Recording for Escape Velocity Series 2

It's been a few months since last heading into the recording space to record actors for Escape Velocity. With the principle recording days for series two now under our belts, I've been thinking about how the recording process for the Radio Theatre Workshop has evolved.

The first ever episode was written and recorded as an one-off experiment, to see how well the idea and plot would be received by the Elite: Dangerous community and to explore the process of producing audio drama. Escape Velocity was my first attempt at writing and producing a full-cast audio drama. The first episode was written stand-alone and recorded in a single evening with the full cast.

Alan Wales as the Cyborg Tech-Bootlegger "Kurlek"

It quickly became apparent that this method of writing and recording wasn't sustainable. I needed to get more writing done up-front to plan for the whole series' progression. Additionally, since all the actors are currently doing this "for the love of it" it seems fair only to drag them out as rarely as possible! The last four episodes of Escape Velocity series one were written in a block and recorded in a single day, with a rota for different groups of actors as different times

Series two of Escape Velocity required a slightly different approach to recording. Series one was six 20-minute episodes, with the last four recorded in a single day. Series two of Escape Velocity will comprise five 30-minute episodes. It's a much bigger show than the previous series.

Left to right: Janet Westwood-Wilson (Camilla, S1), Katie Howes (Student/Pilot), Christopher Jarvis (Writer/Director/Thane)
At present, Escape Velocity is recorded on the stage at the theatre in Coventry in which I am involved. It is from The Wheatsheaf Players that nearly all of the actors involved in the production are gathered. The commitment and talent of this Coventry-based group is always hugely encouraging during Escape Velocity's production and I heartily recommend anybody in the area at the right moment to check out one of the Wheatsheaf's fantastic shows and support their ongoing campaign for a new stage.

Recording in a theatre has come with surprises in the past. Series One's big recording day featured a completely boxed set on stage for the theatre's next production - requiring us to improvise with ladders and duvets for the reverb-neutral environment we require for quality recording. For a free production these challenges are an ongoing part of our passion!

Amy Timms (May Havelock) recording in an improvised booth.
So, with Escape Velocity Series Two mostly recorded it's time to say a massive Thank You! to all the actors that have so far given their voices and time. It's also time for me to chase down those last few elusive performers and cameos that will see the series fully complete. After that it's into the editing suite.

But that's another story.

(Pictures from Series One recording)