Boy, what a busy day yesterday! I was down in London with Christian Dunn for the recording of my first ever audio story – Thunder from Fenris.
A 5.30am start (at least when I stirred from my pit to get ready for the booked taxi) and an 8.45pm finish (by the time I got back through my door, comfy slippers on and the last two episodes of Heroes season four to watch on BBC2 – yes, I hung in there until the end: I’m obviously a TV masochist or something) has left me pretty drained, I don’t mind saying.
Just by way of a little insight, the actual recording day was around eight hours – roughly 9am-5pm – and generally consists of the writer (me, in this case) and editor (that’ll be Christian) sat in the directorial suite with script in hand, listening to the actor go through his lines and weave his magic over the microphone with director and sound engineer guiding and monitoring proceedings respectively.
It’s a team effort and, as always, we were surrounded by total pros.
Toby Longworth (who folks will hear voicing James Swallow’s excellent Heart of Rage in the not-too-distant future) really delivered for us (and me, I suppose) again with a stellar performance. He had three Space Wolves to nail and he had them down from minute one. Three very different characters; three very distinctive but wonderfully rendered and wholly apt voices. I couldn’t have been more pleased.
Easter egg – check out a character called Thorgard in the production and see if you can tell where Toby drew his inspiration from. Great stuff.
Toby Longworth put through his paces on the script…
Ably steering the directorial helm was Jason Haigh-Ellery (Jason runs Big Finish Productions, the audio company that BL works with to produce their audio books – real experts in their field) whose guidance was exemplary and knowledge helped really coax the script into life (oh and huge props to both Toby and Jason for their timely and astute script advice – all part of the creative process).
Our sound engineer, and who pretty much looked after us all on the day, was another Toby, though this time a Mr Hrycek Robinson (I know, I know with that first name he could be a Space Wolf, too!). Always very, very safe hands and wonderfully hospitable.
Jason Haigh-Ellery (left) and Toby Hrycek Robinson work their magic from the other side of the microphone.
Were also joined by David Richardson, BL’s principle liaison with Big Finish and a producer himself, who works very closely with the audio books editor to ensure we get the audios done, on time and to schedule.
Being on the other side of the fence, as writer instead of editor, this was a new experience for me and I felt extremely privileged to have been a part of the process during the recording as it was fascinating and exciting from this new point of view.
I’m hoping fans will love Thunder from Fenris as much as I did writing it, and will get the same level of enjoyment I did from hearing it immortalised into audio. I’ve yet to hear the music and fx edit (we recorded the rushes on the day, and another sound engineer will now be set to work adding atmospheric music, bolters, zombie noises and so on, and generally cutting the whole thing together).
A tiring day, but a great day. I’m told we’ll see copies fairly soon (a month or so to give time for editing, reviewing and duplication into CD format) and the audio itself will be released at UK Games Day, I believe, and then later on in Games Workshop stores.