As suggested, I left it a while before returning to my script and completing the final draft. Luckily, even with a fresh mind there were very little changes that I felt needed to be made other than to smooth out bits of dialogue from what I have learnt from paying attention to speech this week, so with that done I was ready to see how the real thing would work.
My first plan, to use friends who are actors again, just to see if the idea worked before taking it to the recording studio with actors of whom I had auditioned for the part in terms of being close to the character somewhat fell through due to unforeseen circumstances. Although this was a stressful and frustrating situation after working so hard on my script this did give me a very good incentive to go straight into the deep end and try and hire actors and edit something together as soon as I could, as closer as how it is working in the industry. Although most writers for audio dramas, for BBC radio for example, would not have to produce the final edit themselves I feel that it is good practice for me to experience all areas and thus make me a more versatile producer . On the completion on this edit myself, I will also have the advantage to my abilities to not only write for children but to also edit sound. I feel this would make me a better right too, to know the limits and boundaries of what I write.
I used several casting forums and Facebook groups to put out a casting call for the drama. The characters were difficult to cast because of the ages, the two main characters being under twelve. Particularly for a boy it was difficult to find male actors whose voice had not broken. After researching more though I discovered that many studios actually use female actors to play the role of young boys because this is much easier to so I left this as an option. Casting actors who are under 18 comes with lots of ethical issues and a requirement of parental consent which was some thing I was running out of time for.
Luckily through the various approaches that I took to casting, things have started to fall in place.
The character of Chris, was originally set to be a male actor whom I know personally. Unfortunately, due to unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances this could no longer happen. The second person that I casted was an actor called ‘Dane Spurrel’ after he sent me a superb voice demo from reading from my script after I sourced him on a voice acting agency.
Communicating and casting actors from America, although an interesting experiences also poses other potential problems such as the differences in time zones.
Although I loved the character in his voice, he recommended a friend who had a younger voice who could possibly suit the role better. He sent me over this demo to start thinking about my decision.
I am waiting to hear back from him but think that both of the voices have their strengths to my piece. And look forward to casting one of these.
For the character of Scout, I put a casting call up in several places over the internet from amateur to professional. However the best responses that I got were from a local youth theatre, on their Facebook group page. I am going to look carefully between the qualities of these potential actors but, luckily for this role, if there are too many complications with timing etc then this is a role I could do myself.
Casting these more complex roles has shown me the importance of time keeping as a freelancer. If I had started this project earlier, than I feel that I could have put more time into casting and production, however this is something which I have picked up from the experience and will be more efficient from throughout the rest of the project.
For the character of the Mum, I casted an actress after seeing her perform locally a few nights ago. I felt that she would be perfect for the sternness of the role.
She will be recording her part when she returns from her holiday. Another Time Zone to think about!
For the character of Tom, I was very lucky that, when I was casting the character of Scout one of the potential actresses who was unable to partake passed on the details of a friend. Who happened to be perfect for the role.
Although, putting together a radio drama with actors all over the world rather than in a studio together is a little unorthodox, what I learn from the challenges that it presents will stay with me through out my whole development as a freelancer.