February 23, 2009
Radio Serial Update
For those of you who have been following my exploits since last year, you'll recall one of my secondary projects was to write a radio serial. I found four students willing to undertake the project with me. It has taken a while, but I'm proud to say the first episode is “in the can” or, I should say, “on the disk.” I heard it today and although I didn't understand much because it's in Russian, the voices sounded great and the special effects were nicely done. A couple of script adjustments had to be made because of language, but nothing that altered the intent of the script. For instance, I made a joke about a notebook (one you write notes in) and a notebook (laptop computer). But, it had to be changed because “notebook” as a computer doesn't translate the same in Russian. No one would get the joke.
What makes this project so satisfying, aside from the fact that everyone is nice as can be, is that most of the people involved are teenagers. The voice of the 43 year-old father is 15. The 21 year old daughter is 14. And they sound fabulous. I've been told they really liked the script and love their characters. And it didn't take them long to start behaving like actors. They've already started making demands. The actress who reads the role of the mother wants to have an affair. Actors are the same the world over. :-)
The 2nd episode has been written and is currently being translated. I'm in the process of writing the third. School resumes tomorrow after a two month break, so hopefully my student writers will be back on the job. The station wants six episodes recorded before they put them on the air. They are also going to produce a “making of” show, which should be very interesting.
The radio serial we created and produced at the local community radio station defined my Peace Corps experience. Not surprisingly, probably, because it involved playwriting. It was a true collaboration with a group of eager locals who were as dedicated as me to make “Kok Asman” a worthy project. We all expressed our opinions on topics and changes to the scripts. I recall only a couple of times when I had to override their suggestions, mostly because they, the actors, thought more in movie mode than radio drama. Their ideas would have been better off filmed than broadcast on the radio.
In the book I give all the background on the family in "Kok Asman," episode topics and some information on the "making of" project.