Individual Studio Production Project Reflection

Individual Studio Production Project Reflection

My piece entitled, It is Futile, is an audio phonic radio story that explores intolerance, vapid pursuits of happiness, and gender ambiguity. The narrative is comprised of fictitious elements as well as personal lived experiences. I’m hoping to explore the limits and potentiality of this medium, in as far as, how it holds the consumer’s attention, how it is perceived and disseminated.

Conceptually, I am hoping to detach the ‘self’ or the author from the front line of this story to allow the surreal and chronologically ambiguous narrative to speak homogeneously without performance constraints. Using the voice of Karen Jacobsen (the Australian female voice of Siri), we are given no real human face to the text. I was introduced to this concept after hearing the 1978 stylised ABC radio broadcast drama, What’s Rangoon to You is Grafton to Me by Russell Guy. Where James Dibble, the monotonous ABC news radio presenter, showed little to no emotion, which allowed the surreal and absurd text of the piece to shine through.

It could be said, that contemporary podcasts and audio stories, have their own character, which can influence a listeners focus and attention. For example, podcast presenter Ira Glass of This American Life, exposits in a way that makes a listener feel like a best friend. Similarly, Radio Lab actors announce with the same congeniality, offering consumers a sense as if they are all in on the same joke. For the most part, I subscribe to this way of presentation however, on occasion, it can obfuscate certain aspects of an audio story’s essence. And it is for this reason, that I have gone to great lengths to disable the human presenter from my piece.

In order to realise my production It is Futile, I have applied foley sound from both free and my own recordings. I have then used dubbing through a cut, copy and paste method to emphasise moments in the narrative. For example in the shaving sequence and ‘outcome introductions’. Dynamic elements consist mainly of the highs and lows over the whole piece. Like for example the rock music sting, which functions to juxtapose the mundane drone of the train sequence.  The harmonic distortion, which was applied to the rock music sting, acted to increase its volume, brightness and texture — further heightening dynamics.

The music sting was produced on a separate session due to a CPU overload. Even without ancillary stems being added to the primary session for this piece, I still experienced RAM and CPU overloads. To circumvent this, I have had to create several auxiliary buses governing the effect path of several tracks. Although, pitch shift, which was a cursory attempt to change characters in the classroom, was applied via the live audio suite render. Interestingly, the pitch shifted dialogue later became the voice of an evil ‘self’, wanting to break free from a homogeneous vice.

Panning and reverb were functions to accentuate texture and spatiality. Some examples can be heard in the skateboard moving from left to right and furthermore, with the word “etc”. Compression and side-chaining was applied to several sequences throughout the piece in order to bias the main voice over and keep it as the focal point. However, towards the end of the piece, when the music sting is re-introduced, I had to resort to a manual automation method as the factory compression plug-in was not handling the information as I would have liked. The Buchla synth from MESS became a feature at the beginning of the piece. It demonstrated a highly artificial and lofi tone which I felt would be fitting for the student “caressing his synth”. The main voice-over was captured by running a stereo 3.5 to 2 x 1/4″ mono XLR cables from a MacBook into the audio Interface on my iMac.

In sum, this is a practice that I hope to explore further. In the making of this piece, I have garnered a new understanding of the work involved in podcasts and radio stories be them fiction or nonfiction.


– ABC Radio National, Russell Guy 1978,  broadcast drama, What’s Rangoon to You is Grafton to Me. Sydney.

– Bowden, D (recorded), Flanagan, J (composed) 2003, Player’s Speech, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Sydney.

Free Sound, viewed 8th October 2017, <<http://>>

– Radiolab 2017, WNYC, United States.

This American Life with Ira Glass 2017, podcast, WBEZ Chicago.

Spatialisation Sound Experiment

Spatialisation Homework

In this spatial sound composition experiment, I explored the effect that saturated reverb, delay, warping, EQ and panning have on the dynamics, colour, density and rhythm of a simple mono sound file. For my piece, I chose the sound of dripping water.

To begin my composition, I first applied the Protools’ Airkill plugin in order to cut the unwanted high frequencies that were present in the original recording. This sound was then bussed to a stereo track that facilitated the first reverb in the chain of effects.

I wanted to create a composition with a three act structure. I began the first act with the dripping sound at a low level which was only moderately effected by a De-verb plugin.

The second act introduces the BBD Delay that warps the tone throwing the composition from somewhat familiar to detached from the sounds of everyday life.

To add an extra layer I have applied a reverse effect on the dripping to heighten the detachment of the second act further.

As this was passed through several chains of delay, the feedback function began to override and foreground the entire dynamic. Therefore, I began to automate this delay affect by switching it on and then off again in rhythmic patterns. Interestingly, it was At this stage that, what sounds like the ringing of the telephone was inadvertently created.

This sound was re-introduced at the end of the peace creating a kind of a palindrome where we are again familiarised with day-to-day sounds.

Some of the warping automation revealed undesired artefacts as my system’s CPU struggled to keep up with the processing tasks. My solution to minimise these unwanted artefacts, was not to get rid of them entirely, but to reduce the volume of the aforementioned sequences.

There are some moments that I have attempted to freeze by cutting sections, and then duplicating them several times. These moments develop their own sub rhythm seemingly independent from the overarching rhythm.

Throughout the composition I have applied panning and volume automation to create colour, dynamics and spatial texture.

Studio Production: audiophonic narration experiment

I am keen to explore the detachment of the ‘self’ from an audio artefact through computer automated speech narration with accompanying foley sounds.

My interest with the ‘self’’ came about through studying Cartesian philosophy and the malleability of perceived existence.

The affordances of audio can offer a similar malleability in that, sound’s place in time and space can be far more abstract than a visual form.

My interest in audio stories, is relatively new however, through listening to many audio books and podcasts since falling down the sonic narrative rabbit hole so to speak, it has become a primary pastime and career focus.

My aim in this module of Studio Production, is to merge, explore and experiment with these notions.

With regard to the production method, I would hope that the dialogue and scripting could be as human and naturalistic as possible, and thus when narrated by an automaton, a resulting juxtaposition may evoke new discoveries.

Furthermore, having oral anonymity throughout this piece may also allow for the writing to speak for itself without issues of performance and human emotion heightening the absurd and summoning the uncanny.

This will be quite a full on experiment for me, aside from creating a good foley sound balance, my concern is that people may perceive these naturalistic characters in subsequent productions as illustrations of themselves. And therefore I guess I should be prefacing this with an assurance that this is primarily fake fiction with moments from my past that have been pushed into obscurity but to cut a long story short, should not be taken as literal.

Even my dreams are square

In Michelle Brown’s lecture about resumés, job applications, CVs and cover letters, something clicked for me.

In the past, I had often disregarded the importance of the cover letter for example. The fact that its function serves to give a snapshot of who you are in turn illuminating the rest of the application had been overlooked on my part.

I had another bash at it just as an exercise, not for any particular job application, but just as I said, as an exercise. My aim was to experience the separation of a rocky long term marriage between the cover letter and its better half (the cv), and to experience them as single entities as opposed to pseudo clones of each other. I also wanted to use the word “I” as little as possible which really keeps you on your toes like that game where you can only ask each other questions (Please see the link!)

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead 

It was interesting to think, how the process became less of an arduous chore and, wait for it… and enjoyable process!

I jumped straight onto my LinkedIn page that kind of looks like a construction site or a mishmash of different rubbish that I’ve done, stupid tweets and a whole bunch of endorsements that don’t seem relevant any more and I began to update.

In deconstructing and then reconstructing their relationship, I became a marriage counsellor’s of voice of reason for this troubled love triangle.

I discovered a way to connect these ir/relevant Linked endorsements, that have been attributed to my work as a performing artist, to my experience in office jobs and, by extension, study.

I never saw this is possible, in fact, I was on the brink of deleting the account, and all the endorsements, and starting afresh. Good thing I didn’t, because these endorsements have been critical to my page’s impact.

Oh and there’s another thing! We were in courage to use buzz words, or action words as Michelle called them. I feel like at this stage, I may have to use them sparingly as I would be loathed to come across to a potential employer as a big shot/hotshot that is both megalomaniacal, and worst still, following a cold square platitudinous template.

Super short… super intense version of my world

I had a crack at delivering a super short super intense audiophonic trailer of my world with some visuals.

Sonically it is actually a lot wider in sound field and brighter than my main artefact.

I’m hoping that this could be considered for our end of semester presentation!

Beecroft’s World – Project Brief 4

Character descriptions

Beecroft character descriptions-1s3s8qj

In response to the first class focus group session, I felt that each character required a detailed description as the students who looked over my scripts did not see the extremes in each of the characters. When classmates read through my scripts, I recall that they seemed unclear as to why the language was so over-theatrical. Without any background knowledge, Beecroft and Melanie, to new readers, could well have been ordinary and everyday folk. These group sessions definitely inspired the need for further explanation.

Subsequent group activities have also brought about Melanie’s name. In explaining to my peers of her malevolence, one classmate suggested that I call her Melanie… ‘Melanie the Malevolent’. From here, I began to think about villains that I could model her on further such as Ivan the Terrible. Though, I felt that Melanie would be closest to Shakespeare’s Lady McMeth (1606) for her greed and manipulation, accompanied by the brutishness of Charles Dickens’ Bill Sikes (1838). Spielberg’s Biff Tannen was the inspiration for her owning the police and the sadomasochism is attributed to James Wan and Leigh Whannell’s Saw (2014).

Scene 1 – Beecroft’s Exit Scene 

Beecroft Exit Scene-14en9au

This is the opening scene which is set up to be the catalyst for the rest of Beecroft’s story.

I have stayed fairly true to the script when producing the audio artefact however, the print at the head became a voice of God narration as I felt that these were essential details that an audio piece could not illuminate.

As it was initially written for a visual medium, there are still some minor textual remnants that would require a camera. For example,“A 30 year old tycoon dressed in Sass & Bide arranging plastic flowers. She is, slick, confident, beautiful though, she is as mad as a cut snake” (p. 1). This big print demands either vision or narration and despite using neither, I left them in there just in case I was to change my mind as to which form I would use at the eleventh hour.

I have purposely left the copyright © symbol in the script to emphasise how so much, of what constitutes as a human experience, has been privatised. The world’s artificiality is something that I feel comes across in this script as well as the audio artefact and I feel that it is here, at this tonal intersect, that the two texts speak to each other.

It was my hope that the words and the images that they symbolised, inflicted a dirty, painful, visceral sensation in the consumer. I wanted people to wince as many did when I played the class Anaal Nathrakh’s Pandemonic Hyperblast (2001) for my first class presentation. Though, having pushed this tactic of eliciting a reaction in the audience as far as what I regard to be a rich learning experience, I feel as though I can move on from the grotesque for now.

Scene 2 – Beecroft Meets Hailey 

Beecroft Meets Hailey-14lu5t3

As Beecroft begins the process of escape and codependency recovery, he stumbles upon the Free-Thinker Hailey, a jovial 30 year old gardener who later introduces Beecroft to the Free-Thinking minority.

Regardless of the fact that this scene was the first I wrote for this world, I feel that it is less groomed than the other work for this focus. Since I passed it over to class mate Brydan to have a read over it in week 2, I have felt somewhat disconnected from it. Though it’s worth noting that, since week 2, I have engaged with new writing concepts and eschewed earlier writing habits, my knowledge of writing for world and place has advanced further than I could have imagine. So in a way, I have grown out of this scene so to speak but this needn’t be the case. In order to reconnect with this scene and Hailey moreover, I believe that further workshopping with peers could be the answer as this is an important sequence and I’d be loathed to discard it.

Beecroft Synopsis

Beecroft Synopsis -yd2oy3

The synopsis underwent several manifestations until one night, I sat down for half an hour and smashed-it-out so to speak.

I was surprised how much I second-guessed the synopsis. On one hand, I wanted to deliver a nuanced description of the world, yet on the other, I was set on succinctly explaining the synopsis as though I was talking to a child. There were several variations though all shared the same goal of exposing Beecroft as a lying cheating fiend… which is an indirect comment on the dangers of gullibility.

In this writing process, a new character emerged, Gail whom I imagined as having a pivotal role in crystallising my premise of deception. As Gail is a last minute addition, I have withheld  expanding on her character for now. My main focus was to have people sympathise with the protagonist but at the end, feel betrayed.

Overall, I have enjoyed being creative and have relished reading up on villains and tragedies. I drew inspiration from Macbeth (1606), Metropolis (1927), Oliver Twist (1838) and The Silence of the Lambs (1991).

Audiophonic Trailer

Jean-Luc Godard’s film Bande à Part (1964) is a key inspiration for the stylised elements of my audio piece. Like with Godard’s production, I have attempted to blur the lines between diegetic and non-diegetic sound. This is to contribute to the item’s awareness of its artificiality.  Ultimately through my production, I hope to highlight dishonesty in my work and in turn evoke an overall mistrust in the media as a whole.


Melanie – Anneliese Milk
Beecroft – Daniel Bowden
Music score ‘In Dust’ written and performed by Daniel Bowden

[For further reflective commentary, please see the below blog link posted May 2o, 2017]


– Anaal Nathrakh 2001, Pandemonic Hyperblast, CD, FETO, UK.
The Daily Script, viewed 30th May 2017, <>
– Demme, J 1901,  The Silence of the Lambs, Orion Pictures, USA.
– Dickens, C 1838, Oliver Twist, Richard Bentle, UK.
– Godard, JL 1964, Bande à Part, Anouchka Films Orsay Films, France.
– Screen Australia 2009, What is a Synopsis? Screen Australia, Australia, viewed 25 May 2017, <>
– Lang, F 1927, Metropolis, Erich Pommer, Germany.
– Shakespeare, W 1606, Macbeth, UK.
– Zemeckis, R 1985, Back to the Future, Amblin Entertainment, USA.

Greenblatt, S 2002, A special letter from Stephen Greenblatt, viewed 25th March 2010, <>

Declaration and statement of authorship

Declaration and statement of authorship-1pjwhxv

As close to real as possible

I’ve roughly cut together my audiophonic piece, it’s ticking the boxes so to speak in terms of my world, the story, the narrative, blah. But there’s a certain magic dust that I feel that’s missing from it.

Nevertheless, the voice-over artist who generously offered her time, did a smashing job, for someone who isn’t all that versed in radio fiction. Annalise’s ability to listen and take direction was outstanding. She was such a trooper!

But my story is so hyperreal, it’s also fairly esoteric, and it was a feet to even get close to the performances that were required. In addition, having run out of time to cast the Beecroft character, I had to perform the protagonist myself, and by golly it was tricky. I think my neighbours might have grave concerns for my welfare after a series of yelling, crying, moaning and… “I’m leaving you!”[s].

What this story could have benefited from, was some dramaturgy, possibly a collaboration with performers to land on the feel of a real breakup in a world that was…  breaking up.

The process of creating a media artefact for the Beecroft story, has been really big! It looked simple from the outset, but it was deceptively simple. Had I produced this piece on location, and at the Docklands Studios, or even with video vision and multiple actors, I think I wouldn’t have survived. I’d be rocking in a corner somewhere saying bring me some chamomile tea. Though overall, I’ve had a great experience producing this and have been constantly learning as I go!

Though, I think I’ve again gone against an ethos that I’m constantly reminding myself to conform to, which is keep it simple stupid.

But, I am pleased to say that I am done with dystopian stories! I have gone as far as I can go with trying to get a visceral sense from the viewers on this instance, and I think I would like to come back down to worth and create stories and work on ideas that are real… or as close to real as possible.

There’s no place like this world

After reading Screen Australia’s Info Guide – Story Documents, it got me thinking about a few things.

– First there was the ‘how to guide’ to writing a story’s pitch (p. 5) and how this helped contextualised my own work,
– Then there was the notion of  core concept, or premise, and the importance of grounding this early in dramatic writing
– But then I started thinking about the bureaucratic jargon that seems to be based on the earlier Hollywood studio system model and the problems that this causes for the Australian industry.

For my piece, the guide help me establish the pitch version of the one-paragraph synopsis for my own story.
It is as follows;

(NOTE: I have made bold my story’s beats and left the template normal)

This story is a…(noir thriller) …about…(Beecroft, love locked in a toxic relationship in a dying world)
…but then this happens….(through meeting the free-thinker Harvey, he begins to repair himself and his world) At the end of Act One they…. (plan to overthrow the corrupt rulers at every cost) At the midpoint… (he is reunited with his oppressor and concedes to her wishes) At the end of Act Two…(his new found followers turn there backs after hearing of his racketeering and dishonesty)
The climax… (as they watch him burn alive after the final dispute with Melanie, the free-thinkers congregate in sorrow) In the end….(The people learn that there is no truth in the world, just the hope of love).


From here, I feel as though I got closer to a core concept, or a concrete premise… which is; There is no truth in the world, just the hope of love.

The fill in the gaps template thingy was a lot of fun and it definitely helped me see the bigger picture with my own work. Though it seems to encourage high-concept mentality as described by Michael Haugue in his 2011 presentation ( and brilliantly executed by the seminal high-concept production  Jaws (Spielberg, 1975).

However, to impose such a blanket treatise on an infantile industry such as Australia’s could well obfuscate the country’s unique trajectory and films can end up feeling contrived, pretentious and/or just missing the mark. It marginalises alternative and subversive concepts with influences of Godard, Tati and the likes. It sends local prodigies off to the USA to produce block busters like Saw (2004) when the talent and infrastructure was at their home base all along. This poses more questions for me like, why are so many world class facilities such as, Fox Studios, Docklands Studios and Global empty most of the time when budding producers are shelling out thousands to rent low quality spaces? Is it because admission frameworks are too rigid? And is this why Australia is still considered a cultural  back-water? Hell, since the Gordian knot seems to only get tighter with thanks to the cultural cringe, perhaps people need to create their own cinematic balls of twine on the fringes. And perhaps one day, on the release of the government’s budget, we can see a slice of the pie offered to creative mavericks like Wan and Whannell.

Ah jeez… this is such a cynical, tangential, cursory blog rant… but I’m sure I could use it as a rickety framework for something.

Now, just click your heels together and repeat after me, there’s no place like home and a systemically flawed industry.

Justin’s robot. 

In a class exercise, we were to choose one of our peer’s characters and write about them. I chose Justin Luh’s character Grease who is a robot. It is about Grease’s most embarrassing moment. It is written as if an interview and it goes as follows…


So anyway, I was at the Boron baths. Boron nitriding it up. Replenishing, getting the rust and detritus out of my components. It’s something that you have to do… if not for yourself, for those who you work and live with. Like seriously, you are more relaxed, you’re less likely to fly off the handles at minor issues on the floor at work. Boron baths… they’re good. Do yourself a favour. Really!

Anyway, there was only a few of us in the bath… 4 to 5000, and I thought that I might nip out for an extra treatment… Liquid nitrogen scrub. But seeing that it was only me there, I thought I could shed some layers… you know, like down to my chassis. You really get to feel it that way. And anyway, I’m lying there and I notice a message on the portal from administration, so I link in to see what the message was about. BEEP. It said I’m not in today. I’m out getting a scrub too. BEEP. But remember that this room will undergo a deep clean at 12noon today BEEP. I look up at the clock… it says 11:58. Farrrrk!!!

And thats when it began. I was scooped up, dipped in what felt like mercury or something, I was shoved around the room and pushed toward the exhaust vent… Exhaust vent!! But I had another 30 minutes left on my credit! Nevertheless, the evacuations process had gone passed the rubicon and I was getting excreted early AND with no covers on… stark naked!

Before I knew it… CLUNK, I’m sitting in the fallout basin, not a shred on me, covered head to base in mercury, I started to discreetly tiptoe to the exit when all of those units… remember the ones that I had shared a boron nitride spa with, they all cascade through to the bin that I was at and are presented with my pathetic silver arse. They laughed naturally which as you know sounds like a machine gun.

Still to this day, that was the most embarrassing moment of my robot life.