Welcome to the ongoing series of behind-the-scenes posts for our little endeavour that is The Quest Inn at the Centre of the Universe.
/MAKING ROAD TRIPPIN’
Title: Road Trippin’
Recorded: 2pm, 21st December 2018
Location: Library at the Dock Recording Studio
Guest: Hill Hügel
Road Trippin’ was the fifth episode recorded in the season, and the last of three episodes recorded that day.
Special guest Hill Hügel really brought some magic to this one. All I knew about his character prior to this session was that he’d play a hitchhiker that the Quest Inn crew would pick up on their escape from Rika-Shore prison – everything else (backstory, voice, Blobbzzo’s attempts to absorb everyone) came from Hill – thanks man!
This is not the first instance where we recorded three episodes in one session – many episodes from season one were done this way. That said, it can be a bit of a marathon doing it like this as managing time becomes more pressing, and more effort is necessary to maintain performance levels over the three-hour period.
I don’t believe this episode suffered from any elements of fatigue that can sometimes creep in. In fact, the energy levels were so good on this one that we Hill stuck around a little longer to record some additional content for Checking Out: Behind The Quest Inn (CO:BTQI).
CO:BTQI is a three-episode miniseries that we created as a lead-up to season two. Presented like a collection of fly-on-the-wall documentary segments where the cast and me play versions of ourselves, the series features interviews, meetings and phone calls that reveal the personal and professional struggles that went on behind-the-scenes in the hiatus between seasons.
This little project served as a way for the four of us to get back into the swing of making episodes before we dove into the new season. Most of the material in CO:BTQI was recorded in a single session and it’s documented evidence of my first proper improv performance (Yay?). The sketches are pretty rough – but the segment with Hill in episode two is pretty great.
In terms of production, this was one of the more complex episodes. With no less than five distinct locations (Chase’s anus, forest, car, petrol station, shipping port), I found this to be a very involved process.
Of course, what it sounds like inside Chase’s anus was established in the previous episode, so it was simple to apply those effects to the beginning of this one and go from there.
The interesting challenge, however, was creating the transitions. For example, every time the crew stopped the car and got out, I had to consider what that would sound like. Of course, we all know what opening a car door sounds like, but how does that affect the general ambience? What outside sounds are introduced as soon as you open that door? A little careful cross-fading between effects helped sell this idea.
Another creative choice was to put some gentle phasing on Blobbzzo’s voice to make it sound blobby and a bit wobbly. I feel that combining this with subtle squishing sounds really helped to sell his non-solid form.
Just listening back to this now, I’m quite fond of all the performances in this episode, but one moment I’m particularly proud of is Beau’s performance when Chase is locked in the boot of the car. Despite the added banging affects and such, if it wasn’t for his enthusiasm, this whole segment would not work nearly as well as it does. My only regret with this scene is that I didn’t add some transition music to indicate a passing of time while everyone is singing. As it stands, it feels like the trip only took the length of the song – which I guess is kind of funny, but it isn’t quite as epic and road-trippy as it could’ve been.
Additionally, the closing narrator monologue features a little blob call-back gag. I think it works in terms of audio, but the timing is off as it doesn’t transition that well into the following piece of dialogue that I chose to record separately (for some unjustifiable reason).
And last of all, there was one more task I added to my workload for this episode, which was to put together a second musical theme and use it (like the Lawless theme) to signal that we were onto a new chapter in this little arc. I didn’t end up using it here, but it does turn up in the next episode – so I’ll talk more about it then.
What do you think, is Road Trippin’ a good one? We want to know your thoughts and feels, so let us know in the comments!
Till next time.
If you enjoy reading these reflective pieces (or listening to the podcast itself) and want to help us out, please consider supporting us on Patreon.