Let’s go back to the beginning…

Miss Fisher and the Problem of the Prequel Podcast was a story development, scriptwriting, and audio production studio that ran from March to June 2021. Students were tasked with adapting existing intellectual property from a well-known brand into a new format, and producing fully scripted, casted, and produced audio works ready for distribution. Our client for this project was Every Cloud Productions, the company behind the Miss Fisher film and TV franchise, who offered briefings and feedback at various stages of the semester.

In this studio, students worked as part of writing and production teams to generate dramatic content based on a specific brief and for a client: key skills for jobbing creatives as they begin their careers.

Across the course of the studio, in addition to the creative and production work, students dissected and discussed the affordances of audio media, the concept of ‘the cinematic’ and the mechanics of adaptation.

This showcase website features final reflections and behind-the-scenes imagery; select a student at left to view their thoughts!

Louis Parkinson – s3724445

I was the story producer for episode 3 during the writing phase. I this role I liaised with other story producers on continuity, tone, pacing, converting, streamlining, dissecting and improving the original script for a podcast format, and (after group consultation) decide where each episode ended and started. I also wrote the opening and closing scenes.

I worked on and was the director for episode 4 during the production phase. As director I analysed the script, studying characters, motive, tone, and pacing. This resulted in a few rewrites to capitalise on the unique aspects of the episode, working in audio and eliminating some unrealistic challenges that were present. This analysis and understanding was used when directing actors, making sure that every recoding session was consistent, resulting in the final product feeling like a cohesive conversation between characters. I assisted in recording and engineering voice overs and foley for our episode, and some for other episodes. I edited and mixed scene 4, and mastered all scenes for episode 4.

Some of what I got out of the class was an improvement in script writing, experience working with actors and a client, and bettered my skills working in small and large groups on a collaborative project.

Cabbage

Melbourne Nights

What happens in the city at night?

 

Melbourne Nights documents the Melbourne night life ranging from it’s vibrant light displays to its city streets. With a poetic rhythm the film captures the repetitive cycles of the ongoing activities that take place in the city. 

 

The footage was recorded in several shooting sessions in several locations around Melbourne. The film is a montage/ poetic piece detailing the city of Melbourne. From creating this film I have practiced my rhythm editing skills and practical shot selection.

A Film by George Lakos

Vivian Dobbie-Glazier (s3722829)

My role during the writing part of the studio was as a story producer for episode one. Among other things, this meant I had to make sure the script came together on time while also communicating with other groups around the logistics of where episodes begin and end, continuity episode to episode and upholding the elements of the original source material. This was a completely new experience for me, as I had never put myself into a role like that before. However, even with its stressful moments, I learnt a lot about working within a writer’s room to produce a fully realised script.

During production on episode two, I worked within the roles of audio engineer and editor. I would record the dialogue of the actors playing the characters and then I would edit the dialogue and the foley together to create the scenes from the script.  This was another new experience for me in terms of working with professional audio equipment, the only experience I had had from working in audio was last year where I was restricted with the equipment I had. It broadened my horizons of audio knowledge and crafting professional audio recordings for a final product.

Matias Garro Tapia s3718071

(I’m stealing this format from Doné, thanks!)

This has been a rewarding studio with a demanding turn around for assignments & other work.

Writing: Episode 4

The process for writing episode 4 was a daunting task for me personally as I have never felt too confident as a writer, but I was really happy to be apart of this process regardless. In terms of my contribution, after we allocated parts of the episode to different members I was given the task of drafting the rewrites for the final portion of the finale! I had some difficulty adapting the original text to our audio format, but it was a very fulfilling role that stretched my imagination and I’m thankful that I was able to receive advice and help from my group as well as Mike from EveryCloud & Dan!

Producing: Episode 2

Being a producer for episode 2 meant that I was working apart of one of the most entertaining and creatively fulfilling group dynamics I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing at university. We had a great deal of collaboration in our pursuit of doing the best job of bringing the script to life. My main role in our group revolved around managing how we handled editing parts separately, as well as working with the others to create an overall sound language that we all stuck to, so as to maintain a level of tonal and technical cohesion. Basically meaning that it was really important to us that our scenes all felt like they all belonged together like pieces of a puzzle rather than simply scenes edited by several different individuals. Volume levels, special effects & mixing were all things that I had a hand in overlooking in our edits. In the end, I was the one who edited all the scenes together into the final session. I’m really happy to have worked in this group, and I’m proud of our work together.

Kaushal Prasad s3599086

I was the Story Producer for Episode 2’s writing team. I was in charge of housekeeping, delegating tasks and liaising amongst my group along with other Story Producers to help keep consistency in scripts throughout all the episodes. I learnt many leadership skills by being a hands on leader and figured out what worked and didn’t for me. Overall, my team finished our tasks smoothly and within the given timeframe.

I was in Episode 1 for the production stage and helped in fixing up some issues that was spotted in the script given to us- that would cause possible problems whilst translating into audio. I used the writing skills I developed in the writer’s room, to come up with some ideas to tackle the problems. I aided in giving some direction to our main actor and learnt how to edit on adobe audition which I had never used before. During the production I had lots of exposure and learning.

Doné de Beer – s3717707

This is hands down my favourite class I’ve done throughout my degree, but also the most intense.

Writing: Episode 4

For the first phase of our project, we were tasked with adapting a TV show script, set in the Miss Fisher universe, into a podcast. I took on the role of story producer, where I was responsible for keeping my group on track and liaising between the different episodes and Dan. I had regular meetings with the other story producers and kept Dan updated at any changes. Our writing process involved breaking down complicated action and location changes to something simpler and adjusting dialogue and description to an audio medium. Mike gave an enlightening lesson on how to make your way into a writer’s room in a real world context and go on to eventually have your script transformed into a television show.

Production: Episode 1

Jumping to the start of the podcast, I didn’t take on any specific roles, however, was responsible for some of the Foley recording, editing and managing casting. The time here was a whirlwind of arranging dialogue recording with actors, going to locations for field recording, creating our own Foley sounds, finding sound effects online, and putting everything together into a cohesive piece. From guest speakers and Dan, I learnt a lot about the strengths and weaknesses of the TV show/film medium versus the podcast medium, and what makes a successful audio drama.

Jess Shine – s3842286

For the first half of the semester, I was part of the writers’ room for Episode 2. We were tasked with adapting a pilot television prequel script for the Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries franchise into an audio production script, the script being split into a total of four episodes. Within our group, we divided up our episode and adapted our own assigned parts separately while also working together to ensure it all worked.

In our production teams, I worked on Episode 4, which was the hardest to produce in my opinion because it was the final episode. I was head editor for my episode, which I found to both enjoyable and stressful equally. One of the better parts of recording was definitely foley, being in the studio and actually getting down to business, and working with a great team. Editing and post-production are an aspect of the industry that I’d enjoy going into, so this was a great experience for me to have. I’ve gained skills and knowledge surrounding the process of adaptation and gotten experience both in a collaborative writers room environment, and a production team while also being able to work for/with a client to produce a professional production.

 

Luke Evans S3792039

Being apart of the writing group for episode 3 in the first half of the semester, I was stepping into the world of being a writer was exciting, but a little bit daunting. I had never worked on an adaptation like this, which was a hurdle.one of the biggest aspects of working on this episode to go against my instincts of thinking visually then for sound. But with the help of my peers and many rewrites I think we mad an amazing adaption to audio.

During production aspect of the project, I was in group 3 again. This proved to have many pros and cons, I knew the ins and outs of the script I needed to look at the script in a different way to bring it to life. I took on the role of the editor, which I do enjoy but this time I had to learn more skills in this role, with a looming deadline managing time and when edits needed to be done was essential.

After finishing this project, I am proud of what my team has done and this is the direction I can hopefully pursue in my media career.

Bridgette O’Byrne s3814429

Miss Fisher and the Problem of the Prequel Podcast is likely the most involved and challenging studio I’ve participated in at RMIT, yet easily the most rewarding.

Weeks one to six were spent adapting an unproduced pilot script intended for television into audio. Dividing the original script into four parts before moving into four separate writing groups to begin adapting our episode from visual to audio. I worked on Episode Three through the writing stage. I found myself prone to relying on what was in the original script when more significant changes were required to bring the scene into the audio realm properly. However, through working with my team and receiving feedback from the client, I produced a scene that I feel worked well. I hugely enjoyed working in a ‘writers room’ and coordinating between the different writing teams to ensure consistent and cohesive scripts. Ultimately, I found the process of adapting the script from television to podcast as daunting and frustrating as it was rewarding.

During the production phase, I worked on Episode 2 and was assigned the role of director. This was indeed a role I warmed up to as the dialogue recording went on. However, I enjoyed the opportunity to take a leadership role in this second half of the studio. I immensely enjoyed working with the actors to craft performances that would work in audio and sit well alongside each other when it came to editing. All group members took responsibility for editing a few scenes. Though I also worked in producing on foley, using my Zoom H5 recorder to create a majority of the required sounds in my own home.

Celyren Phipps- s3787492

In the first half of semester, I was a part of the Episode 4 writing group. In this part of the course, I wrote and transcribed a portion of the script to develop a framework for the sound environment. During our final re-write of the script in Scrivener, I found myself becoming far more experimental with the potential and freedom that sound offers. The most challenging part of this was imagining what the audience needed to hear to remain informed at each moment in time.

During the production stage of the course, I was working on Episode 3. My main effort for this phase was recording and editing pieces of foley. This at times proved to be a challenging task. I recorded each sound on the zoom H2N and then edited each individual recoding in Adobe Audition. In Audition I was mainly applying filters, so the sounds kept true to the Miss Fisher audio environment. In the instances where sounds were too challenging to record (or I could not find the right materials to record with), I sifted through sound snap to find an appropriate track.  Following this, sounds were logged on the cue sheet and filed under our OneDrive foley folder.