Hidden People, Episode 2

Here is a link to Chris Burnside’s post about episode 2 (‘The Ant Farm’) and here is where you can hear it.

Much of this one is about discovering more about the relationships between the characters. I agree with Chris that the writing and acting are both very good. For example, I actually found myself feeling slightly embarrassed for Nissa, Alfie and Mackenna, watching through Shaylee’s eyes as Alfie (and, to a lesser extent, Nissa) ‘perform’ for her, trying to win her – and what they perceive as her ‘coolness’ – over.

As a post-production person, I listen to dialogue many, many, many times, so I get to pick up on every nuance, every inflection. And then make our background goings-on start to pulse with it.

Apart from two significant scenes, this has been my job in this episode.  The spaces the characters are in allow for a bit of first-person perspective – for example, filtering the music and chat for a closed bathroom door (at 6:56) allows us to feel we are seeing the cafe with Shaylee, observing the interpersonal dynamics, which prepares us for the next chunk of dialogue. This hopefully invites the audience to step outside of of the friendship and look in a more objective way too. It’s sooooo subtle, this stuff, and may not always have a big impact, but as my friend Maria said, “I had no idea how much you manipulate us”!

With all the time spent in cafes and bars this week, I have had to write no less than five pieces of diegetic music! However, that too has been a useful subtle tool, tailing the dialogue like a private investigator stalking a subject. Where, for example, does the rhythm section go temporarily when Alfie makes a particularly wild joke speculation…?

One last observation on my side of things, the final scene has the background rumble of a night time city ambiance. I really, really enjoyed making the score rise out of the tone of the city, like a demon rising out of the earth, obliterating the city temporarily then subsiding back into it. More opportunities for degrees of reality, as well as emotions, to be reflected in the soundscape.

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