Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Rehearsal Day of Firsts

On Sunday afternoon, I gathered with the cast for the first (and only) rehearsal for the next Stray Dog episode, a comedic mystery short called “Guilty=mc2” It’s the first adventure of Boson Higgs, a private detective who uses advanced science to solve crimes that are beyond the scope of the police. I rented a rehearsal space in South Philly, and the whole team assembled there. It was our first time working in a space other than the director’s living room, which was an exciting step up for the company.

Another first was the use of a new sound board, on loan from Rob over at Digital Reality Films, Inc. The script had three characters, as well as a few sound effects. We needed the board to properly mix and record all the different elements of this episode, the most technically complex one so far. But after only a little difficulty getting sound to come out through the headphones, we were handling the board like old pros. The sound quality was fantastic, and now I am definitely coveting one of my own.

Another first for the day: we prepared two different episodes in the same recording session. We planned to record “Guilty=mc2” at a live event on Monday night, but we also used our studio time to have our actress Julia record an additional piece that will be a part of the series in a few weeks. Talk about some wild time management skills there.

And yet another first on the list: I bought a mesh pop-blocker to record the short story, and I was thrilled beyond words with how well it worked. Not that I’m surprised; after all, I expect a product to do what it is supposed to do. I guess I hadn’t expected the improvement to be so drastic and so immediately obvious. I even asked Julia to say lots of explosive consonants into the mic, but it blocked them all. Sweet!

All told, it was a solid day of rehearsal and proved to up the level of our game on several accounts. What was perhaps most exciting was that each new element we introduced on Sunday worked seamlessly into our already-established rhythms. The whole Stray Dogs Project is intended to be a learning process, and we were successful this time in learning what we could add to our repertoire. Future experiments may not work so well, but these four Radio Hound firsts were all good for me.

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