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 PIRATE SHIPPIN’
Title: Pirate Shippin’
Recorded: 1pm, 25th January 2019
Location: Library at the Dock Recording Studio
Guest: Derek Wilson
Road Trippin’ was the sixth episode recorded in the season, and the last of two episodes recorded that day.
Somewhere down the line in the writing room, we decided that the Quest Inn crew would make their way onto a pirate ship. I believe it started with the idea of having a guest play a parrot that would leave the ship to get some milk and return to find that the Quest Inn crew had taken over.
Well, that changed a little bit. Instead of a talking parrot, it became a talking pastry and the rest is history.
Being the second episode performed on that record-breaking hot day (after Jailhouse Blues), we pushed on to get through the session. Considering the weather, it was no surprise that we lost a guest for this one, but we were saved in a last-minute decision by Derek to graciously give up his time for an extra hour to stick around and fill in (you did great – thanks man!).
It was an inspired move by the cast to begin the scene in the cargo hold and go from there to explore the ship. Though the episode was restricted to one location, this little trick conveyed a nice sense of space for the characters to exist.
The reveal of Captain Cannoli Cannoli from behind his spinning chair was another fun creative choice by the cast, and the character arc and backstory created for a talking piece of pasta is as crazy as it sounds (and as good as you’ll hear anywhere else).
About two thirds of the way through, I think the heat starts to affect everyone as the energy dips a little, but everyone pulls it right back up for the finale. An excellent effort by all, considering this one was pulled together a little more on-the-fly than usual.
This was a pretty simple episode to put together. Luckily for me, someone on Freesound.org shared some ambient recordings of their creaking boat hull at sea, which was the perfect bit of audio to loop on this one. The original sample was about fifteen minutes long, so I only had to loop it about three times. One unforeseen issue, however, was that whatever was used to record the ambience wasn’t shielded against mobile signals, so every now and again there’d be a little digital doot-de-doot-de-doot-doot sound, that I might have missed if I were less careful. I guess the lesson there is, if you’re using other people’s samples, always review the whole track before using it. It wasn’t difficult to cut out the offending sounds, even if it was still a little tedious.
Another challenge was finding the right audio for the ducks. What I found and ended up using was what could only have been a super-cute display of ducks in a park somewhere – the only problem was that those super-cute ducks were on water, where Captain Cannoli Cannoli’s were not. I tried to edit around some of the bigger splashes, but I know there’s still water in there – I hope I got away with a few splashes under the sounds of the creaking and the lapping waves outside.
Upon reviewing this episode, I found my opening narrative (and included musical cues) to be a little stilted. For some reason I made the decision to make space for said cues, but it doesn’t quite work.
I’m really happy with the way the cast ended this episode, but again, the edit lets it down. Indy’s final yell is supposed to echo off into the distance, but I think I cut the tail of the effect too early.
The pirate theme that plays at the end was fun to write and put together, even if the frenetic thigh-slap percussion resulted in a few more bruises than anticipated. Ah, the things we do for art. The chords and melody are based around the show’s main theme, so it didn’t take long to work this into a sea shanty-style track.
Well, this one isn’t perfect, but it does have some really good energy and enough silly one-liners to push it over the line for me to consider it an entertaining and worthwhile trip.
What about your thoughts? How does Pirate Shippin’ fare in your humble opinion? I’d love to know what you think, so feel free to share your thoughts and feels in the comments!
Till next time.
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