Through Pain Comes Perspective

I interviewed my mum, Sue, for this assignment as she unexpectedly contracted Sepsis about seven years ago. Although I was young at the time, it was one of the toughest things my family and I ever went through. I have always distinctly remembered how my mum’s perspective on life changed after almost losing her life. It was like someone gave her a telescope so she could only see what was important. I wanted to use my mums’ story to create this audio and portray a positive message around trauma. No one goes through life without experiencing hardship, but not everyone can learn to find the good. This story is a true example of how a bad situation can have appositive outcome by bringing fresh perspective.

Recording the audio was a painless task. In our lecture, we were taught to “pick a quiet, neutral spot” and to use “eyed contact to affirm” (McHughes 2020). I still live with my parents, so I told everyone in the house to be quiet and we recorded the story in my room. I positioned the microphone in a place that would pick up her voice but not the sound of her breathing. I also made sure my mum was comfortable as I wanted her to feel at ease about opening up and being vulnerable.

My mum likes to pause a lot and I had a lot of audio, so I ended up having to do a lot more cutting of the audio than I was anticipating. Despite this it turned out fairly well and I was just able to keep it under 2 minutes. Because this was such a dramatic story, I wanted to use additional audio as a subtle enhancement, so as not to take away from the rawness of the story. I started out with no music for dramatic impact to try to lure the listener in. I then incorporated soft and melancholy piano music to set a reflective and sombre mood over the piece. The music moves into a higher tempo electric guitar towards the end as things become more intense. The music then fades out to place more impact on the closing words, portraying Sue’s change of perspective. As the audio had to be cut down so much, I added an ambulance siren audio to tell the listener that Sue had gone to hospital, rather than have her aliterate it. At the climax of the story, when Sue is taken into the resuscitation room, I added heart rate machine beep to create audience engagement. The rhythmic beeping and pause of dialogue created a sense of suspense. Finally, I incorporated pauses into the audio to create suspense and introduce new thoughts. I think this audio would have worked better if I had been able to make it longer as I could have incorporated more pauses and the cutting of the audio wouldn’t have seemed so choppy.

In the week 4 lecture, Mchughes (2020) included a quote from Tom Stoppard, “It’s about controlling the flow of information — arriving at the right length and the right speed and in the right order. If the audience is made to do not enough work, they resent it without knowing it. Too much and they get lost. There’s a perfect pace to be found. And a perfect place that is different for every line of the play”. This quote really inspired me to target the audience during my editing process. Although I have not had much experience with editing audio it was interesting to learn from someone who did. This quote from article, Shooting Puppies: A Tutorial also helped to remind me to only include what was most important in my audio, “Letting go of great tape hurts inside, but sometimes you have to do it”.


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