The Monkey’s Paw Radio Play

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Using everything we have learnt about sound such as reverb, we were given the book the monkeys paw to turn into a radio play. The book itself is interesting because of its origin, written in 1902 it is written in a wordy style that isn’t particularly appropriate for a modern audience. This added another challenge to to the task, to keep the audience not only awake but interested.

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I was very happy to be given the responsibility of writing the script as this was something I had never done before. I conducted some research using a sample Archers Radio script off the BBC website and I soon discovered the layout was quite drastically different from what I am used to when considering visuals on screen too. Whereas on television, visuals can be used relatively easily to demonstrate an action for our radio play we had to use sound alone to demonstrate the story and this was a great eye opener. The striking of a match isn’t the most distinguishable of sounds but narrating every little sound is equally as terrible.

Seeing the actors bring to life my script of The monkeys paw was great. The acoustics in the studio were significantly clearer than when we had practiced noisily in the lounge at uni and it made me think about the impact that reverb has that we don’t really think about. A scene within a film where the actress shouts something from another room but we hear it close up isn’t going to make much sense. Yet I hadn’t really taken sound manipulation seriously before.

When editing the play transparency was important. Other than the actions narrated we created an ambience undertone of what we would normally consider inaudible in real life. This project really encouraged me to paws for thought about sound within film too *Ba dum ch* Sorry. Enjoy!

Monkeys Paw 2 from Johnathan Aldrich on Vimeo.


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