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 BACK TO THE INN
Title: Back to the Inn
Recorded: 7pm, 12th February 2019
Location: Kathleen-Syme Library Recording Studio
Guests: Reeni Inosha, Lukas Quinn and Brendan Wan
Back to the Inn was the ninth episode recorded in the season, and the first of two episodes recorded that evening.
Having so many guests at once always creates a bit of a party vibe in the studio and this session with Reeni Inosha, Lukas Quinn and Brendan Wan was certainly no exception. This team did such a great job that I may still be considering a spin-off series starring their characters Lauren Anderson, Enri Canard and Escape Room.
Except we killed Escape Room… ah well, guess it’ll have to be a prequel.
The concept for this episode was a bit of a no-brainer. What would happen to the Quest Inn once the crew was taken away? Well, it would of course be re-staffed with people that can do a much better job. And what would the new crew look like? As is the trope, they’d certainly be somewhat familiar to anyone who knows the original Quest Inn crew.
With regard to our guest’s performances, as always, they had free rein of how to realise each character and I think they created a solid dynamic, not only between themselves, but also in playing off the original Quest Inn crew. This episode also gave me so many opportunities to accentuate the performances with a few fun (if not terribly violent) sound effects.
The narrator’s introduction for this one features an extended recap of the story so far. For me, infodumps can very quickly dip into the realms of tedium under the weight of their own bloatedness, and it’s always a bit of a challenge to strike the balance between useful recap and entertaining performance. As the narrator, I feel I’m yet to hit the mark with this.
Upon reviewing this episode, I’m happy to say that I did a much better job of mixing the themes during the opening narration than what we ended up with in the last episode – yay for me – and I’m also happy with the transition from the pirate theme that takes us into the opening scene.
In terms of transitions (there’s more than a few in this one), I’m quite happy with how this episode turned out. It took a little work to get the Quest Inn crew from the beach to the door of the Quest Inn, and then to transition to a scene inside the building, and finally bring the two together – but a little tweaking of audio effects was all it took to get the end result, and I think it makes sense when you listen to it.
As I mentioned before, we had a bit of a party vibe going on in the studio with all our performers eager to play their parts. This, however, brought its own challenges. Managing four performances can be tricky enough – especially with improv. Speaking purely from a spectator’s point of view, it seems that the give and take that each performer must negotiate gets more complex when you add more players to the mix. Unless there is a strong understanding of who is leading, I imagine that improvising a story where everyone gets to contribute in a meaningful way can become quite difficult.
With this in mind, editing six voices that are all pulling in a different direction when they start to get a little rowdy also becomes a challenge. There was a good amount of getting in there and playing with volume levels for individual voice parts, just so everyone could be heard. It gets a bit messy in places, but I think the through-line of this story holds together (barely) and it helps a lot that every voice had a recognisable quality of its own.
That said, it’s the chaotic moments that I feel are some of the strongest moments of this episode. Sure, there was some decent world-building and backstory going on, but none of this compares to the opportunity of adding to the violence with sound effects in the form of punches and explosions.
Revisiting this episode was fun and I think it’s on point to say that improv is like roulette. It’s pretty risky and you probably won’t survive the ordeal, but if you do, you’ll look like a genius and everyone will adore you for it (this is not an endorsement – DO NOT try roulette at home).
And last of all, with regard to the closing narrator spiel, I feel the energy I brought to it was an attempt to make amends for the drag of the intro. Oh well, it’s all a learning experience.
What do you think, of Back to the Inn? Is it a fun ride? Share your thoughts and feels in the comments!
Till next time.
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