I am the composer for FinalRune Productions epic post-apocalyptic audio drama, The Cleansed
. I am very fortunate to have come across Fred Greenhalgh's production when he was looking for a composer. As of today, I understand that the show has been downloaded over 5000 times with at least 10,000 more from the Radio Drama Revival site. I encourage you to check out a fantastic production featuring actors and crew members on location giving their all in creating these wonderful locations, scenes and characters for your ears to enjoy. Free chapters are released every Friday or you can purchase an entire episode if you just cannot wait!
This weekend, an audiobook I produced through the Audible Creation Exchange (ACX.COM) went up for sale on Amazon, Audible.com, and iTunes called All For One by Ryne Douglas Pearson
. It was narrated by a wonderfully talented actress by the name of Jorjeana Marie. As far as I can tell, this is her second audiobook narration available on Audible. When I began this project, my first goal was to produce an audiobook that was not a dry read of a novel. So I selected a storyteller. A person who can bring life to the words on the page in a manner that fits naturally in our ears.
Normally, when I think of great storytellers that I have encountered personally, I think about how they speak, their body language as they tell the tale, and the eye contact that is made. Listening to people with a knack for telling a good tale is a great treat. Back in the 80s, when Hurricane Gloria hit my hometown on Long Island as a kid. There was no electricity for a week and debris everywhere. For about one week, life in the suburbs came to a complete standstill. Yet we found ways to occupy our time and one of them included listening to my mother talk about her childhood growing up as one of 13 brothers and sisters living in a shanty in Montego Bay, Jamaica. I was gobsmacked when I heard her talk for the first time about the mischief she would get into as a kid. My view of her as a person completely changed in that she was no longer the perfect human being I had imagined her to be (of course, she remains the greatest of all people that I know!) I learned that my grandparents ruled the home with a belt soaked in salt and vinegar! Yet, I distinctly remember getting spankings for things way less than what she did as a kid! Despite all that, there was a lot of love in that home as well as in my home. (For the record... corporal punishment is bad, mmmkay?)
Sadly, I have never been a great storyteller myself. I like to keep my stories short and to the point but usually, they end up being long rambling messes. So, I tend to be the quiet type upon your first impression. However, I can certainly appreciate someone who can spin a good yarn which brings me to the lovely Jorjeana Marie.
I came across her audition when I was looking for narrators for All For One. What made her demo unique was her ability to present these wonderful character voices in addition to having a strong narrative voice that provided the foundation for all of her characters to play on. As I mentioned, part of great storytelling included body language and eye contact. When my mother pumps two fists in the air above her head and shouts in a high pitch voice, "Wooooooooooo", I am instantly transported to her youth when she's trying to clear 100 yards in 9.4 seconds just to get away from a fight (or grandpa's belt, same difference) Unfortunately, none of us can appreciate that in an audiobook. So, in addition to strong character voices and narration, I included light sound design at the beginning and end of a chapter as well as during transition scenes within a chapter. An example of sound design used during a transition to a new scene can be found on my ACX profile here
. The majority of the drama is delivered in the narration. Any sound design used is relatively light. My biggest concern was that it would be a distraction. In the movies, the best sound design is the one that doesn't call any attention to itself and break that suspension of disbelief. I kept that in mind as I produced All For One and I hope I succeeded in bringing an entertaining thriller to audiobook fans.
If you have any questions about the production or the process of working with ACX, I'd be happy to answer them! Thanks for taking the time to read.
PS - I'll be copying this post to my blog as well as on the audiobook community forum. But this is the original post here.