Wednesday, February 6, 2008 Control Freak!!
Audio drama may just be the perfect genre for an artistic control freak like myself.
In live theatre, the actors can mess up, the sets can fall apart and the props can go missing. Light cues might be late, sound cues completely lost, and an actor may not deliver his line in "that perfect way" that he did the night before.
As I'm editing scenes for "Dark Ritual" however, I have an insane level of control. At times, my actors deliver the perfect line in one shot, and other times, I'll hack and slash and assemble a version from six completely different takes. As an actor, that might drive me nuts to hear, but as a director, sometimes it keeps me sane.
Then again, it's also good to let go a little now and then. Sometimes I'll get through listening to all of an actor's takes and think "Why didn't I direct them to do it more like THIS?" Hindsight is 20/20 and all that, right? But despite the initial frustration, something neat happens after I realize I'm "stuck" with a certain variety of takes to work with. The character is taken out of my hands and out of my mind and lives and breathes a little on its own.
Suddenly, I have to re-evaluate who the character is in light of the actor's performance. And when the product is finished, I've got a group of people that surprise even their creator now and then.
Don't get me wrong, I'm still a certifiable control freak and will take the version matching "my vision" over the alternative any day. But there's a certain charm in the unknown that helps to keep this fictional world "alive". And that's pretty cool, too.