sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
I want to do a podfic but I am terrible at making decisions, so I am OUTSOURCING THIS DECISION: what fic should I podfic? No longer than say 15k or 20k words at the very most. Any fandom I've been known to read.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)

I have been putting a whole bunch of work into a podfic for the Bandom Big Bang, and tonight through vast stupidity of my own I managed to completely fuck up the file such that there is nothing recoverable, and now I'm having to default because I don't have enough time before the deadline to redo everything. AUUUUUUUUUUGH. *headdesking forever*

Oh, also:

Jan. 13th, 2011 10:44 pm
sophia_sol: Drawing of a dalek holding a teacup, with text saying "would you care for some tea?" (DW: dalek: care for some tea?)
Apparently it's More Joy Day today or something? I'm up for that! Spreading joy is a lovely and marvelous thing!

So here is what I am doing for More Joy Day. First three interested people to comment on this post, I will record a podfic for you of your choosing in any fandom (including fandoms I do not know!) as long as it is less than 2000 words and does not contain extended explicit sex (since that is awkward to record when I share a house with four other people!). It can be a fic written by you or a fic written by someone else, as long as that person doesn't have a policy against podfic.

Happy More Joy Day!
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Thing One: In which I ramble about audiobooks, and in specific the Dresden Files audiobooks )

Thing Two: Meme thingy that I saw and thought would be fun, in which you record yourself saying the following stuff, for reasons relating to accents and regionalisms. So I did it, though of course I couldn't resist adding various comments as opposed to keeping strictly to the script. Keeping to the script is what I have to do when I podfic; this was FREEDOM. Ish.

Voice meme by trulysophiasol

The meme's script, and me talking about pronunciation )
sophia_sol: black and white drawing of a man playing guitar beneath some trees, with text saying "Stan Rogers in the yard again" (C6D: Stan Rogers: in the yard again)
Today I totally did not spend hours working on a podfic, nope, what are you talking about. I totally spent it doing productive stuff, and you know it.

I estimate that when the podfic's done being edited down it'll run to about 1 1/2 hours. Longest podfic yet! And, gosh, the editing is so intimidating to think about. I mean, it involves going slowly and carefully going through all 2 1/4 hours of recorded material I currently have, cutting it down to the good version of the lines, which will probably take at least 3 hours. And then once I've got the basic cutting done, going and listening through the entire thing again to fix any awkward transitions I missed, to make sure it sounds smooth, which will be at least another 1 1/2 hours.

So I've got bordering on 5 hours of work left to do on this thing. All of a sudden I am really impressed by the people who record podfics of epic length. Doing a 15-minute fic is so easy by comparison, the sort of thing that's short enough that I can actually afford to listen through it a couple extra times to smooth it down as much as possible.

In other podficcing topics, probably one of these days I should learn how to do some of the more sophisticated stuff Audacity's capable of doing. Like altering volumes, and editing out fuzzy background noises, and removing the worst of the crackle from when a puff of air hits the microphone dead on, stuff like that.

Something I've been wondering. Is it a useful thing, do you think, to say "the end" at the end of a podfic? Unlike when reading something, there's no clear clue that an ending's just around the corner, and I know that places can sound like endings and then it's like, oh, surprise! there's still more fic! Having a concrete "the end" would help with that. But otoh it feels a little intrusive, and it's hard to even know how to inflect it so it doesn't sound out of place tacked onto the end of a fic. So I don't know. What do you think, any of you who listen to podfic? Do you have an opinion?

(By this post I'm sure you can tell that my Yuletide story is all finished and uploaded! Yayyyy! I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, though it didn't go in the directions I thought it would. I hope my recipient likes it! (also, although an earlier Yuletide post indicated that I was going to try to write a treat fic, that fell through. Note to self: do not try to write in styles from previous centuries when you already know you are bad at it!))
sophia_sol: Geoffrey with his head resting on a podium, with text saying "headdesk" (S&A: Geoffrey: *headdesk*)
The thing I hate about podficcing is that it is not a thing that can just be done at any time, like fic writing. It has to be relatively quiet, so that there aren't the clashing sounds of dishes being done in the background, or something like that. So I can't work on it during the day, because I have housemates whose schedules I cannot predict, and who might at any moment choose to start cooking, or playing the guitar, or talking with each other, or do something else noise-making that would get in the way.

Also, if I started talking to myself in my bedroom they would wonder what was up and come investigate and interrupt me.

What this means is that the only time I can really podfic is late at night when the others are probably asleep. This is a bad idea: it encourages terrible sleep habits for me, and it means that it is hard to do longer fics, because the longer the fic the later I have to stay up.

So I don't get as many podfics done as I might like.

sophia_sol: Blair Sandburg, with text that says "this is my Serious Academic face" (TS: Blair: Serious Acaface)
Because podficcing always makes me overthink things, here is some blathering about the subject of my most recent effort.

Why does that fic fascinate me so much, when I'm not even familiar with its source material? The first blush of love was, of course, that DVD commentary, because I am easy for intelligent commentaries on things. But the fic itself fascinates me too.

And I want to talk about it more, but I don't even know how accurate my interpretations of the characters are, since, after all, I have not read the play. As I keep saying.

But I'm going to talk about it more ANYWAYS. Because I'm awesome like that.

It's the relationship between Henry and Richard that has me so fascinated -- well, that should be obvious, since that's the main subject of the fic: their relationship and how thoroughly messed up it is. Because Henry deposed Richard from his throne and is going to kill him, and yet is going to him to make nice after his coronation to make himself feel better. And Richard is being all sneaky and provoking, and pushing all of Henry's buttons to bring out his worst side (and his worst side is pretty bad), because luring Henry in the direction of being a terrible king is the best revenge. Basically: two rather nasty people being nasty to each other.

But if that was it, I wouldn't be caring all that much. The thing is, there's also this connection between them, because they understand each other so well, and if either of them were actually a decent human being they'd have a chance of being decent human beings together. But being nasty, they drag each other further and further down.

It is, I think, something of a mirror-image of one pairing-type I rather enjoy, which is exemplified by Doctor/Master. Two people with a strong, inexorable connection between them. Two people who are deeply interested in one another and yet are enemies who do everything they can to foil each other's plans. And because of that deep interest and connection, the better of the two is capable of redeeming the other -- or at least distract him from falling farther and farther into darkness.

The Master is totally Richard, and -- I think Henry would like to think of himself as something like the Doctor. Saving England from a nasty king who deserves to be deposed. And because the Doctor's the Doctor, he is at his heart a decent person, so he's able to pull the Master out of it all. But Henry's not, and at Richard's every provocation just grows more like him. Instead of the Doctor redeeming the Master, it's the Master...unredeeming the Doctor. It's the Master taking every bit of the Doctor's darkness (and he does have quite a bit) and dragging it out into the sun for a chance to play. Now, the Doctor's inherent desire to do (be) good is strong enough that this wouldn't work on him. But Henry is not the Doctor. His darknesses are too large, too deep-seated, and bringing them out to play is kind of disastrous. And so Richard wins, even in his defeat.

(Also, my interest probably isn't harmed by the fact that Richard is really good at what he's doing and I LIKE COMPETENCE OKAY, even when what he's competent in is being a total manipulative bastard.)
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (DW: Master: hello madness)
Oh, goodness. I should have realized, given my thing for competence, that it would be daaaangerous for me to start reading Inception fic. And I've discovered that it even manages occasionally to do the surprise!competence thing, because apparently Eames* is a super-clever dude who people often underestimate? BASICALLY I LOVE THE FICS.

I understand that my favourite pairing from the fic is not actually well-represented within the movie, but hey, whatevs, I'm down with that. Arthur/Eames wins anyways!

Presumably at some point I need to watch the movie (I WANT TO) but that point is not now. Possibly once I've moved back to my place for the school year; I bet I can convince Nielle and Dinah to go see it with me.

In other news, listening to hours of podfic while working (OMG SO AWESOME) results in my internal monologues/dialogues/narrative having the same voice as the reader whose podfic I've been listening to. It's disconcerting! But I certainly would not object to having my life narrated by her: she has such a wonderful reading style. It makes me realize how far I still have to go in honing my skills as a podfic reader. (thing number one that I need to learn: SLOW DOWN. This is hard.)

It also made me start thinking about accents, and perceptions of them. The fic I've been listening to is read in a British accent, and that just sounds so right, even when it's for fic from an American fandom (WHUT). In everyday life I quite like my accent (Canadian, with very slight hints of something unidentifiable. When I worked a fast food job, I occasionally got customers asking me where I was from, and when I said, um, Canada, they'd say, oh, I thought you were British/Australian/etc). But a British accent just gives this aura of...I don't even know how to articulate it. Calm, confident superiority? The sort of thing where you listen to it and you're just automatically more willing to believe what's being said because it just sounds so sure. In other words, just right for narrating a story. My accent, by comparison, feels all...informal, and... uneducated? IDK. It's hard to put into words.

I do not usually EVER feel self-conscious about the way I talk! This is annoying! And I know perfectly well it's stupid and nonsensical, and based on stereotypes, and that the only thing a person's accent actually says is where they're from, but I still cannot help but have these reactions.

Also, the only two podfics I've done so far have been for stories where the viewpoint character was Canadian. I am worried to try to do podfics for anything with characters of other nationalities. Because in media fandoms (ie not book-based), the voice of a character is certainly rather connected to their accent. My Ray Kowalski would sound wrong. My Doctor would sound wrong. My Radek Zelenka, my John Sheppard, my Jim Kirk....Basically ANYONE who is not either Rodney McKay or from a C6D fandom. The next fic I'm planning to do (hopefully it will take me less than seven months this time!) is again a Rodney fic, but this one has some walk-in lines from Radek, and that.... I've been reading the fic out loud to myself to familiarize myself with it before beginning to record, and no matter what I do with the Radek lines it sounds wrong. I cannot imitate his accent, and it would be stupid of me to try. But if I just use my native accent it doesn't sound like the lines could possibly belong to Radek.

I know that what I have to do is just suck it up and realize that it is possible to do a good job at podficcing without doing voices and accents and things, but it just makes me feel like I'm not doing justice to what the characters deserve. *sigh*

(I am reminded as well of listening to an audiobook of one of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels, and how brilliant the reader was. She did the Botswana accent for all the dialogue, and it sounded so right. (mmm, I love those books so much))

Wow. I did not realize, when starting this post, how much uncertainty I've been feeling about this stuff! Well, I'll just give myself a good smack upside the head and tell myself sternly not to be stupid, and that's that. Because really, what else can I do?

Two Things

Aug. 16th, 2010 10:33 pm
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Thing One: What I have learned from the latest in my random-episodes-of-Buffy-watching project: alternate universe vampire!Xander and vampire!Willow are epic. VERY EPIC. Willow calls Angel a puppy! She doesn't have that almost-stammery way of talking, but is all confident and sure of what she wants! Her outfit has really cool sleeves! (also, just for the record, my inability to reliably recognize Buffy continues....)

Thing Two: I realized that hey, I record podfic, so I should try listening to it occasionally too. And, um, it's awesome. It is reminiscent of my younger days when my family would go on car trips, and bring along piles of tapes to listen to on the drive, and some of them would be stories, not music. They were so wonderful. I have very fond memories, for instance, of a tape with The Emperor And The Nightingale on it that I listened to a ridiculous number of times. Listening to a podfic is like that. I think if I had an iPod I would listen to podfic ALL THE TIME.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (TS: Blair: just one of those days)
GodDAMNit. Apparently podficcing hates me. Today I tried to work on a podfic again. First time really using Audacity in, um, MONTHS. I have used my microphone in the interim, for my youtube poetry, and that was totally fine. And when I did the podficcing thing way back when, the microphone was just fine. So I blithely began working, and proceeded to record the rough draft of the podfic all in one go, sat back, clicked stop with satisfaction, and went back to the beginning to begin editing. And the entire thing was far to quiet. AUGH! Apparently Audacity has decided that it can't get good volume for me out of my mic unless my mouth is approximately a centimetre away from it (which makes for really bad sound quality). So I had to get rid of the whole recording and start fresh. The problem was, how to make my microphone have louder input? I went running all over the internet reading various tutorials for audacity trying to figure it out, and played around with various settings both in audacity and on my computer, and FINALLY I think I've got the problem worked out. *whew* But what this means is that I'm no longer in the mood for a happyfuntimes recording-of-podfic session, because I feel like I ALREADY DID THAT. Yet again, I'll have to return to the podfic later. It WILL get done!

Speaking of my youtube poetry, though, I don't have access to my friend's webcam anymore, which means no more youtube poetry for a while. BUT I just found out from my parents that they have an extra webcam lying around, which they will let me have next time we see each other, in less than a month! Yay, having a webcam of my very own!
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
I finally got around to re-downloading Audacity and Lame so that I could go over what I'd recorded of the podfic I'd been working on way back when, from before my computer problems. I'd been almost done, had recorded the entire thing and made most of the necessary edits, and all that was really needed anymore was to go through it one last time to look for any minor things that needed fixing and it would have been ready to go up. In other words, maybe half an hour's worth of work, which I'd been putting off for months because I'm lazy like that.

But when I went to go open the file today, it was all screwy and messed up and wouldn't work properly and the only bit of it that would even play was approximately half a sentence! AUGH AUGH AUGH AUGH AUGH. I hate what those computer problems have done to me. Now I have to do it allllll over again. AUGH.

Did I mention I'm annoyed?

I think I'm going to go record some more poetry for youtube to make myself feel better. At least that's easy. And I'll come back to the podfic when I'm feeling less angry at the world.

ETA: okay, poetry is live! This one is The Highwayman, by Alfred Noyes. To be found here. (Link to youtube removed because I've figured out just how closely my youtube account is linked to my rl name. Thanks, Google, because I really wanted G+ to be integrated with my youtube experience....)
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
It makes for handy organization of ideas, at least!

Thing One: Podficcing. Gah. I keep on meaning to get back on that! In fact, I even have a nearly-completed podfic on my computer, that just needs a final polishing edit before being posted online. But my computer problems that I had recently meant that my computer was wiped clean (I had backups for my files at least, hence my still having this podfic) and so I don't have the necessary software anymore. And for some reason it is far too much work for me to go redownload it. I mean, it's been weeks and I still haven't even put Word back on my computer, and that's something I use far more often than Audacity! I'm so lame.

Thing Two: I managed to watch yesterday's Daily Show episode (yes, I browbeat the comedy network's video player into submission. It meant that I spent far too much unnecessary time reloading clips over and over again (and having to watch the same stupid ads over and over and over again) but I DID see it all! And...dude! He referenced slash fanfic within the first 40 seconds of the show! Awesome. Though now I'm desperately curious as to whether he's aware of slashfic being written about himself. (desperately curious in a hiding-behind-my-hands sort of way...)
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
1. Damnit, I was hoping to do another podfic this weekend, but I'm sick. I mean, I don't feel very awful or anything, but I doubt people have any desire to hear me snuffle my way through it... And having to take a sip of water every three words or so gets in the way too.

2. In better news, in a week or so I'm gonna be seeing Paul Gross live! At thingy where it's an introduction to some symphony or something by Mozart, and possibly Paul Gross is going to be reading some of Mozart's letters aloud? Or something? Anyways, it looks AWESOME. \o/

3. Similarly, in a week or so I'm gonna be seeing a Doctor Who improv thing, that's apparently very good and very funny! \o/

4. Apparently I'm adding new bookmarks to my delicious at a faster pace than I'm editing my old ones. Gah. I mean, I'm not complaining about the plethora of shiny fic, but it means that I still haven't managed to get down to 3000 unedited bookmarks yet!

5. My subject line is a lie.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Well, I've been on Amazon buying christmas presents for people. Did you know that's "regular" shipping speed is five days, whereas says that for one book it'll take 1-3 weeks, and for the other 2-4? Yeah. Yeah, SO UNFAIR. So I had to order the books to be sent to my parents' house in the States to make sure they'd arrive on time. WHYYYY do Americans get the privilege of such prompt shipping when I DON'T?

But speaking of which, I was GOING to order my microphone/headset for podficcing. But of course there was no guarantee it was going to arrive before I'd left the country for Christmas vacation, which... not so much useful. So I have to put off starting podficcing until after Christmas is over. *sigh*

But on to the excitement of White Collar! Yeah, yeah, I know: I forgot to ever post about episode 6. I don’t care. Because EPISODE SEVEN OH WOW.

Cue lots of spoilery goodness )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
OKAY. I have a plan of attack! I have done a whole bunch of searching online as to what I want to buy for my microphone, and it was way harder than it had any right to be. Apparently my city just FAILS at having useful stores? No seriously, I kept on finding websites that had good-looking stuff, then I'd go to their store locator and find out that the nearest one is like a hundred kilometres away. Or that they didn't even exist in Canada.* So useful. But I have FINALLY found a store that I am actually capable of getting to with public transit! That professes to carry microphones! Though it is ENTIRELY across the city so it will be a long afternoon's adventure to head out and buy one.**

I'm thinking I'll go buy one next saturday (ie December 5th). Though I'm betting it would be smart if I first called the store to make sure they have them in stock...

*For example, did you know that Wal-Mart Canada is a separate thing from the United States version? And has FAR much less selection in its stock? And that the American one won't ship to Canada? I was unaware of all of these things, until now. Also the Canadian Wal-Mart has a much suckier website.

**busses are SLOW. And they only come every half hour. And I'll need to transfer at least once.


Nov. 24th, 2009 08:32 pm
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
I have been thinking for a while now that I want to get into recording podfic. I keep on feeling like I don't CONTRIBUTE to fandom enough -- I don't write fic very well, I certainly can't draw, and I am not outgoing enough to easily just make friends with people in fandom and get involved in discussions about stuff. But I am told in real life that I have a good reading voice, and I LIKE vocally performing (I recite poetry for fun!). Fandom gives so much to me, and I would really love to be able to give back in some way. So this is totally something I could do, and maybe even be good at.

But in order to do so I would have to buy the necessary equipment (A microphone. And perhaps headphones of a not-completely-utterly-crappy quality, since my current ones have the most godawful background fuzziness no matter what I'm listening to), and as a university student without much money, that feels like kind of an unwarranted expense when I don't know for sure that I AM going to get really into podficcing. Also this would involve me acquiring and learning how to use some sort of editing software, and then learning how to post files online, and despite my firm inhabitance of the internet I am kind of technologically illiterate. I have found some recommendations of free software to use, and some tutorials, but it's still scary.

So I'm kind of intimidated by the prospect. But nonetheless I am more and more feeling like I really want to, and I think that if I ever decide I've been particularly good with money in a particular month, I will go buy myself a microphone and give this thing a try.

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