OB - recording outside the studio
'OB' means 'outside broadcast' - technical term in the SCRIPT. (Old-fashioned BBC term, originally.) Gives more freedom and space of movement.
Opens out the sound picture.
You do APPROACHES - a character makes an approach from POSITION 5 'MOVES OFF' to POSITION 3 (for example) More characters in a scene? - there's more space for positioning ('blocking')
Best ACOUSTIC in the open air or other complex locations. You will never match the liveliness of OB if you work in a traditional Studio. See Atmos bed (underneath the scene dialogue) - establishes scene location or scenery
Best ACOUSTIC for small, boxy locations. Record in the bathroom, kitchen, corridor, cupboard.
Beware of traffic noise. Beware of overhead aircraft.(Indoors) Beware of nearby computers - background hum.
Do a sound test of a possible location first, before arranging OB PRODUCTION recording.
Some public spaces are regulated. Cemeteries and churches also. London Underground is strict about permissions. As are all transport authorities.
Microphone positions - five in total - from closest to 'moves off' (furthest)
POSITION 1 - closest to the microphone (as close as possible - beware of blasting and popping) POSITION 2 - intimate conversation (a step away from position no 1) POSITION 3 - conversation (stand far away enough from the microphone so that your outstretched fist is level with it) - MOST RADIO DRAMA DIALOGUE HAPPENS IN POSITION THREE POSITION 4 - across the 'room' (to 10 feet away) POSITION 5 - 'moves off' (farthest off in the studio, behind curtains, behind screen)
Close-up - making some dialogue section more intimate
EXAMPLE: 'THE CANTERBURY VAMPIRES' 11.1 - EXTERIOR. THE DARK ENTRY BY CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL - rehearsing a play with a group of actors EXAMPLE: 'THE CANTERBURY VAMPIRES' 11.2 - EXTERIOR: CANTERBURY - BY CHRISTCHURCH GATE (ENTRANCE TO CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL - BUTTERMARKET)
This site is 'Radio Drama - directing, acting, technical, learning & teaching, researching, styles, genres'. See INDEX to navigate also. Complete curriculum of scripts, techniques (acting & directing & post-production & genre styles), advice, sound files - effects and atmoses (with no copyright and so free to use), detailed script commentaries, etc.
Academic material on this site is Alan Beck is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
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