(9) Production Notes

Chapter 9 was originally The Musical Chapter, it was greatly overhauled in the early chapter re-writes. I have to say that I’m happy for the change – as I’ve mentioned previously I’m rather self-conscious about my lack of singing ability and so having an entire musical chapter was a nightmare for me. I believe it came through in the voice work as well, I think I sounded rather awkward. The original is still listed in the Table of Contents if you’d like to hear it, because I don’t think information should be destroyed just because it’s embarrassing in retrospect. But really, it’s not good.

The one saving grace was that The Ghostbusters Theme was chosen – it’s already fairly ridiculous. On a technical level it was a perfect choice as well. The 80s synthesizer sound made it ideal for vamping (since it was far too short in its original state to fill all the time needed for narration). With large chunks that were identical in sound it was easy enough to cut & splice that even a noob with less than 80 hours of sound editing experience could make it loop endlessly at several points. It helped that I was talking over the music too, which made disguising the cuts easier. It was probably the best possible song to work with. Thank goodness for small mercies.

(7b) Production Notes

SPOILER NOTE! This production note contains spoilers for Chapter 7. Do not read it if you haven’t read or listened to Chapter 7 in it’s entirety yet, and you care about that sort of thing.

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Seriously, big spoiler.

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Before we get to what everyone’s waiting for, I just wanted to say how much I love Harry’s “This Is Why Science Is Awesome” speech. It’s damned inspirational, one of the great pieces of pro-science propaganda. There’s even a short video of it. This is what makes humanity great.

And in stark contrast to that – the rape-threat scene. Obviously this story was never intended for young audiences, but this cemented that into place. It was during this chapter that I decided I had to follow this series to its end. Half of it was Harry’s incredible speech, and half of it is the pure emotional shock of hearing an 11-year-old boy casually say he plans to rape a 10-year-old girl. It had an immediate physical effect on me, and the after-effects lingered for the rest of the day. The fact that it came so out of the blue in such an unexpected setting… it was damned effective.

(7a) Production Notes

There are a lot of minor characters in HPMoR, and I generally have a hard time keeping their voices distinct in my mind. Thus, for a few of them I’ve used very exaggerated distinct voices. This helps me remember who sounds like what, helps differentiate the characters when there’s just one person voicing them all, and is a lot more fun for me. (OK, I’ll admit it, the fact that it’s fun for me is probably the main reason I do it) For Ron I chose Keanu Reeves ala Point Break. The somewhat-dim surfer guy that only talked from the back of his throat seemed perfect, and I often start Ron lines with a warm-up of “Woah! Via con dios.” (I have stock phrases for most characters that I repeat when I need to get in-voice)

I find the Platform 9 & 3/4ths ambient sounds very soothing, I could listen to it all day. Unfortunately I’ve lost the links to the original sound files, so I cannot properly credit them. :/ I think the primary track was an outdoor market somewhere in Germany, with the train sounds overlaid.