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Three Top Tips on How to Direct an Audio Drama!

Hi everyone, Ed here from shades of vengeance. And today, I’m going to talk about how I and today I’m going to give you my top three pieces of advice on how to direct an audio drama.

1: Live the universe!

When you are directing an audio drama, you are bringing that universe to life for the people who are listening to it. If you don’t understand the universe, or at least your take on the universe, to a high degree, there are going to be tiny things that slip through.

You shouldn’t let those things go unless you feel that they contribute and build on your view of the universe because people will notice. People will pick up on them and begin to question your commitment to the projects that you’re doing. The key is to always focus on the essence of what it is that you want to portray within the story.

2: Don’t be afraid of the actors improvising!

There have been a number of times during my various audio projects where an actor has done something I didn’t expect. It may be a misread, it may be a different take on a character.

But I always asked myself, referring back to Point 1 – does it fit within the universe? Does it make the story better?

And if it’s a change that makes the story better, you need to be able to say “yes, I like that, it works equally well!” (or nothing at all, in some cases, just let them continue!). 

If it’s a change that calls any of the aspects of the universe into question, you need to fight hard to make sure that the actor does it in the way that you need. Consider carefully what that character might act like. And does this improvisation distorts what the character has been up until now, or does it fit in nicely? That’s also very important.

3: The First and the Second-to-Last Take

In my experience, these are the takes that are the strongest.

That might be because when you first walk into a role, you give your instinctive take, you give the truth as an actor, that insight of your own.

It might also be that after, there’s a little bit of correction, changes to be done, and then you’ll take one more take for a safety at the end.

Don’t be afraid of taking a safety take, but be aware that you may not use it.

One of the things that can be a serious impediment to this is when an actor sabotage themselves in the middle of a line. Try never to let the first take get interrupted, because if it gets interrupted, you will never get that moment again. Make sure that the first take runs to the end and make sure that you get a good take before you then go ahead and say “just once more”, or even just say, “okay, that’ll do”. 

So those are three top tips on how to begin three top tips on directing an audio drama.

Thank you very much for reading, and please let me know if you’d like some more tips about audio – I’d be more than happy to speak some more, or bring in Leo, our Head of Audio, to answer some questions!

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