Welcome to the Master Journal,
I’ve debated on doing this for some time, and it only took a newborn and lots of sleepless nights to get the ball rolling. After all, why not add a few more things onto my pile. A big reason why I chose to do this is because I’m tired of releasing information in small chunks through very proof-read articles on the We’re Alive official page. Often I have smaller news, personal updates, or behind the scenes info that really isn’t appropriate for the business page. Another purpose for this blog, titled “The Master Journal”, is to sort of be an exploration and mind-dump for whatever is going on around me, social commentaries, reviews, etc… If the mid-season cliffhanger for “The Last Man on Earth” impacted me in a special way (and boy did it ever!), now I have an outlet.
Why the title? As the writer and creator of We’re Alive, I imagined that there would have been one “Master” volume that is sort of a key to the rest of the information contained in the journals. For the many different projects and future stories that I’m working to tell, this blog can be that piece binding everything together. And just like the journals from the tower, this blog will also be written in a way to best convey an idea, not always the most technically/grammatically correct. Also, I’m not sure on how often I’ll post updates. With everything going on, I can’t commit to a regular schedule, but I plan on posting many more in the near future because frankly, I need this. I find myself currently overwhelmed with the lifestyle change/tasks that come with a newborn, and need to continue to have some constructive outlet. Since my normal routines of audio editing [too loud] and/or the writing narrative content [too complex/focus needed] don’t lend themselves well to my new environment, this blog will keep me from digging my nails into my skull to scratch that constant creative itch in the back of my brain.
Where to begin? Well, why not what sparked all this. My son!
Yes, you heard that right, I’m a father. My wife, Blaire, and I gave birth to a very healthy boy, August Nicholas Wayland on Jan 1st 2016, at, of all times, 11:16 am [1-1-16 11:16]. Maybe my son will someone use that special number  in the future. And his name, comes from Blaire’s grandfathers, one of which you will recognize as used in Lizzy’s storyline in WA.
I love being a dad, but it does feel overwhelming. Currently I have all the responsibilities of being a father, getting little sleep, and at the same time still feel like there’s a mountain of work remaining to be done weighing in on my back. And, it is that surmounting amount of projects and obligations that I feel a little communication is in order.
WA: Lockdown, In post production.
Lockdown has been worked on pretty much non-stop by our new editing team, but this was after we were delayed by the loss of our first primary editor right after principle recording. It’s also taking longer as we’re editing in stages, and working on new workflows to better standardize our craft. The success of the Lockdown Kickstarter campaign and the growing download numbers for WA has opened a few more doors to us, that need to remain vague for now, but it’s looking like we’re going to have some new productions coming shortly after Lockdown. By laying down and establishing certain audio-drama workflows, we hope to make things more streamline down the road for these new productions.
Other mediums of storytelling have been so far well established (tv, film, books, audio-books) that every technical aspect of their production process has been documented and regurgitated. It’s not overtly complicated to drop in a new cinematographer or editor into a film production. The concepts and “rules” are well known. With audio dramas, or at least my style and perspective, haven’t been mainstream and are in many ways a very large learning process for new crew members to come on board. So much so, that I’m having to teach every new editors how it all works. Sometimes even learning an entirely new aspect of their position. For example:
Film sound designers tend to have a skill set attuned to creating sound to match static and pre-timed visuals, whereas our editors have to be variably cutting the narrative together in speed, pacing, performance choices, etc… So many aspects of other creative fields are combined into one, that sometimes the process needs to be simplified, or distributed. At least now I hope to document the process and define my own set of “rules”.
This book/manual will show how I feel creative choices are made, recording tips, writing techniques, etc… so that further work in this field can be more easily referenced and built upon. There are others in the audio drama field that have done something similar, and many of those are inspired by the old models of early audio-dramatists of the 1940’s and follow their techniques. My influences are more from film, in both writing style and story structure. Just as an example, many audio dramas used to be written in a format especially built for radio, which includes breaks in dialogue for music cues and such, also putting character names on the left of their line.
My perspective is that most modern actors are used to the flow and pacing of the film format of scripts instead. Secondly, when recording sessions need the dialogue to flow, that left-side character labels can really mess with the pacing. Lastly, I feel that sound editors/designers don’t need music cues and will build scenes around the recorded material and can figure out the rest from the scene descriptions.
That’s just one example of some of the techniques that we’ve experimented with over our countless hours of recorded and edited material. I want to continue to build off everything we’ve learned and also continue to experiment in this new genre; do and try things never done before, showing off some of the strengths that I’ve come to discover in the medium.
You’re probably saying, “ok, enough with the excuses, when will we get Lockdown?!” Right now, the tentative start date is April, and most likely broken up into smaller pieces. WAIT! Before you grab your pitchforks and light your torches from the flames of Kickstarter promises, let me remind you we never set a release date because we knew this one was going to take a while. There’s also some more reasons for the delay, that I can’t go into at the moment, but I can say that if all goes well, we will secure the foundation for our next audio drama series, #tmm.
More news to follow, but this is enough to digest for a while. Next time I think I’ll talk about #Apartment2c and #Outpost1 .
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