things like that because this uh an actor organizes a lot i mean unconsciously an actor organizes a lot of their thoughts and their feelings and how they work on the character by how they move and when we’re doing audio there’s almost no blocking and so uh they you you strip away this incredibly valuable way of remembering what you want to do with a scene and knowing what your intention is and things like this the the blocking is a mnemonic for for all that stuff and and so you’re going to force them to work in front of a microphone i like to give them a lot more room to move around than i used to but pretend we’re working just in front of a microphone and so when you see you know when the uh you know when the heroine of the story says no wait and then the idea in the story is that she mounts up her horse and you know you you’re looking at the back of the actress and you see the muscles in her back like twitch and her leg move a little bit and stuff like that it’s like oh yeah that’s the one you want you know it’s like because she’s getting on that horse um you know you look for people that have a very vibrant imagination um i also just tend to look for people who are fun fun to work with because i’m gonna have to work for with them for a day or a week or whatever i’m gonna do and it shouldn’t be boring and it would be nice if you know maybe i was friends with them for some time to come and uh there’s just you know there’s just things like that i tend to look for people who speak multiple languages don’t know why they just tend to be interesting people and they’ve got uh you know like that uh like that wonderful science fiction film that came out a couple years ago where the language like reprograms your sense of time okay

languages do uh program different things in your mind and so i kind of look for that although i have no real good explanation for why i like that and um if an actor is a good actor i mean just coming back to one of the earlier things if an actor is a good actor and you see on their resume that they have and of course resumes are padded with all kinds of idiotic stuff but you you see and can’t believe um on their resume that they uh that they have a background in dance or martial arts or or something like that those are also again you wouldn’t think of that for audio necessarily but the thing in my interpretation of it um you you don’t actually go away from the physical because you’re not utilizing it you go deep into the physical because you can’t do as much with it and and so so the next step to directing would be would be getting a good getting a good cast and getting people that when they came in seem to have they seem to understand the character or to actually just be that person um once i’m in the studio uh i don’t talk to now prior to going in the studio i’ll take my script and uh every single line and every single intention in the script i go to the back of the previous page and i write down the doable actions okay so this is sandy meisner acting 101 okay so i studied acting for a long long time i’m a terrible actor it doesn’t mean i don’t i don’t know what the actors are doing and uh i write down you know i think like okay so what is the actor trying to accomplish in the scene okay does that change at some point and then with every line how is that line attempting what exactly is it doing to attempt to get to that goal okay and i write that down and i write down any subtext that i can think of um and i don’t talk to the actor about this but if they start to get lost i can look at that line just track right over and go do this you know like i was saying get her to give you the shoes whatever whatever it is and um uh and then we don’t do any rehearsal or anything like that because things have changed a little bit but after a phono code we were always union productions so after phono code tells you that your rehearsal time costs the same as your recording time and so my feeling is i’m just a raw material guy all i want i want to get as many takes as i can i want to get as many interpretations as i can i do a ton of stuff in the editing room and so my feeling was it we couldn’t afford to do enough rehearsal to make rehearsal worthwhile so my feeling is is we just we go in the studio and we i just let it rip now once in a while the act sometimes the actor will sort of say you know what’s my general background what am i what am i doing i had uh i did one uh show with a really wonderful actor who’s i think he went on to teach at yale or something like that um and you know he said so you know what’s the background of my character and i said well you know i i cast you intentionally like really well this guy so this story takes place during the 1880s but this is an older man who is a who was a mountain man i go you you know um you’re an old hippie you know you’re a transcendentalist you know kind of walden pond guy who went west and lived with the indians and things like this and so you know he’s you but if you look at the generations if you go back and track the history of it there were people like that and they were that same generation in a previous incarnation you know and so in that case i was sort of telling him how i wanted him to approach the character but i was also just saying you know i cast you right you don’t even have to approach the character you are that guy um and uh so sometimes you have a conversation like that uh which is which is useful but a lot of times i won’t you know i won’t talk to them too much about it other than to other than to make them feel better about that kind of stuff if i’ve done my job right and then you know we’ll record a few and a lot of times so i also like writing scenes with three four five six seven characters um this is kind of the super bowl of writing two characters is easy um the more characters up to a point the more characters uh the more productive a scene can be and the more quickly it can move through information so if you have two characters and they have to emotionally stair step to get to a particular emotional point what can happen if you have three characters is one character goes here another character goes here the third character goes here okay and then whoa you’re already up there you know and um and so having a bunch of characters is a riot but it’s it’s hard to manage as a traffic pattern with actors and as a director and everybody’s got to know what they’re doing and when they break in and when they don’t break in and how they manage it so a lot of times we’ll do a couple of takes just to get things settled that’s the rehearsal um then uh i’ll record a few and i’ll give people pointers a little bit oh i want a little more of this i want a little more of that and um and then i generally will stop recording the whole scene say it’s a three four five page scene and i’ll break it into pieces it might be by the page it might be beats the kind or sections that kind of straddle a beat to kind of begin a little bit before a certain moment in the in the scene and end a little bit afterwards so that we can we know we can cut in there and um and i’ll do those smaller pieces and this is important because the in doing audio the actors we generally work through so many pages in a day that you can’t really ask your actors to memorize the script and you know we’ll do 20 pages a day and uh if you’re doing a movie or a television show or something you might be doing anywhere between 2 and 10 pages a day with 10 pages if you’re doing a 10-page day it’s usually a lot of action and nobody has to remember the lines um so uh

will you know they’re constantly looking down at their script and kind of picking that up and so what happens is in editorial you can hear i can hear i look away from each other it’s like that focus characterization just drops okay when they go back to the page so the idea is get enough takes so that the moment they look at the page is different in as many of the different takes as possible so you’ve got that focus for the whole scene but you got to do a bunch of them to get that um and uh and then a lot of times what i’ll do is i’ll go in and if i’m unhappy with an area uh i will change a few words or i’ll try and find words that the actor is more comfortable with um and uh words that have maybe uh an emotional meaning to that actor that that the original didn’t and i didn’t realize it um and i don’t really recognize these things i just i just change them and see if it works and uh and then when i’m really kind of getting the last few things generally what i’ll do is if i’m working with one actor i’ll push the other actor aside and i’ll play that part and when i when i do that i will give a performance that pushes the actor that i’m working with in certain directions and um you know that will steer their their performance to give me various things but i’m just collecting tons and tons and tons of data i don’t know what i want i don’t know you know if i see something show up in the scene that looks particularly good um i will then start once i’ve got the whole thing i will go and i will chase that thing because it’s like i don’t want to give that just because there was a moment of it doesn’t mean i want to give it up if i’ve still got time on the clock for that scene before i start running over time i’ll go chase that particular idea if i can and and try and get some more of that i also look for if you do a lot of takes like this you know so i mean this a lot of takes might be somewhere between uh six for something that’s fairly simple and i mean in a scene that’s got a lot of people and we break it down into a lot of little sections we might go 70 80 80 takes and um they go very it’s not like a taking film they go very fast i mean everybody ends one and they start another sometimes they’ll just go to the cast i’ll just go go for three we’re just going to roll we’re going to roll right through and you’re just going to finish it and as soon as you want to start again just start again and the the gold that i’m looking for is if i’ve got different versions of the take and it’s good to start with this kind of calmer one but end with this heightened one okay getting the piece that allows me to jump from interpretation to interpretation you know i don’t always get it exactly where i want it but getting it somewhere in there is suit that’s just wonderful when that happens because then i then i have this huge range of stuff that i can activate rather than being locked in in one interpretation um so there that’s wow i’ll shut up for a minute now that’s fascinating um i uh i’m i’m really into uh certain animations and i love watching videos of the voice actors playing their characters because they really do become their character so often you know it’s so cool watching that um so yeah i definitely get where you’re coming from i imagine there must be studies of that where the kineticism and the body actually does come through the voice you know it really must stay so that’s really cool to hear your experience of witnessing that as a director and a writer i’ll give you an example in that area if you’d like sure um uh in an early show that i directed um i had a guy who was going into a building and uh he was supposed to walk up onto the stair of the building and there’s a guy he knows there and he he’s going to walk in the building his motivation to get into the building he walks past the guy and as he walks past the guy who turns to him he goes jim okay and goes in just ign kind of curt acknowledgement oh my god we started recording that it was just like jim jim jim jim and i mean it was it was endless and we never got what we were looking for and finally in desperation i took the actor and i just moved him back about four steps and i just said walk past the microphone and when you get to the microphone just turn to the microphone nod and say jim okay and then keep going okay and bam one take perfect okay so the movement clarified it i also had you know i worked with a wonderful young actor a few years ago who had started out as a dancer and um his performances were kind of dull until he came on to the thing he just he would just like jump up and down in between takes and he which and he wasn’t it wasn’t even movement that had anything to do with the performance he just would kind of jump up and down and sort of dance around and do stuff and then he’d settle down at the microphone and it was great um so the lack of motion in audio is often a problem there was a there was i believe it was a vividly uh uh bolivian director um about 30 or 40 years ago who came to the united states and did some work with lucasfilm but but radio drama work with lucasfilm and he’d done an awful lot of radio in bolivia and he blocked everything like a play and he had big like those big old dolly mounted microphones that would carry the uh that would you know follow the actors around like they were in a movie and um i don’t know that listening to that stuff my memory of that stuff isn’t like oh my gosh those performances were exceptional but it was it was another way of working things out that i think worked very well i think that all brings us really nicely onto thinking about the technology behind all of this and those sorts of techniques where the microphones are almost being used a bit more like cameras or a bit more like um how microphones would follow the actors on the camera in in movie making as well um and i imagine that today it’s much easier to do repeated takes because you’ve got the digital technology and you can do it fairly endlessly whereas before maybe on tape but it’s not just so easy i imagine very similar to how i film it’s not just so easy to do endless texts yeah expensive yeah so um so i was wondering is it because i mean we we got in touch really because i had seen a post of yours on the audio drama hub on facebook and um and a shout out to jack bowman who has been on the podcast before he’s an audio drama producer here in the uk and he he introduced me to that group as well and so that’s why i’ve been seeing all your amazing posts about this and you posted about you know actually innovating certain technologies you know and and coming up with things to solve problems um so i was i’m really very interested to hear more about that you know so it’s not that you’ve been actually developing stories and storytelling and all of those sorts of methods but actually the technology to produce them as well and i’d love to hear more about that if you’re happy too oh yeah i have to say i’m i’m fantastically lucky in that uh i i’m pretty good with the theory of things but not so good with the practice and so i i have um a producer editor who is amazing at figuring out ways of executing the crazy ideas that i come up with and i had he’s passed away a few years ago but i had this wonderful wonderful engineer which you i believe you saw the post on and um and he could just not only was he terrific at regarding things but he could just build devices that i imagined or i needed to have so the particular thing that we were talking about i have to give you a little bit of background so i like working in stereo i like doing as much with the stereo space as i possibly can and um one of the hardest things was to figure you know do i want to block factors around in the stereo space and then somehow block the production or the creation of sound effects in some way that tracks them and when you put all of the stuff in the same recording will like line up and sound like it’s at the same spot this is a nightmare okay and uh very difficult to do and of course the more you utilize the stereo space the more difficult it is and i like to get really clean dialogue tracks i like to not worry about anything but the voices when i’m in the studio that’s the only thing i want to deal with and so uh i ended up you know i record all my voices mono but on individual tracks they can be panned around the stereo proscenium um and placed with both panning and uh you know so panning and volume um and uh and a little bit of reverb to create you know are they further back are they closer to you things like that um but then how to make the sound effects follow them and so i was talking to howard our engineer and there’s some kind of a joke it’s only funny to engineers and i don’t really understand it but they would make this joke about a monophonic pan pot okay meaning some somehow that you would pan something from left to right in mono which of course you can’t do and he i had heard him say that a couple of times and i was like howard um we’ve worked with ms technology which i’ll explain explain in a second and i want you to i want you to build me a monophonic pan-pod and and so he did and

he drove away wow in utah and about three months later he came back with this device okay so this is the panner and over here we’ve got one of the one of the knobs is the volume which you know basically does your in and out and this does your back and forth and okay now i’ll explain how this thing works and we don’t use that any longer that’s old tape analog technology we’ve got our own version in digital in the digital world now so we record our sound effects in a technique that is called ms okay for mid side and in this particular interpretation you have a the mid mic is a cardioid or hypercardioid mic that basically records forward and then you use a figure eight mic which is not a stereo mic but it has a positively and negatively phased lobe that go out to the sides okay and when you interface the mid plus the side and the mid minus the side okay you get left and right in fact almost every microphone that’s out there that allows you to switch how wide the pattern is is an ms is secretly an ms microphone with a switch that either adds more side or subtracts side and um and thus it gives you a narrower view you know for you know not so much side or a wide view for a lot of side and a lot of ms microphones are intended to be decoded at you know into left right stereo at the moment that you’re recording well the thing that i realized i’m not unique in this i’m just cut off from other people in the audio business and so i i feel like these things are my own idea because they are but i’m sure they’re not very unique um uh i’d sort of say well why do code in the field why why decode that at all until the last moment that you have to um just keep it mid-side and then as you turn up and down the side channel you get more or less environment so you can choose the size of the space sort of that you’re not the side of space that you’re in you know it doesn’t make it sound it does make it sound bigger it uh

it doesn’t really make it react like it’s a different sound but you get a you know you get more of it and then uh if you control the volume of the mid channel you get something that seems closer to you or further away from you and then why not put that mid channel on a pan pod okay and now you can pan it back and forth within the within the scene and why not automate that pan pot so that during the scene or in the old days before automation we could hand move the center so that something can actually move during the scene all right so we can kind of automate all these different all these different movements so we began recording our sound effects in mid-side and leaving them that way bringing them into our post-production and now we can we can record every sound effect we wanted just kind of right in front of the microphone and then we could decide where we were going to place it and how it was going to move and do all these other things in post and um and so

we later i mean just to go on one more level we later changed it to what we call mso technique which is mid-side and

i’ve so microphones here so you would take we use these sennheiser mkh uh microphones and so we have the uh the figure eight microphone okay which we would mount in a holder like this and then we have a cardioid microphone which we would mount you know so that the mid the figure eight does the sides and this does the center all right and then we will put those those will be mounted on a on a tripod to record our effects and then mount it down near the ground so it gets a good acoustic coupling with the ground we would have a uh microphone the advantage of an omni-directional microphone is it records a lot lower frequencies if you think of this in this microphone matrix you think about it as a as part of a speaker this is like the microphone for the subwoofer okay it’s like a special low frequency mic or the mic that’s going to record the lowest frequencies you can record for the subwoofer and so we roll off that low mic at about 300 or less and so it’s just just taking in the the lower stuff and the other microphones handle the other things the first time we experimented with that we did a recording of a land rover driving over a kind of a rough road and we were sitting there in our studio and it was like the thing drew drove through the back wall i mean it was amazing having that just a little bit of extra low frequencies it was terrific you know now we’ve got sound effects that we can move around so when i do um you know we do things like we’ll we do all of our foley in the actual environments we don’t use a fully stage so i’m very i’m very lucky my family has a ranch in southwestern colorado and it has uh it has several old houses on it and each one was built at a different time and each one has different floors and different doors and different banisters and things like this and um and so we’ve got all these different floors we can record and things it’s like having a foley stage but it’s all the actual places in actual acoustic environments you’re not having to fake anything it actually sounds like a room um and it’s kind of isolated from that you know you’re not hearing too many other things and and so uh you know we would go in and we would do when we would do foley which is your you know like your footsteps and all these things that are physical handling of things um to get footsteps we would do we would have what we call a foley series and that would be we would do a walk up to the microphone walk away from the microphone stand in front of the microphone walk in place and there are kind of techniques to do this which i won’t get into that’s really key but um you know there’s ways of making it sound better and better we get little this is so useful in creating great performances little adjustment of the feet like a little scratch or a little creak on a board or something like this same thing with a chair if you’re sitting here my chair will make a little bit of noise um if you get the idea that someone moved in their chair you can add that to the performance like maybe they’re a little uncomfortable or maybe they’re getting ready to get up or something like that super super i mean it can make or break an actor’s performance having those wonderful sound effects and so we would just do these various things in front of our microphone array and and then we could place the stuff where we wanted later now in general we would also do things that were not just like right there in front of the mic if we kind of knew that certain things were going to happen and we would use them in a particular way we weren’t going to paint ourselves into a corner um but uh it was an incredibly productive manner you know now we do now we do it all with automation in a digital audio workstation and um uh it it made things you know in the in the midst of a very laborious process it made things go you know very quickly and um ms has been a has been a godsend to us and we figured out some extra ways of using it so that was you know that was one kind of innovative um innovative thing that we did it’s also fascinating just from my film theory background and i you know i i i so often associate things like proximity with camera and lenses and and all that and it’s just so great to learn more about how that works with sound as well it’s so cool well here’s another thing and this gets i know i talk to people in the in the audio drama business about this and it just seems to put them to sleep but it’s so important and it has a lot to do with what you’re talking about um when you’re doing any kind of a recording it’s incredibly important to understand and i learned all of this from working in the film business it’s incredibly important to understand the size of the venue that you’re working in and um in a in a feature film you’re working in a giant venue and you can play the soundtrack very very loud because you’re you’re filling up a big space but because you can play it very loud that also means you can play things very softly because you have this difference because the top goes up so high you get extra bottom you know the bottom is much lower so you get this extra bottom and that gives you a sense of space and depth that when you are working in a smaller venue like all of our stuff is engineered to play well in a car okay so small and kind of a loud environment so we end up compressing things quite a bit so that you can hear the fainter sounds you know and the louder sounds don’t overwhelm you and so knowing the size of your space is is terribly important and um and then choosing a playback volume when you’re editing and mixing and that reflects that space all right so if you’re going to be working in a relatively small space you don’t have a particularly high playback volume what that forces you to do is take all the lower sounds and mix them up hotter so that you can hear them now you’ve got compression without ever using a compressor you know a lot of times we will edit at higher volume and then mix at lower volume and so we have we have a specific volume that we use when we’re editing 79 db at the editor’s years and then we will mix at 77 or so um for the car and so what ends up happening is the the show has this sense of space and particularly like the diamond of jeru takes place in the jungles of borneo and we went to all kinds of trouble to build these really thick environments i mean we probably spent as much time creating the multi-level ambience as we did doing all the sound effects and it was just glorious while we were editing we went to mix it

you know it just became smaller and more you know less good but that’s where our audience is so that’s what we have to do so it is you know it is important to know the size and space that you’re working in just like if you make a feature film you can present some you can present a scene that’s a great deal darker than you can on television because you know that audience is watching it in the dark you know and so any amount of light will be useful if you think somebody’s going to be watching it in a bright living room you have some other things you have to take into consideration it’s the same it’s the same set of problems and it’s worked out the same you know the same way gosh that’s so cool to learn about thank you um great so uh you mentioned there the diamond of jeru and you’ve worked on quite a lot of ones and i guess i gather that was really quite a massive production for you that one yeah yeah and do you want to do do you want to talk a bit about that one um and any of the other work that you’ve been doing because that was something adapted from your father’s work was yeah well you’re going to love this because it’s written it’s right up all of your your theory alleys

the diamond of drew was written in the late 40s or early 50s by my dad it was a short story um he sent it off to his agent who was not able to sell it it wasn’t particularly good certainly not one of his better efforts and just because he was working on other things when it didn’t sell he threw it in a box and it went in the back of a closet and it didn’t get published and after he died we were putting uh i was putting the book of his short stories together and i thought okay i’ll i’ll stick this in the book of short stories i’m not that happy with it i’m not quite sure what i’m going to do and then the editor got back to me and they’ve done what they call cast off on the page the page count and it wasn’t um the book wasn’t long enough and it wasn’t long enough with the diamond really in there and that was the only reason i’d stuck it i was kind of desperate it’s the only reason i’d stuck it in there as i knew i was a little light and so it came back that it wasn’t you know the book wasn’t long enough and i thought okay that i like that story but it really needs some work so i did what we call in the film business a page one re-write and i thought i’m going to take this 20-page short story i’m going to turn it into an page novella and i’m really going to expand on it and you know and uh turn it into what as much that i can make it into the ultimate version of what my dad was trying to what my dad was trying to accomplish i didn’t know anything about borneo i didn’t know anything about this luckily i ran across somebody who knew a bunch and gave me some research things and i was able to you know i was able to pull something together that worked that worked pretty good first person story uh you know kind of uh people going upriver to a diamond prospecting in in borneo a man and his wife doing it sort of for fun and getting in all kinds of trouble and the hero is the guy who kind of has to go after them and save them and uh so there it gets published book comes out it’s relatively popular um a few years later a friend a friend of mine is on the uh he’s on a plane coming back from morocco where he’s looking for um locations for a kind of a biblical movie with and he’s traveling with an executive at uh usa network and they’re talking and in those days usa seemed to have the idea that what they really wanted to do was uh a couple of movies in every genre and so she told my buddy mike joyce uh she said you know we really want to do kind of an indiana jones sort of classic adventure story and and mike was like well i know where to find that so he got off he got off the plane and he called me up and he goes does your dad have anything and after i thought about it and thought about the kind of budgets that they had available and things like that and i came back and i said well the diamond of jeru is probably the one that is most is most reasonable it doesn’t need an awful lot more than sort of jungle and a little town on their on the river and then the big the big problems are taken care of and um so uh we agreed that that we would try and do that and they bought it and and i’m just gonna i’m gonna keep going with this dramatic story here for a second because it’s something you’ll appreciate um this is what breaking into the movie business actually looks like you hear people talking about their br the way they break in and they’re always like saying well i think this particular you hear these stories here in hollywood it’s like this actor is looking for this kind of story or this kind of stuff and that kind of stuff and it’s always third hand and it’s always like the pile of gold at the end of the rainbow it’s always complete complete idiocy um but in this case they bought the thing in late november the entirety of hollywood shuts down between thanksgiving and about a week after new year’s i mean nothing moves okay um there’s no traffic i’m joking but i mean it’s just like nothing goes on and it was just before that and i thought i want to write this thing but you know every network has got their flavor of the month writers and i wasn’t the flavor of the month writer for anybody and so i thought well i know a couple of other things in may i think in june and july of that year there was going to be a

a writer’s strike possibly an actor strike both contracts were coming up and i thought you know if they don’t get this thing made before summer it’s over it’s not going to happen because things that get delayed in hollywood just die and so they bought the dumb thing right at a tricky critical point maybe they shouldn’t have even been acquiring any new material until they knew what was going to be able to happen so there when they come back they’re going to be desperate for a script or they just wasted the option right so i just went crazy and i wrote this script in like a month and turned it in and they were unhappy that one of their producers they you know as soon as they start as soon as the powers that be start to see power congealing in any place other than themselves they’re not very happy with that and so they weren’t very happy with it but they also realized exactly what i had said that that you know they had this looming deadline all right so that’s what breaking in looks like in hollywood recognizing certain conditions that that make you know make your thing work um that are actual conditions that are that are really legitimate and hard not the rumor that somebody might want something like this anyway um you know by april we were making the movie in australia and um it was a lot of fun it was definitely one of the most i’ve only worked on kind of movies of the week which is kind of like the bargain basement of the movie business and um it was definitely the most creative of all of those experiences and it and it was very hard and it was a lot of it was a lot of fun and it was a lot of different it was also as every movie is incredibly disappointing and all kinds of you know terrible things happened to my script and at the same time my script was turned into this this physical reality that was very exciting and and really wonderful and we got done with it and random house was asking me to do one more audio production and i thought well i’m sick of westerns i’ve done you know 59 58 westerns and i want to do something but i want to have a soundscape that is really distinct and you know i started thinking well the mid 20th century in borneo is pretty distinct and and it’s not what i’ve been doing and so uh i rewrote it again now i’m gonna go back and say a couple other things about this when i wrote that when i took the novella and i turned it into a screenplay i went from the first person of the the guide the guy that goes after the man and woman to uh rescue them and i added a bunch of scenes with the man and woman okay so it expanded to this uh to to cover almost in first-person way or at least more closely this second group of characters when i did the audio um i started realizing start realizing i realized halfway through making the movie that uh the borneo native characters are really fascinating and that i had in many ways kind of neglected them and i wanted to spend more time with them and so when i did the audio the story grew again and included the story of those characters to the point where you actually recognize that everything that everybody’s doing hinged off of a particular moment before any of these people ever arrived in borneo that just had to do with the dayak or native characters and um so uh it the story the story grew and encompassed more points of view each time um of course when we got around to making the audio you know we had all kinds of fun because we got to we hired nate we had native guys who came from borneo we had they we had a bunch of other actors also playing uh characters from borneo and the guys who were actually from borneo taught all those guys melee so there’s all kinds of times in the story when they’re talking in melee and so they got like language language school and uh we had all kinds of australian actors and british actors and uh you know it was it was a it was a an accent fest and it was a lot of fun what a story um what journey that one story has had as well it’s amazing like every production format possible yeah yeah but i love that i love that idea that you expanded it and um went in and gave more space to those more native characters and it’s really interesting to see that happening more in general now i think um because uh you know they’ve been so neglected i think just very generally and to to just uh counteract that a bit and give them more space that’s really great to hear um you gave me the web address for all of that so i’m gonna have that in our show notes forever so that people can go and check all of that out because you’ve got really detailed notes on everything it’s a really thorough website for so i really will just encourage yeah a lot of videos a lot of photographs um yeah there’s a lot of material there yeah great so i really urge anybody who’s listening or listening to or watching this go and check that out the diamond of jury it’s really fascinating production story i think um so gosh that’s a lot i feel like i feel like we’re only starting to scratch the surface with everything that we’ve talked about um and i mean i’d really love for for you to come on again sometime and to get into some detail uh on some other things um is there anything that you’re working on at the moment that you would like everybody to know about the thing that’s most exciting that i’m working on at the moment has nothing to do with film or audio um

uh i’m going back into a lot of my dad’s uh materials and i’ve created this program called louis lower series called louis lamour’s lost treasures and so uh we produced um two books uh full of stories that my dad didn’t finish there’s actually a few in there that he did finish but have are unpublished as of today but most of them are are unfinished and i take his notes and his correspondence and other things that i know about what was going on and i try and kind of explain to the reader where this story fit in his career and what he was trying to accomplish what the rest of the story would have been like and uh it’s kind of you know it’s a book for a fan uh of louis lamour to to see all the other kinds of things that he wanted to do in his life because many of these things were genres that he did not uh sell a lot of stories in and things like that um some of them were ideas that he had that were just too weird to you know too wild to sort of actually be able to be something that uh he finished you know the the in any author’s life their most ambitious work is the work they don’t finish because it was too ambitious and uh so there’s a lot of very interesting things in there it’s also uh these books and there’s some other pieces of this which i’ll explain in a second um all of this work is also a pretty good kind of history lesson on uh how writers worked in the paperback book business that you know started just before or during world war ii and it’s still with us but probably hit its peak in the late 80s or early 90s and um so it’s a whole kind of it’s a whole kind of literary era and it’s a it’s a look from the inside from the from an author’s career kind of looking looking out at everything that was going on at that time so the other thing that i’ve done besides these two books of unfinished work is i’ve gone into a bunch of my dad’s older finished novels and done the same thing added this kind of bonus features in the back that talk about the story behind the story what was going on you know i just did one for uh kiowa trail that uh explains that although it never went anywhere as a film that story was actually my dad wrote that for catherine hepburn wow because they had had a long uh kind of acquaintance with one another talking about trying to work in this film and talking about trying to work in that film she even tried to get him involved in writing the sequel to rooster cogburn which was the she did with john wayne in the 70s and um and so they they weren’t close friends but they they knew and respected one another very much and so you know knowing that story is kind of the interesting backstory to kiowa trail and where it came from there’s a another one called caligan which is all about us just driving around the desert looking for the locations you know it’s really it’s really kind of a down and down in the dirt four-wheel drive you know kind of like uh uh investiga location uh expedition um so they’re all different and it’s kind of a almost like a random access uh biography of my father’s um uh professional life it doesn’t go into a lot of personal into a lot of personal details it’s really it’s about the writing it’s about the literary industry and things like that and so that’s the uh i’m hopefully within the next six months or so i’ll kind of wrap that program up i’ve been working on it for about four years and uh and so that’s that’s my my big project for the moment amazing yeah really important to have all that history preserved that’s great fantastic work um bo is there anywhere where people can find more about you on the internet do you have your own website that people can look at i do it’s probably not the greatest thing in the world but bo okay where you can go but just also looking around on and all of its associated there’s a whole kind of constellation of blue more websites and you know that’s the kind of stuff that i’ve been doing for the last 35 years you know well before my dad uh my dad passed away you know i was already kind of uh working on all kinds of stuff around the perimeter of his of his career and uh and so you know that you can get a pretty good idea of the things that i’ve done yeah it seems that you’re very much an archivist as well in the history and you’ve got an awful lot of things going on there i’ve had to become this i didn’t really start out life uh you know um start out life looking to be an archivist i’m sort of uh you know i’m sort of a a motorhead that that ended up getting tossed all of this all of this paperwork and um and so uh you know if i’m if i’m not like got the hood up on my car i’ve got the hood up on all the paperwork yeah this has been so informative and yeah i really hope that we can keep in touch and um i’m i’ve so enjoyed learning so much from you about all of this and i look forward to learning more um i think once you when if you get through your dad’s stuff you’ll have so much more to say about all those technologies and to do that history as well because it’s all so important i think and um it’s part of such a big network of so many things you know it’s it’s really amazing everything that you’ve been working on and it’s been such a pleasure talking to you today a pleasure talking to you if i can ever help you with anything that doesn’t have anything to do with me i’m certainly willing to do that too so well i’m a super nervous at all yeah that’s really generous yeah i’m super super nervous at all less total amateur so take any help that’s offered well you’re doing a great job and it’s amazing through people like you the kind of information that’s getting out into the world it’s really it’s really i mean i wish i was 20 years old and trying to learn everything about all the things that i know a little bit about now because i just can’t even imagine how deep i could go if i you just get on the internet and start following all kinds of different podcasts and stuff oh yeah it’s overwhelming but yes it is it’s important i think all of us are contributing to yeah preserving that logging it and keeping it in posterity hopefully so yeah thank you so so much for steph really enjoyed it

this is a cozy people production with me paula blair the music is common ground by airton used under a 3.0 non-commercial creative commons license and is available at if you’ve enjoyed this episode please give us a good reading subscribe and recommend audiovisual cultures to your friend all of our contact details socials information ways to listen and our mailing list sign up can be found on our website linked in the show notes thank you so much for listening and supporting take care and i’ll catch you next time


Audiovisual Cultures episode 42 – Cinema and Technology with Dr Rebecca Harrison automated transcript

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hello I'm Paula planner and this is audio visual cultures the podcast that explores and examines aspects assigned an image based cultural production on their wider implications I'm thrilled to be joined this time by Dr Rebecca Harrison to talk about her research on technology and sentiment three topics such as coding and the Star Wars franchise and sentiments relationship with real waste thanks to a Petri on members and everybody has been engaging on social media it's a really big help and you're very much appreciate it I'll be back after my chat with her back after his ways you can be part of the conversation and support the continuation of a podcast do you enjoy the discussion very face to be joined by doctor back at Harrison he's doing to say from the university of Glasgow and its lecture and exit theatre film and television film and television studies back it is and you counsel to give a talk by some of your Star Wars research unlike many academic she got many strings to your bow but I think because of your talk maybe we could start with your Star Wars research broadly speaking the stock was project is about hello I'm calling computational cinema so it's about the relationship between the digital and film but rather than thinking about that in a series that takes away I'm thinking more about the relationship between software and the production of software and when it is implemented in the film industry to produce film that is digital and its oncology or digitally set collected in the street however I am doing is thinking about the gendered and raced to production of southwest and the ways that gentamicin forms algorithms coaching programming and what that means for the film industry and what impact it has on the way that we see cinema and how it's presented to this style was makes a really good case study in this project because of its longevity and just how big the franchises and the fact that it's not that you know just at a point in nineteen seventy seven when you get the first wife and graphics appeared in film so it's really the moment of changing all the way up to now and it goes through the cycles of the analog referencing the digital to almost completely digital and then now %HESITATION switching back to this as a kind of tension between the outlook in the ditch to the homes with puppetry making a comeback some of the films are shot on thirty five millimeters I think it is a mix of film and materials science and the digital coming together so it's a very interesting case study for thinking about a lot of these questions and looks at because it sells for thinking about the authorship of them and he gets to make decisions about labor practices and production practices and gender race is seven a lot of comparisons between the original trilogy and then I suppose is the original film which became a trilogy and then the prequels how you did without and then what we're seeing now I assertion status can you preach that's happening with federal Bustin JJ Abrams either parent I leave stands between the technologies and gender politics yeah I mean that's something I'm so pretty just trying to start thinking about and there's no consistency across the sky was franchise at any given time because there's so many power sex and that protects and doing different things but that's definitely patents within the console's moments of the seventies and eighties original trilogy essay using technology in a particular way and the consent of gender race of being soaked about represented in particular like very very different to happen to pretty cool scene in the late nineties and early two thousands of millennial moment which is actually follow us yes that's what I was thinking yeah S. gender race politics in the prequels that just so much worse which says that she quite a lot I think about the culture at the time yes and and that kind of place feminist movement certainly now it's really interesting because I mean it's still a huge kind of major corporation it's Disney company get away from that in terms of politics but they are taking steps to address some of those problems which is why so much of that is the kind of try to find a polite way to talk about the stuff that happens online and the backlash against against having women actually speaking in the cost during the break thing being restrained it does seem like across all of this does Texas the moment even a straight white men are dominating the action still there is something more critical about that happening and I think that that's in part because the Lucasfilm story group which is the in a separate people who control what comes stock was common artists across the franchise they are themselves a from a diverse group of people not another country nights as a recording device solo a Star Wars story and just to try and draw all of those ideas into one thing just one example I'm really terrible with remembering the names of the robots and stuff but you know they're set in the robot and not fully study Phoebe Waller bridge L. three L. three because I was wondering what you what you may have heard because I am worried that maybe there was because she kind of almost starts a feminist uprising that's also a Marxist uprising but I was wondering about the whites robot helps that she has an S. or something a bit racially stereotyping maybe black women that's a really interesting question when I heard about the film when it came out and I'm talking quite a lot about L. three okay my paper today yeah that's fine that card just like totally fascinating particularly because L. three is on my my my all of these questions about gender race %HESITATION coding and programming will come together the bodies in the character I find the racial question above three really difficult I kind of identify L. three as feminists because of the conversation like droid rights and the way that walk she sang about her exes marks on to heaven estimates and I thought the same when I when you see her walking is kind of coded in a racial what however Phoebe Waller bridge's is white and was doing motion capture for the film so she was dressed in a way that we can match and antiseptic yeah this kind of work server presumably unless there's been some kind of significant integration in post production that's mapping on to have movement and I can't tell if that's about our pre conceptions about all kind of racial biases yeah or if it's something that they have deliberately done in film I contel and it's difficult because you're sort of looking at a robot figure that doesn't actually exist and then think about like how to move and what would that look like if you turned it into that shape is quite difficult it's definitely true that is a robot there she looks far more feminized in her appearance than the male robots all masculine yes she's not kind of tiny robots fave moving around in the desert I got frustrated this summer because I thought the more recent films have done a lot of really good work towards moving towards the right direction and that one to me felt like it regressed a bit yeah and also that really kill characters children killed off pretty here today so she's one of them L. three is one of those bonds yeah after an officer and yeah was it finally a woman of color black women he has major speaking role in the style was foam and she said she said and I thought it was a total cop out of a total waste of her character I thought that science that she's really on to use both of them one of the things that struck me as a lying in that film I think it's when they're about to the Castle Rock and learn the millennium falcon and I think it might be palm says we need to break free this is putting us around in circles and I thought it was such a neat way of thinking about what the Disney era film to doing that yeah those that we've kind of moved beginning to move forward with the force awakens to an extent was rogue one the last date I had that kind of incredible female calls even though it was actually on screen as much as you need to remember but then and then we get to set up and then it feels like Disney would play into the kind of white mandali audiences have been critiquing all the other films this was a kind of I don't know if this is the philosophy the feminist joints dies the women of color dyes second medicated for the night yeah really annoying to me I was guided and say in the cinema that's kind of weird and just watch it at home it was frustrating because I didn't think of rule as a film it was really a bad film yeah it was quite enjoyable in lots of ways yeah moments I really liked but I think that's quite close the cool back actually to use the empire strikes back which I re watched recently and there's a moment and not which I never made the connection the full well Landau is the trying to skate cloud city and London was crouching behind one of the guns on the millennium falcon and I'll teach you is moving towards them and like trying to get on the ship amid this he's kind of gone fight this government imperial stormtroopers and shooting at them and it gave it is completely different emotional resonance the case now if using satellites that exact moment happens with L. three running towards many mountain land across behind the guns and then she dies I mean I'm so kind of emotionally becomes meaning of your search to now watch what was the only film which comes later criminology which is the joy of us invest this makes sense to anyone reading it you change that scene and I thought quite a meaningful impact in an interesting way so I think the phone was completely without merit and the way that it sits in the store was kind and it's quite interesting but it totally failed some of its impact thanks but it is just their relationship there was a hint of something towards for months with them I take it that they were making very light that she was convinced that Lando was obsessively in love with her but she was donated its foundry ticket that he really was in love with her I thought that was part of the stereotype of the strong feminists person and she's convinced this mom loves her but actually he's tolerating her I thought maybe it was poking fun that that kind of stereotype yeah I think either way there was quite a bit of sweetness and their relationship hi Bob bunker that was very different from male male boxer yeah one of the still those novels which I'm not my kind of guy to better much as I love the phones they're actually really fascinating is the way that they look develop some of the themes and stories from the phones one of the novels lost shop which is sold as a Han and Lando story and assistance to be about two male characters but it actually really is so much about L. three and it's so it's sad I think it sets something like four years off the return of the Jedi and it takes place in multiple timelines so the case there are these flashbacks to the early period of time L. three features quite heavily hi relationship with Lando and that is quite useful actually and she's given the space to talk about droids ontology and the way that they live in and the fact that they have personalities and and the life and the nature of artificial intelligence and some of the ethics around joined in human interactions it's a really sweet relationship Mr instructive and he kind of really listens to her okay and place one is reflecting on this and is it a kind of sense of partnership between and he follows her lead as much as she follows his and I think this is actually sort of been thinking about this is I mean really just occurred to me in the last day it's a slightly under developed on the plates line of thought but that doesn't seem to be something interesting that style was is doing in its representation of relationships between I'm kind of cutting L. three is a white woman just because a few people that between white women and men of color seven the snorkel S. three various things L. three and under do they end up as a path between them kind of saving the galaxy from being taken over by the sea I found this really tired you know I would love to hear about setting to be reading in he's a great to say save me reading a styles and that was kind of interesting and I was in for that to that kind of not something what they do in rogue one where you have a Latino man in the form of Cassie and %HESITATION tool and the white woman Janice so yeah who was going to route the case from the narrative but I say it's Alex yes it really makes me wonder what they're going to do with rose in episode nine yeah because it seems like following that path it will be a partnership of rain fed which is finally coming full rampant technicality it makes me wonder what they gonna do with various characters and how they gonna create space for her as a woman of color to exist in that Martin and I thought Rosen fender nice partnership with Dave Brady rest off each other nicely and last night she was my favorite character and not have to say I mean obviously the fails for Carrie Fisher throws I just loved her character and I think she must have the most quoted line from that film don't fight what you hate save what you love yeah which you see everywhere slogans and people talking about the franchise and being quoted and cited within not the presence of a secret accounts goes into relationships and between the humans or humanoids on their robot characters that's probably maybe go into much into thinking about the idea of the site work but then it's not really the same effect I think in one of the novels there is such a character who barely features he's described as a site right but it doesn't really address WHYY there are some booksellers as far as I know there are many sites books unless you count Luke and Vader %HESITATION yes it is okay because they have to have a close Emmy favorites I guess actually plays but never describe that way but you don't see that I think because it's hidden under all of those you don't really realize yeah definitely feels quite late on in the franchise he's actually mostly by only I suppose it depends which way round G. V. the chronology of the ads in terms of the release of the film six point light but in terms of the story out cases even I still get totally confused about which time nine AM to I suppose if we're talking about technology and storage we must mention the lightsaber for many reasons the file like object yeah very obvious expandable file like objects on the color schemes read seems to be the bad guys read and call her real world means different things do you think it's coming from the radicals and walks communism is feared us and in the United States because a lot of countries read start positive that's not really thought that much about the colors of the night I think they meant to install was mythology you come to come enjoy a pretty movie SS until you've made your own like safe I think the feeling is that Brady between either we will see it happen I don't think you really see it in the oven she was somewhere between eight and nine have created her lightsaber so it's part of that you know moving from that training typically again that's at I. PhD I guess it's the difference between like studying for a PhD doctor is making your life and I think that they choose that color so I had to do a home have a mug that simple for me that's one of those ones we put the whole turned in the allies favor magically appear and they're actually a surprising array of colors so I think the right ones do tend to be the dockside cactus but there are a couple of them thanks and clamoring the I. have spectrum and notify %HESITATION I've just enjoyed a couple bit to hear once I think being in close proximity with Andre it was going to happen sooner or later that I've walked stole phones I still really don't like the prequels and I go back to them not tried of trying to set up them so much and I just come home and I tried to watch the first one note the headlight kit C. GI animation films as one of the things that the army being vaguely interesting set up actually I think this is I feel like that part of the thinking and being that this kind of expendable falcon Jackson says book by an academic safety plan in which she talks about binary code and the generating of binary code three zeros and ones in which case we think that when and as representing zeros in network intensive thinking like kind of tea Fassel's waiting to be filled and then ones being the kind of masculine phallic objects when you look at the iconography of styles it's really interesting that everything that is round and circle and secular he's a kind of storage device cool contains information can hold something within it so when you look at the desk the last person to talk to you too to record a message that's what kind of a supplement BB eight who has the information contained is secular the death star and the couple was opening the gate and the force awakens is it Starkiller base I was gonna say I'm wrong because it sounds really bad that probably right I think that's what it's called and they contain things within that contains the details within them but everything that's a kind of straight line is something that's kind of phallic amassed a nice income three things and destroys things seem like safe as the digital %HESITATION tena transmitting information to round objects you can I see this kind of weird binary package which is gendered not quite sure I'm going but it's it's kind of you know it's definitely worth thinking about I suppose and thinking about your work more generally than on the relationship between technologies and different apparatuses on sentiment tell us a bit about your retention work on trains yeah it's quite nice to be asked about trying just talks to me about stuff the US to come and get this paper today I said would you like me to talk about railways maternity or to let us talk about styles and Cody Miller Cody stalls speaks with James that project was not dissimilar in its approach and it was thinking about the intersections of different forms of media technology to thinking about right away asmedia and the mediatek spirits of movement I was looking at the period between the period between nineteen ninety five and nineteen forty eight in person and really just exploring how to connect the machines actresses of cinema segmentation to other technologies around them and how they were informed by the other kind of machinery of the industrial revolution but also what it meant to say in a cinema OTEC project %HESITATION and how you might understand that based on having taken a train somewhere or having listened to a radio any of the other kinds of things are going on in that period I mean I suppose there's so much going to with the relationships between modes of transport and the modern periods %HESITATION the cinema it's a modern apartments maybe the modern art form I suppose the idea of amazement spades Kannada says I'm a chemical reactions that have to happen to move forwards together so a lot of analogies between yeah I think particularly with the roadway and cinema all of these media changing the relationship that people have to time and space which is I guess the key cultural shift that maternity brings about the mechanization makes happen the tiny feel if you're sitting on a train while you're sitting in a cinema you being taken to a different space but you're not actually moving Hanson this is kind of weird relationship between simultaneously being static and yet mobile and you're watching a landscape vicariously switch being mediated by windows machines moving or screen and sheen that is moving so there's always a way which is removed from the experience that you have even though you are being tabulated into that kind of world of space will thing that's happening in front of you this is in harmony cinematic in a way being on a train if you're on a windows eight for example you're watching the world go by quite high speed too many hundred miles an hour and this landscapes whizzing past you you can see out to the coast even with miles away does it really strange and fascinating phenomenon on trains mostly between the nineteen twenties and probably around nineteen forty eight what does this this kind of evidence of the same happening all the way up into the nineteen eighties whether they would put a cinema carriage on a train I mean it's been different iterations of this and you get that kind of Hale's tools which of the novelty cinema spaces that look like rolling carriages in around nineteen oh eight but these are actual cinema built into a carriage attached to train they only run on the London north eastern railway but at least that's the only one with a half feet paying customers who were passengers on the train and it's a regular service but what we really really fascinates me about it was it on a lot of these they were Chinese rules basically I think they tried out showing silent films initially was no musical company it's just the sounds of warfare why would she do that so eventually they sound fans you would what Jesus which seems far more logical yeah this is the beginning of Mobil oil having use only guys getting information lan using fiber now sitting with the tablets and laptops and mobiles and watching news and following social media trends passes much any precedent but yes sometimes policies newsreels they which shows tourist films about places on the route the airline said you would sometimes be watching footage shot from a moving train that was spending projected inside a blocked out rowing carriage as you're moving through that same C. was seeing something that was already mediated by the railway mediated through a camera and then check back on the train when you can just watch it in the first place which seems like a very convoluted way of engaging with the environment back then we didn't make people more likely to think I would like to visit there and actually get off the train you know what another journey now because he knows us with %HESITATION history there's always this question god why did no one right this I think unfortunately that conversations just gone was never was never recorded yet something the endlessly fascinating to me about the idea of watching a train journey on the film on the change and when you can just watch it as it happens there's an Irish article private charity he said that %HESITATION understand something we need to first media that's maybe it's not convincing maybe notice it more because it's on the screen here fixing it it's late and I guess that is actually asking for your attention if you were just sitting in a carriage would you be looking out window it should be reading the paper or novel having conversation eating lunch you know there's I guess is this a way of making you look I didn't know how to create screens banner carrots yeah I think it since nineteen twenty four the festival in inverted commas experiment has already started up in the US because we see they have a much much longer trains yet in the end makes sense is already happening that %HESITATION seem restaurants so you have the phenomenon of having my boss in the house but I just want to be I think they tended to be cinemas in trying hard to move around the country but will be static at the point of the screening process onto a blockchain Wallem unity yeah because it's become very normal on long haul flights and on ferry journeys for example if government loan board sentiment words and backed in the back of the scene from TF plan for example that idea if what you're waiting on the grind very fast that's very different yeah actually the train predates the UAC has that she's probably %HESITATION he's the trend does predate the plane in terms of showing films any parties so I think it's nineteen twenty six you get the first really yeah and the first kind of according to I mean I'm always a bit low is to say sorry because there's always one that came before that no one knows about yeah the first one we have documentation at the moment it was not one of the big world as in the US gosh you wouldn't think so doxing is a huge phenomenon in the twenties and thirties of how can we put screens into meeting spaces both ships trains planes yeah one of the I think it's a way of trying to perhaps pacifying people I think actually at the time it was more about making a big statement and that way of proving innovation on the Tennessee particularly as around the twenties and thirties when they use different forms of transport we start to be competitive in that case they become for example the flight system expensive and reason being you in the public imagination but it becomes possible to go to a commercial airline and take a flight and that's precisely what ships are working today and the trains are losing out on that business team shipping companies who are now taking people approach less money but they won the domestic holidays to still set everyone's beginning to be more competitive and it's a way of saying look elsewhere shiny new companies on technology yes the hidden world of screens on transport and then do you ever ever thought to go the other way in the country and then some are getting mad at like tree and then the film on the trans like do go that way actually the projects and think about what train transport looks like on the screen okay so in documentary form and users but also in action films which is a lot of fun because often those of detective stories will have to train wrecks in them especially from late in the fence cities in forty to get rid of that cannot see some trains which apart from yeah I guess I found it a kind of more specific to the exact moment of its release I didn't miss anything generics have often but you know I said it it she questions with the ways in which they represent women broadly speaking all of those phones have women characters who are doing some kind of work on the railway even as a kind of in and out to capacity so you get lots of %HESITATION lots of women detectives who finds themselves on trains and the train journey becomes this transformative experience with actually usually start out with quite a ton of miss confident single women and by the end of it Hey fiends handed into these kind of %HESITATION good material for what seven sentence does that the record does that the lady vanishes does that iris starts out at the beginning Barry sat on her particular Jenny and then over the course of that train ride she becomes very submissive wife you figure you'll see as well you get the investors that you get a professional criminal women so in Hitchcock's there was a conference number seventy six and when I was thinking of %HESITATION Kate plus ten which is in the thirties whether women is that correct criminal and then again this is transformative change any that takes place and she ends up marriage to the detective who is usually having gone through some kind of you know I think number seventeen cheese in the train wreck and she's about to drown and he said to himself baptism and she manages cleansed from the experience of need to be a good toy such there is something quite interesting about the train on screen and women passengers yes there's been a very subtle going through a tunnel some point to high space that's the north by northwest and the other focus includes the thirty nine steps marketing Carolus now someone to rent space and %HESITATION that's que sera sera the machine because that's really fascinating stuff do you want to talk about aids the really cool thing to do with teaching I know you've been trying really hard to provision of women filmmakers and the labor of women in film so if you were a friend to hear mark I thought yeah it's been a kind of an ongoing project over the last two years to send to feminism and postcolonial thought discourse in undergraduate teaching on a cool course rather than an optional modules I mean Archie this is because it's based on my own my own experiences the experiences of other women people of color around me based in the workplace in film criticism in the film industry more broadly and in the academy and just thinking about everyone comes anything something needs to change these are the issues that I'm still facing not necessarily from students but just from the other people that they work from the industry itself although I say that as if the industry itself isn't people one of the ways that we somehow manage to devolve responsibility away from them yes there is just so I think you know what has to change in order for things to get back to me and to my mind at least maybe the kind of optimism though I went into teaching with was that the classrooms a space where we can do a lot of this work and I remember when I started doing this I look back at my own undergraduate course yeah when I was learning and I was you know trust your undergraduate two thousand five and I still got love mine for cemex because I'm terrible academic bits of paper when I looked today and I was really struck by the fact that when a twenty week course there were only three films directed by women that's a lot compared to what cool experimental film in a way where we want to films yeah America remember exactly what the total figure fill in the forms of the you know the way maybe to feature films by men of color and though the streets from into shorts and everything else is by what Montana citizens two thousand and five that's not the only guy in the room and I said simple happen in like fifteen years time to listen to %HESITATION but it is only two thousand five they did things differently and I'm not having that like PPL it was amazing and she felt so %HESITATION I mean I love to live my lectures don't get me wrong but I just felt so let down by that yeah I know exactly how you feel and I think your story is gonna be echoed by a lot of this yeah Armani's and I actually think sadly it's gonna be a card for students who are in classrooms right online yeah so unless we start doing something to change it keep talking about things this is my kind of metric and like stop talking about doing things differently and be the difference I think I just want to get students take elective modules and feminism or gender in film but then how many students going through the whole time investing without ever having to engage with any existing case yeah because they don't want to do with that and she can do the whole being subtle and dropping and they're very nice again but it's it's not appropriate you know these are massive questions yeah and the world right now I don't really wasn't the idea as well that we have to do this in a way that is soft I mean I've been told to maybe try doing this animal suffering because they want to take people so much by I really resent the idea is that talking about quality is something that we have to hide because if you're having to hide it to make people get people on board with it and then not really engaging with it they're actually just maybe going along with it because I don't know what's that I mean I could teach this is not something that's just me and this is you know I am a conversation with other people that's fine I mean something not just done by myself in isolation so I could teach him we this service was on the course but the way it's being we've designed it is to have everything on the course pretty much everything the locals directed by women so it's a film in TV history modules that can cover anything and everything really I mean how you make selections to teach ten week course that covers all of film and TV history you're already living outside much of course Sir I mean you always have to find an organizational logic that's what's necessary again anything's out well I've tried to do is to find ways to accommodate the kind of major moments in film and TV that people are usually safe you say oh I'm teaching teaching women in cinema it's almost like the existing genre outside of the rest of history what does that even mean hi def because it's going to mean different things to different people yeah I don't swim inspectors the Douglas Sirk melodramas for example so that's not what you mean by cinnamon made by women and then films say directed or written by women they're not necessarily feminists yeah the last thing that I've really enjoyed discussing with students on the course is the moments where you watch something that was directed by women and that sometimes it kind of shocked that it's not feminist you'll resolve the issue we watched where are my children she knows what the film from let's say nineteen fifty I mean it's actually one of the few films I've ever given a content warning about an advance the screening because it's pro conversation to film but only for someone and it's bounty abortion in making arguments about using contraception and it's mostly private contraceptive so that poll working class women in poverty well no multiply and produced hundreds of children to create more problems for society if you're a wealthy white middle class women then you should not use contraceptives or abortion restraint yeah how dare you sitting there with your feet up you should not buy children for your husband I mean it's at the same time it's quite critical of the ways that men make decisions about women's bodies and it was at the time considered fairly radical women led film ways what would have been more at the time considered feminist so it's really interesting to get students to think about how that has changed and so the fact that there are lots of fluids in a lot of feminist history that require more thinking particularly on the pile of middle class white women I think it's like this kind of endlessly fascinating topic to think about with the ways that women engage in the film industry while preconceptions of my kind of approach that has been to teach what tend to be the big moments in film and TV history the Eiffel in previous iterations of these kinds of seventy courses service only from that as classical Hollywood's British wartime cinema there might be some fetching way and you can do that entirely teaching from starts Harriman county town you can assist the hex you can teach resist technological murder you can teach all of it with them started by women and they don't have to exist in a little like this in the course of that only ten students to taking because he put women in the talking I think it's already kind of positive it's really really useful as well in terms of getting people to think about what do we mean by the film canon he creates it what is our ideological approach in the classroom as teaches on why we're not talking about that with students and why we are helping students to think about what that policy so what that ideologies because we're constantly teaching them audiology means and it belonging to other people but is an important that they learn to reflect on their own when king and ethics package thank you so much yeah it's been great to have a lovely conversation about phone in our you've been listening to the audio visual culture shift me Paula Blair and Rebecca Harrison this episode was recorded and edited by Paul the player and the music is common grind by an error tone licensed under creative Commons attribution three point zero and I noted from CC mix stir dot org if you like the show please support its production with donations to pay pal dot me forward slash P. E. A. B. L. A. I. R. or become a member on Petri on dot com forward slash a C. cultures from as little as one dollar a month on the paper you can tear patrons receive access to exclusive previews extended show notes and video transcripts episodes are released every other Wednesday please to read share and subscribe on your chosen platform as this helps others find the show for more information and to see what any money received goes to words or how else you can be involved visit audio visual culture style wordpress dot com to be part of the conversation follow AP cultures on Facebook and Twitter for updates and thanks to items relevant to the discussions thanks very much for listening catch you next time