With no intentions of romanticizing the ongoing pandemic, I simply cannot fathom the universality it brings forth. “We’re in this together” is the new mantra that keeps us going and motivates us to continue creating and learning. It’s this very thought that inspires us to sign up for that masterclass we never thought we’d have the privilege of attending, mostly because of lack of proximity.
Veterans of their respective crafts are working endlessly to engage and connect globally despite being confined to their homes. Frederick Greenhalgh, is one such artist, known for his unmatched skills and invaluable contributions to the world of audio drama and podcasts. His carefully curated online workshop series, in association with PayTm Insider offers a wholesome approach and a robust understanding of audio drama.
After attending just the first module, I am amazed at the power of Sound used as a device of storytelling and the lasting effect it has on the audience. It has given me the required confidence to start my own podcast, at the same time intrigued me to dive deeper into the vast subject of audio fiction. There are several reasons why you should Learn All About Audio Drama with Frederick Greenhalgh, here I give you my top five.
1. Masterclass by the Master himself
Learning from Fred is like being informed by the craft. He has tailored the session to best fit the Indian context, making it relevant and easy to comprehend.
An expert of all things audio he is a champion of the location recording techniques. A writer, director and producer Greenhalgh’s contribution to the fascinating world of audio drama include his original work The Cleansed (an award-winning apocalyptic saga) and hosting Radio Drama Revival (a collection of audio-shorts). Along with William Dufris, he has adapted Lock & Key and worked on X-Files: Cold Cases and X-Files: Stolen Live for Audible Studios.
2. Right Place (India) at the Right Time (now)
Its easier to make your presence felt in an artistic space that is continuously diversifying and audio fiction in India, is still in its nascent stage. Given the population of our country, easy access to the internet and smartphones, a great number of listening audience is obvious.
While radio plays may be a thing of the past, the arrival of new audio platforms (and their interest in the Indian market) makes it an extremely lucrative space to explore. Back in the day, developing Indian audio content was restricted for international platforms only. But now is the perfect time to create and produce locally! Fred urges us to embrace our Indian-ness as our motherland consists of unique, indigenous sounds that can rarely be found elsewhere in the world. Not to mention our treasure of varied languages, myths and culture that we can make most of!
3. A Tool-kit like a Magician’s hat
The best thing about Fred’s workshop is that it explains every step and process of creating an audio play. This empowers you to be independent and self-sufficient with the craft.
Fred says that staring at a blank page is intimidating yet simplifies it by introducing concepts of ideation, types of audio dramas, tools used for audio writing, editing softwares and also shares his insights into distribution. The last module aims at answering questions about your target audience, marketing and promotions including best practices to name your show.
The workshop provides you with a tool-kit that is like a magician’s hat- never empty, and well creates magic!
4. Find your Voice or Sound. Or both!
Greenhalgh’s favourite method of storytelling is through sound. Though this wasn’t always the case. He started his journey with writing short-stories, novels, and attending film school, but when things didn’t go as planned, he started experimenting with audio. This not only fulfilled his love for storytelling but also made him a pioneer in his field.
He says “Its because of stories that humans have survived through generations. While animals have instincts, humans have emotions and we have evolved only by ‘listening’ to stories that make us laugh and cry.”
Long story short, other forms may or may not have worked for you. Learning more about audio fiction might just help you discover your own unique narrative style. Give this a shot, for you’ll never know if you never try!
5. Social Distancing Friendly
Apart from a whole lot of dreadful things, COVID-19 has made it almost impossible to shoot films, web shows and perform on stage. Yet it’s fairly easy to record and edit sounds and adhere to social distancing. Home recording set-ups allow you to capture multiple voices separately and you can bring it all together during post-production.
Fred talks about audio plays and podcasts as a free, open space and says “What I find very gratifying is that the art form is still growing. If you venture now you can make your own rules because we’re all making it up as we move ahead.”
Audio Drama – An Introduction with Frederick Greenhalgh | 25th June, 2020
This module provides insights on the difference between an audio script and a TV/film script and also outlines the various production stages that make a good audio script. Follow this link to register: https://bit.ly/2BB3aXi
Audio Drama Writing with Frederick Greenhalgh | 27th June, 2020
This session invites writers, playwrights, novelists and film-makers to further explore details of the audio-fiction form of writing. Follow this link to register: https://bit.ly/2NoLpgS
Audio Drama Acting and Directing with Frederick Greenhalgh | 29th June, 2020
Considering the pandemic and social distancing norms, this workshop focuses on acting and directing techniques that can be executed remotely. It helps understand the nuances of acting for an audio drama vs the stage or film and also demonstrates independent voice-over arrangements. Follow this link to register: https://bit.ly/2zV2VpI
Audio Drama Editing and Sound Design with Frederick Greenhalgh | 1st July, 2020
With this session you learn to work with editing programs like Reaper and Audacity. This session teaches the basics of creating an audio program and making it ready for broadcast. Follow this link to register: https://bit.ly/2AZgkxq
Audio Drama Marketing with Frederick Greenhalgh | 3rd July, 2020
Once you have created your audio play or podcast, this module will help you release it to a wider, global audience. Learn the tricks of social media marketing, press releases and get your content listed with the biggest podcast services like Apple, Spotify and Google. Follow this link to register: https://bit.ly/313bxpw
All Images by Dagaz Media