Two weekends ago, we recorded Scott’s narration for episode 3. Last weekend, as Scott mentioned, we edited that material for time and pacing. This is one aspect of the show that hasn’t really changed since the early days. To get radio airplay, episodes need to be anywhere from 27 and 1/2 minutes, to 29 minutes. We prefer 29. Three minutes of that is intro/outtro, plus about 30 to 60 seconds of forward promotion / commercials, what have you, so we end up needing about 25 minutes of raw material.
We were looking at about 28 minutes of raw material last week that we had to cut down. Recovering 3 minutes wouldn’t be enough; we needed extra time to insert as pauses throughout the material in order to keep the pacing right. Otherwise, the story would plowrightthroughwithouteventakingabreath!
This sounds a lot easier than it really is.
We obviously had to cut something, but what? The story had already been through the copy-editing phase. Presumably, at this point, any unneccessary stuff had already been trimmed out. It’s like some famous writer-guy said: the story is finished, not when you’ve put in everything the story needs, but after you’ve taken everything you can out. Anything still left over should be essential to the story, right?
We had significant trouble removing stuff from eps 1 and 2. We cut those episodes to the bone, and then we kept cutting. There were some really cool passages that didn’t make it. And sometimes, we’d accidentally cut important info that was used later in the show, without realizing it. More frustrating: even after we were under our limit, we dropped more really cool stuff, just to get dead time to slice up and reuse, for pacing purposes.
For ep 3, we were lucky. We found one piece of the main fight sequence that could be removed without consequence. I wish it could have stayed; I think it would have enhanced the characters. If you’re interested, Scott posted the text on the forum somewhere. If not for that, the only other option would have been to rewrite several other passages to use even fewer words to say the same things, and re-record them. Obviously, this would take a lot more time than simply snipping a passage out like we did.
Read Scott’s previous post for specifics on what we took out. What’s left is pretty tight, essential to the plot and character development, and keeps the story moving, without taking the audience on unneccessary detours. We’re happier with these episodes than we’ve been at any other time in the history of the show.
Still, it leaves us with a "recycle bin" full of interesting stuff that we can’t wait to use somewhere else! Think of these gems as a preview of things to come…