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  1. #1
    Kc's Avatar

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    Gamertag: kc wayland Steam ID: waylandprod

    Three years in the making: Chapter 44.

    /Ref: http://www.wayland.ws/were-alive/wer...in-the-making/ (Did my best to format it for here)

    Text:
    Chapter 44 "Life and Death" Chapter 44 "Life and Death"

    It's here: Chapter 44, Life and Death...


    There was hardly an event planned for more in the series than this. (Aside from the end of course). Let me first and foremost say that this blog contains MANY spoilers from the most recent episode, so if you haven't caught up- STOP NOW.

    Blaire and DJ, a Natural mother... Blaire and DJ, a Natural mother...

    Ok, we clear? Good; here goes. Chapter 44 took over 3 years to produce. How? Well, let me give you some background.

    Many times in interviews I'm asked if I feel the loss for the characters that I have to kill off in the series. I answer: "No, because their deaths are planned out so far in advance that it's just an arrival to an event, instead of a difficult decision to kill them in the moment." There are, of course, a few exceptions when it comes to side characters, or "Red Shirts" as the forum has come to call them. The story decision about Datu and Lizzy came such a long time ago that I can't quite remember when it entered into the outlines. I just know that the specific details of the idea of the simultaneous deaths came near the end of Season 1. It made sense in the structure of the story not to spread out these two harsh moments, both for the mechanics and the heightened emotion of what happened. Having characters grieve twice actually would take more time as well. Timing, is everything...

    In order for the plan to come to fruition and to have each character reach this emotional peak at the same time required a lot of pre-planning. The path of events for each character had to coincide with each other over several chapters, all the way back to the start of Lizzy's pregnancy. Some of the details of these paths I will leave out out due to some pieces still relevant to the plot, but let's just say there was a lot of re-arranging to make them both meet at the same point at the same time.

    Outside of the story even more work had to be done way in advance, the most problematic being the voice of Nicholas. The story would require the use of a baby's voice, no joke, only minutes old. If I were to use sound fx libraries for the voice of Nicholas, it would most likely be a different baby every time for every file, and the story would be extremely limited to what we could find. Baby scenes in films and movies often user the same sound effect over and over, and I didn't want that here.

    So, in 2011, I set out to find my Nicholas, watching for babies to be born around me, waiting for a boy to be born. There was one or two here or there that I had my eye on (not creepy I swear). I wanted to have a baby at age 0, but it is also a hell of a thing to ask someone to put a mic in a delivery room.

    Then, not too long after that, I received word that I would be an uncle. After long discussions with Anne and Danny (DJ's Parents), they allowed me to record their baby DJ being born. I gave my brother (Danny) the recorder and waited.

    Low and behold, several months later, DJ Wayland was born. I wasn't in the delivery room at the time, but we were able to get those precious sounds of the baby only moments after he was born. If you listen closely to 44-3 you can hear those exact moments over the radio in the background of Tanya. The other lines and voices that were closer for Nicholas we were able to record a few days later once they both came home.

    Recording DJ a few days old. Recording DJ a few days old.

    This isn't the most ideal recording space, but we were able to capture great moments in a comfortable space. Then came the long wait till this chapter to be produced. The chapter outline was in place, but the script wouldn't be written for almost another 2 years. DJ was born in August of 2012- and this episode aired April 7th 2014. Just to show you how long this gap of time was, here's a picture of DJ last week from Disneyland. Isn't he cute?

    DJ at Disneyland, around the same time his episode premiered. DJ at Disneyland, around the same time his episode premiered.

    Recording the role of Nicholas was just the first piece of the recording puzzle, we then had to get all the actors as well. We were very fortunate to have F-Sequence studio there in our recording studio on February 9th, 2014, to capture the moments on camera. Deacon and Sarah were there for the weekend to not only to do great character profiles, but also document what it's like on the stage as well.

    Recording on the Stage - Photo by F-Sequence Studios

    Directing on Stage (photo by F-Sequence Studio). I have to thank them for giving me more color in the photo than I actually had on set

    Unfortunately, for me, this was at my physical weakest point in the series so far. They photographed the profiles on Saturday, but on Friday I had gone to the ER with a very bad flu, which then unfortunately took me out of commission for Saturday and almost for Sunday on the recording session. It was so bad on that on that Friday I actually left in the middle of our remote recording Jim Gleason (Michael) and had to have Grayson take over directing for me. Anyways, it was just a kick in the gut to have all this happen at the same time as the chapter I had been working so long towards.

    In the end, it ended up perfect. Everyone in the cast did an amazing job. You can see from the photos from Deacon, that it was a very difficult and emotional moment for everyone, including me. Some people have asked my if it was hard to write off my wife's character (yes I'm married to Blaire who plays Lizzy). It was extremely difficult and unsettling to write, but it was more difficult to listen to OVER AND OVER; re-living the scene over about 15 to 20 times. I remember getting pretty choked up when I was standing on top of the file cabinet performing the footsteps for Saul, performing the foley for a man who was losing the love of his life.

    The production schedule for this episode was quite different. We had to work on it early... like almost a month before the release, so that we could get the timing and tracks in place so we could send it over to to our amazing composer, Brother Daniel, to fill in what I wanted for the music to accompany the scene.

    That process would then take several more revisions. This instance is one of the few times we've been able to use fully scored pieces inside the series. We tend to have to use re-worked versions of songs from our licensed music libraries, but this had to be perfect, special, and very specific. Brother Daniel and I worked closely to make sure we hit the right moments with score, and also were able to drive home Saul and Lizzy's music theme (leitmotif). That theme had played several times in the series previous to this, but this time was a slower"saying goodbye" version. I think we went through a total of five revisions to get everything perfect, but in the end, it was perfect.

    Years of planning, weeks of editing, recording, and composing, and the result is everything we could have hoped for. I have gotten the occasional "I hate you" (probably out of love), but most have been the reaction that I and my team wanted to transpire. These deaths were not meant to be solely out of shock value, or just a cheap gimmick to pull at heart strings, but to find the beauty and heart at the loss of these characters. I am very proud of what we were able to accomplish here, and hope this is one of those peaks in our series that will set us apart from others.

  2. #2
    Litmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kc View Post
    I am very proud of what we were able to accomplish here, and hope this is one of those peaks in our series that will set us apart from others.
    Are you kidding? This series is ALREADY set far apart from others! But Jesus, to hear all the attention to detail that has been put into this production... just amazing. Many hats off to you.

    Hats off to Grayson and the interns as well! With all the perfectionism you exhibit, you can't be an easy guy to please...




    Quote Originally Posted by Kc View Post
    Years of planning, weeks of editing, recording, and composing, and the result is everything we could have hoped for. I have gotten the occasional "I hate you" (probably out of love), but most have been the reaction that I and my team wanted to transpire. These deaths were not meant to be solely out of shock value, or just a cheap gimmick to pull at heart strings, but to find the beauty and heart at the loss of these characters.
    Well said. Nevertheless, if you kill Burt, I am still going to go ape-shit.
    Likes Z Sniper, scbubba, Footbutt liked this post
    We're back Alive again for WA Goldrush!

  3. #3
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    Holy shit, what an incredible journey! Not only am I being emotionally rattled by the whole thing, I'm also more profoundly appreciative of the work that you're putting in to deliver the story.

    I tip my hat to you KC, you are an incredible artist, and we are all immensly grateful for the effort that you and the cast 'n' crew are putting in to deliver the story to us
    Likes Z Sniper liked this post
    WA Finale Convoy Communications Officer

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  4. #4
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    "Fresh Meat"

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    The main thing that sets you apart is NO ONE has done anything of this quality and standard before. Sure there may be other podcasts out there but none in this format and league.

    Truly original and spectacular!

  5. #5
    clem131's Avatar
    "Body Removal Team"

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    Thanks!!! I actually love behind the scenes like this one. Very interesting.
    It speaks loads that you had this episode outline planned years in advance. That's real writing and it's what brings good stories to life. I'm always very puzzled that the standard for writing on AAA productions follows one of two templates:
    "Let's throw some polar bears and hatches in it and then improvise"
    or
    "Let's write this in the story, it's a trending theory on fan forums" .
    This is what sets WA apart from not only other audio dramas, but I dare to say many AAA productions for TV.
    Likes Storm, Z Sniper, BunnyButters liked this post

  6. #6
    Gooer's Avatar
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    Gamertag: G00er PSN ID: Gooergaming Steam ID: Gooergaming
    This makes me really appreciate the work that's put into every chapter even more than i already did.....

  7. #7
    Footbutt's Avatar
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    there's not a week that goes by that i don't tell someone new about this show.
    and when i tell them to 'wait for the part when', i have to stop myself and hope they do a straight listen-through so i can talk about the latest chapter with them.

    it's unbelievably good, KC. you have mastered your craft.
    Likes Z Sniper liked this post

  8. #8
    Bullethead's Avatar
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    Love this look into the production of an episode. Clearly it was emotional for some.

    Quick question about the photos, what was the racquet for ?
    "That was a hen, this is a cow"

  9. #9
    Zombiekiller100's Avatar
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    Thanks for this insight, after listening to the WA Fancast interview with the charming Mrs W, we all are reminded of the dedication and many hours of hard work Kc has invested to make WA at such an outstandingly high level. Very impressed at his versatility at making special sound effects, detail to attention ( Shirley has her own unique firing sound ), doing the voices a many characters also, and foresight by planning to capture his nephew's newborn crying to use for baby Nicholas. I was wondering if Dj was Kc's son, but then Blaire mentioned ( WA fan cast interview)having to watch clips of women giving birth before acting this scene to get into role. All makes sense now. As you can probably gather, I have no experience with drama or the production of an audio show, but hat off to Mr Wayland for 4years of dedication. Also to Mrs W as you introduced Kc to the idea of podcasting a drama about Zombies. You make a great team.
    Likes Z Sniper liked this post

  10. #10
    Storm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gooer View Post
    This makes me really appreciate the work that's put into every chapter even more than i already did.....
    I second, third, fourth, and fifth this! This show is wonderfully done, and an extremely high quality considering that it's free to listen to. I can't recomment it enough to people I know like zombies and wouldn't mind just using their ears.
    Looking forward to see what elseyou've got for us in the future, both in this series (what little there's left anyway) but also in other projects of yours.
    Likes Gooer, Zombiekiller100 liked this post
    Storm -- < '!' >

    To see a world in a grain of sand
    And a heaven in a wild flower
    Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
    And eternity in an hour


 
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