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As well as making programmes and knowing a bit about Pro Tools we also provide a variety of media related audio courses which we taylor to each client's needs. We were approached by Orbit Showtime Network to run a 5 day training course for their audio department to help them to start producing their content in surround especially for their HD channels.Read More
Just before I went on holiday I worked on a very interesting programme called Human Kind all about an incredible guy called George Price Matthew Taylor tells the story of the last eight years in the life of George Price - a scientist who studied the evolution of altruism and who suffered for his faith. With contributions from Price's biographer Oren Harman, writer Marek Kohn, Professor Steve Jones and Price's family and friends, Matthew follows a journey that began with a sensational breakthrough in evolutionary biology and ended in poverty and suicide. Audio Editor: Mike Thornton Producer: Peter Everett.Read More
The Robeson Files was a very interesting programme to work on that goes out today on BBC Radio 2... "A first rate nuisance in the world peace campaign... slightly anti-British, he is a crank on the colour question." Words from security files about the American singer and civil rights campaigner, Paul Robeson, as they feared the effect his popularity may have on the European colonies. Dotun Adebayo looks at back at the extraordinary talents of one of the greatest American recording stars of the early 20th century, Paul Robeson, at how both the FBI and MI5 colluded to try and crush both his career and social justice activism, and examines his extraordinary relationship with the miners of South Wales.Read More
Gillian Reynolds Has written a lovely little review in The Daily Telegraph We’re half way through Tony Pitts’s blackly comic series, about a strange seaside place where odd people live. At three in the morning someone is screaming. It’s the kind of thing that happens in Shedtown down by the bay, where dogs arrive as parcels in the post. It’s a bit like Under Milk Wood with touches of Father Ted. And it’s curiously addictive, the vivid, dreamlike script given life by a marvellous cast, including Suranne Jones, Ronni Ancona and Johnny Vegas as Colin (a thoughtful melancholic). Tonight: a puppet show about 9/11. Wow, "a bit like Under Milk Wood" praise indeed. This episode certainly had some sound design challenges, not least creating the unwrapping of a dog sent through the post in a parcel!! And the night screams were fun to record on the beach, we certainly got some very strange looks from passers by. All great fun.
Last night Radio 4 broadcast the 2nd episode of Shedtown, a 4 part comedy starring Johnny Vegas. "Foundations" written by Kevin Eldon in which, Colin (Johnny Vegas) is all at sea as the foundations of Jimmy's dream take shape on the beach. Wes and Father Michael witness the profits of some not-so-spiritual meat.Read More
Miranda Sawyer in The Observer at the weekend has reviewed Shedtown. She wrote... Shedtown, a new programme from Johnny Vegas's production company, was far from ranty: a strange drama/comedy/soundscape, narrated by Maxine Peake, it took advantage of its 11pm slot to offer something much more dreamy and hilarious than the usual wait-for-the-laughter Radio 4 fare. It's about the final works trip for the staff of a failed museum. They go to the seaside. The jokes came in under the radar: "What can I get you?" asked the barmaid. "Peace of mind," said Barry. "I want a pint, me," said Dave. The barmaid talked them through the new menu, which included chicken catch-a-Tory. I am proud that she used 'soundscape' in her description of Shedtown as I worked hard to provide an aural wash of sound to support the narrative. More about the next episode soon....
I have to go back to early September where for nearly a week the cast and crew lived and worked in Robin Hood Bay recording Shedtown on location before the weather broke too much. Ha ha, the British weather kept us on our toes and made umpteen schedules out of date almost before they had come out of the printer. The view out to sea showing some of the bad weather coming in! The frst episode is called "Something is Gonna Change.... Who hasn't thought about running away from it all at some time or other? Throwing caution to the wind, wrenching oneself out of a long established orbit to head for the deep space of the unknown? Barry (Tony Pitts) and Jimmy (Kevin Eldon) haven't. Until now. Friends since school days in a small town, they find themselves slipping inexorably and almost unconsciously into middle age.Read More
Just to let you know that if enjoyed or missed Merry Christmas Morris Minor then it is Radio 4's Podcast of the week so you have 7 days to download it to enjoy both the programme and my Jingle Bells creation for ever. In addition The Guardian have selected it as one of their Radio Highlights for Christmas Eve.... If the festive spirit is still proving elusive, tune into Merry Christmas Morris Minor! (Radio 4, 11am), one of the sweetest radio offerings over the holiday. The Guardian's Martin Wainwright celebrates the car's 50th birthday in this affectionate tribute, which includes a rendition of Jingle Bells played on a chorus of Morris Minor Horns. That moment really is enough to melt even Scrooge's heart.
For a couple of days I had some great fun making a lovely documentary "Merry Christmas Morris Minor" for Radio 4 all about the Morris Minor car. Martin Wainwright sets off through the snow to give seasonal best wishes to the owners of Britain's favourite mass produced car - and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the special edition Morris Minor Million - the rarest minor of all. Highlight of the programme is a special rendition of 'Jingle Bells' from a Morris Minor 'choir.' Martin has a soft spot for the little car - often described as a large jelly mould with a speedometer sitting like a clock on the dashboard, and orange fingers for indicators. For it's time though, according to Stirling Moss, it was a nippy little car. Martin meets a mechanic who 'soups' the car up, owners like Dave Brown from 'The Mighty Boosh' and the drivers who 'danced ' their Morris Minors at the end of the Manchester Commonwealth Games . Finally, using the horn, various clunks and clicks from the car door and boot, and a squeak from the chassis, he conducts a unique version of ' Jingle Bells' by the Morris Minor 'choir.' Sound Design and production: Mike Thornton Producers: Janet Graves and Geoff Bird A Pennine production for BBC Radio 4. I had the challenge to create the 'Morris Minor choir' using only the sounds from a Morris Minor. The horn of course was very useful, being a 'tuned' sound and so I loaded it into Structure, a sampler plug-in in Pro Tools. Other sounds I stuffed into Structure were the lovely squeaking of the car's suspension, various door, boot and bonnet open and close sounds to form part of the percussion section as well as a multiple of different sounds extracted from a hub cap ending up as various cymbal sounds, using Serato's Pitch 'n Time plug-in to stretch out the sound into a variety of cymbal crashes. We were able to get a tuned note from it so the hub cap also formed part of the harmony and melody of this unique rendition of Jingle Bells. You will be able to hear this and the documentary on Christmas Eve at 11am on BBC Radio 4 and afterwards on the iPlayer.
This Sunday Radio 4 will be transmitting an interesting documentary I edited and mixed with Carmel Lonergan on how young black men are turning towards Islam as they find it gives them structure and discipline. More than two thirds of Muslims in Britain are of South Asian ancestry, leading many to believe that Islam is the preserve of these communities. Yet in the last 2 decades, Islam has arguably become the fastest growing religion among Black people in Britain and at a time when the UK appears more disunited over faith, ethnicity and identity than ever before. In this programme the writer and presenter, Dotun Adebayo, explores this phenomenon and asks why is Islam providing such an attractive religious alternative to Christianity for Black Britons seeking spiritual answers? What do they get from Islam that they can't get from their original faith? Is this just a rebellion against the family and society? He will talk to young black people about the reasons for their conversion and to Bishop Joe Aldred from the Black Churches who explains where he thinks the Black Majority Churches are going wrong and why he thinks they need to smarten up and get their message across to young people so they are comfortable with church. Conversion to Islam also has a darker side in the shape of terrorism. As Dotun Adebayo says "Ever since the penny dropped that the Richard Reid, the shoebomber was The Richard Reid I had lived with when he was a teenager in south London, I have been haunted with the question of whether I could have done anything to dissuade my petty thieving 'good lad at heart' flatmate from going down the route of militant Islam. Twenty years later I have to ask is being "young muslim and black" still a "lovely, precious dream". It was a very enlightening programme to be involved in. Finding instrumental music we could use that reflected black and Muslim youth culture was a challenge! If you miss it on 19th December then do go to the iPlayer and have a listen.
On Thursday BBC Radio 4 will be broadcasting Cheque Book and Pen, a fictional drama on how Les Dawson might have got to host Blankety Blank. Working with Woolyback Productions I recorded on location, edited, tracked and mixed this production which will be the afternoon play on 16th Dec 2010 at 2:15pm. Johnny Vegas pays tribute to the legendary Les Dawson in a comic flight of fancy. Les has a way with words but is northern, rather crumpled, a little shambolic and an unknown quantity, and delightfully unpredictable when he is faced with representing a national institution. Nicholas Parsons is Farson, a resplendent foil for Dawson. Farson embraces and embodies the hammiest forces of the 'traditional BBC'. A nemesis to Les and all he stands for and aims to subvert. This homage is a pure joyous farce, taking full artistic license in imagining how the BBC might have engaged the iconic Les to become a game show great in its eighties flagship, Blankety Blank. Cast: Les ..... Johnny Vegas Farson ..... Nicholas Parsons Helen ..... Shobna Gulati Dave Parkins ..... Mick Miller BBC Executive ..... Mark Chatterton Number Two ...... Paul Foot Doris (Barmaid) ..... Catherine Kinsella Other parts ..... Peter Slater (and cast). Written by Andrew Lynch and Johnny Vegas. Sound Design: Mike Thornton Directed by Jim Poyser Producer: Sally Harrison A Woolyback Production for BBC Radio 4. I have had great fun working on this production with challenges like a scene in a Manchester club where Les is on stage doing his act whilst the BBC executives were in the audience commenting on his performance. Another scene, that took a few goes to get right, was a montage of agents all ringing the BBC offering their clients for the new presenter of Blankety Blank. Also look out for Shobna Gulati playing a lovely cameo part as the queen phoning the BBC exec to complain. We were unable to get the original Blankety Blank theme clean but we did get Les's first show from the BBC archive and I was able to weave that into this production. If you don't get to listen to Cheque Book and Pen on Thursday then do go to iPlayer and listen to it from there.
I have been busy on a number of dramas and documentaries most of which I cannot talk about yet but will be on air around and just after Christmas so will share more when they go public. However one that I am just finishing is a 2 part documentary on Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino boxer, and now politician. An exclusive interview produced by Lyndon Saunders at All Out Productions which I have been involved in editing and mixing will be going out on the World Service on Nov 26th and Dec 3rd as the Friday Documentary. Fighting for the people Making the leap from top level sport to politics is not unique: Pakistan’s Imran Kahn did it; Britain’s Sebastian Coe’s done it… but Filipino, Manny Pacquiao, takes things to a new level. As an active boxer – and the world’s first fighter to win eight world titles in no less than eight different weight divisions – earlier this year he was also elected to Congress in the Philippines earlier this year. Now, Mike Costello, the BBC’s Boxing Correspondent travels to the Philippines to spend time with this sporting legend as he trains for his forthcoming fight with Antonio Margarito. Mike discovers who Pacquiao is as the boxer, the newly appointed politician and man of the Filipino people. Speaking with people that know, love and work with Pacquiao, his story of poverty to one of the world’s most high earning sportsmen is compelling. Mike Costello will visit the streets in General Santos where Pacquiao grew up to see for himself where he came from. TX times... East Africa Friday 07:00, 14:00, 21:00 West Africa Friday 09:00. 14:00, 21:00 America Friday 14:00, 19:00 East Asia Friday 03:00, 08:00, 13:00 South Asia Friday 04:00, 09:00, 15:00 Europe & Middle East Friday 10:00, 15:00, 20:00 Australia Thursday 23:00, Friday 04:00, 11:00, 16:00 UK Friday 09:00, 12:00, 15:00