Member Wayne took on the challenge of setting and operating the sound for the Progressive Players’ first children’s production, The Elf Who Saved Santa.
Setting and operating sound for shows can sometimes be challenging, particularly if there are a lot of effects. It’s even more challenging for a children’s show where there’s audience participation for songs. This is because you have no idea how many times the actors might get the audience to join in so you need to be ready to replay something at a moment’s notice… ”One more time everybody!” But that’s what makes it interesting.
The Elf Who Saved Santa has needed a lot of unusual effects which have had to be specifically mixed – you can’t get effects such as ‘Santa crashes down the chimney’ already made/off the shelf on a sound effects CD! It means sourcing and recording individual tracks of bangs, clatters, crunching sounds, falling masonry and yells and then editing them together so that they match the action and are the required length.
As for music – it’s always important in any play; it sets the mood and the feel of the piece. For this show we needed upbeat Christmassy music but which was not too well known – we didn’t want the show to sound like a trip to a shopping mall. Fortunately, there’s a lot of stuff online now which can be downloaded royalty free.
It’s been a really enjoyable experience and has certainly got me into the Christmas spirit. I have a feeling the sound for our next play, Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense, is going to be very different indeed!