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Mark, let’s start with how this project came together.
During that time is when the CATHERINE KEENER: Hey!
Featuring stars like Keener, Schwimmer, Oscar Isaac, Amy Sedaris, and David Cross, it’s a bold charge into a new frontier of storytelling—one that still doesn’t quite have a name.
from venture-capital-funded podcast network Gimlet Media, is the first to lure honest-to-god movie stars to act for microphones, and to help the show stand out in an increasingly crowded market.
And one way they’re giving their story of Heidi and Walter a modern edge has to do with, no surprise, technology.
While all of the outdoor scenes were filmed outside (like that one in Red Hook), most were filmed in the Gimlet studios, taking advantage of how far audio design has come since the era of Foley artists knocking coconut shells together for horse hooves.
Her crew of three and her scene partner, David Schwimmer, had settled on this quiet, remote location after first trying a city back alley (too much construction), then a cemetery (under the flight path of J. It was just another day on the set of —which is not a bold indie or a fancy streaming TV series, but an experimental-fiction podcast.
Roping in the very best actors was vital, as Gimlet co-founder Alex Blumberg points out, to selling the authenticity of a pure audio narrative.
“Movies can withstand a bad actor,” he points out, “if the picture is good enough or the action is cool enough. His beauty and the action surrounds him on-screen surpasses his ability to act. It depends entirely on the skill of the actors because it’s down to them to deliver emotional truth.”Between the level of talent and the character-driven storytelling, has more in common with HBO prestige dramas than some of the other genre-focused fictional podcasts that preceded it.
“We have digital editing and sound-effect libraries,” Blumberg explains.
“So you have buttons like ‘Big Barn,’ ‘Small Barn,’ ‘Big Barn Full,’ ‘Small Barn Full,’ and you can put these effects on something, and all [of a] sudden the voice sounds like it’s in that kind of room.